Contracting with a Consultant
Congratulations on deciding to put resources into building the capacity of your project or organization! The following checklist will help ensure you have covered all the necessary steps to be eligible for CORE’s matching funding. These steps are also recommended for anyone hiring a consultant independently.
Consultant Contracting Checklist
Consultant Contracting Checklist
Plan the interviews: Identify the qualities/skills you would like your consultant or coach to have and develop a set of questions and a format for interviewing them. Include questions about how the consultant will help you develop new skills and provide tools to leave with you once they have completed their work. We recommend asking each consultant some of the same questions so you can compare responses, and also leave some open-ended time to explore their approach so you can compare how it differs from what others are recommending. We suggest having more than one person from your organization participate in the interviews.
Conduct the interviews: Interview at least two of the recommended consultants. In addition to helping you compare what the consultants can offer you, it will help you refine your understanding of your organization’s situation and needs.
Decide on a consultant: With your team, make your decision on which consultant can best guide your organization toward your capacity building goals. Ask more questions of the consultants, their references, or CORE if needed to help you decide. Once you’ve decided, contact the consultant to extend the offer to work together.
Inform the other consultants: Contact other consultants recommended to you to let them know you have decided not to work with them. Provide any constructive feedback to them to let them know what you based your decision on.
Plan your work with the consultant: Meet with your chosen consultant to develop your capacity building work plan (see below). This includes the outcomes, scope and budget for the work you plan to do with your consultant and will serve as the application to CORE for the matching funds grant. It can also be used to raise your half of the match. If you were given a CORE planning grant, pay the consultant the $500 for this planning work.
Do the work: Manage the relationship with your consultant throughout the project. Make sure to keep in good touch with the consultant, check in with each other periodically about how it’s going, follow through on your commitments with them, and proactively renegotiate timelines and scope changes if needed (see Building Effective Relationships from impact rising.org for tips).
Evaluate the work: Ensure there is time in your agreement/contract with the consultant to do an evaluation with them (see Evaluating Consultants and Project Results on impactrising.org for ideas). If you are given a CORE matching grant, this includes getting their input to help complete the reporting questions provided here.
Celebrate and report on your successes and lessons learned: Take time to celebrate what you have accomplished (even if it is different from what you set out to do). Provide the required report to CORE and other funders and stakeholders on outcomes.
Here are the required planning questions for organizations selected to receive contracting assistance from CORE after the match-making is completed (currently a $500 honorarium to defray consultants' time).
Scroll down in the window below to read the planning questions, or click on the link here to download the form: