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Together SC launches Consultant Collaborative

Posted By: Mary Dell Hayes Together SC ,
What's the joke about getting nonprofit boards to listen to the Executive Director? Just pay a consultant to say the same thing.
We know consultants are a critical part of the nonprofit infrastructure supporting strategic planning, operations, project management, capital campaigns, and so many diverse functions requiring skilled expertise. And, often nonprofits need a very specialized skillset - last week!
Together SC heard from our nonprofit members that they want better help identifying the best fit consultants to hire to meet their needs, especially in navigating the post-Covid landscape.
We also interviewed dozens of consultants in South Carolina and talked to other state nonprofit associations across the country to learn how we can better create value for our nonprofit members and the consultants who serve them.
Our Key Findings:
  • Consultants want their own space for networking, collaboration, and professional development.
  • Consultants themselves should be a guiding voice in creating their own network.
  • Nonprofits seek guidance in identifying consultant partners and an online portal to easily connect with potential consultants.
  • Together SC can help market consultants to showcase the vast subject matter expertise.
  • Engaging consultants to manage peer networks and learning cohorts and deliver training will improve the quality and quantity of Together SC' offerings. 
Objectives for the Consultant Collaborative:
All this is why we're launching  a new Consultant Collaborative that aims to:
  1. Offer member consultants space for networking, collaboration and professional development that is led by their peers;
  2. Help market consultants, showcasing their subject matter expertise;
  3. Provide an easy online portal to connect nonprofit members with potential consultants; and
  4. Engage member consultants in leading Together SC's peer networks and learning cohorts and delivering training, using an RFP process to assure opportunity for all consultant collaborative members.
What's new about all of this:
We are building upon the discussions and sharing held in the monthly Coffee and Conversations Calls over the last six months.
  • Where the Business Partner member category included for-profit companies of all sizes, the Consultant Collaborative will focus on partners proving direct consulting services to nonprofits, with larger corporate partners who are more engaged in wider philanthropy, going to a different member category.
  • We will also integrate Consulting Collaborative members into Together SC's programmatic work in a more deliberate and transparent manner.
  • Together SC will be much more deliberate about connecting members and promoting the opportunity to work with consultants,
Leadership Team: 
  • We seek 4-6 volunteers to serve on the Consultant Collaborative Leadership Team to be chaired by incoming Together SC board member and fellow consultant Shawn Edwards.
  • The Leadership Team will meet throughout the summer to steer the design process and engage consultants from across the state.
  • As the Consultant Collaborative is developed, the Leadership Team will continue to provide direction to the group's efforts and ensure that we are advancing the work of the full spectrum of consultants serving the nonprofit industry in South Carolina.
There's still a lot to figure out, but we're excited about our steps forward and look forward to your guidance in making this a productive and engaging space for your business.
Please join us on June 9th from 8:30am-10:00am to learn more about the next steps for our Consultant Collaborative and learn with Shawn Edwards.
Please reach out to marydell@togethersc.org with questions, concerns, ideas, or to help.