By Kelly Medinger
A new site designed to help consultants in the social sector raise their game helps all nonprofits in the process
I was captivated this summer by Mario Marino's Leap of Reason Update on profiles in courage. In it, Marino describes a sort of "humble, courageous leadership" that is required for solving big social challenges. Part of this type of leadership, one could argue, involves knowing when outside expertise is needed to help your organization get to the next level, and then finding and engaging that expert to help you get to where you need to be.
Enter Impact Rising, a new site funded by three prominent Bay Area foundations that seeks to elevate the quality of consulting in the social sector. Impact Rising describes how consulting in the social sector has evolved from a "largely unregulated, under-the-radar, word-of-mouth cottage industry" into a market-driven industry with broadly accepted norms and practices. The site acts as a repository for these norms and practices "so that nonprofits, NGOs and foundations don't have to reinvent the wheel."
Impact Rising offers a plethora of tools and resources to help nonprofits and their consultants -- everything from how to determine whether you're ready to hire a consultant, to sample RFPs and consulting budgets, to lessons learned from others who have been through specific consulting projects.
Yet Impact Rising doesn't stop there. The site goes beyond typical consulting advice to offer the very plans and templates that you can use on your own to build capacity within your own organization. Think strategic planning resources, fundraising plans, organizational assessments, and communications advice.
The end result is a great resource for nonprofits and consultants alike who want a one-stop shop for some of the best resources on the market today.