Buy one, fund one

Develop new voices. Welcome everyone. Expand the industry.

One of our fundamental principles is mutuality: treating others the way we like to be treated. It’s one of the values that we ask our members to embrace.

One way we embody mutuality is by supporting new ways to invite fresh ideas and diverse voices into our community.

Every time someone signs up and pays their membership fees, they are making a contribution towards funding someone else, whose personal circumstances would otherwise preclude them from benefiting from the same level of support.

We call it Buy One, Fund One and it’s central to what we’re doing with The Consultancy Business.

Consultancy should be open to all

Many people have the unique outlook, life experience, personality, and set of skills required to build a consultancy nobody else can.

But the potential for a stellar career can be limited by life or economic circumstances. They may not even consider consultancy (or developing consulting skills for use in other contexts) an option.

These factors rob those individuals of what could be a rewarding skill set, and deny the consulting sector valuable insight and knowledge.

We want to change that. And this is how we’re going to do it.

Diverse voices

Buy One, Fund One allows us to help develop the consulting skills of people from a wide range of backgrounds.

This enriches the industry as a whole, and opens up exciting options for people who might have felt excluded from entering the consultancy business, or even consulting alongside other pursuits, due to economic or life circumstances.

These might be people from disadvantaged backgrounds or marginalised communities. They might be parents returning to the workplace after a long career break caring for family. Or they could be people with a wider variety of educational or career histories, such as heads of small charities, those from public sector backgrounds, career changers or social enterprise start-ups.

You contribute, we contribute

A small portion of every membership fee payment goes towards supporting someone in our Buy One, Fund One initiative.

The bulk of the cost is shouldered by us, and we also work with carefully selected partner organisations to reach and select the people who would benefit most from this activity.

This sounds like me. How do I benefit?

We’d love to hear from you if you think you’d qualify for membership via this route. Drop us a line with a bit about you, your consultancy and your background, and we’ll take it from there. We’ll ask you to apply, and your application will need to be approved — just like everyone else.

We will likely administer a waiting list to ensure that the Buy One, Fund One initiative keeps pace with fee-paying members. We’ll keep you informed if there’s likely to be any major delays in welcoming you to our community. We’re working hard to ensure that this won’t be the case.


Next impact report due: June 2024

Next impact report due: June 2024

Next impact report due: June 2024

Next impact report due: June 2024

Next impact report due: June 2024

Next impact report due: June 2024

Next impact report due: June 2024

Common questions

Why are you doing this?

The world is full of people who have genuine and unique insight and knowledge to offer. No one has had the career, the life experience or the opportunity to develop the same perspective as anyone else. In the context of consultancy, this suggests that almost limitless untapped potential exists out there, in communities of all kinds.

But, while received wisdom is that the barriers to entry in consulting are generally low, for some groups they are higher than others. Social and economic circumstances can make it hard — often impossible — for people to find a way into the industry or make consulting skills stick.

Who is working to change this? Not the government — meaningful assistance is notable only by its absence. Not independent consultancies — they are often (understandably) busy fitting their own oxygen masks. Not big consulting — their CSR initiatives might be well-intentioned but ultimately seek to support a broken model. Elsewhere, support is patchy and expensive.

Nothing changes if nothing changes. So we've decided to make The Consultancy Business a business of change.

Our promise is to do everything we can to nurture independent consulting skills amongst people who might not otherwise have been able to access them — then watch them fly.

What sort of people will benefit?

We are supporting people whose professional (and personal) circumstances might be transformed by consulting skills, but who for any number of legitimate reasons are unable to fund this support for themselves.

These folks will be people with deep knowledge about a particular subject — but they might also happen to be members of community groups for whom the consulting industry has felt like a closed door or glass ceiling. They might be leaders of small charities or NFPs. Or they might have found themselves at a life crossroads and in challenging financial circumstances.

We want and expect our membership community to hold us to account about who is benefiting from this initiative — and will be publishing twice-yearly updates about our social impact to enable this.

How will you ensure that this system isn’t abused?

Potential members entering via this route will be subject to the same application process as any other member. They will be asked to agree to our Community Guidelines and we will affirm that they are aligned with our values.

What does Buy One, Fund One mean?

Exactly what it says. Sign up as a Resources member, and someone who needs it will get access to all our content. Sign up as a Community member, and someone who needs it will be given the opportunity to join a mentoring group.

Will the experience be different for these members?

No, absolutely not. Everyone in our community will receive the same quality of support. We may, for example, set up specific discussion boards or mentoring groups that address unique aspects of these members’ needs and experiences. We will also monitor our Community Circles for competitive conflict, and to ensure that everyone participating is at a similar level of understanding.

In reality, though, this is no different to what we’ll do with all of our members: ensure that you get the best and most targeted support possible.

Buy One, Fund One members won’t be identifiable within the community. Your Community Circle, discussion board or in-person retreat might contain one or more Buy One, Fund One members, or it might not. The idea is that everyone rubs along together, adding to and benefiting from the community as a whole.

What if I don't want to pay for this?

Mutuality and reciprocity are both central principles to us here at The Consultancy Business. We ask every prospective member to check that their values align with ours and ask them to abide by our Community Guidelines. Buy One, Fund One is a central part of how we express our values as a business.

Only a small portion of member subscriptions are directly funding sponsorship of people whose circumstances make it difficult. Our people are also dedicating significant time and sacrificing some of their own earning potential to make this possible.

However, if you object to contributing in this way, you are welcome to find another community to join.