Over the past couple of weeks I’ve talked to at least a dozen or so people (well except for the five days I wasn’t talking of course) about the overwhelming need in the nonprofit realm for administrative infrastructure consulting. And the absolute lack of funding available both within and without nonprofits to obtain that consulting. Organizations need everything from fundraising and grant writing help to accounting, marketing, graphic design, statisticians, board development, policies and procedures and strategic planning just to name a few.

So as I was talking to yet another friend in need yesterday the thought dawned on me that I should start a nonprofit foundation that would take applications from startup and/or small nonprofits who cannot afford these sort of services, but need them in order to grow and/or increase their capacity. I don’t know of any nonprofit who couldn’t benefit from access to these services, but I can’t really think of one that can afford them either. Especially not the small and startup organizations.

Here’s what I have so far: I’d pull together a consultancy corps full of people willing to donate their time to these nonprofits that apply and are then approved to receive pro bono services. Organizations would be able to apply for either general/start up support or special event support. The special event support would be one-time, event specific support, i.e. a specific fundraising event or planning a board retreat. The general/start up recipients would have to detail in their proposal what specific assistance they need and then we would work with them to create a strategic plan for sustainability to keep the work going in an efficient and effective way that allows for future growth and expansion.

The consultants would be able to use the donated time as a tax write-off and the nonprofits can use the time and expertise available to streamline administrative costs which will enable them to obtain more funding in the future.

It’s really a win/win situation for all involved. The only thing I haven’t figured out yet is how to pay myself. Isn’t that always the rub? It would be nice to support myself doing something I really believe in for a change.

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