Whether you are a fundraising consultant, or you work with a nonprofit organization that's planning to engage this type of consultant, it's important to spell out the terms of all agreements in writing. Sample fundraising consulting contracts are valuable resources available online, sometimes even for free, that can help you cover all the practical and legal aspects of this type of arrangement so all parties know exactly what to expect. Check out the following examples for insight into what's usually included in agreements between fundraising consultants and their clients.
Printable Basic Fundraising Agreement
The printable document below is a very basic sample agreement that clarifies the scope of services and secures written client approval. This sample agreement is provided for information purposes only. If you are a consultant, work with an attorney to draft a document that meets your needs. If you're hiring a consultant, have an attorney review the services agreement before signing. To review the sample document, click the image below. See this guide for Adobe printables if you need help.
Places to Find Sample Fundraising Consulting Contracts
Some fundraising consultants may opt to use a very basic agreement like the one above, while others prefer a formalized contract. If you're more interested in seeing samples of detailed contracts, review the examples below. Please keep in mind that every situation is different; any contract you use needs to be customized to your situation and be compliant with the laws of the state in which it is being used.
- Model fundraising representation agreement - Provided by the Office of the Attorney General of the State of California, this model agreement includes information about California-specific requirements for fundraising contracts.
- Fundraising counsel agreement - Also from a California-based source, this sample fundraising counsel agreement is provided by Stanford Law School. It focuses on general fundraising consulting rather than special-purpose fundraising.
- Sample contract for a specific purpose - The Nonprofit Association of Oregon provides a complete guide to working with consultants. It includes a sample contract designed to easily be adapted for any specific type of fundraising project.
- Example contract for grant writing services - This sample contract is an example of an agreement between an organization and a fundraising consultant who is being engaged to provide grant writing services.
- Annual fund consulting agreement - Provided by Raise-Funds, this sample contract provides an overview of what might need to be included in an agreement when a consultant is brought in to help with an organization's annual fund.
- Capital campaign services agreement - This sample agreement details an agreement for capital campaign fundraising services between a municipality in Texas and a professional fundraising consultant.
- School fundraising contractor agreement - This example document illustrates a fundraising agreement that a school might use when contracting with a consultant to provide fundraising activities or services.
Reviewing these sample agreements can provide insight into what may need to be included in your agreement, but remember that contract law is not the same in every state. If you work as a fundraiser or lead a nonprofit organization, it's a good idea to join your state association of nonprofits, as affiliated with the National Council of Nonprofits. They provide a variety of resources to members and may be able to help direct you to an attorney in your state who specializes in the nonprofit sector.
Clarify the Consultant-Client Relationship
Fundraising consultants are generally experienced professional fundraisers who offer their services to multiple clients rather than working for a single charitable organization as an employee. It's very important for charitable organizations and consultants alike to be careful when entering into fundraising contracts. That's why agreements and contracts are so important.
- Not all organizations need the same kind of help from the consultants with whom they work, so the services a consultant provides may not be the same with each client.
- Fundraising consulting contracts and agreements clarify the relationship between professional fundraisers and the clients for whom they provide services.
- It's essential to make sure that there is no confusion regarding services provided, fees, and payment terms.
Seek Legal Guidance for Consulting Contracts
While reviewing sample contracts and agreements can be helpful, there is simply no substitute for legal advice when you are creating and/or signing a legally binding document. If you are a fundraising consultant, reach out to an attorney for assistance drafting a contract or agreement that is appropriate for you to use. If you're hiring a consultant, have an attorney review any agreement the consultant provides before you sign it. This investment can help protect the rights of individual fundraising consultants and the nonprofit organizations that use their services.