QUIZ - Rate Your Consultants


When was the last time you rated your independent consultants? Whether you do it formally or informally, you may find the following questions helpful in evaluating their performance. Take the "Ten Question Quiz" and rate your satisfaction.


1) Given the size of the fee, your consultant has not provided real results, significant value, and has failed to live by the motto, "Over Promise & Under Deliver.”
Yes No

2) The size of your consulting firm far exceeds your needs and results in unusually high fees, justified by "prestige," but resulting from overhead.
Yes No

3) You are tempted to have your current consultant's hearing (or listening skills) checked when their work does not seem to reflect any of your suggestions or ideas.
Yes No

4) The most impressive work and the best thoughts of the most experienced executives were contained in the sales presentation to secure your business (the contract). You haven’t seen those individuals since.
Yes No

5) You perceive your current consultants to be working on your behalf only when they are on-site.
Yes No

6) You are reminded by an accounting report that the real cost of your consultant is higher than listed because their fee is supplemented by markups, commissions, and supplier rebates / credits on items they secure on your behalf.
Yes No

7) You learn that day-to-day work is being managed by individuals the consulting firm judges to have just enough expertise to keep / maintain the account.
Yes No

8) Your consultant appears to be interested in assignments that are unbounded by time or measurable results.
Yes No

9) Your consultant told you that you needed "custom" solutions, but they seem to have delivered "prepackaged" or "cookie cutter" solutions, materials, or strategies.
Yes No

10) Your consultant's reports contain little more than the information you provided. You wonder about their capabilities -- or that you should become a consultant yourself.
Yes No

HOW TO SCORE YOUR CONSULTANT'S QUIZ:  Count the number of "NO” boxes.  If your total score above is:

9 - 10    Send a thank you letter to your consultant. Good consultants rarely receive enough positive feedback.

7 - 8    Depending on the length of your working relationship, you are beginning to have questions. NOW's the time to meet with your consultant and eliminate any concerns before they become unmanageable.

5 - 6    You are frustrated! Your consulting relationship is on a downward spiral.

4 & below    It appears you are investing more energy in the relationship than your consultant. Time to explore other options that better match your needs with the capabilities of the consulting team.  Generally, you want to be a "client of significance" to your consultant -- your account should demand the firm's best professionals.


QUIZ: What Are Your Greatest Concerns?

Consider and note whether each of the following is of concern.

1. "Gross" vs. "Net" Revenues: The quest for ever larger gross revenue and "new" members from on-air pledge drives combined with higher salary, premium, and operating expenses are now squeezing net revenue (or net contributed revenue).

At some nonprofits, a true accounting of funds spent versus those raised may now exceed the 40% maximum percentage considered effective by the Nonprofit Charities Information Bureau.
___Yes ___No

2. Retaining Qualified Professionals: This problem has existed for years, but with stations' cash flows increasingly dependent on sophisticated acquisition, renewal, and additional gift operations, the loss of a key membership professional is a reason for concern.

And, as individuals in small to moderate markets become more competent, it is only a matter of time until they are attracted to larger markets with higher compensation. Without careful backup and succession plans, this often returns a station to "square one," where they must invest again in recruiting, interviewing, hiring, moving, training, and growing a new membership professional.

Few stations calculate these "soft" personnel costs with membership ... assuming them to be simply a cost of doing business. And that's fine -- until you've done it three times!

In addition, because those professionals who leave often are the only staff with the expertise to manipulate data and carryout the dozens of detailed and time-sensitive tasks associated with even simply monthly renewals, some stations have suffered real losses in membership revenue.
___Yes ___No

3. Customer Service Costs: While one would expect "economies of scale" to increase the cost effectiveness as the number of members grows, some stations have discovered that the pressures associated with operating the daily fundraising program and handling increased customer service calls (many about delayed premium delivery) require additional staff or, in most cases, increase the work load of existing staff.
___Yes ___No

4. Lack of Innovation & Testing: One negative impact of the daily pressure on staff is the lack of innovation and testing of new "Best Industry Practices." While the environment in which public broadcasting has changed from a few over-the-air signals to hundreds of channels being delivered by cable and satellite, many stations are using acquisition, renewal and special gift appeal copy that was written a decade ago without testing potentially stronger, up-to-date, more locally focused copywriting. A slowly declining response rate for these outdated packages is often just a "quiet scream for help" from a page within the source code report -- that new packages and techniques should be tested.
___Yes ___No

5. Increasing Print & Mail Shop Costs: Most stations lack the mailing volume or professional time to regularly bid on the cost of their mailings. Yet, as printing, mail shop, and postage costs have continued to climb, identifying those vendors who provide timely, high-quality service at a reasonable cost is essential. Without time to investigate these options, costs escalate faster than they would otherwise.
___Yes ___No



STEP ONE: Take a moment to reflect on those you checked "yes", ranking them in priority order.

STEP TWO: Determine if you have the time, expertise, and resources to address your greatest concern. If not, TeamSoper is available to assist you. Call Michael Soper at 435-654-5896 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for details.

QUIZ -- Toughest Fundraising Quiz

1)   Your renewal / retention rates are falling, which of the following factors is most responsible?

A)  Your renewal series should be rewritten.
B)  There is a shift occurring in your membership database as to how members were initially acquired.
C)  The economy is weak and your donors have fewer funds to contribute.
D)  Other similar nonprofits renewal rates are climbing, increasing the competition for annual contributions.

2)   In seeking to increase major giving, which of the following factors would you consider to be least important?

A)  Use examples from the past to give your donors confidence in the institution’s capabilities.
B)  You should both simplify and strengthen the case statement of your organizations needs.
C)  Seek to develop and to empower your institution’s professionals to develop dreams for new or improved service.
D)  Phase out your current major donor newsletter and replace it with short personalized letters and notes.

3)   You notice what seems to be an increasing number of errors in your membership database.  Which of the items below is the best course of action?

A)  Stop mailing renewals and search the database for all similar errors to those discovered.
B)  Call your membership database software supplier and check to see if a new version of the software has been made available.
C)  Audit your database to determine who entered the errors you’ve discovered.
D)  Reboot your database server and see if the errors continue to appear.

4)   What was the single greatest “sin” twenty years ago in all institutions’ fundraising practices?

A)  To cultivate individuals and suggest they give more than they can afford.
B)  To send lapsed members an additional gift solicitation designed for current members.
C)  To solicit a gift that was smaller than the individual was capable or prepared to give.
D)  Failure to encourage Board members to give themselves, solicit others, or resign from an institution’s Board of Directors.

5)   In building the financial case for major donors to your institution, which of the following will be most important.

A)  Demonstrate the organization’s needs by budgeting in such a manner that expenses exceed revenues.
B)  Recognize unrestricted bequest income only when it is received and use it to fund the organization’s highest current priority.
C)  Meet with major donors.  Do not advocate; shut up and listen carefully.
D)  Prepare a full proposal to be left with prospective donors following face-to-face meetings.

6)   If you are unsure of an organization’s priorities, the best way to determine them is:

A)  Review the organization’s strategic, five-year plan.
B)  Examine the institution’s annual operating budget to determine where the greatest amounts of money are being generated and spent.
C)  Look at the calendars of executives to determine where they are investing their personal time.
D)  Read the organization’s annual report and press clippings to learn what services make the organization deserving of support.

7)   Your assigned to manage a telemarketing campaign to reinstate / reactivate lapsed members to your institution.  Which of the following would you be least likely to do:

A)  In reviewing the daily call report from the evening before, you notice the lack of response in the $250 to $350 previous donation segment and recommend reducing the suggested amount solicited by callers.
B)  Knowing that getting the most members reinstated is important, urge the telemarketing firm to continue calling until the campaign’s total revenue equals the total expense.
C)  Insist that the call plan be to contact most recent lapsed first and to work backward toward the longest lapsed, stopping the calling when several night calling fails to generate revenue over and above the cost of calling for that same period of time.
D)  Monitor live calls from time to time to insure the firm and the callers know you expect the highest quality calls.

8)   A public television station evaluates the success of its on-air pledge drives based on the increase in gross dollars pledged during the campaign.  Which of the following effects are direct results of measuring success in this manner:   

A)  Spendable income will be considerably less because of the cost associated with securing an on-air membership.
B)  The most successful pledge programs will be those with the largest audiences.
C)  Special programs produced for pledge drives will use “thank you gifts” increase the size of the average pledge with little attention to the expense associated with securing and shipping those gifts.
D)  Deposited revenue will be less than anticipated because some members will not fulfill their pledges.

9)   The term, “Average Lifetime Value,” is meant to include all but which of the following factors:

A)  The average number of years that a member will make a minimum of one annual gift of a specific minimum amount to the organization.
B)  The amount of special additional contributions made over and above the above annual “membership.”
C)  Known or expected income from bequests.
D)  The number of times each year the member makes a gift to the institution.

10)   In meeting with corporate and foundation executives, major donors, and others, which of the following is the least important indicator of when it is appropriate for you to seek to reach agreement on a contribution.

A)  You listened carefully to the individual’s description of their needs and desires.
B)  You ask the individual if your description accurately reflects what they said.
C)  The individual, often pressed for time, asks you “What can they do for you?”
D)  Having listened to the individual’s specific needs, you restate them in your own words.



Answers:  1-All, 2-None, 3-All, 4-C, 5-C, 6-C, 7-B, 8-C, 9-C, 10-C

How did you do?  Question our answers?  Just use the "Contact Us" page and send us an e-mail.  Thanks!

QUIZ -- Defining The Marketing Challenge

We all learn from our successes and failures. Yet, we often fail to identify the nature of the problem or marketing challenge we are passionately seeking to solve. Your own answers to the following questions will help you identify your greatest marketing challenges.



1) Using the Boston Consulting Group's matrix, which of the following four areas best defines your marketing challenge?

Old Product / Old Market New Product / Old Market
Old Product / New Market New Product / New Market


2) Considering the Strategic Planning Institute's "PIMS Database" (Profit Impact of Marketing Strategy), how would you rate the "relative perceived quality of your product or service compared to that of your competition?"

A)  Much Greater
B)  Greater
C)  Less
D)  Much Less

3) Which area in the marketing mix contains your greatest problem / challenge?

A)  Product
B)  Pricing
C)  Place (distribution)
D)  Positioning
E)  Promotion (advertising, etc.)

4) How are the people most directly involved addressing the marketing challenge?

A)  Too busy to address it
B)  Lack expertise to "get it"
C)  Get it, but lack experience
D)  Get it, but lack resources

5) How important is it to solve this problem?

A)  Essential
B)  Very
C)  Somewhat
D)  Not very

6) How urgent is it that this marketing challenge be solved?

A)  Essential
B)  Very
C)  Somewhat
D)  Not very


The above questions are designed to assist you in looking at your marketing challenge from various points-of-view and, in turn, to allow us to speed you to potential solutions and services offered by TeamSoper.