When you need an answer to a fundraising question, who do you ask?  Whose fundraising advice do you take?

Whether you’re looking for a coach, a consultant, or just signing up for an electronic newsletter, it can be tough to choose the right person.

Hundreds of people are out there giving advice and sharing their knowledge.  How do you decide who to listen to?

Here are some tips for finding the best source of help for you and your nonprofit organization.

1. Find someone you can follow who has experience in the size or the kind of organization you are working with.  They’ll have the “been there, done that” information you need.

2. Find someone who resonates with you.  Listen to your gut when you’re choosing a fundraising advisor.  We all run across people from time to time who we really like and can hear what they’re telling us.

3. Find someone who is going to be around for the long haul.  Stay away from anyone who appears “fly by night” and might be here today, but close up shop next month.

What else?  I’d love to hear from you how you choose the people you follow.



  1. What great points of counsel Sandy. These can be applied in so many areas of our work and life. From my own personal bank of pet peaves, I would add; Find someone who is going to respect you with clear communication and professional follow-up and follow-through.
    Thanks for sharing these,

  2. Great tips, Sandy. I would add: Find someone who will be available when you need them. My pet peeve is having to wait days for a response to a phone call or email; or maybe never getting a reply. I don’t get how people can do business this way…

  3. Way to get these tips out there Sandy. I remember everyone giving me advice on buying a house – I had to choose who to listen to and it was great when I received tips. This is a nice gift to those needing information on Fundraising.

  4. Of course the first person who comes to mind for me when I encounter someone who needs help with fundraising is you! And, I agree with Jeff, that these are useful tips for someone who is looking for any kind of consultant. I think another tip would be to find someone who is resourceful and open-minded.

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