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Essential Elements to Philanthropy-Consulting Partnerships

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?