• Paula Alionyte

Join our collective of non-profit experts supporting small NGOs to survive and thrive

Are you a non-profit professional, working freelance or as a consultant? Are you passionate about what you do and about supporting small NGOs that wouldn’t normally be able to access expert help? If so, I want to hear from you!

The background

I founded Fair Development Consulting after over 10 years of witnessing the lack of appropriate and affordable support available to very small NGOs. I have volunteered and worked with small NGOs for over 10 years. From 2013-2015, whilst studying for my Masters in NGO Management, I grew increasingly more aware of, and frustrated by, the dominating focus in the sector on large charities, and those based in London. The majority of the course content and academic literature I was presented with during my MSc was geared towards large organisations, with no theory or solutions offered to problems faced by smaller organisations – often my questions were met with a sharp inhale of breath, a shrug of the shoulders and a sympathetic smile…

Over 95% of the UK’s international development sector is made up of small organisations and they make a hugely important contribution to global development, yet appropriate and affordable support for charities of this size is limited. Fair Development Consulting was founded to support these organisations to survive, thrive and secure their future sustainability so they can support their beneficiaries for years to come.

The problem

Many small NGOs are still run by their founders, or by a group of very passionate and dedicated volunteers or Trustees – there is nothing wrong with this way of working, so long as the people doing the work are happy in their roles and the organisation is functioning successfully and sustainably. However, sometimes charities reach a point where they feel working in this way is no longer sustainable, for the organisation itself or the individuals who are giving so much of their time, heart and soul to the project. They then find themselves in a situation where they know things need to change, but they aren’t sure what to do next and they don’t have the budget to hire expensive consultants or employ permanent members of staff to take over from volunteers. There is a period of transition where difficult decisions need to be made and precious fundraised money, that has typically only ever been spent on projects, has to be spent on organisational development.

The solution

In some cases, if charities are not ready to employ a member of staff, short-term, interim support on a freelance/consultancy basis can provide charities with the expertise and help they need to make this transition in a flexible way. Fair Development Consulting goes one step further and provides small NGOs access to a collective of highly skilled and experienced non-profit professionals who cover all the areas of expertise needed for a NGO to succeed. But, most importantly, it offers these organisations access to expert guidance and advice at a rate they can afford – making us the only consultancy focusing specifically on providing affordable support to small global development charities in the UK.

Who are the collective?

Members of the collective are experienced and highly skilled consultants from across the non-profit sector who all make a living working with larger organisations that can afford to pay a usual day rate. They offer a not quite pro-bono but significantly subsidised rate for Fair Development clients and take on work on a case by case basis, depending on their own work flow and their interest in the project – with no obligation to accept a piece of work if their diaries are full.

All members of FDC’s collective will be paid the same rates for work, and these rates will be available on the website in order to be fair and transparent for everyone.

Interested? Questions? If this sounds like something you’d like to be a part of, we would love to hear from you – please get in touch at hello@fairdevelopmentconsulting.co.uk