Have you considered hiring a consultant to help you identify the ideal system for your association and help with the data conversion?
If your nonprofit has a small staff, little technical expertise or limited time, a consultant may be just what you need. You’ll want to make sure the consultant you choose has relevant association experience to understand your organization’s needs. For instance, just because someone has database experience, does not necessarily mean they will know how to apply your association’s membership and accounting structure within an AMS.
Assess the consultant’s knowledge by speaking with at least three clients/references to find out which system they chose and why. In this amazing new world where social media is everywhere, reviewing LinkedIn profiles can provide great insight to a consultant’s background and capabilities.
Consulting services can be beneficial for organizations that need ongoing assistance from a local expert. Not only can a consultant provide advice during the product search, but they can often assist with implementation of your new system. Having a third party who is familiar with both your association and your product can facilitate communication and save you lots of time. They can also expedite service and support.
It is possible that you’re already working with an expert who can serve in this capacity — just remember to include these fees in your budget. If you can’t afford a consultant for both the selection and implementation phases, consider hiring one for part of the process. Ask yourself: Is it more important for you to have an impartial consultant head up your product search, or would your money be better spent on hiring an expert to assist with the implementation of your new system? Each organization is different and the answer to this question will be based on your staff’s abilities and availabilities.
Check out Sarah Hill’s recent post for the MemberClicks blog:
5 Ways to Work Well with Consultants
- Be transparent about your need
- Find a good one
- Be super clear (even if it seems like overkill)
- Have short employment periods with frequent reviews
- Ask for feedback
Not sure if a consultant is for you? Ask us a question!