What is technical assistance?
Technical assistance (TA) can be broadly defined as any specialized service or skill that a nonprofit does not possess within the organization, but which it may need in order to operate more effectively. Examples of technical assistance include:
- Grant writing and other forms of fundraising
- Strategic planning
- Marketing and communications
- Computer technology
- Legal and accounting services
Technical assistance providers and consultants are basically the same. They can work as individuals, for-profit consulting firms, or nonprofit organizations. How they deliver their services will vary greatly, in terms of cost, complexity and oversight. Some nonprofit technical assistance providers will offer free or low-cost services.
Where can I find technical assistance?
The Foundation Center does not recommend or endorse individual consultants or firms. Below are some ways to find technical assistance:
- Recruit volunteers who can provide the skills/services you need
- Colleges and universities that have nonprofit management programs or classes in the specialty you need, e.g., grant writing courses – professors may match students with local nonprofits to provide practical experience
- Contact your nearest Foundation Center library or Cooperating Collection, which may have a list of local nonprofit consultants
- Contact your state’s nonprofit association, which may provide consulting or referral services, as well as a list of local nonprofit consultants
- Search online directories of nonprofit consultants
See also our related Knowledge Base articles:
- Where can I find "pro-bono" legal assistance for my nonprofit organization?
- Where can I learn more about hiring a consultant?
- Should fundraisers be paid a fixed fee or a percentage of the money raised?
- Where can I learn more about recruiting and managing volunteers for my nonprofit?
Selected resources below may also help.
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