A Little Known Strategy For Nonprofit Consulting Success? How specialized are you in the work that you do? Maybe you’re a fundraiser? Are you a fundraiser that only specializes in grant proposals? Are you a grant proposal fundraiser that only works with human services organizations? Among human services, do you only work with the ones that serve children, in a particular county or region?
Defining your market very narrowly can be very helpful.
- You get well known as the “go-to” resource among those who need your service.
- You reduce your marketing expenses by communicating to a very focused list of prospects.
- It’s easier to show off your expertise to those who can appreciate your work.
- You can interact with other consultants more like a partner, and less like competition.
It can also feel very limiting, and scary.
- You could get overlooked when broader expertise is required.
- Clients will “pigeon hole” you, leaving your other skills untested.
- You may find it difficult to broaden your business.
How can you specialize?
Your background. Is it broad enough to give you the skills to work with multiple causes, like children’s programs, and, say, the arts?
Your interests. Do you care enough about other nonprofit missions to give your clients the best? Is it important to care?
Their mission. Every day I see the nonprofit missions define the business market for consultants. Should you define yourself by the missions you want to serve? Can you?
Your geography. Are there enough nonprofits in your area to just serve that area, or do you need to widen your range? Are there enough of your favorite mission type?
You may never, exactly, find “what’s right.” That’s okay. Knowing your “ideal” doesn’t mean holding out and starving. It means knowing enough about yourself and your business to see it, and go for it when you do.