Working with Consultants Managing a successful consulting relationship. Created by the Lake Superior Initiative, a joint program of the Duluth Area Family YMCA and the United Way of Greater Duluth. Funding provided by the Compassion Capital Fund, a program of the Administration for Children and Families, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Request for Proposals The purpose of an RFP is to solicit bids on a product or service, allowing you to obtain the information you need to compare solutions and leverage your purchasing power. Why is an RFP important?
Request for Proposals Key Elements of an RFP Background (What do you currently have?) Services to be Provided (What do you want?) Requirements (What rules must be followed?) Evaluation Criteria (How will proposals be judged?) Proposal Format (How should the proposal look and where should it be sent?) <ul><li>RFP Template RFP Writing Tips </li></ul>Links
Selecting a Consultant The right consultant will provide a combination of the right proposed scope of work, positive references from former clients, and a proposed cost that fits within your budget. Making a selection…
Selecting a Consultant - LSI Consultant Database - Minnesota of Nonprofits - Referrals Locate Candidates <ul><li>Background - Experience - Capacity - Cost </li></ul>Pre-qualify <ul><li>Check References - Written Proposal - Presentation </li></ul>Interview <ul><li>Notify Selected - Debrief Not Selected - Begin Writing Contract </li></ul>Select
Writing a Contract A contract is meant to clarify responsibilities and legally commit both the consultant and the organization to fulfilling these responsibilities. It is one of the few protections available. Why is a contract necessary?
Writing a Contract Key Elements of a Contract Background (What is the current situation?) Consultant Services (What will the Consultant do?) Client Agreement (What will the Organization do?) Payment (How will payment be rendered?) Legal (What are the terms for changing the contract, etc.?) <ul><li>Contract Template Contract Tips </li></ul>Links
Accounting and Payment Accurately accounting for consultant time and work is an absolute must for grant and tax reporting. Discrepancies or inadequate documentation can be a disaster during an audit. Why is proper accounting vital?
Ending the Relationship You can feel satisfied that work is complete when all of the responsibilities outlined in the contract are completed. Be sure to ask the consultant for some next steps your organization can take to continue the work. Reaching the end of work…
Ending the Relationship Knowing a Mutually Beneficial Ending <ul><li>Work outlined in the contract has been completed to the satisfaction of the client. </li></ul><ul><li>All materials and reports created have been provided to the client. </li></ul><ul><li>Payment has been rendered per the terms of the contract. </li></ul><ul><li>A wrap-up discussion has been held outlining next steps and formally acknowledging the end of the consulting relationship. </li></ul>
Ending the Relationship If you are not satisfied with consultants work, let them know immediately and give them suggestions on improvement. If there is no room to reconcile, you must still pay for work completed up until this point. When it’s just not working out…
Ending the Relationship Knowing When It’s Not Working Out <ul><li>The client and/or consultant are dissatisfied with the progress being made, quality of work, or commitment. </li></ul><ul><li>The terms of the contract are not being met, or an element of the contract was breached. </li></ul><ul><li>The client needs additional resources, support, or coaching that cannot be provided by the consultant. </li></ul><ul><li>A conflict of interest is discovered. </li></ul>