The Mikuska Group  

Finding the right consultant

So, how do you go about finding the right consultant?

Do your research. Start by asking around. Get referrals from people you know who have worked with particular consultants.

Understand that fundraising and creative consultants work best with relationships and the value provided. It’s not about methodology and deliverables, it’s about achieving desired outcomes with the help of their expertise.

Consider that working with a consultant is an investment, not an expense. Be prepared to pay for expertise you need to advance your organization.

Let them know your budget. That way they know what kind of proposal to put together.

Consider engaging them in a discovery/needs assessment project (paid) to determine whether you can work together on the larger project or process. Your organization will get a clearer picture of what the real challenges are and get recommendations to address them.

Julie Mikuska


A flourishing garden

Spring – a time of renewal. We’re itching to get outside and work in the garden. We want to watch our plants grow and enjoy the fruits of our labour.

Your organization can also flourish, much like your garden:

  • Start by “weeding” – go through your database and clean it up. Make sure addresses conform to postal standards, you have correctly coded donor preferences (title, frequency and form of contact, receipting, etc.) and weed out the records for people and organizations that should no longer be on your list.
  • Once you’ve done the weeding, you can see what you’ve planted and make plans on how to make your donor relationships grow. Segmenting your donor list into “rows” will help you determine how best to cultivate them – do they need extra sun? more nutrients? more attention? We know that not all plants require the same treatment – donors are the same!
  • Donors, like plants, sustain us in different ways – they nourish our soul and they feed us. You can’t survive without them – let them know they are your heroes and how important they are!
  • Regularly sprinkling your donors with stories of how their support has impact will feed them and sustain them, and keep them growing.

Enjoy a bountiful harvest by paying attention to your donors – their inspiration will feed you for a long time.

Laura Mikuska


It’s a process, not an event

Fundraising is a process, not an event. What does that mean for boards and staff?

What it’s not:

  • It’s not a one-off.
  • It doesn’t mean finding those five elusive wealthy people you don’t know to give you money.
  • It’s not about seeing donors as “low hanging fruit.”
  • It’s not about once-a-year contact only to ask for money.
  • It’s not just about the development staff.
  • It’s not about the money.

What it is:

  • It’s about continuous communication with your donors – the ones you already have. Show them the love and let them know they are heroes.
  • It’s about making sure your internal processes honour donors – quick receipting and thanking, accurate record-keeping, sound financial management and reporting.
  • It’s about relationships with people. When donors feel valued, they stay engaged.
  • It’s long-term. Be patient and persistent.
  • It’s about board members making fundraising a priority and participating in it.

Where are you in the process?

Julie Mikuska


Blog Archives

Articles By Category