Last year, Shiree Teng approached us with an itch she’s been wanting to scratch for years now. Shiree has been a social justice and community activist for over three decades, and she’s spent a good part of the past few decades focusing on organizational effectiveness, learning, and evaluation work.
One of the things she observed, especially in her role as an advisor to the Packard Foundation’s Organizational Effectiveness Program, was that nonprofits seem to use consultants quite a bit. If consultants are doing a good job actually helping nonprofits build capacity and do their work more effectively, then this is great news. The problem is, we have no idea if this is true. There’s very little data, and there have been very few studies.
We want to do more than study this. We want to know what opportunities there are to improve how nonprofits work with consultants, and we want to experiment with ways to actually do this.
As a first step, we’ve drafted a national survey in partnership with CompassPoint. We’re asking nonprofit organizations to take 10-15 minutes of their time to tell us how they select consultants and how satisfied they are with their work.
If you’re a nonprofit, please fill out the survey by Friday, December 14, 2012. If you know of others at nonprofits, please share this with them, as we’d like as robust a sample as possible.
We will publish a summary of the survey results, so we all get to learn from this. And if you need any more incentive to fill out the survey, everyone who fills it out will be entered in a drawing for a free iPad. If you’re interested in learning more about this project, we are doing our work openly on the Packard Foundation OE Wiki.