1.    What steps are involved in engaging AAI?

While our communication and interaction with each organization are unique, our general approach to prospective clients follows these steps—all offered at no cost.

  1. We designate a lead consultant to any inquiry based on expertise and availability.
  2. We ask a series of questions related to the project and review helpful documents, data and reports.
  3. If at all possible, we make an on-site visit to meet leaders and advancement staff, share first impressions, and respond to any questions you may have.
  4. Finally, if invited, we prepare a formal proposal for consideration. The proposal outlines our understanding of the project; describes the approaches we would take; clarifies the length of the contract; and presents our fee for the services provided.

2.    Is there provision for cancelling a contract before the project is completed?

Yes—although the clause has never been used! Here are the details:

A contract with AAI may be cancelled by either party (AAI or the organization) without cost, penalty, or liability for a period of 10 days from the date the contract is signed. Further, following the initial 10-day cancellation period, either party may terminate the contract by giving 30-days’ written notice. In that case, the organization is responsible to reimburse for any services provided by AAI prior to the termination date.

3.    Do you stay in touch with clients once a project is completed?

Yes. AAI formally follows each completed project by arranging a yearly phone call for two successive years. In the calls, we invite updates on the project at hand and answer particular questions that may emerge. Former clients are also included on the AAI mailing list, which gives them direct access to our newsletter, special announcements, and helpful articles.

4.    What are your expectations of clients when you engage a project?

When we collaborate with an organization, we expect the board, CEO and advancement staff to be fully committed to the project at hand. We assume adequate resources will be allocated. We ask that the organization identify a “point person” for the project (often the advancement director) so that lines of communication are clear and on-site visits are effectively coordinated. Finally, the client organization provides clerical support and other staff services as needed.

5.    Is AAI registered in my state as a consulting firm?

Yes. Although AAI principals and associates live across the United States, we are qualified to provide consultation services in any state. If the project will involve fundraising, we are careful to submit the required registration documents and we pay any necessary fees to the appropriate state office before commencing with contracted services.