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The Impact Consulting Podcast

The Impact Consulting Podcast

By Impact Consulting Hub
Podcast aimed at helping people become or improve as independent consultants in the fields of international development and social impact. We'll share success stories, tips and tricks that will help you take control of your life and impact, and succeed as an independent social impact professional!
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#30: International development consulting opportunities in the US, with Roland from Palladium
Today, we've got quite a unique but highly useful episode for you. Roland Pearson, a director at one of the world's top international development consulting firms, Palladium, is on the show to talk us through how you can access consulting opportunities working with Palladium and firms like Palladium on large projects funded by the US, UK, Australian aid systems, as well as the other clients that Palladium works with worldwide. Introducing Roland Roland is an internationally recognised senior executive, who over 30 years has built national and international, private and public institutions that deliver sustained social and economic impact and commercial value. He is the Director leading strategy, business development and business execution of the Finance and Investment portfolio at Palladium, which he joined in November 2018 with the merger of Palladium and Enclude. What we talk about Today's conversation is a little longer than the usual impact consulting journeys that we profile, but I highly recommend sticking with it because we cover so much ground. We start with a bit of an overview of Roland and Palladium's work and the types of donors and projects that they work with. We then move onto share Roland's insights into how Palladium works with consultants, including what types of skills they look for, how to apply, what kinds of fees they can expect working on USAID-funded projects, and what the whole process looks like. We'd like to thank Roland for sharing his wisdom and our main call to action to you is to head on over to Palladium's website and submit your CV. And Roland even explains the type of CV that you should be submitting. Links Connect with Roland Opportunities at Palladium Submit your CV to Palladium IC-Hub's article on consulting fees The LinkedIn Challenge and how social impact consultants should use LinkedIn IC-Hub Live followup: Getting EU-funded development consultancy work Find the podcast on other platforms (including Spotify and Apple Podcasts)!
June 01, 2022
#29: Abena's journey - finding freedom and community through consulting
Hello and welcome to the Impact Consulting Podcast! In this episode, Molly sits down with fellow fundraiser, Abena Lauber, who is the founder and director of A.CommUnity. About Abena: Abena has 20 years of professional experience and knowledge in fundraising, strategic partnerships and large-scale private events. For 6 years she worked for Human Rights Watch as Associate Director of Development and Outreach, organising their annual gala dinner which saw an impressive increase in funds raised over the years reaching CHF 2 million in 2014. She also managed donor relations, planned donor acquisition and implemented stewardship plans. Abena contributed to the creation of the Dr. Mukwege Foundation in Geneva and secured institutional funds for the foundation.  She also helped organise an event in Geneva for women survivors of rape as a weapon of war in June 2017. Abena is a leader with proven experience in project and team management.  Her experience in fundraising with various types of donors: large and small, institutional donors, foundations and private companies gives her the ability to plan and implement diversified and sustainable fundraising actions. Based on this experience, Abena founded A.CommUnity in 2017 to offer services to non-profit organisations in Switzerland and abroad. One of A.CommUnity's priorities is to build the fundraising capacity of non-profit organisations. In 2019, Abena co-created Fundraising Bootcamp, a series of innovative and practical workshops. The first edition took place in spring 2019 in Geneva and since then A.CommUnity was commissioned by the City of Geneva (2019 and 2020) and the Capas network. These modules have since been adapted and customised to build the capacity of various NGOs in Switzerland and around the world. In addition, Abena is a lecturer at the Haute Ecole de Gestion in Geneva in their CAS Fundraising programme since 2020. In 2021, A.CommUnity and co-created a training course - Comm' To Fund - providing fundraising and communication skills for more efficient fundraising actions. What we talk about: The power of genuine connections and networking for acquiring new clients Abena's strategy for dealing with the loneliness of independent working Why Abena started A.CommUnity and tips for building a brand Connect with Abena: Abena's LinkedIn profile A.CommUnity's website A.CommUnity's LinkedIn community page
May 13, 2022
#28: Rebekah's journey - communications activist
Welcome to another episode of the Impact Consulting Podcast! This time, Molly sits down with Rebekah, communications activist and founder of Right + Good and co-founder of The P2Club – two mission-driven organisations working to build authentic community between businesses and the people they serve. About Rebekah: Rebekah Grmela (she/her) is the founder of Right + Good Consulting, an agency focused on strategic communications for the ethical organization.  Rebekah is a communications activist supporting justice, equity and sustainability through access to excellent public participation strategies for womxn, queer and/or BIPOC founders and nonprofits.  She knows that impact-driven organizations and brands require dedicated relationship-building and compelling messages that drive people to action. As a community engagement expert with more than a decade of experience communicating value for government agencies and private companies alike, she lets data and outreach drive creative solutions.  Minding specific goals and budgets, Rebekah builds highly effective messages and campaigns that resonate in target communities and generate a tangible return on investment. Through partnerships, programming and a bulletproof communications strategy, Rebekah will curate an energized community and develop your mission so you can do more good in the world. About Right + Good: Right + Good's mission is to connect people with your cause through intentional and strategic communications. We focus on building authentic relationships while you're doing the work.   By laying a solid foundation and moving intentionally, we nurture the long-term partnerships, community and authentic engagement necessary to keep your mission-driven business going What we talk about: The benefits of building a brand for your consulting work. How to design a meaningful role for yourself and do the work you’re passionate about. How Rebekah finds new clients! Useful links Rebekah's LinkedIn profile Right + Good
April 29, 2022
#27: Mara's first year as an independent child protection specialist - lessons learned
Hello, and you're listening once again to the Impact Consulting Podcast, where we profile people - just like you - who are independent consultants in the international development and social impact spaces. This week, we present to you a lovely conversation with the lovely Mara Tissera Luna about her lessons learned from her first year of consulting full-time. About Mara Mara is an Argentine and Italian child protection specialist with 10+ years of qualitative research, policy analysis, and programme evaluation experience, mainly in Latin America and the Caribbean region. Her research and policy analysis in Latin America, Europe, and Central Asia have produced 20+ publications. She has lived in Hungary since 2015, but she will soon move to California. Mara has performed qualitative analysis on the protection of migrant and refugee children, institutional care, child suicide prevention, violence against children, and early childhood policies, among other child protection topics. What we talk about Mara has done so well to establish herself as an expert in child protection. I was therefore keen for her to share what she'd learned from her first year consulting full time. We touch on a number of great learnings in relation to both how to get clients and how to work with them once you've got them, including: How to clarify the terms of reference for a consultancy early on. Experiences with short/long-term consultancies. How to know how long a consultancy actually takes (in working days). Differences in networking/business development for thematic specialists and skills-based specialists How to communicate what you do (and sell yourself) to clients! If you're interested in independent consulting in the child protection space, you may want to check out Mara's new International Child Protection Consultants Facebook Group. Useful links International Child Protection Consultants Facebook Group (coordinated by Mara) Connect with Mara on LinkedIn Toggl: Time Tracking Pomodoro technique
March 01, 2022
#26: Adriana's journey - From human rights lawyer to solopreneur
Hello and welcome to the Impact Consulting Podcast, this time with Molly! In this episode, I sit down with Adriana Leigh Greenblatt, who started her career as a human rights lawyer and has since leveraged her experience to create her own consulting firm that addresses sexual abuse and harassment in the workplace. About Adriana: Adriana Leigh is a self-described "recovering lawyer.” Passionate about gender equality, she is now a global gender consultant, facilitator and trainer, writer and speaker committed to building safer, gender-equitable, caring, and inclusive workplaces and organizations, free of sexual harassment and gender-based violence. Adriana brings a much-needed human and heart-centred, rather than a merely compliance-centred approach to these issues, combined with her legal and subject matter expertise and background in human rights education. Adriana delivers global workshops, sexual harassment and violence policy and reporting processes development, implementation coaching to managers and thought leadership. Her work has been showcased by Charity Village, Medium, UN Women, Sexual Violence Research Initiative, Mtavari Channel and World Pulse, among others. What we talk about: Adriana's pathway to becoming a solopreneur and how she was inspired by her family’s entrepreneurial history to build her own consulting practice. How she builds lasting relationships with existing clients to ensure sustainable impact and bring in more projects. Advice for negotiating rates with clients. What she loves about being an independent solopreneur and her biggest challenges. Useful links Adriana's LinkedIn page ALG Consulting Click here to find the podcast on other platforms (including Spotify and Apple Podcasts)!
February 23, 2022
#25: How to build a successful independent M&E consulting practice - with Ann-Murray Brown
Today, we've got a good friend of the IC-Hub, Ann-Murray Brown, on the show to share with us how she became the go-to Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) consultant. About Ann-Murray Many of you will know (of) Ann already, but in case you don't, she is a proud ‘island girl’ who hails from the country of the world’s fastest sprinters - Jamaica. Now based in the Netherlands, she is a seasoned M&E expert with nearly two decades of professional experience and is the holder of multiple advanced degrees from the University of the West Indies and Ewha Womans University. Ann has been involved in consultancies funded and implemented by international organisations such as the United Nations and the European Commission. Her sectorial interests are Gender Equality, Poverty Reduction, Migration, Social Protection, Child Protection, Human Rights and Justice Reform. Alongside her consultancy work, Ann has also created a suite of high-value products to help people learn about M&E, which you can find on her website Adventures in M&E and building a 20k following In today's interview, we start by talking through Ann's own impact consulting journey, which is truly an inspiring one about how a major life challenge forced her to develop her consulting business from the ground up. We then talk about how Ann developed an incredible social media following (20k+ LinkedIn followers) by providing value to others. And we also touch on Ann's tips for how non-M&E consultants can develop M&E skills and build an M&E service offering from scratch. We close with some of Ann's thoughts on how experienced M&E consultants can break through common plateaus, which really resonates with what we talk about at the IC-Hub Level-Up Accelerator Workshop. We'd like to thank Ann for coming on the show and thank you for listening. And if you're interested in learning what it takes to build your own independent consulting business in the social impact or international development spaces, then head on over to to find a tonne of free resources. Without further ado, please do enjoy the show. Useful links Free download: Consultancy Proposal Template Free download: IC-Hub Start-up Cheat Sheet Follow Ann-Murray on LinkedIn Ann-Murray's website Impact Consulting Hub Where to listen to the IC-Podcast Courses & workshops to launch and accelerate your impact consulting journey
January 26, 2022
#24: Generating a 40k following as an independent consultant - chronicles in LinkedInfluencing
CLICK HERE TO PRE-REGISTER FOR OUR IC-HUB WORKSHOP WITH JENNY ON HOW TO GROW YOUR LINKEDIN FOLLOWING. Hello and welcome to the Impact Consulting Podcast. Today, I'm delighted to be joined by Jenny Wright, who in my view is a rock star consultant and LinkedInfluencer. About Jenny Jenny pivoted back into freelancing, philanthropy and international development after leaving behind a toxic corporate work environment. She has relied on her project management, research and communications roots to dedicate over a decade of her life to consulting for non-profits and international organisations worldwide. When not running her own consulting firm (Nomad Consulting), Jenny has managed multiple projects for the United Nations and is currently consulting for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Tunisia. Having globe-trotted around half the world (and now living in her ninth country), Jenny is used to thinking on her feet, eating questionable food and living out of a suitcase. Chronicles in LinkedInfluencing & FORTHCOMING IC-Hub LinkedIn Workshop with Jenny Directing her knack for writing to social media, Jenny has gained over 40K LinkedIn followers in a year and is in the process of launching her own blog (A Migrant’s Guide) to share her and other migrants’ experiences of moving and living abroad. In our interview, Jenny shares: How she got into independent consulting. How she built her own consulting firm. # How she grew such an incredible social media presence. IC-Hub LinkedIn Workshop with Jenny Growing a LinkedIn following can really enable independent social impact professionals like us to generate more consulting clients and more influence in our fields of work. Therefore, we are inviting you to a new IC-Hub premium workshop with Jenny, in which she will teach the steps she took to grow her LinkedIn following and how you can do it too. Click this pre-registration link and we'll let you know when the workshop is scheduled and give you a 50% early-bird discount. Useful links Pre-register for the IC-Hub LinkedIn Workshop with Jenny Jenny's LinkedIn page Jenny's articles - Beginner's Guide to LinkedIn (Part 1 of 4) IC-Hub
January 12, 2022
#23: Leisa Perch: From UN career to building her own consulting business in the Caribbean
Hello and welcome back to the Impact Consulting Podcast, where we have another interview for you today. And what an interview it is. I'm joined by the unsinkable force that is Leisa Perch. About Leisa Leisa is the CEO of a woman-led consultancy company based in Barbados, SAEDI Consulting (which is "ideas" backwards!). Leisa is a gender and environment specialist, with more than 20 years of experience in the development field. Her work as a consultant is global, although her more recent projects focused on the Caribbean. Previous projects include conducting studies on gender in fisheries and developing the Gender Equality Mainstreaming Policy for the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). Leisa regularly carries out research or gender assessments and advises development actors including United Nations (UN) agencies such as UN Women and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). She is also the host of the Women’s Leadership in the Environment Webinar series and the host of a new SAEDI podcast. What we talk about At the IC-Hub, we talk a lot about how experienced independent social impact professionals can "level-up" their consulting businesses through a range of strategies, such as building a following, getting your voice out there, joining expert committees, and outsourcing work to others. Leisa has done all of this and more! It was fascinating to hear how she's put into practice a lot of the principles that we preach and also particularly inspiring to hear why and how she left her glittering and prestigious international civil servant life to build a consulting practice on her own terms. I don't want to delay you listening to this insightful interview any longer, so without further ado, please sit back and enjoy the show. And do leave a review if you're listening to this on Apple Podcasts. Useful links SAEDI Consulting SAEDI's Webinars SAEDI's Roasting Fish and Breadfruit Podcast Levelling Up Workshop Levelling Up podcast episode Connect with Leisa on LInkedIn Click here to find the podcast on other platforms (including Spotify and Apple Podcasts)!
January 05, 2022
#22: Joumana's journey: Consulting and outsourcing, EU expert positions, and more
Hello and welcome to the Impact Consulting Podcast - a podcast that helps people launch and accelerate their independent consulting businesses in the international development and social impact fields. Today, Joumana Brihi shares her remark-able (pun intended) impact consulting journey (you'll get that pun in a moment). About Joumana Joumana has 18 years of experience in strategic communications and market research. She is also the founder of Remark, a network of consultants and experts providing market intelligence, labour market and economic studies, and strategic communication services to public and private sector clients. As a strategic communication expert, she develops external and internal communication strategies that support creating awareness about organisations, initiatives or projects; repositioning them or launching new ones. Based in Beirut, Joumana is currently the Team Leader and Strategic Communication Expert for the European Commission’s regional communication programme: EU Neighbours South, in which she leads and manages a multidisciplinary international team to provide targeted strategic advice to EU Delegations. What we talk about Incredibly, Joumana has worked as an independent professional across her entire career and has done a fantastic job to grow and develop - professionally and personally - on her own terms. In our conversation, Joumana tells us: How she got started as an independent social impact professional. How she transitioned from independent consulting part-time alongside her full-time job, to quitting her job to go full-time independent. How she levelled up her consulting by growing a network of consultants and outsourcing work. How she got her current EU consultancy Team Leader position. What she loves about independent consulting. What advice she would give to herself at the beginning of her career (spoiler alert, it's about fees!). We'd like to thank Joumana for coming on the show and thank you for tuning in. Useful links Remark Consulting Connect with Joumana on LinkedIn IC-Hub Live followup: Getting EU-funded development consultancy work IC-Hub Levelling Up Workshop Impact Consulting Hub Where to listen to the IC-Podcast
December 08, 2021
#21: Hattie's journey - MEL consulting in Lisbon
Hello and welcome to another episode of the Impact Consulting Podcast, a show all about how to become and improve as an independent consultant in the international development and social impact spaces. Today, I'm delighted to be joined by an absolute IC-Hub superstar, Hattie Gibson, an independent researcher and Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) consultant. About Hattie One of the first participants of our inaugural premium Levelling Up Workshop, Hattie has been an independent consultant for the past three years, after implementing and managing projects in the international development and humanitarian fields for 11 years. Harriet now provides specialised research or MEL services from her Lisbon base. She has a background in human rights and fragile and conflict affected states, focussing on the Middle East and North Africa region where she previously worked and lived. Hattie has worked for a variety of organisations from grassroots NGOs in Palestine, to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in Lebanon to global private sector consultancies, to various INGOs and Foundations. She recently switched gears and began to devote half her time to programmes related to climate change and environmental impact. What we talk about Hattie shares the wonderful story about how she became an independent social impact professional, including: The first steps she took to transition from employment to self-employment (especially as a relatively young consultant at the time). What a typical consulting project looks like. How she gets her consulting clients. What it's like to work from Portugal. What she wishes she'd known at the beginning of her consulting journey. How she sees her consulting practice developing in the future. Useful links Connect with Hattie on LinkedIn IC-Hub Start-up Workshop IC-Hub Levelling Up Workshop IC-Podcast #10: Hannah's journey: How to leverage a staff position to create a runway to consulting success Impact Consulting Hub Where to listen to the IC-Podcast Click here to find the podcast on other platforms (including Spotify and Apple Podcasts)!
November 24, 2021
#20: How to launch an independent social impact consulting business in 5 steps
Hello and welcome to a special episode of the Impact Consulting Podcast, with Loksan and Molly from the Impact Consulting Hub. Today, we walk you through the steps required to launch an independent consulting business in the international development or social impact spaces. What we discuss What an independent social impact professional is. How we launched Molly's independent consulting business (focused on NGO fundraising) two years ago. Molly's challenges in identifying areas to specialise in and services to provide. The IC-Hub 5-Step Start-up Framework. The IC-Hub 5-Step Start-up Framework Step 1: Identify your services Step 2: Establish your runway Step 3: Launch and test your Minimum Viable Product/Service and get your first client Step 4: Sort out the legals (banking, legal status, taxation, insurance, contracting, invoicing) Step 5: Iterate, improve, and level-up We go through the five steps quite briefly. For those who are serious about launching their independent consulting career very soon, we also provide a premium IC-Hub Start-up Incubator Programme.  Useful links IC-Hub Start-up Incubator IC-Hub Workshops Impact Consulting Hub The "BORING STUFF": Administrative requirements of freelancing  IC-Hub Business Plan template IC-Hub Business Development Guide (free access to premium resource) Where to listen to the IC-Podcast
November 17, 2021
#19: How to level up your social impact consulting business
How do you "level up" your independent social impact consulting business... And what does that even mean? In this week's episode of the Impact Consulting Podcast, we give a brief update on what we've been up to recently and talk through some common challenges that independent social impact professionals face after a few years in the business, as well as how to push past these plateaus and get to the next level. The goal here is to enable you to position yourself as the go-to expert in your field, as a way to achieve more impact, more income and cultivate more influence in your field of work. More specifically, we discuss: Common consulting challenges and plateaus. What "levelling up" means. Key levelling up principles and strategies (including email marketing, content creation, advisory roles, and outsourcing). This episode gives an overview of what we discuss in our first-ever IC-Hub premium workshop on consulting levelling up strategies. Needless to say, in the workshop we go far more in-depth into the specifics and apply the principles and strategies to IC-Hubbers' consulting businesses. You can visit our website to find details about the levelling up workshop and other IC-Hub premium workshops. Thank you for listening and we hope you enjoy the show! Useful links Impact Consulting Hub Impact Consulting Podcast IC-Hub Workshops IC-Hub Level-up Accelerator Workshop #16: Emmerentia's consulting journey - how to "level-up" as an independent consultant
October 20, 2021
#18: Work for Impact - the platform for independent social impact professionals?
Hello and welcome to another episode of the Impact Consulting Podcast, a podcast that aims to help people become and improve as independent consultants in the social impact and international development fields. Today, I’m delighted to be joined by Geoff Hucker, Founder and CEO of Work For Impact, which is a new platform designed to help nonprofits and “For Purpose” organisations engage top on-demand talent, meet the demands of the changing landscape of ‘work,’ implement agile working practices, and become leaders in the socially responsible freelance space. Based in Hong Kong, Geoff has over 18 years of experience as a social entrepreneur and has directed and scaled a successful charity – Beyond The Orphanage. Geoff has also hired and worked with freelancers from around the world. One of our missions at the Impact Consulting Hub is to improve how independent work in the social impact space is structured, and, ultimately, to help us all deliver greater impact for our clients. I was therefore really excited for the launch of Work for Impact, which promises to do just that. So in today's interview we discuss: Work for Impact's story How Work for Impact works, who it serves (especially with respects to independent consultants like most IC-Hubbers), and how it differs from platforms already out there. Geoff’s tips on how to get work through the Work for Impact platform. As always, thank you so much for listening. And if you’ve enjoyed this episode, please feel free to share it, leave a review on iTunes, or get in touch at Without further ado, please sit back and enjoy the show. Useful links Work for Impact Work for Impact's trailer Geoff Hucker on LinkedIn Impact Consulting Hub Impact Consulting Podcast IC-Podcast #12: Are YOU a consultant? IC-Hub blog post about Work for Impact compared with other freelancing platforms
October 13, 2021
#17: UN consulting - the CLIENT perspective, with IOM's Joanne Irvine
Hello and welcome to the Impact Consulting Podcast, powered by the IC-Hub, a growing global community of support for independent social impact professionals. We've got a great show for you today, featuring Joanne Irvine who is not actually a consultant. So, why have we got a non-consultant on the Impact Consulting Podcast? Well, Joanne is a Programme Manager at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) - the United Nations (UN) migration agency. She works with consultants all the time, so she was the ideal person to provide the "client's" perspective on UN consulting. About Joanne Joanne Irvine specialises in migration governance and sustainable development in the Migration and Sustainable Development Unit of IOM's Headquarters. Joanne has over 12 years of experience working with and supporting local and national governments, civil society and UN organisations globally to maximise the development potential of migration in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Joanne holds a joint undergraduate and Master of Arts in Hispanic Studies and French from the University of Glasgow, an MA in European Policy and International Development Cooperation from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, a master in Migration, Co-Development and Public Participation from the Cultural and Social Studies Foundation of Valencia and a diploma in Human Rights and Forced Migration from the United Nations University of Peace. UN consulting from the "client" perspective UN agencies like IOM implement a lot of their work through consultants. And, as a disclaimer, they happen to be one of my most important clients. So I relished this opportunity to squeeze Joanne for all the insights I could get about her experiences hiring consultants, including: What UN agencies like IOM hire consultants for; What types of consultants they hire; How they hire consultants and how consultants can get work; What makes a "good consultant" (and "bad consultant"). We close with me asking Joanne whether she'd consider consulting and what concerns she would have about an eventual consulting career. Really enjoyed recording this one and truly thankful for the way Joanne provides such practical and balanced insights about consultant-client dynamics. Thank you for tuning in and feel free to reach out to us at if you’re interested in starting or accelerating your independent consulting career. And if you’ve been enjoying this podcast, please leave a review on iTunes or share the episode with a friend. Useful links Joanne's LinkedIn profile Joanne's project website - M4D Where to listen to the IC-Podcast Related IC-Podcast #11 on defining a social impact consultant Related IC-Podcast #14 on biggest freelancing concerns Related IC-Podcast #16 on Emmerentia's consulting journey (migration & UN agencies)
July 21, 2021
#16: Emmerentia's consulting journey - how to "level-up" as an independent consultant
Welcome to another episode of the Impact Consulting Podcast, hosted by the IC-Hub - a growing online community of support for independent social impact professionals. Today, we've got my good friend, Emmerentia Erasmus, on the show to talk us through her impact consulting journey. About Emmerentia Emmerentia is an independent migration specialist with more than ten years of experience, including in building the capacity of states and regional organisations in managing migration. Based in Cape Town, she has extensive experience in migration policy and programme development, with specific expertise on labour migration and the free movement of persons. Her work comprises research design; baseline and needs assessments to inform project development and implementation; analytical reports for publication; providing technical assistance to regional migration dialogue and governance processes, including by developing regional action plans, strategies and migration policy frameworks; and managing migration programmes in the field. Prior to going independent around five years ago, Emmerentia worked as a project manager for the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), among other organisations. Key discussion points I really enjoyed learning more about Emmerentia's consulting journey in this episode. Some of the key points we discuss are: Why Emmerentia decided to leave an in-house project management staff position to go it alone. How Emmerentia is "levelling up" her consulting career five years on through taking on advisory roles and contracting out some work. The pitfalls of taking on too much work and how to manage the pressures to "make hay while the sun shines." Accepting all the projects offered versus being selective. Lessons learned from five years of consulting, such as how to be firm with clients. Thank you so much for tuning in and we hope you enjoy the show. If you’re interested in learning from consultants like Emmerentia, then feel free to connect with her on LinkedIn (link below) or join us at the IC-Hub. Useful links: Connect with Emmerentia on LinkedIn ( Impact Consulting Hub ( Where to listen to the IC-Podcast
July 07, 2021
#15: Aida's journey - bridging the gap between academia, consulting and public engagement
Hello and welcome to the Impact Consulting Podcast, powered by the IC-Hub. This is a show where we share advice, learnings, and stories from our global network of independent social impact professionals. We’ve got a great show for you today. We have our good friend, Dr. Aida Ibričević, on the show to talk about her impact consulting journey in which she leveraged her time in academia to build an independent consulting practice. Aida is an independent social science researcher and consultant based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, affiliated as a Global Fellow with the Migration Center at the Peace Research Institute (PRIO) in Oslo, Norway and as a Research Fellow with the Center for Diaspora Studies, Sarajevo School of Science and Technology. She is currently working on migration-related consultancy and academic projects for the Bonn International Center for Conversion project (migrant reintegration), the International Organization for Migration (labour migration), and the United Nations Development Programme’s (diaspora engagement). She also provides review services for a number of peer-reviewed, international academic journals. As for her academic background, Aida has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Middlebury College, United States, and an Economics Master of Arts from Central European University (CEU), Hungary. Her doctoral degree is in Political Science from Istanbul Bilgi University, Turkey. I really enjoyed learning about Aida’s consulting journey coming from academia, which can be a great background from which to launch a consulting career. So we get Aida’s take on: How to leverage academia to launch an independent consulting practice; How to create a launchpad for consulting success while working in academia; Whether great academics make great consultants; The differences between academic research and research consultancies; The good and bad in Aida’s own transitions back and forth from academia to consulting. Thank you for tuning in to the podcast. Please do feel free to reach out to us at if you’re interested in starting or accelerating your independent development consulting career. And if you’ve been enjoying this podcast, please leave a review on iTunes or share the episode with a friend. Useful links Aida's LinkedIn profile Impact Consulting Hub Where to listen to the IC-Podcast
June 23, 2021
#14: What are your biggest concerns about going freelance?
Hello IC-Hubbers and welcome to another episode of the Impact Consulting Podcast, with us, Loksan and Molly. We've got a special episode today where we go over your and our biggest concerns about becoming freelance consultants in the social impact and international development spaces. We talk about our journeys and how we addressed the concerns that we had, as well as discussing other common concerns, including those expressed by IC-Hubbers via the Facebook, Google, and Instagram channels. Top freelancing concerns Those around us being risk-averse and advising us to go for stable jobs Losing prestige and not having a job title Insecurity, anxieties and self-doubt about own expertise or experience ("imposter syndrome") and selling oneself as "an expert" Making enough money Lack of clear marketable consultancy skillset Unstructured living and working alone Feeling uncomfortable (or "skeezy" in Molly's American English!) about approaching people or potential clients to "sell services” Discussing consulting fees We hope you find it useful to hear about how we've gone through these issues and how we've tried to address them! Listening on the go? Click here to find the podcast on other platforms (including Spotify and Apple Podcasts)!
June 10, 2021
#13: Faith's journey: Reflecting on her career and taking the first steps towards consulting
On this episode of the Impact Consulting Podcast, Molly is joined by Faith D. Toran, a Communication Specialist, Environmentalist, Academic, Author and poet. We discuss how Faith's career trajectory and how even though Faith is new to consulting, she is exploring the option because she sees it as a route to: More flexibility and autonomy, which will her to work on development issues in a way that reflects her values, passions, and interests; More opportunities to live and work abroad for short- to medium-term projects; Collaborating with previous employers to conduct research and offer advice as a consultant; Build a brand and work in a team. Who will benefit most from this episode? Potential and new consultants who are reflecting on consulting or are considering how to best take their consulting practice forward. Communications professionals who are working in international development. Faith is also a co-founder of the Channels Network with Gabriella Mikiewicz. Connect with them on LinkedIn or check out their website. About Faith Among Faith's honours and awards are fellowships from the Margaret Gada Sloesberg Foundation and The Walton/UNCF Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship. A graduate of the American University of Paris, class of 2018, she received a Master's of Arts in Global Communications (Development track). In 2013, she received her Bachelors in Political Science from Spelman College, and is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, having served in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Over the past seven years, her professional experiences have covered working in Communication for Development (C4D) and Project management in the US, Burkina Faso, France, India and Guinea with specialised technical knowledge of Communications for Development (C4D) project design, implementation and management. Communication for Development (C4D) – is, at its very essence, about understanding the needs of communities and individuals to develop context-specific people-centred solutions aiming to overcome challenges. Faith completed a sustainable development field mission in Burkina Faso with The United States Peace Corps, conducted research on, designed and implemented communication plans with the World Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) Association in France, conducted an impact study on the effectiveness of participatory frameworks within waste management programs in rural India, managed communications for the Relaunch of the International Association for National Youth Service in France and served as C4D Specialist on a UN Climate Adaptation and Resilience project in Upper Guinea.
May 27, 2021
#12: I'm an "independent consultant" - but what should my job title be?
Consultant, freelancer, facilitator, small business owner, contractor - all these terms carry different meanings. How do your fellow ICHubbers define themselves? In the previous episode of the Impact Consulting Podcast, we took a theoretical approach to define the term 'consultant'. Did you miss it? Check it out here. It's one thing to know the definition and entirely another to know which term to use in the real world. Why? Well, all of these terms carry different connotations, both positive and negative. For example, telling someone you are a 'freelancer' brings different images to mind than saying you're a 'consultant'. Additionally, the context can greatly influence your choice of label. The international development sector is more familiar with consultants, while social enterprises might be more accustomed to working with freelancers. With so many different considerations, many ICHubbers have trouble choosing the perfect term to define themselves. In this episode, we explain why we've chosen the terms that we use (spoiler alert, the perfect term doesn't exist and often, the choice of term is context-specific). We also put the question to ICHubbers! Nancy Beryl Okiri, Barbara Joannon, Jennifer Ruthe, Gabriella Mikiewicz, Luciana Capuano Mascarenhas, and Magdalena Mactas share their insights. If you've ever struggled to give yourself a label, this is the episode for you!
May 12, 2021
#11: What the heck is a social impact consultant?
Hello and welcome to the Impact Consulting Podcast! Today, we're talking all about what we and other IC-Hubbers mean when we say we're "consultants". The dictionary defines "consultant" as, "A person who provides expert advice professionally." ... Which is not terribly different from the way we define ourselves. But we also know that the definition has been stretched and expanded in the international development and social impact spaces. It can now refer to anyone who is contracted as a self-employed worker by an organisation. It can also refer to "contractors" and workers who are nominally freelancing but in reality work for one client, nine-to-five, with a fixed place of work (we're looking at you, UN agencies!). We talk through these different meanings and what we mean by the term. We're also delighted to share with you what some of our IC-Hubbers think and what they call themselves. Thank you for tuning in and look out for the next episode about how you should describe your position and services as an independent social impact professional! Useful links Impact Consulting Hub Where to listen to the IC-Podcast Listening on the go? Click here to find the podcast on other platforms (including Spotify and Apple Podcasts)!
April 28, 2021
#10: Hannah's journey: How to leverage a staff position to create a runway to consulting success
Hello and welcome to another episode of the Impact Consulting Podcast, a show that shares insights into the world of consulting in the international development and social impact spaces. Today I’m joined by Hannah Plumb, who shares her journey as an independent consultant who specialises in labour migration, responsible recruitment and human rights. About Hannah Hannah began her career with the Australian Government where she worked on a variety of human rights policy issues and Australia’s regional aid programme. In 2015, Hannah moved to Vietnam to work for the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Hannah later moved to IOM’s headquarters in Geneva where she worked on a global project dedicated to promoting the responsible recruitment of migrant workers. Hannah led IOM’s capacity-building efforts and developed a variety of tools, resources and training programmes on responsible recruitment for labour recruiters, employers, brands and IOM staff. Hannah's freelancing journey Hannah’s freelance journey began about 16 months ago when she moved back to her hometown, Adelaide. While she mostly works independently, Hannah is also a member of the Research and Communications Group, which is a small, specialised consultancy company committed to improving social development outcomes. When she’s not working, Hannah lives up to the stereotypical image of Australians, and can be found at her local beach (something that I was very jealous about whilst recording this from rainy Britain). Hannah’s done a fantastic job of transitioning from an in-house role to the world of consulting back in her home country. We talk about: How to leverage that in-house position to create a runway from which to take off as a new freelancer. How consulting realities compare with initial expectations. How to set fees. How to diversify one’s clientele (since many of her projects have come from her previous employer). How to deal with the isolation of freelancing. Working with an alliance of freelancers, the Research and Communications Group. What was most important to Hannah when she was a "client" selecting consultants. If you’re interested in learning from consultants like Hannah, you’re more than welcome to join us at the IC-Hub. Without further ado, thank you so much for listening and we hope you enjoy the show. Useful links: Connect with Hannah on LinkedIn Research and Communications Group Impact Consulting Hub Where to listen to the IC-Podcast
April 14, 2021
#9: Katrina's journey: Spending more time doing what she loves
In this episode, Molly interviews Katrina Sanyal, who describes her freelancing journey and her decision to operate under the brand name, Uncharted Territory Consulting. We cover a wide range of issues that freelancers face, including: How to use experiential marketing and personal recommendations to kickstart sales. The pitfalls of over-planning and perfectionism. How to navigate the transition from a job to working fully independently. This episode is especially useful for you creative people out there who are looking to build a consultancy that aligns with your values and that allows you to spend more time doing what you love. “Done is better than perfect.” — Sheryl Sandberg About Katrina: Katrina is a storyteller, facilitator, and artist based in India and the US, and the founder of Uncharted Territory Consulting. She has performed globally in India, South Africa, Thailand, Japan, and the United States. As a facilitator, Katrina has worked with diverse communities around the world including entrepreneurs, social sector leaders, students, teachers, immigrants, and domestic violence survivors. Over the past 10 years, she has held leadership positions in international and study abroad education at Princeton University’s Bridge Year Program, and Kodaikanal International School. She has also served on the leadership team of the American India Foundation (AIF) and directed the AIF Clinton Fellowship for three years. Through her storytelling work, she helps individuals, communities, and companies navigate the possibility and potential of the unknown through story. The philosophy of her work is that stories are what connect us, and storytelling empowers us to lead more meaningful lives. Useful links: To join an upcoming performance or workshop: Instagram: Facebook: Website:
March 31, 2021
#8: Paddy's journey: Dipping in/out of freelancing and the consulting-parenting nexus
Hello and welcome back to the Impact Consulting Podcast, with me your host Loksan Harley. Today we have my friend and IC-Hub member, Paddy Siyanga Knudsen, with us to talk us through her many years dipping in and out of freelancing  throughout her career as a development economist and migration specialist. About Paddy Paddy Siyanga Knudsen, originally from Zambia, has over 16 years of professional experience as a Development Economist and Migration expert. Her work covers migration governance, regional integration and public finance management. Her experience spans supporting NGOs, governments, Regional Economic Communities, and UN agencies in programme formulation, implementation as well as monitoring and evaluation. She has lived and worked (often as a freelancer) in Zambia, Tanzania, China, Malaysia and with countless missions to many other countries. She is currently based in Kosovo and exploring new areas of work in the Balkans and Europe. She is also the co-founder of PFM Enthusiasts and serves on the advisory boards of Public Finance by Women and the Global Research Forum for Diaspora and Transnationalism (GRFDT). Finally, Paddy is mother of two children - two adorable children as I can testify. Paddy has been freelancing on and off for a while now in various parts of Africa, Asia, and now from Kosovo. And I’m always blown away by the number of projects - both consulting projects and voluntary or self-started initiatives - that Paddy has on-the-go at any one time, as well as her commitment to continuously developing her skills. What we talk about In our wide-ranging conversation, we cover many topics that are so important to freelancers like us, such as: How to have multiple specialisms (Paddy being a development economist and specialist in public financial management and migration). The differences between contractors and independent consultants. The various ways that Paddy generates consulting work. The challenges and opportunities of combining freelancing with parenting. If you’ve enjoyed hearing Paddy’s journey and want to connect with her and likeminded freelance consultants, you’re more than welcome to join us here at the IC-Hub. Without further ado, thanks for tuning in and we hope you enjoy the show. Useful links: Connect with Paddy on LinkedIn Follow Paddy on Twitter IC-Podcast #5 with Sophie Zinser (where we also talk about having multiple specialisms as a freelancer) Impact Consulting Hub Where to listen to the IC-Podcast
March 17, 2021
#7: Caroline's journey: Using freelancing to maximise personal impact in the humanitarian space
Hello and welcome to another episode of the Impact Consulting Podcast, with me your host Loksan Harley. Today I’m joined by Caroline Paoli who shares her impact consulting journey. Caroline Paoli is a humanitarian professional with over ten years of experience in NGO headquarters as well as in the field, in human resources management and operational coordination. She is an investigator, trainer and consultant in safeguarding and prevention of sexual and gender-based violence. She works with local and international NGOs. After completing her studies in human resources management at a French business school, Caroline worked mostly in HR for the first part of her career. From 2014 to 2018 she then managed operational teams in the field as a project manager and field coordinator for a humanitarian organisation in Jordan, Iraq and Yemen. As a manager, she had to deal with complex and sensitive situations, including cases of power abuse and sexual violence. Transitioning from humanitarian staffer to freelancing Two years ago, she decided to switch to supporting organizations as a consultant as she felt that it would better enable her to participate in improving practices in the humanitarian sector. She first collaborated with an HR consulting firm specialised in delivering services to NGOs, and more recently decided to venture out on her own and specialise in safeguarding and prevention of sexual and gender-based violence. She created CaPa Solutions for tjhis purpose in 2019, which supports humanitarian organizations in the development and improvement of their safeguarding tools and practices (PSEAH policy, investigation guidelines, staff awareness module…), and in the management of internal investigations. She is also a trainer at IFAID and Bioforce institutes in France. Consulting opportunities & challenges and dealing with the "imposter syndrome" I really enjoyed interviewing Caroline and I think Caroline also found it useful to reflect on her consulting journey, the challenges that she’s overcome so brilliantly, and the opportunities that she’s seized. We talk about how she transitioned from a large humanitarian organisation to the freelancing world, some of her likes and dislikes about freelancing, how she is addressing challenges like independent working, how she prices her work, and how she’s addressed issues like the “imposter syndrome” that so many of us freelancers go experience. Useful links: Connect with Caroline on LinkedIn Humanitarian Women's Network (Facebook group)
March 04, 2021
#6: Anjali's journey - positioning herself to pivot into new opportunities
In this episode, Molly is joined by Anjali Balakrishna to share her consulting journey. Specifically, we discuss: Her unique consulting model which combines three long-term, indefinite contract part-time roles. How she positions herself for new roles by identifying what skills she has, what she likes to do, and what skills she is committed to learning. Then, she highlights the cross-cutting themes that set her apart. She also works as a Project Manager for Black Fox Philanthropy, a boutique development consultancy, and shares tips on what she looks for when hiring expert consultants. About Anjali: Anjali is a strategist and designer that loves to explore big ideas, find solutions, and build teams and systems to execute on them. As a person and a professional, Anjali is on a mission to build a more sustainable and equitable world where humanity and nature can thrive together. Anjali is currently splitting her time working as the Program Director of COVID Collaborative, a national assembly of the nation’s leading experts in public health, education and the economy working to support state and local leaders and vulnerable communities in tackling the COVID-19 crisis, and as the Project Manager for Black Fox Philanthropy, a fundraising consulting firm serving diverse NGO clients across the country and around the world. She is also proudly supporting her parents by managing their education business when it went virtual during COVID. Prior to taking on these roles, Anjali spent 10 months in India serving as the Chief of Staff for Frontier Markets, a social enterprise focused on empowering rural communities and rural women through a facilitated e-commerce model. Her time in India was sponsored through the American India Foundation William J. Clinton Fellowship for Service in India, which places social sector professionals with organizations to support capacity building initiatives. Before India, Anjali served as the Vice President of Innovation at The Future Project, a New York-based education non-profit, where she oversaw the organization’s program design and development efforts. She is thrilled to be part of the Black Fox Philanthropy team, where she brings together her for-profit and non-profit experiences building a strong, impact-oriented business that can fortify NGOs around the world. Anjali holds a BA in American Studies with Distinction from Yale University, where she studied the role civic institutions—such as schools—played in shaping the American cultural experience. She currently lives in Nashville, TN with her partner and boisterous husky shepherd mix, Sidney. Links COVID Collaborative Black Fox Philanthropy Contact Info email: balakrishna.anjali [at] gmail [dot] com LinkedIn:
February 17, 2021
#5: Sophie’s journey: Generating consultancy work through writing & being firm but fair with clients
Hello, and you’re listening to another episode of the Impact Consulting Podcast with me your host, Loksan Harley. Today I’m joined by Sophie Zinser to share her freelance consulting journey. Sophie Zinser is a policy analyst and consultant focusing on forced labour and China's role in the Middle East, South and Central Asia. She has worked with refugees and migrants on developing community-focused policy solutions for five years across the Middle East and Asia. A 2018 Fulbright Research Fellow, 2020 Schwarzman Scholar in Beijing, and incoming Chatham House Fellow in London, Sophie is currently consulting in Hong Kong. I had a great chat with Sophie whose experience gives us some particularly useful lessons learned for how young professionals can get started in consulting. We talk about: How Sophie combines her research background with her in-field life experiences and linguistic skills to maintain both a geographic specialism in China-Middle East relations and a thematic specialism in migration and forced labour. How she uses writing (especially opinion editorials) to build her profile and generate business. Sophie's networking tips and how she and I connected by LinkedIn, which is a curious story and ideal example of how freelancers should network. If you’ve enjoyed listening to Sophie and feel inspired to learn more about freelancing, feel free to join us here at the IC-Hub, where we offer free advice and a community of mutual support and networking to future, new and existing freelance consultants in the social impact and international development spaces. Without further ado, thank you so much for listening and we hope you enjoy the show. Useful links: Connect with Sophie on LinkedIn Follow Sophie on Twitter Impact Consulting Hub Where to listen to the IC-Podcast
February 03, 2021
#4: Jen's journey as a charity copywriter - wearing the many hats of a freelancer
Hi, this is Molly. Last year, I attended a Bond conference in London and sat down at a random table. You never know who you're going to meet at these conferences, but this time, I won the jackpot. I found myself chatting with Jennifer Ruthe, who has an impressive track record helping social impact organisations present their stories to gain support, inspire action, and get funding. Since that fateful conference, we've kept in touch, sharing experiences about freelancing and the social impact sector. We even launched a series of articles to help social impact organisations raise funds, Step change: a roadmap for new fundraisers. Jen has a remarkable way with words, and I'm continually impressed with her flair for communicating in a fun, digestible way. For my first-ever episode as an interviewer on the Impact Consulting Podcast, I'm speaking with Jen, a senior professional turned charity copywriter and fundraising specialist. Jen began her career as a trust fundraiser. As the years progressed, she broadened her experience and worked on community, individual and corporate giving. She went freelance just over a year ago when she moved to Brussels with her husband (and cat). She loves her job and is always happy to share her skills and experience with others. In this podcast, we cover Jen's journey, her reasons for making the switch to freelancing, and the pros and cons. She openly and honestly addresses the self-doubt that nags at many of us and shares some tips about reframing your mindset to tackle insecurities to make the most of your freelancing career. Useful links: Jen's website Jen's LinkedIn Step change: a roadmap for new fundraisers article series
January 20, 2021
#3: Our 2020 consulting in review and 2021 in preview; and how to set your consulting goals
Hello and welcome to a very special episode of the Impact Consulting Podcast. Today we’re both looking back at 2020 and looking ahead to 2021. Starting with 2020 in review, we discuss how this crazy COVID year has gone for us, including how the pandemic affected our work, as well as our consulting achievements and lessons learned. We talk about the importance of planning for freelance consultants as well, including how we develop our annual plans and how it can help keep you focused. Fundamentally, for us this process involves: Brainstorming things you want to achieve in the next year and considering what success in the next year means to you. Whittling down those ideas into 1-5 key objectives (the fewer, the better). Working backwards to develop clear and specific actions that are required to meet the objectives. After that, it’s up to you to make sure you keep accountable to those objectives and focus most of your time on doing things that contribute to achieving them. Accountability is a critical component to this, so if that’s something you have trouble with, why not reach out to the IC-Hub through the Google or Facebook groups to find someone whom you can work with to regularly check in on each other’s goals. I personally work with a business coach to do this on a quarterly basis. Finally, we go through our 2021 plans, both of which share some similarities while being uniquely tailored to our own situations and stages in the consulting journey (Molly in her second year of consulting and Loksan in his eighth). And we close with some non-consulting hopes for the new year as well. Anyway, have a listen and let us know via the Google Group how you plan ahead (or perhaps why don’t feel the need to do so) and what’s in your 2021 plans? Useful links: Martin Vera, business coach: Pat Flynn email marketing: Mail Chimp: Convert Kit: Let us accelerate your consulting journey:
December 29, 2020
#2: Molly’s journey as a freelance fundraising specialist - "not a natural freelancer"
Hello and welcome to another episode of the Impact Consulting Podcast, a podcast where we share stories and advice about how to make it as a freelance consultant in the social impact and international development space. Today I was delighted to interview Molly Morrison about her journey as a freelance fundraising and partnership specialist. So a bit about Molly: many of you already know her as co-founder of the Impact Consulting Hub, but most of her days are spent as an independent consultant specialised in fundraising, project development, donor relations, and delivering capacity-building for field staff. With over eight years of experience in the international development sector across Africa, Asia, and Europe, she’s gained an in-depth understanding of the funding ecosystem and she is passionate about connecting resources to create impact. As you’ll hear, she works with social impact organisations of every size and at every level of maturity, from large international NGOs to small grassroots organisations. Her services help organisations navigate donor requirements, position themselves in a competitive market, and build partnerships that ensure resources are utilised to drive meaningful change. After freelancing on-and-off, including as a side hustle, for several years, Molly started freelancing full time in September last year. I’ve been extremely impressed to see her consulting career blossom and in this episode, Molly takes us on that journey. She talks candidly about some of the challenges she faced, particularly as someone who isn’t the natural networker or salesperson, and walks us through how she overcame those challenges and got her first clients. There’s a lot to get through, so without further ado, we hope you enjoy the interview! Useful links About Molly: Connect with Molly on LinkedIn: Let us accelerate your consulting journey: 
December 08, 2020
#1: What is the Impact Consulting Hub and how can it help your freelance impact consulting career?
We’re delighted to launch the Impact Consulting Podcast! In the coming months, we’re going to be using the podcast to share stories and advice, and answer questions from YOU about freelance consulting in the social impact and international development space. The first episode is a recording of the first meetup we had live with IC-Hub members a few weeks back. And the second episode is an interview with IC-Hub co-founder, Molly Morrison, where she talks us through how she became a freelance fundraising specialist. We’ll be sharing all the episodes on the IC-Hub blog, so subscribe if you haven’t already. Thank you very much for tuning in and we hope you find it useful. Useful links: - What is the Impact Consulting Hub and how can it help your freelance impact consulting career? - Impact Consulting Hub:
December 08, 2020