|Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How is ISI different from other training & consulting services?
A: ISI is one of the few nonprofit 501 (c)(3) consulting organizations. ISI’s approach to the understanding and management of ecosystems, including nonprofit organizations, comes from the use of an ethically directed systems approach to problem solving.
ISI is also an implementing organization and not just a theoretical purveyor of predetermined models, methods and structures. We use an inquiring systems approach to learning about the unique qualities, characteristics, operational factors and other relevant aspects of what makes our client’s functional and what systems and resources are needed to make or keep them economically viable and sustainable.
Q: How to people and nonprofits know about ISI? Why haven’t I heard about you before?
A: ISI has been in business since 1978 and has a long successful track record of providing comprehensive and effective services to over 3300 nonprofit and for profit organizations. We have also trained in our workshops over 26,000 senior executives and board members. Over 95% of these clients and workshop participants were referred by word-of-mouth from satisfied clients—we have never advertised so we are generally known through these referrals.
Q: How do I know if you can help my organization?
A: ISI will provide a preliminary assessment of your situation, at no charge, through a telephone discussion or through a direct meeting with you at our offices in Sonoma, CA for up to one hour. Based upon this discussion, and by mutual consent, we will determine if further analysis is required and the cost for these additional services. There is no charge for the preparation of a specific contract and scope of services.
Q: What do your services cost?
A: The fees for services vary by the type of services provided, the size of the organization, the amount of staff time provided by the organization to assist ISI and the size and extent of the contract for ISI’s services. The basic rate for nonprofit consulting is $125 per hour plus travel expenses at $.37 per mile. For small and newly formed organizations this rate is reduced to $100 per hour. If an organizational assessment is to be performed the cost is generally from one-half of one percent up to two per cent of the total annual budget of the organization. This varies mostly by the size of the organization and the amount of interviews that are needed. If the contract for services is on going or extends over a long period of time, the hourly rate will be negotiated.
Q: Can we get a grant or financial support to cover the cost of your services?
A: Over the years, many foundations have provided technical support grants to help cover the cost of our services. Because we use very detailed contract language and because we outline the mutually agreed to and measurable objectives as well as provide the specific and detailed scope of services and costs in our contracts, foundations are able to evaluate exactly the benefits that will be derived by the organization from the level of services that will be provided.