Your next nonprofit career move as a consultant

Are you ready for your next leap as a consultant?

So you want to become a nonprofit consultant for the next move in your nonprofit career? HIGH FIVE! Here’s why that is brilliant. The government started passing off more work to nonprofits in the 1980s, and its still doing it. We’re in a phase where nonprofits are being asked to prop up a broken system. This is how capitalism runs on free labor and the voluntary sector. This is a problem, but it’s also an opportunity. This means that nonprofits are created and growing all the time, and more opportunities are always coming along.

In the USA alone, there are currently 1.5 million nonprofit organizations, employing 10% of the US workforce. That’s right. One in 10 people work at a nonprofit. According to nonprofit statistics published by Zippia, the total US nonprofit annual revenue is $2.62 trillion. So… there’s enough work for all of us! With the great resignation going on, nonprofits need us to fill the gaps. Why not come in, help a nonprofit out, and get paid decently to do it?

If you can’t find opportunities to rise at your nonprofit workplace, then you should always look for a new organization that values your work.

This data also proves that the nonprofit profession is evolving and it’s time to start thinking about how to boost your nonprofit career.

Would you like to make $350, $500 or even more per hour? Then it is time to consider your next career jump as a consultant!

The following blog is inspired in the podcast called Grant Writing & Funding, hosted by Holly Rustick. In the following video, Mandy Pierce, Holly and I discuss about “Why transitioning into nonprofit consultancy is a good career move”.

Why Nonprofit Organizations Need Nonprofit Consultants

Organizations prefer to hire consultants instead of hiring in-house employees because:

  • Hiring a consultant is more cost effective than hiring an in-house employee when the budget is limited. Here’s why.

  • – Consultants tend to specialize in different fields, whereas we often ask nonprofit employees to do a lot of things they were never trained for. A consultant can give you the in depth knowledge you need to take a nonprofit farther, faster. On top of that, consultants often have expert relationships to get the nonprofit the knowledge and support it needs in other areas.

  • – No office nor work schedule is needed! A consultant will work with deliverables, not a fixed schedule.

  • – No training required. A consultant is hired for their knowledge and experience in the specific area that needs to grow, whether it’s programs, leadership or fundraising. An employee will need training and mentorship.

  • – Nonprofits can be hindered by not giving people enough time and resources to succeed. Nonprofit consultants will tell you straightaway if your expectations are unrealistic, and exactly what you need to reach your goal. Their experience equals faster results for you.

There are a lot of nonprofits that can benefit from working with consultants. Nonprofit consultants must be seen as allies to nonprofit organizations and never as competition.

I’m a big advocate of people partnering with each other. You can actually do this throughout your nonprofit career.

Is being a nonprofit consultant considered a for-profit business?

Yes! A nonprofit consultant is a for-profit business. And the more consultants that you partner with, the bigger your business will get. Some people might think oh! But they’re your competition! They are not.

Why? Because there’s a lot of work out there that requires more than one consultant to work on. There’s no need to be an expert in all things. You can always partner up with another consultant expert and keep growing in your business, becoming more like an agency.

Understand this, the knowledge and experience you can get from another consultant improves the service that you offer to your client. As Holly Rustick says “Be the one who gets the information.”

The pandemic has being devastating for the whole world. However, as anything in life, it has brought negative and positive aspects. One great thing that the pandemic has brought us is that a professional career can keep growing even from home.

We can be flexible and still being efficient at work. We can work from home and still meet deadlines. We can bring results without working 8 hours a day, 5 days a week in an office.

Why become a consultant?

  • Because:
    • – You can get paid more
    • – You can work with nonprofits instead of working for a nonprofit
    • – You’ll have more flexibility
    • – You can work with many different causes instead of just one. And make a bigger impact.

How much should a nonprofit consultant charge?

Oh no! Can this question be any more stressful? I get it… you might feel that you should earn either the same amount you were earning as a nonprofit employee or just a little more.

Well let me tell you something. I adore helping people with this problem and I invite you to my “Asking for More” and “Money Mindset” Mastermind program.

In the Mastermind, you will learn through exercises how to change your mindset and suddenly pay off your bills, be able to save for retirement, and do more of what you love every day. I have had consultants go from “I don’t know if I can charge $50 an hour” to “absolutely I will charge $350 an hour” and even doubling or tripling their rates.

Here you have some elements you need to consider when charging for a service:

  • – The time it takes you to prepare for the project
  • – The resources you need in order to make it happen
  • – Consider what you’re investing in order to provide the service

If you don’t charge the amount that you feel comfortable with and consider the costs that go along with it, then you’re going to feel exhausted and burnt out.

The following chart was made by NCPCrowd nonprofits with an average of rate/hour in the consultant nonprofit career. You can definitely charge more than this. This is just a place to get started.

Watch the following interview I did with Mallory Erickson, a nonprofit consultant expert. When you watch this, you can learn about the importance of changing your mentality towards asking for more money at work.

Tips if you want to move out of full time employment and into nonprofit consulting

In order to make your next career move and become a nonprofit consultant, you need to step up your game.

It is a matter of getting contacts, building connections, promoting your services and defining your offer. I had the lovely opportunity to interview Desiree Adaway, founder & principal of The Adaway Group. She shares some tips she has learned during her career as a nonprofit consultant.

  • Hustle as much as you can: Experience is gained while working on any project.

Start working on few projects on a side while you still have a regular job.

  • – Understand what it means to get hired by a client: Negotiate a contract and expectations around the work.

  • – The price is right: Make sure your prices fit well within the market. Have systems & templates created for handling money and contracts.

  • – Always get feedback for your work: Clients like to be heard and you can improve your work. Have an evaluation system in place so your clients have a formal way to offer suggestions so you can keep growing.

What do you think so far? Is nonprofit consulting the right career for you? Read the full interview I did with Desiree and learn from her experience.



Apply to join the mastermind. This is for both consultants and full time nonprofit fundraising staff.

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