Going Solo. Going Big.

Going Solo Going Big GPA 2017 Header Graphic

Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017 | 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Pre-conference Session | Grant Professionals Association | San Diego, CA
(Registration Opens May 1, 2017 | Click Here for Info)


This course is for you, the nonprofit executive who wants to turn your hard-won experience into a successful consulting practice. Over the years, you have amassed technical skills and capacity-building knowledge that can benefit other organizations, and now you’re ready to share.

Already an expert in fundraising, strategic planning, board development, organizational change management, HR/talent management, financial management, or another area of capacity building, what you need now is a systematic way of turning that expertise into projects with real outcomes for clients. You also need the right business strategies to build and sustain a consulting practice, whether your aspiration is to be a solopreneur or build the next McKinsey & Company.

In one content-packed day, this course will show you how to translate your nonprofit sector knowledge and content/technical skills into a thriving consulting practice.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

Consulting as a career

  • The realities of consulting
  • Characteristics for success
  • What nonprofits are buying & how

Defining the work you want

  • What kind of business do you want?
  • Assessing your strengths
  • Creating your business model

Pricing your services

  • Packaging & pricing your services
  • Determining your hourly rates

Marketing & selling your work

  • Your target market & ideal client
  • Competition & competitive advantage
  • Marketing tools
  • Nurturing your network
  • Creating a sales pipeline
  • Selling yourself well


Contracting & billing

  • Contracting versus contracts
  • Common contract elements
  • Typical billing practices

Building & managing client relationships

  • Building trust
  • The client-advisor relationship
  • Setting expectations
  • Communication styles
  • Working with people
  • Meshing with the client’s style
  • Why projects fail

Getting your business started & keeping on track

  • Your business name, structure & office
  • Building a team – staff or contractors
  • Managing finances, risk & obligations
  • Moving from start-up to operating

Crafting & trying out your elevator pitch

Here’s what else you’ll get:

You’ll receive a complete set of handouts that includes all of the presentations, exercises, checklists and worksheets, and a “practice planner” to capture your ideas and key learnings to help you build your business plan and launch your practice.

But most important, here’s what you’ll create:

A game plan for launching your practice.

Clarity about the services you’ll provide, who they are for, and how to price them.

An “elevator pitch” so you can crisply communicate what you do, who you do it for, and how you help them transform, grow, and develop.

You’ll learn from experts:

You’ll learn from two successful consultants with a combined 35+ years of experience. They’re veterans who have who have built highly successful practices and worked with hundreds of local, national, and international clients.

Susan Schaefer is a consultant, writer, and speaker whose practical approach to fundraising and board development has made her a frequent presenter at conferences and in classrooms. She founded her consulting firm, Resource Partners LLC, in 2001 to help nonprofits excel given their unique human and financial resources. Prior to founding Resource Partners LLC, Susan served as National Director, Foundations at the United Negro College Fund. In that position, she helped lead the design and implementation of the $1 billion Gates Millennium Scholars Program, one of the largest private grants in history. Susan co-authored Nonprofit Board Service for the GENIUS and has edited many other books for the sector, including The Nonprofit Consulting Playbook. She teaches fundraising at Johns Hopkins University.


Don Tebbe has been a leader in the nonprofit sector since the early 1980s – first as a nonprofit senior executive and CEO, and for the past 24 years as a consultant to nonprofits. He started his consulting career as a solopreneur, occasionally employing associates and co-consultants on projects. Don later served for over a decade as co-founder of a national consulting firm that became the recognized thought leader on nonprofit executive transitions. Don and his business partner built a seven-figure practice with over a dozen associates who delivered 30-40 projects each year. His current practice works with leaders and organizations that are navigating transitions. Don is the author of numerous articles and several books, including the award-winning Chief Executive Transitions: How to Hire and Support a Nonprofit CEO, and a new book, The Nonprofit CEO Succession: Your Guide for the Journey to Life’s Chapter.

Here’s what participants have said:

  • “One of the most useful workshops I’ve ever taken. Really!”
  • “Very practical and immediately applicable/implementable.”
  • “Susan and Don are indeed experts. Loved it!”
  • “Both presenters were very engaging and informative.”
  • “This workshop was an incredibly rich experience!”
  • “Susan and Don’s workshop will provide you with everything you need to know to begin your journey.”
  • “I felt empowered, informed and excited to plan my launch into the world of nonprofit consulting!”
  • “Propelled me to think critically about setting up my business, ethical consulting, client best interests through real-world practices and examples.”
  • “Provided all the tools to structure an exemplary consulting business, but also gave us a personal framework for thinking out how our strengths and talents would align with a consulting practice.”
  • “With details about the consulting process and practices, real-world anecdotal stories, valuable worksheet templates, and more, this course exceeded my expectations.”

Date & location:

Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017 | 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Pre-conference Session | Grant Professionals Association | San Diego, CA
(Registration Opens May 1, 2017 | Click Here for Info)