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

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Working with Consultants - Make Some Noise!

I'm going to let you in on a little trade secret. If you hire me to be your consultant or your grant proposal writer, you won't be my only client. The continued viability of my business (and my mortgage payments, etc.) depends on my juggling several clients at a time.

I doubt any other consultant (nonprofit or not) is any different. We may have one or two "main" projects at any one time, supported by a few "back burner" projects that are less demanding, but we all have multiple clients - - or we're looking for a job.

When working with me - or any other consultant, grant writer, or other contractor - it's going to be up to you to make sure that your project remains off the back burner and stays on the top of our to-do lists. If you want to get the most out of your relationship with a consultant, you have to be proactive in the communications.

I keep calendars of important dates for each of my clients - meetings, due dates, etc. - but it is your responsibility to review that calendar too. If you're concerned that a deadline is coming up, don't be afraid to call or email and remind me.

I rarely, if ever, miss deadlines. But I admit that sometimes I get uncomfortably close for my clients. It's my fault, it's true. But it's your deadline too.

Bug your consultants. You are paying us for the right to bug us. Get your money's worth and stay in contact. Because the clients who I do pay the most attention to are the ones who don't let me slip away.

Okay, confession time is over.

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