Ken Goldstein, MPPA

Ken Goldstein has been working in nonprofits and local government agencies from Santa Cruz, to Sacramento, and back to Silicon Valley, since 1989. He's been staff, volunteer, board member, executive director, and, since 2003, a consultant to local nonprofit organizations. For more on Ken's background, click here. If you are interested in retaining Ken's services, you may contact him at ken at

Monday, July 31, 2006

The Fifth Requirement

Leila Johnson, of the Data-Scribe blog, has a great post on 5 Things to Demand from a Consultant. (Data-Scribe provides database, Web site, Internet branding, and software training services for nonprofits, associations, and small businesses.)

The first four are good advice, but fairly basic:
  1. A nondisclosure agreement,
  2. Past project samples or references,
  3. A written contract or a willingness to sign yours, and
  4. Great listening skills.
These are all things that are commonly advised, and I am happy to supply to my clients and potential clients. What got my attention, though, was #5, An interest in what you do.

It got my attention because I consider it to be a basic requirement, but it is rarely said - or, at least, not said enough. When looking for consultants or freelance writers the focus is naturally on the skills, background, and history of the candidate. But a good fit is also essential - particularly for nonprofit organizations.

On the Goldstein Consulting web site, I have always said:
I only accept clients and projects that I believe in. When I accept your assignment, your mission becomes my mission and I am committed to your success.
I believe this completely. I could not accept an assignment - no matter how lucrative it might be - with an agency that has a mission I'm against. I have, in fact, turned such organizations down.

When you are interviewing your potential consultant or freelancer, after you get through the resume, take some time to get to know the person. What do they believe in? Will they be as committed to your mission as you are? Or will they only be committed to sending you an invoice?

Tags: , , , , ,

1 comment:

  1. Right on, Ken. It's great to hear that you have a similar philosophy. I find it easier to get into a project when I believe in the organization anyway.