FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who will we get as our consultant?
You must have confidence in and be comfortable with your consultants. With Washburn Carmichael, you will deal only with senior professionals including one or both of the principals of the firm - Michael Washburn, President, and Nancy Carmichael, Vice President. Before contracting with Washburn Carmichael you will meet in person with a principal of the firm and any senior consultant(s) who will be part of the team.
How big is Washburn Carmichael?
We operate in a principals/senior consultants model. There are two principals and one associate at the core and eight senior consultants ready to join us. In 2008, five senior consultants worked on projects for twelve clients.
How do you charge for your services?
Based upon your needs and capabilities and on our experience with similar assignments, we estimate the consultant time required. Contracts are written on a monthly retainer basis for campaigns and other long-term projects. Discrete projects like a board retreat, a feasibility study, an executive search, or a donor survey have a set fee or range, billed in installments. Hourly rates range from $100 - $150 for research and fundraising associates to $175 - $225 for senior consultants and $200 - $300 for founding partners and senior specialists.
Do you provide fundraising counsel for a percentage of the amount raised?
No. The Association of Fundraising Professionals Code of Ethics prohibits this form of compensation. We will be happy to explain the reasons, which include, among many, honesty with your donors and avoidance of conflicts of interest.
Do you charge for an initial meeting/consultation?
No. While useful insights and advice often emerge, we approach these meetings as a way to get to know each other and to see how our services and your needs match up.
Is your firm licensed?
A license is not required to practice in the nonprofit management and fundraising field. As a firm, Washburn Carmichael is registered as fundraising counsel with and meets the requirements of the New York State Attorney General, Charities Bureau. The staff and consultants of Washburn Carmichael are also active members of the most important New York and national professional associations, service organizations, and watchdog groups in the field.
Every year, the principals of the firm sign the Association of Fundraising Professionals Code of Ethics. www.afpnet.org/ethics
How long does it take to complete a feasibility study or development audit?
Usually three or four months.
How long for an executive search?
Three to six or even seven months. Competition for talented professionals is growing and the supply is limited.
How long for a strategic plan?
There are many kinds of strategic plans and processes for producing them. A comprehensive approach for an organization that has not done a major plan in years could require a year. Reviews of mission and direction can often be completed in a retreat or series of shorter meetings. Annual updates and fine-tuning of existing plans can be done in just a few sessions.
If we contract with you for fundraising services, how soon will we begin to see results?
If you are in an emergency situation, tell us. We will give you realistic estimates of gift and grant potential and the likely timing. In general, it takes years, not months, to build a high-producing fundraising program. Successful, short-term campaigns are usually built out of a well-developed donor base and motivated board and staff members.
Do you consult with small nonprofits and start-ups?
From time to time, we will. We like the energy and the challenges. But often the cost of our services is beyond the resources available. When we are unable to help, we try to make references to individual consultants and nonprofit service groups.
Are there fundraising services you do not provide?
We do not offer services that are best provided by specialty firms, such as direct mail, galas and major dinners, walk-a-thons, graphic design, and telefundraising. We will be happy to refer you to experts in these areas whose work is highly regarded.
Are you limited geographically in the clients you can serve?
We are based in New York City. The majority of our clients are headquartered in this area: New York City; Westchester, Rockland and Putnam Counties, NY; Long Island, NY; Southern Connecticut; and Northern New Jersey.
We are able to provide campaign consulting and strategic planning services anywhere in the United States, Canada, England, and Ireland. We have consulted with nonprofits in many other states, including Massachusetts, Virginia, Wyoming, and California as well as Western New York State, Washington, DC, Paris, France, and London, England.
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131 Mystic Drive, Ossining, NY 10562 • TEL/FAX: 914-373-4670 email@example.com
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Photo #1: Courtesy of Brooklyn Botanic Garden; Katherine Weinstein, photographer
Photo #2: Courtesy of Sakhi for South Asian Women