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Essential Elements to Philanthropy-Consulting Partnerships

April 15, 2015

Our primary motivation for publishing our article about philanthropy-consulting partnerships in the Foundation Review was to start the conversation on what makes a good partnership. Without the following essential elements for success, philanthropy-consulting partnerships risk becoming burdensome and ineffective for both the funder and the consultants.


By Natalie Blackmur


A funder’s decision to tap a philanthropy-consulting partnership for a project should be an intentional one. To explore why they would use more than one consultant, funders should consider the following questions, related to the essential elements to a partnership’s success, before enlisting more than one consultant in a partnership:

  • Are the resources available to maintain ongoing communication and coordination?
  • Are consultants open to feedback from each other, and will that feedback enhance the project work?
  • Is there a need for specific roles or explicit areas of expertise? How can each consultant fulfill that need?
  • Do the consultants share the same intentions for doing the project? How could differing intentions affect the project work?

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