Frequently Asked Questions
We specialize in capacity building consulting, which is customized to strengthen your nonprofit. Our main areas of expertise include:
ESC serves the Research Triangle area of North Carolina, including Orange, Wake, Durham and Chatham counties. We can work outside this area either virtually or with modest travel fees. If we cannot serve you, we can put you in touch with an ESC near you.
ESC assures superb, quality outcomes through the use of highly motivated, experienced and objective consultants. They bring wisdom and maturity gained from their successful business, nonprofit and professional careers. In addition, they are trained in best and current practices in consulting, coaching and specialized skill areas. They want to share their years of management experience with nonprofits as a way to serve their communities.
The affordable fee we charge for a specific assignment is based upon the scope and timing of the work to be done, your agency’s annual operating budget and an estimate of the hours ESC will spend to complete the project. Since the consultants’ time is donated, you can be sure that the fee will be below market rates. Sponsorships are provided, if needed, to help defray even these modest fees.
Fees are charged to defray some of ESC’s operating costs as well as to ensure the client’s commitment to the consulting engagement.
Our initial step is for an ESC staff member and a lead consultant to meet with you to understand your organization’s needs. Together, you will help define the scope of work in your contract. ESC will assign the consultants with the skills best suited to your needs. Under the direction of the lead consultant, the consultant team will work with you throughout the project and prepare a final report (if applicable). We will follow up at the end of the assignment to ensure that your needs were successfully met.
Consultants are selected on the basis of the skills and experience needed to meet your particular requirements. We can draw on the expertise of over 60 consultants with skills matching our service areas.
Yes. Requests can be met if the consultant you ask for has the necessary skills for your particular assignment and is available.
ESC chooses only highly skilled and experienced consultants. In addition, all consultants receive training upon joining ESC. They also attend “continuing education” development seminars, which focus on new and innovative practices that are most pertinent to nonprofits.
We hope and expect that the consulting project will run smoothly. However, in the rare case where you have a concern about the progress of your project or about your ESC consultant, you are welcome to contact our executive director directly to confidentially discuss your concerns.
Ultimately, the implementation of ESC recommendations is the responsibility of your organization, unless both parties in the original contract agree to ESC assistance. We will follow up a few months after the project is completed to assess your progress and determine if any further help is needed.
Each project has its own unique requirements and timing, which will be discussed at the initial assessment meeting, and the agreed-upon time frame will be included in the contract. Some projects like retreats take a month or two, while others like strategic planning and executive coaching last six months or more.
Absolutely. All of the work involved in a consulting project is confidential in nature. ESC will only use a client as a reference with the client’s permission.
Yes. We are pleased to provide recent references, with our client’s permission. Our policy is not to disclose confidential client information.
ESC cannot raise funds on behalf of your agency. However, ESC consultants can help you assess your current fundraising capabilities, assist in developing a fundraising plan and conduct board and organization training on fundraising roles and responsibilities.
After the final report is sent (if applicable) and your engagement is closed, you will be asked to complete an online evaluation survey. Once returned to ESC, the evaluation is reviewed by our staff and the consultants who worked on your engagement. Three months after completion of the project, an ESC consultant will contact you to discuss what changes have occurred as a result of the engagement and to see if further service might be helpful.
Please contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss nonprofit speed-dating opportunities.
Many of our ESC volunteers serve on boards and committees of other nonprofit organizations. This is a matter of individual choice apart from their work at ESC. As a matter of policy, we will not assign a volunteer to consult on any project where he or she already serves on the board of that organization. This is done to assure that ESC consultants remain independent and objective.
ESC (Executive Service Corps) and SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) both utilize the wealth of experience of volunteer executives who are partly or fully retired. The difference is that ESC serves only nonprofits, while SCORE helps small businesses. SCORE does not charge a fee for their services and receives funding from the United States Small Business Administration. ESC charges affordable fees to cover overhead costs and is supported by revenue generated by client fees, contributions from individuals and small foundation and corporate grants.