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  • 3 - Documenting In-Kind Donations for Yourself, Your Donors and The IRS - Planning For, Securing, and Documenting In-Kind Donations
    market value of that donation and the impact that losing the donation would have on their budget Additionally disclosing this information to funders would have helped to reveal the full budget picture There are several steps when documenting the value of in kind donations This includes first estimating the value of what was received There are many ways to go about doing this and many places that this information needs to be documented The value of the donation also needs to be assessed for depreciation or loss of value to accurately budget each year Finally the accuracy of documenting in kind donations will result in more accurate reporting for the IRS There are three places where the value assigned to an item should be documented The first is to the donor when you are acknowledging the donation the second is to the IRS for reporting purposes and the third is in your organization s budget There are also three ways to consider determining the value of an in kind donation You can ask the donor for the traditional cost of the donated services and or goods You can obtain quotes from competitors to determine the going rate You can use a salary survey document to determine the average cost of the skill level needed for the services provided As an example of determining value imagine you receive an in kind donation of a space for your office The office space can be calculated by the per square foot value of the building as determined by a local realtor For example at 2 00 sq foot a donation of classroom space of 150 square feet would equal 300 per month An in kind donation of space can be broken up into smaller units but each unit cannot be used for more than one program or initiative Even if the classroom is used for more than one program the whole in kind amount cannot be claimed for each program Calculating in kind donation value You need Adobe Flash Player to view some content on this site Depreciation is the reduced value over time of tangible items Goods such as office equipment and office furniture depreciate in value over time because of wear tear and aging In kind donations that depreciate in value should be added to your organization s depreciation schedule An asset remains on a depreciation schedule until the asset becomes fully depreciated or is discarded A simple explanation for the process is below Generally accepted accounting principles GAAP require a rational and systematic approach to depreciation as well as consistent financial reporting For more detailed guidance speak with your accountant The first step is to determine the current value of the good For example a computer purchased a year ago might have cost 650 but according to a sales representative at a local store that sells the current model of that computer the current value of the year old computer is 400 The second step is to determine the anticipated

    Original URL path: http://www.strengtheningnonprofits.org/resources/e-learning/online/inkinddonations/default.aspx?chp=3 (2016-02-12)
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  • 4 - Acknowledging In-Kind Donations - Planning For, Securing, and Documenting In-Kind Donations
    to give again Expressing gratitude to your donors doesn t have to be hard work if it becomes an organic part of your organization s culture to continually engage and appreciate your supporters Keep donors in the loop and personalize communication as much as possible This can include mentioning how items will be used today and over time Consider the most appropriate ways to stay in touch with donors which might include Email updates from your top people Meetings with donors to gather feedback Newsletter updates Hearing a variety of voices e g teachers artists doctors etc convey in their own words the difference donations have made to them Remain a vocal presence with your donors Silence communicates inactivity or a lack of need The more personally involved donors are the fuller their giving is likely to be Point out the great stuff that happens when people give Remember your donors both when times are tough and when you have something to celebrate Research shows there is a relationship between gift amounts and level of recognition received by donors Donors who report receiving substantial recognition for their gifts made larger contributions than those receiving minimal or moderate recognition Recognizing donors

    Original URL path: http://www.strengtheningnonprofits.org/resources/e-learning/online/inkinddonations/default.aspx?chp=4 (2016-02-12)
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  • Summary - Planning For, Securing, and Documenting In-Kind Donations
    begin generating prospective donors a wish list and opening the doors to effective and ongoing donor development Remember to find ways to personalize all stages of the giving process for your supporters from the time you make your first contact to the donation itself to the celebration of your group s success Thank you for taking the time to learn about in kind donations For further information and additional resources

    Original URL path: http://www.strengtheningnonprofits.org/resources/e-learning/online/inkinddonations/default.aspx?chp=5 (2016-02-12)
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  • Working with Consultants
    make sure you know how you ll be able to afford them If the costs are beyond your means can the project be restructured Can you split the costs with another organization that shares the same problem Being realistic about costs is critical to your success Finally you can have a perfectly defined problem select the best consultant to solve it and still end up disappointed if other members of your organization aren t truly committed Without key stakeholders on board the project will have little chance of success Defining your project is an essential first step To get a consulting relationship started on the right foot you need to take the time to carefully define your project For example perhaps you want to focus on fundraising but for what reason Is your current fundraising system broken or do you need advice on how to efficiently expand it If it is broken do you know what the causes are Or are you hoping a consultant will help you identify the causes It s not uncommon when defining a project to mistake the symptoms for the problem This kind of misidentification can send your consultant down the wrong path resulting in an unnecessary waste of his or her time and your money Taking the time to really think about your problem can make a huge difference For example We need a new executive director is one problem We need a new executive director within ninety days while at the same time resolving the communication and conflict problems on our board that led to the departure of the last three directors and we need both of these things done for less than 10 000 is another problem entirely These two very different projects would require different sets of skills Another important consideration is to determine whether you can legally hire a consultant for the project For example in many states it is illegal for a consultant to fundraise or collect funds for you unless they are a licensed solicitor It would not be a problem however for them to train your staff or help implement policies which could increase your fundraising capability It may also be worthwhile once you ve fully defined your project to once again ask yourself if hiring a consultant is really the right choice Could this work actually be carried out in house Will hiring a consultant for this project be a valuable investment It s important to realistically estimate the costs of hiring a consultant To estimate consulting costs break the project down into elements and make an estimate for each one These can include Consultant fees Overtime pay for in house staff Photocopying Supplies Equipment Events Seminars Although consultants may be expensive this shouldn t necessarily deter you from hiring them Letting a problem go unfixed can be an even more expensive proposition When you determine which consultants you might want to work with you ll receive estimates from them for your project Consultants charge either a flat rate for a project or they bill by the hour They may be open to working under either type of fee system depending on your organization s preference Their rates will reflect their level of expertise and experience as well as how readily available that expertise is in the marketplace For some types of projects a consultant might offer to work based on a commission such as fees that are tied to success in helping the organization raise funds However this is considered highly unethical A reputable consultant will not work on commission Compensation should always be directly related to the services the consultant provides paid as hourly or flat rates or be reimbursement for travel and administrative expenses If the estimated consultant fees are more than you can afford there might be ways to cut costs For instance you may be able to restructure your approach so that more of the work can be done by in house staff You could also approach funding sources that have a particular stake in the project s success to see if they d be willing to provide extra funds Also nonprofits sometimes arrange to get consulting services donated or provided at a reduced rate particularly if the consultant wishes to support the organization s mission in this way However don t assume that just because you re working for a worthy cause that a consultant can afford to work for you for free Before hiring a consultant make sure you have support from key stakeholders Make sure to gain the support of important stakeholders such as board members managers staff or key donors before you move ahead with the project If you don t have their buy in members of your team may be disinterested or even actively try to thwart change As part of this process make sure you know which members of your team are going to be involved in the project and what roles they will play Who is going to be the lead contact with the consultant responsible for regularly evaluating his or her work and making sure things are on track Which in house staff members will be doing aspects of the work Who will be supervising them Who will sit on the committee which oversees the project and what will their responsibilities be Also make sure that all of these people know what will be expected of them and that they are willing and able to do the job CHAPTER 3 Selecting a Consultant How do you find the right match for your project For smaller projects an in house contact person or a manager can oversee the selection process For bigger projects or in larger organizations it may be best to form a committee The person or group who oversees the process will need to take the following steps get as many names of potential consultants as possible send out a request for proposal known as an RFP make a short list of candidates conduct interviews and make a selection Some experts recommend that you conduct interviews first in order to create a short list and only ask for RFPs from those who make the list However reviewing RFPs is generally less time consuming than conducting a large series of interviews Whatever process you use make sure that it s identically applied to each applicant even those you ve worked with before This enables you to make a fair comparison between candidates and also protects you from possible legal action There are several methods for collecting names of potential consultants The best approach for making your long list of candidates is to use every method available You can use any combination of the following methods Look at directories and yellow pages Read the trade and business press for your line of work and note what consultants these publications mention Look for books articles or blogs written by consultants working in your area Talk to similar organizations and see who they have worked with Create an advertisement Use Internet searches Ask professional associations for recommendations When compiling this list keep in mind that there is no professional accreditation for consultants as there is for nurses or lawyers Anyone can hang out a shingle and call him or herself a consultant To make sure you re dealing with a competent professional you ll need to do your homework A request for proposal gathers information from potential consultants When you take the time to write and send out a request for proposal RFP the proposals you receive will be in a similar format and will address the same questions and issues Therefore when you make a short list of candidates you ll be comparing apples to apples instead of wildly dissimilar sets of information The RFP describes the project in general and outlines exactly what services you hope the consultant can provide Consultants are instructed to outline the strategy they would use to find a solution not their solution to the problem It also invites them to submit an estimate or describe their pricing policies In essence the RFP asks consultants to show why they would be a good fit for your project You can make a short list of candidates based on the proposals received Once you ve received the proposals solicited by your RFP it s time to narrow down the list of candidates You ll want to consider not only their qualifications and experience but also their ability to take on your assignment Do they have the available time to meet the deadlines Are there any conflicts of interest Will the work they do for you affect their relationship with other clients Is the consultant a former employee Will the solutions they present affect their ability to win other contracts While these factors aren t necessarily deal breakers it s important to take them into consideration Another important matter is whether or not a consultant can operate legally in your state or the states where you work This may seem like an unusual issue but depending on the nature of the project there may be fees or registrations required for a consultant to play the role you want Taken together all of these considerations will help you narrow down the candidate pool Further short list creation should be based on the candidates skills experience and the quality of their proposals Ideally your final short list will contain two to five candidates Conduct interviews with the consultants on your short list The next step is to conduct interviews with all candidates on your narrowed down list If at all possible hold in person interviews This is especially important for long term projects or those which involve a great deal of interaction with staff Consultant personality and presence can be key factors in successful consulting relationships To create useful points of comparison you should interview each candidate using the same set of questions In addition don t be afraid to discuss fees during the interview The candidates will have given you an estimate in their proposals but fees may potentially be negotiable There is no harm in asking about this For a set of suggested interview questions and observations please download Key Questions and Observations for Interviewing Consultants In addition to conducting thorough interviews it s also necessary to check candidates references to make sure the consultants have a track record of successfully completing projects Ask for two to three references from each candidate To allow for more dialogue conduct reference checks over the phone rather than via email Please download this tip sheet on conducting reference checks The last step is to select the consultant who will work on your project Applying a thorough and well structured selection process will most likely result in a wide array of highly qualified consultants from which to make a selection The best case scenario is that you find it hard to choose In making your decision be sure to look beyond qualifications to also consider a candidate s organizational style and personality It s very helpful to hire a consultant who has worked with organizations whose size and culture are similar to your own Ask for and check references from like minded organizations with which the consultant has worked When it comes down to making a final choice or even when constructing your short list you may be tempted to pick the most inexpensive option available However the lowest bid isn t necessarily the best value That choice can end up costing you more in the long run if the project fails due to selecting a consultant who is a poor fit CHAPTER 4 Hiring a Consultant When you ve finally chosen your consultant you ll probably be tempted to jump into the work right away However your next best step is to draft a contract Writing a contract may feel like the last thing you want to do after a long selection process However neglecting to establish a legal basis for this new consulting relationship can result in everything from an awkward misunderstanding to a drawn out lawsuit Once the contract is written there s one more step you should take before your consultant begins working If you haven t done so already take the time to establish clear in house roles For example who will be the project coordinator and what are his or her responsibilities You may decide to form an advisory committee of board members and others who can lend expertise Or you may create a steering committee of managers In any case it s essential that all relevant parties know their responsibilities and how they will be held accountable A well written contract contains several key elements Good contracts address critical aspects of the nonprofit consultant relationship The key elements of a solid contract include the following Background provides general information about the organization and an overview of the organization s need for assistance Consultant Duties and Services describes contract start and end dates expected tasks and deliverables and deliverable formats and due dates Client Agreement outlines what information and systems the consultant will have access to who the in house contact person will be the organizations level of effort commitment method and schedule of payment and expense policies Contract Changes explains the process for altering the contract Contract Termination explains how the organization consultant relationship can be ended if necessary Confidentiality establishes what type of information should be considered confidential and for what time period Records and Ownership of Property clarifies who will own rights to specific material produced by the consultant during the course of the project Indemnity and Applicable Law specifies who will be liable under what conditions and for up to what amount and how indemnification will be handled Independent Contractor clarifies that the consultant is a contractor and not an employee in order to avoid conflict with IRS policies Non assignment ensures that the consultant you hired is the person actually doing the work More detailed information on each of these contract elements is contained in the document Key Contract Elements Download this document by clicking on the link Creating a contract isn t as difficult as it may seem Writing a contract may seem like a lot of work but keep in mind that when you have access to a good sample contract much of the document will be written for you Your work will be to Add the information specific to your organization consultant and project much of which you have already developed in creating your RFP Decide which clauses are applicable to your specific situation If possible have your attorney review the contract before it s signed A lawyer may be aware of legal issues that specifically relate to your project CHAPTER 5 Managing a Consultant Once you ve selected and hired your consultant your mission is to get the greatest possible value out of the consulting experience This comes from taking an active hands on approach to help manage the consulting process And that means devoting the necessary time and resources to make sure that the consultant s efforts are a success and the organization consultant relationship remains positive First it helps to keep your goals and expectations reasonable It s important for the consultant to respond to your needs but consultants are not employees They usually work for more than one client at a time Therefore not all of their working hours will be devoted to your project unless you specified that arrangement in the contract Normally it s a consultant s choice where and when they do the work unless the particular needs of the project require them to be onsite during set hours As long as you re clear and reasonable in your expectations a good consultant should be happy to meet them Most consultants want to complete the project to your satisfaction as much as you want this However even the best consultant can get off track without the proper guidance Your lead contact or project coordinator should keep these factors in mind when working with the consultant Here are some suggestions for managing the consultant you hired By following these suggestions for managing the consultant you can gain maximum value from your consulting investment Orient the consultant Before the consultant starts working give this individual as much information about your nonprofit as possible Start with an oral orientation about the organization s mission Introduce the consultant to any staff members he or she will be working with and give a tour of your facilities including any off site locations which may be relevant Help the person understand the services you offer what your market is and who your key stakeholders are Much of this can be communicated through materials you already have such as strategic plans budgets policies annual reports or promotional literature Even if the consultant will be working primarily off site have the person spend some time in the office to get an idea of how you organization operates The more a consultant understands about your organization the more the individual can customize the work to truly meet your needs Check in regularly Even if the consultant is working with a number of staff members the lead contact is still responsible for being the official liaison monitoring progress and ensuring that the project is on track Holding regular meetings is a great way to keep on top of potential issues before they become real problems Be sure to be an active participant rather than switching off during meetings and simply assuming that the consultant knows what he or she is doing Even a good consultant can fall into trouble spots without realizing it It s the job of the lead contact and the management team to keep the consultant on track The lead contact should also make sure that other involved staff members are not procrastinating If a consultant is waiting for a decision or more

    Original URL path: http://www.strengtheningnonprofits.org/resources/e-learning/online/workingwithconsultants/Print.aspx (2016-02-12)
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  • Interactivites
    audio here Preparing for a Consultant Check your understanding of preparing to work with a consultant Check your understanding of preparing to work with a consultant Text version of audio here Selecting a Consultant Avoid these pitfalls when selecting a consultant Avoid these pitfalls when selecting a consultant Text version of audio here Use the RFP Elements document and the Sample RFP to learn more about RFPs Use the RFP

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  • Interactivites
    any time by pressing the Pause button on the bottom left of the player The buttons at the bottom right of the player allow you to control the volume and shift the video to full screen On Screen Text Below the player you will find on screen text This includes the detailed information you will need to know in order to meet learning objectives for the lesson Icons Next to

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  • Overview - Working with Consultants
    the right choice These are some potential reasons your nonprofit might decide to hire a consultant Consultants can potentially meet almost any need you can imagine But is hiring a consultant the best decision in your situation If so what are the best approaches to identifying prospective consultants hiring them and making sure they re meeting your needs At the end of this lesson you will be able to identify key steps for selecting a consultant recognize how to prepare for working with a consultant identify key elements of a basic contract and apply strategies for managing a consultant to a consulting scenario Many types of consultants are available to work with organizations Consultants are experts who are contracted with for a period of time in order to complete a particular project They come in all shapes and sizes from people working individually to international consulting firms They might also come from branches of other businesses or organizations such as universities libraries museums broadcasting companies or research groups In this e learning lesson you will learn about factors to consider when deciding whether to hire a consultant You will also learn key steps for selecting a consultant as well as

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  • 1 - Deciding to Use a Consultant - Working with Consultants
    various purposes Consultants can provide substantial assistance to organizations They are usually hired to complete concrete tasks within a defined time period Here are a few reasons why a nonprofit might hire a consultant Help search for a new executive director Start or fix a fundraising or capital campaign Offer legal services or prepare a legal defense Create or fix accounting or investment strategies Identify problems in an organization and help solve them Research new trends obstacles or events and assess their potential impact Train staff or volunteers in essential skills Mediate or resolve disputes Help an organization s management team reach its goals Develop new systems for conducting daily business or offering services Identify and solve communication or conflict issues Help recruit and train new board members Find and install the best equipment for a particular task Offer a fresh perspective to organizations which are stuck in their ways Get a new project or program off the ground Give an independent perspective on a management decision Execute highly specialized work for a limited time However before you decide to hire a consultant to help with a project ask yourself the following questions Could in house staff do the job if they had additional training Does a board member have the expertise or experience to help Could someone from trade government or sister organization help instead What about someone from a university or college Are there volunteer advisors or organizations that could provide free advice Can we afford to hire a consultant Check your understanding of hiring a consultant You need Adobe Flash Player to view some content on this site Relationships between nonprofits and consultants are not always successful Although there are many success stories about relationships between nonprofits and consultants there are some disappointments as well Some managers

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