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By DonorSearch

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Running a nonprofit organization can be a ton of work, and sometimes you don’t have the resources internally to handle everything on your own. Luckily, nonprofit consulting firms exist for this very reason.

By outsourcing parts of your strategy to external experts, you can reap the benefits of decades of experience with all sorts of missions and ensure your organization operates in the most efficient way possible.

Here at DonorSearch, we understand the power and the importance of having the right nonprofit consultants on your side. We’ve created this comprehensive guide to help you choose the right firm. We’ll cover the following:

Before we dive into our list of favorite nonprofit consultants, we’ll explore these frequently asked questions about the importance of consulting firms and how to choose the best one to work alongside your team. Let’s get started!

What Is a Nonprofit Consulting Firm?

A nonprofit consulting firm is a business composed of experts in various aspects of the nonprofit sector. These individuals work with organizations of all shapes, sizes, and missions to improve the organization’s overall performance in a number of ways. 

Consulting firms typically offer specialized services in a particular area of nonprofit operations like fundraising, digital marketing, prospect research, and more.

Why Should I Hire a Nonprofit Consulting Firm?

Especially for smaller nonprofits, you’re not likely to have experts in every field on your in-house team. While you might have a fundraising coordinator who has some experience running smaller-scale fundraisers for your organization, maybe they’ve never organized a capital campaign. Instead of hiring a brand new staff member to run your capital campaign, you can utilize a fundraising consulting firm’s services to lead the charge and maximize your success. 

The same goes for other projects your nonprofit might take on, including building a technological infrastructure, launching a comprehensive marketing effort, or assembling a powerful leadership team.

What Should I Look For in a Nonprofit Consultant?

What you should look for in a nonprofit consulting firm depends directly on what your team is trying to accomplish. If you’re looking to host a multi-year capacity-building campaign, for example, you’ll want to seek a consultant with expertise in that area. If you’re looking to implement a comprehensive software solution, on the other hand, a tech-based consultant will be best.

Regardless of your specific niche, you’ll also want to look at things like costs and pricing structures as well as the consultant’s availability. Finally, be sure to request work samples, references, and case studies so you can get a better feel for the type of results you can expect.

Best Nonprofit Consulting Firms to Consider

Now you understand the importance of consulting firms and what you should focus on when selecting a partner—but there are still so many to choose from! We know this choice can be overwhelming, so we’ve narrowed the options down to 26 of our favorite firms that your nonprofit can rely on for quality consulting services.

1. BWF

BWF is a fundraising consulting firm with nearly four decades of experience in the nonprofit fundraising space. This team prides themselves on their ability to empower philanthropic efforts worldwide thanks to their growing team of nonprofit consultants and partners.

Their services include:

  • Strategic planning counsel
  • Data science
  • Donor relations and stewardship
  • Prospect development
  • Multichannel communications

For more information on their offerings and how you can get started, reach out to this Minneapolis-based consulting firm today.

Changing Our World is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

2. Changing Our World

Changing Our World is an expansive team of fundraising consultants with offices in New York City, Boston, Atlanta, Austin, and London.

Their services include:

  • Fundraising
  • Corporate social engagement
  • Research and analytics
  • Communications

Since 1999, this consulting firm has worked with philanthropic organizations of all shapes and sizes to help them better pursue their missions and, as the name suggests, change our world.

Changing Our World is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

CDP is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

3. Contributor Development Partnership

Contributor Development Partnership, or CDP, is a nonprofit consulting firm dedicated to unleashing the power of collaborative fundraising for publicly funded media groups like national and local radio. CDP was initially founded as an initiative within a Massachusetts public radio station but has since grown into an independent corporation on its own.

Their services include:

  • Customer relationship management
  • Donor insight and engagement
  • Scaling major donor relationships
  • Strategic donor acquisition

CDP’s mission is to sustain a thriving public media system by supporting local radio stations in optimizing their fundraising and development efforts. Over the past decade, this team has boosted the success of more than 240 member stations across their network.

CDP is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

Frost on Fundraising is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

4. Frost on Fundraising

Jay Frost of Frost on Fundraising has worked as a nonprofit fundraising consultant for three decades and has since been recognized as a leading voice in the nonprofit sector. This Virginia-based consultant has even been featured on the DonorSearch Masterminds Series!

Their services include:

  • Speaking and training engagements
  • Strategic fundraising and campaign counsel
  • Feasibility studies and development audits

Whether you’re looking to book Frost as a speaker at an upcoming board retreat or seek his guidance for your next capital campaign, this fundraising consultant will be happy to help.

Frost on Fundraising is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

Campbell and Company is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

5. Campbell & Company

Campbell & Company is a fundraising consulting and nonprofit executive search firm with offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. This team of 60 dedicated consultants has served mission-based organizations for more than 43 years.

Their services include:

  • Fundraising
  • Executive search
  • Communications
  • Strategic information services

They also have their own CRM system called Beam Insights to help you collect, store, and manage your fundraising data. Then, with help from their nonprofit consultants and analytics experts, you can draw invaluable insights and improve your strategy from there.

Campbell and Company is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

Brian Lacy is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

6. Brian Lacy and Associates

Brian Lacy and Associates is a nonprofit consulting firm that specializes in wealth screening and data cleansing services. This team has helped more than 400 nonprofits across North America raise a collective $1 billion in revenue towards philanthropic missions.

Their services include:

  • Annual giving audits and consulting
  • Campaign feasibility and readiness studies
  • Campaign management and staffing
  • Strategic marketing and communication
  • Data services and prospect identification

This consulting team has been working in the nonprofit sector since 2002 to establish sustainable fundraising systems for their clients. Plus, Lacy himself has presented at a number of conferences in the U.S. and Canada including the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and Apra.

Brian Lacy is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

Schultz and Williams is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

7. Schultz & Williams

For more than thirty years, Schultz & Williams has supported nonprofits in a number of verticals including healthcare, education, conservation, international relief, animal welfare, social justice, and culture. With over 65 nonprofit consults within their network of field experts, they’re sure to be a partner you can trust.

Their services include:

  • Strategic planning and development
  • Direct response and digital campaign planning
  • Short-term staffing solutions
  • Powerful data analytics

These nonprofit consultants firmly believe in the power of building results through relationships and pride themselves on their ability to craft unique solutions to proactively address a wide range of situations.

Schultz and Williams is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

Marts and Lundy is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

8. Marts & Lundy

Marts & Lundy is one of the oldest existing nonprofit consulting firms, founded in 1926, and their extensive history and experience is what continues to drive their success today. This firm serves nonprofits all over the world with offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.

Their services include:

  • Campaign planning and consulting
  • Analytical solutions
  • Strategic communications
  • Talent development and interim leadership

These nonprofit consultants boast their proven track record, continuous innovation, and tailored solutions for long-term success as key elements that set them apart from other firms.

Marts and Lundy is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

Advancement Resources is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

9. Advancement Resources

Advancement Resources is a research-based professional education firm based out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, that serves philanthropic sectors in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia. Since its inception in 1992, this consulting firm has worked with all sorts of organizations—including for-profit businesses and a vast array of nonprofit groups as well.

Their services include:

  • Professional development
  • Culture change
  • Clinician engagement
  • Strategic partnerships and events
  • Individualized coaching

This nonprofit consulting firm has developed a system of learning and growth that goes beyond traditional training measures to capture the heart of philanthropy. Best of all, their services are uniquely tailored to fit each client they serve.

Advancement Resources is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

Carter Global is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

10. Carter Global

Carter Global is a nonprofit consulting firm full of mission-driven specialists dedicated to advancing philanthropy worldwide. This Florida-based team works with organizations in a number of sectors including arts and culture, education, community, environment, healthcare, religion, and more.

Their services include:

  • Governance and leadership advising
  • Fundraising and campaign development
  • Strategic planning and auditing

This consultant’s unique approaches are tailored to each organization they work with, complete with a hand-picked team equipped to solve operational challenges on a regional, national, and international scale—with a proven record of results.

Carter Global is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

The Alford Group is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

11. The Alford Group

The Alford Group is a fundraising and strategy consulting firm dedicated to helping nonprofit organizations better serve their communities through leadership, relevance, and sustainability. Since its founding in 1979, this group has served more than 3,000 clients of all shapes, sizes, and structures. 

Their services include:

  • Strategic planning and fundraising
  • Governance and leadership development
  • Corporate partnership strategy
  • Analytics and assessments

With offices in New York, Chicago, and Seattle, this nonprofit consulting firm works with mission-driven organizations across the nation to provide insights and experience they need. Plus, this group places a strong emphasis on equity, creativity, and diversity.

The Alford Group is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

Ter Molen Watkins and Brandt is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

12. Ter Molen Watkins & Brandt

Ter Molen Watkins & Brandt is a nonprofit fundraising consulting firm with a full suite of consulting services tailored to fit an individual organization’s needs. This Chicago-based team prides themselves on their ability to make a greater impact on the world by setting philanthropic organizations up for success. 

Their services include:

  • Fundraising counsel
  • Planning and leadership
  • Research and analytics
  • Executive recruitment

This group of experienced fundraising professionals and nonprofit consultants drives nonprofits towards their goals while simultaneously growing their capacity for good. Through a customized consulting approach, Ter Molen Watkins & Brandt works to build strengthened and long-lasting relationships among constituents and communities.

Ter Molen Watkins and Brandt is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

Steier Group is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

13. Steier Group

Steier Group is a capital campaign fundraising firm dedicated to helping nonprofits reach their lofty goals and grow their organizations’ impact. Based in Omaha, Nebraska, this consulting firm has offices in Arizona, California, Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Oregon, and Texas as well.

Their services include:

  • Campaign planning studies
  • Capital campaign management
  • Wealth screening and donor profiling
  • Marketing and development audits
  • Volunteer management and training

This team of experts works to assist organizations run capital campaigns with fundraising goals ranging from $400,000 to more than $100 million. Thanks to their experience, enthusiasm, and professionalism, they’re able to see outstanding results as they surpass even the loftiest of fundraising goals.

Steier Group is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

Dini Spheris is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

14. Dini Spheris

Dini Spheris is a team of nonprofit fundraising consultants that partners with all sorts of fundraising organizations to maximize their revenue and, by extension, their impact. This consulting firm takes a client-centered and team-based approach to create tailored solutions for each of their clients.

Their services include:

  • Strategic fundraising planning
  • Leadership coaching
  • Fundraising analysis and systems optimization

With more than 50 years of fundraising experience under their belt, Dini Spheris offers fresh, creative, and valuable strategies to bring any nonprofit’s operations to the next level. Their team follows a “Spherical Service Model” which ensures that the client is always the center of the engagement, surrounded by results, impact, and effectiveness.

Dini Spheris is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

JGA is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

15. Johnson, Grossnickle & Associates

Johnson, Grossnickle & Associates (also known as JGA) is a philanthropic consulting firm that serves clients with authenticity and integrity. This nonprofit consultant has worked with organizations across all verticals, although they tend to work with education, healthcare, arts and culture, and community organizations most often.

Their services include:

  • Pre-campaign planning and case statement development
  • Strategic planning and campaign counsel
  • Post-campaign evaluations and audits

Based out of Indiana, this nonprofit consulting firm has served more than 400 clients spanning the central United States as well as across the globe. The best part is that this group can assist your team at every step of the campaign process.

JGA is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

Alexander Haas is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

16. Alexander Haas, Inc.

Alexander Haas, Inc. is a nonprofit fundraising firm based out of Atlanta, Georgia. This team of nonprofit consultants works to provide organizations with fresh fundraising solutions from capital campaigns to major donor fundraising and planned gifts.

Their services include:

  • Campaign strategy and pre-campaign counsel
  • Annual fund assessment
  • Board enhancement and development
  • Ongoing fundraising counsel

With these professional fundraising services on your side, your team will be able to meet (and exceed) your fundraising goals in no time—both on immediate and longer-term scales.

Alexander Haas is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

The Curtis Group is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

17. The Curtis Group

The Curtis Group is a nonprofit consulting firm composed of fundraising strategists and philanthropic partners. This Virginia-based group takes a hands-on approach with a research-based strategy to help organizations in a number of fields better pursue their missions.

Their services include:

  • Campaign planning and management
  • Fundraising program assessment and capacity building
  • Board and staff development
  • Fundraising marketing and communications consulting

The experienced nonprofit consultants at The Curtis Group are there to provide focused, strategic, and customized work to charitable organizations looking to grow. This team can help with every aspect of campaign planning as well, from gift solicitation to donor cultivation.

The Curtis Group is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

Amy Eisenstein is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

18. Amy Eisenstein

Amy Eisenstein is a nonprofit consultant and Advanced Certified Fundraising Executive who works with organizations large and small to raise millions of dollars through capital and major gift campaigns. For more than 20 years, Amy Eisenstein has been a leading voice in the nonprofit consulting field and continuously works to simplify nonprofit development.

Their services include:

  • Strategic, long-term fundraising planning
  • Eye-opening campaign feasibility studies
  • Capital and annual campaign management
  • Board development and training

For organizations that might be interested in running a campaign with a more hands-off approach, this fundraising consultant has even developed the Capital Campaign Toolkit, which is an affordable virtual support system in place of a traditional consulting firm.

Amy Eisenstein is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

The Rome Group is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

19. The Rome Group

The Rome Group is a nonprofit consulting firm that focuses on providing organizations with powerful insights, strategies, and solutions. This group is based out of St. Louis, Missouri and firmly believes that data, mission, and relationships should be the driving force behind all nonprofit operations.

Their services include:

  • Fund development and auditing
  • Interim fundraising management
  • Campaign feasibility and planning studies
  • Business planning and marketing analysis
  • Development staff coaching

As thought leaders in the philanthropic sector, The Rome Group prides themselves on their ability to strengthen the nonprofits that in turn strengthen their communities. With more than 20 years of fundraising and consulting experience, this consulting firm has what it takes to lead charitable organizations in transforming their day-to-day and long-term affairs.

The Rome Group is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

Staupell Analytics is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

20. Staupell Analytics Group

Staupell Analytics Group is a nonprofit consulting firm made up of analytics experts who are dedicated to improving nonprofits and their fundraising efforts through donor management, business intelligence, and data science. Founded in 2012, this team has collective decades of experience in nonprofit fundraising operations and are eager to support your team through the untapped power of your own data.

Their services include:

  • Fundraising analytics and optimization
  • Prospect development
  • Business intelligence
  • Database administration training

This consulting firm likes to be at the forefront of innovative new fundraising strategies and share those key benefits with their clients. After all, they know that the most successful nonprofits are those that rely on data-driven insights to better pursue their missions.

Staupell Analytics is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

Catapult is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

21. Catapult Fundraising

Catapult Fundraising is one of the only full-service nonprofit consulting firms in the country that will partner with your organization from the earliest planning stages of a campaign through the public phase and wrap-up. They even offer a highly personalized telephone outreach program designed to increase donor engagement and maximize prospective gifts.

Their services include:

  • Online fundraising event consulting
  • Major donor research
  • Capital and endowment campaign counsel
  • Strategic donor outreach

With collective hundreds of years of fundraising, marketing, and management experience, the Catapult Fundraising team always has maximum results in mind. This Nevada-based firm has offices in several US cities to better assist nonprofits across the nation. 

Catapult is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

Visionary Philanthropic is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

22. Visionary Philanthropic Consulting, LLC

Visionary Philanthropic Consulting, LLC is a nonprofit consulting firm that prides itself on its strategic and innovative approach. This team has worked with charitable organizations in a wide range of fields from healthcare to education to arts and culture. They assist all of their clients with optimizing their development and operations in the best way possible.

Their services include:

  • Virtual fundraising consultations
  • Social media engagement strategy
  • Women’s leadership initiative
  • Philanthropic analytics and charitable gift forecast

One thing that sets this group apart from other nonprofit consulting firms is its emphasis on virtual consulting and receiving all necessary services from the comfort of your own home. They also offer one-time consultations for those clients who don’t wish to bring them on with a monthly retainer.

Visionary Philanthropic is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

American Philanthropic is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

23. American Philanthropic

American Philanthropic is a nonprofit consulting firm that firmly believes in philanthropy as an integral part of American culture and civil society. As such, they are dedicated to providing organizations with the counsel they need to strengthen their own missions.

Their services include:

  • Grant writing assistance
  • Data analysis and enhancement
  • Donor and prospect research
  • Capital campaigns and major gift fundraising counsel

With offices in the Philadelphia, Raleigh, Chicago, Denver, and Phoenix areas, this consulting firm has established itself as a standout choice for charitable organizations across the nation looking for strategic nonprofit guidance.

American Philanthropic is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

Development for Conservation is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

24. Development for Conservation

Development for Conservation is a fundraising and organizational development consultant dedicated to coaching nonprofit board members and staff on becoming better leaders and fundraisers for their missions. Established in 2014, Development for Conservation is dedicated to assisting land trusts and other nonprofit conservation organizations bring their fundraising to the next level.

Their services include:

  • Development audits and assessments
  • Long-range fundraising planning
  • Board and staff member training
  • Annual giving and capital campaign projects

This nonprofit consulting firm knows that ensuring sustainable fundraising systems is the key to long-term success, and that the way to do so is by prioritizing community relations. To get started, this consultant takes a careful assessment of an organization’s current operations and recommends proven strategies to raise more.

Development for Conservation is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

Westfall Gold is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

25. Westfall Gold

Westfall Gold is a nonprofit consulting firm dedicated to helping organizations fund long-term, transformational impact around the world. Founded in 2002 as inspired by the Bible passage, the Parable of the Talents, Westfall Gold has helped over 120 nonprofits, educational institutions, and faith-based organizations raise more than $1 billion for their causes.

Their services include:

  • Messaging strategy development
  • Supporting marketing material creation
  • Donor analytics and follow-up strategies
  • Relational fundraising consulting

This Atlanta-based firm works to help you create a powerful case for support, inspire trust in your organization, and build community surrounding your mission. 

Westfall Gold is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

Bryne Pelofsky is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

26. Byrne Pelofsky + Associates, LLC

Byrne Pelofsky + Associates, LLC is a nonprofit fundraising consultant committed to helping fundraising organizations maximize their success by developing a customized fundraising solution for each client. With a creative, comprehensive, and connected approach to development, Byrne Pelofsky emphasizes mastering the art of the fundraising ask.

Their services include:

  • Feasibility and campaign planning studies
  • Campaign organization and management
  • Donor and prospect identification
  • Special event management
  • Planned giving program development

This team prides itself on being both expert fundraisers and expert consultants. They have an impressive track record of ongoing fundraising success and are dedicated to their roles as leaders in the nonprofit consulting industry.

Bryne Pelofsky is one of our favorite nonprofit consulting firms.

While any of the nonprofit consulting firms on this list have the potential to assist your organization and bring your team to the next level, selecting the right one for your needs will ensure that you maximize your success. With better day-to-day operations and valuable insights, you can drive your mission forward and make a more significant impact on your constituents. Good luck!

For more information on effective nonprofit operations, be sure to check out our other educational resources below:

Discover top prospects with DonorSearch.
Nonprofit Consulting Firms | What to Know + Our 26 Favorites