What Makes ACG Different

Monday November 23, 2020 comments Tags: Budgets, CNRG Accounting Advisory, Chyla Graham, Development, Nonprofit, Training, Grants, Budgets,

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Chyla Graham:

So Cherrisse, it's your time to shine. So I'd love to hear what's different about working with you and why, why nonprofits are just like, man, I was not prepared for that, but I'm glad she brought it up.

Cherrise Wilks:

Okay. So what's different about working with Affinity Consulting Group? Um, number one, I have been carefully curating, uh, the team around me as well. Yes, you would get access to me. I am the owner and the founder. However, um, I do have a great team who also has a wide variety of skillsets, um, from running large organizations. I think us having that experience of running large organizations and departments and operations helps us understand how to create something from the ground up and build it to something larger. Um, one of the things also with these, with, uh, the team that I have built is we are all credentialed, um, project managers, contract managers, and grant professionals. So we do have certifications in licensures, which means that we understand the full entire life cycle from research all the way to close out and dealing with auditors on any of these types of projects and closing them out, um, and basically starting them from inception and closing out the project and ending the project and moving on to the next one.

Cherrise Wilks:

So we do bring that skill level with us. Um, and I think that that is an added addition. Whereas if you were working with some other consultants, they may have what I like to call blinders and they know their niche. They may not be as well versed on looking at the organizational organization from a high level. And so that can sometimes lead you to end up having to hire additional people, to get all of the services and the things that you want. We tend to operate more on a full service basis. So I think that that's an added value. Um, and then we have worked in all sectors, public and private nonprofit. We sit on boards of nonprofits. Um, we volunteered with nonprofits, so we really understand the heart and soul of what it is that you're trying to do to effectuate community change.

Chyla Graham:

Okay. And what is it that a nonprofit when they're, who is it that they're looking for? Like when are they just looking for, Oh, we need someone to help manage our grants. Are they saying like, Oh, what's the bigger, what's the bigger question, your answering, I guess.

Cherrise Wilks:

So I'll just say like a lot of the people who come to me, it's kind of two buckets. So on one hand, um, a lot of individuals have already been through quite a few consultants and they haven't seen any results in transformation. Um, so they're frustrated and by that point they may not necessarily have a large budget. Um, I will certainly meet with them as well as have another staff member meet. We have an intake process. So we meet with them to see what it is that they're actually trying to do and where it is that they want to go. Sometimes I find that many owners have not thought about the end goal in mind, they are looking at what they can do today just to survive. Um, and in order to really, I think, benefit your clients the most, you have to think about the longer term picture and then what action steps you need to take to get there now.

Cherrise Wilks:

Um, and then what do you need to do in a year, three years, five years. And so that's where our background in strategic planning kind of comes into place. We do pull that out of you during a intake process and an interview with us so that we really try to understand, um, what your goals are and what you're trying to do long-term and we don't mind giving suggestions of things we think that you should try or do or partnerships that you should pursue. So, um, I think oftentimes what most organizations may miss when they come to a firm like ours is they are, um, looking at a project based activity instead of expecting to work with us in a larger scale or longer term capacity. And we're more of that firm that handles, um, activities for a bigger, longer term type capacity. We will work with you if it's project-based, but trust me, by the time you work with us, you're going to end up being a long-term client.

Chyla Graham:

No, I love that because you have to know where it is you're trying to go. Like, I'm always just like, well, I could give you an answer, but I don't know if this is the right answer. If I don't actually know like, well, in three years, what was the goal? Did you always want to be the only person here? Oh, well we should talk about that here, before it gets out of hand. So I love that idea of saying, like, tell us where you want to be, and we can help build those steps in .

Cherrise Wilks:

Exactly.

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