Request for Proposals Chicago Abortion Fund Strategic Planning Consultant Deadline for Submission: March 8, 2020
Purpose: The purpose of this Request for Proposal (RFP) is to solicit proposals from consultants experienced in strategic planning to help support the completion of the Chicago Abortion Fund’s Board of Directors and staff strategic planning process.
Specifically, Chicago Abortion Fund is seeking a consultant to provide the following services:
Work with the Board of Directors and staff, to articulate a clear strategic plan for CAF for fiscal years 2021-2025, using previous strategic planning materials. This plan should identify specific fundraising, grantmaking, communication, and programming objectives for the organization to pursue over the next 3-5 years in concert with its current mission and vision.
Develop a timetable of implementation with specific measurable benchmarks, objectives and tasks to be accomplished to achieve goals. Identify clear, measurable outcomes for how to measure organizational and strategic effectiveness, impact, and success.
Establish a framework and process for the organization’s leadership to effectively implement the strategic plan and monitor progress toward achievement of goals and objectives.
Facilitate the one-day meeting and provide leadership, direction and expert consultation and advice related to the implementation of an effective strategic plan.
Deliverable should be a clear, accessible, strategic planning timeline, implementation and evaluation methodology.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: The Chicago Abortion Fund (CAF) is uniquely situated as a frontline resource for people facing barriers to access abortions. For 35 years, we have provided assistance that our grantees need urgently to be able to get abortions they otherwise would not be able to afford or access. This directly responds to a need that is widely felt in reproductive rights and health movements: more access to and potential to mobilize the people most impacted. In FY20, CAF will grant over $150,000 in funding to those seeking abortion care. In 2019, CAF supported over 800 individuals, a four-fold increase over the prior year.
The Chicago Abortion Fund is a model for an organization that has centered the leadership of communities most impacted by restrictions on abortions, especially people of color who face economic insecurity. CAF, with a staff and board leadership that reflects communities most impacted, is able to create vital, culturally responsive spaces that are important alternatives to dominant narratives and institutions that all too often undermine the power of people to control their own bodies.
MANAGEMENT ISSUES TO BE ADDRESSED/SCOPE OF WORK: CAF is at an interesting point in its organizational growth having recently changed its mission and vision. In 2013, we started an internal strategic planning process focused on exploring deep questions about what the mission, role, and reproductive justice work of CAF should be. While that process was placed on hold to begin our succession planning, we found the strategic planning process, and the roadmap it created, to be a productive way to focus the board and staff on the tangible needs of the organization at that time.
In 2018, we had two additional robust strategic planning sessions, one of which was with the support of a consultant. The objective for the first plan was how to fully capture our programmatic reproductive justice work into our organization and mission without alienating our long running and successful direct service programming. Having successfully achieved that first objective, we are now focused on creating a plan for how to build on that work, and develop a sustainable financial, programmatic, staffing, and board model to ensure that this organization has sustainable success now and into the future. We look forward to building upon the strategic planning work we’ve done thus far and concluding our three to five-year strategic plan.
In developing the 2021-2025 plan, the applicant selected for this project will be expected to:
Facilitate a one-day working session with the Board of Directors and staff to review strategic planning analyses completed to date; and,
Drive the development of a final strategic plan that provides CAF with clear objectives and action steps that lead to achieving organizational goals. The strategic plan will also include information on effectively monitoring progress and how and when the agency should reassess goals, objectives, and action steps to make sure that they are still relevant and reflect any environmental changes that may impact CAF’s ability to implement the plan.
Specific areas that need to be addressed in the creation of a three to five-year strategic plan include, but may not be limited to:
An environmental scan that examines internal and external opportunities and perceptions impacting the organization’s ability to achieve its mission.
A thorough assessment of infrastructure needs including, but not limited to programming, technology, staff capacity, branding, communications, and financial resources.
The development of a sustainable financial and programmatic model to achieve goals that include greater donor engagement and expanding funding sources.
The proposal will provide an executive summary of the work that will be performed by the consultant and a detailed work breakdown structure with timelines of the steps that will be taken to develop a strategic plan.
REQUIREMENTS: 1. CAF is seeking proposals from applicants who are capable of addressing all of the above stated management issues and who can provide additional expertise to help the organization and the community it serves, achieve a successful project outcome.
2. While CAF understands that completing this project requires significant and active Board and staff involvement, it is important to note that the applicant selected will be responsible for completing all project work products and final deliverables (e.g. writing organizational assessments, writing the actual strategic plan, etc). However, the staff and specific board members will be able to provide support in writing work project products or final project deliverables.
3. Applicants are to propose which aspects of the project will require Board and/or staff involvement and include the expected time requirements for all activities involving their participation.
4. Proposals must include a clear description of the applicant’s plan to complete all of the project components (i.e. in what order will the projects be completed, how long each component will take to complete, etc.). 5. Applicants must include in their project timelines “check-in” points for CAF to be provided with project status updates. As work products/deliverables are completed prior to the established check-in points, applicants will be required to send CAF these materials to facilitate the status update meetings and/or conference calls. The successful applicant will be responsible for setting up the check-in meetings/calls, preparing an agenda for each meeting/call, sending out meeting invites, and writing meeting minutes.
6. In addition to the check-in meetings and/or conference calls, the applicant will be expected to present a status update on their preliminary findings and recommendations prior to writing the final project deliverables and strategic plan.
7. CAF will be responsible for implementing the recommendations from all final deliverables
8. It is expected that the total cost for this project will not exceed $6,000, not including any travel expenses incurred by the consultant. Expenses for travel must be approved by CAF in advance.
Proposal Released: February 24, 2020 Proposals Due: March 8, 2020 Consultant Interviews:March 16-18, 2020 Consultant Selection March 20, 2020 Consultant Work BeginsMarch 23, 2020 Strategic Planning RetreatMay 1, 2020 Strategic Plan Complete no later than June 15, 2020
In awarding a contract for consulting services to develop a three to five-year strategic plan for the organization, CAF will examine the following factors and criteria:
1. The extent to which the proposal addresses the stated management issues and clearly describes the scope of work;
2. Specific plans or methodology to be used to perform the services;
3. Qualifications and experience of consultant in providing strategic planning development;
4. Availability for work to be conducted March through June with a draft strategic plan presented to the CAF board no later than at their June 2020 board meeting; and
5. Project cost.
APPLICATION PROCESS & PROCEDURES:
Please provide a complete written response to this RFP. Proposal should be double-spaced, should not exceed five, single-sided pages, and include:
1. A brief Executive Summary.
2. A description of the applicant’s general approach to strategic planning consultation, including methodology, perspective, and/or guiding philosophy.
3. A list of project deliverables to be created with a detailed timeline for each deliverable and overall process.
4. A detailed budget that outlines expenses.
5. Credentials and qualifications of key personnel who will take responsibility for working directly on this project, including three references.
6. Example(s) of a finished strategic plan created by your company.
Applicants must submit one electronic copy of the proposal. Please note that CAF will not return any proposals it receives and will not reimburse applicants for any costs they incur in developing their proposals.
Send completed proposals by March 8, 2020 to Chitra Panjabi at email@example.com. Please contact Chitra if you have any questions or items for clarification.