REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS Strategic Visioning & Planning Facilitator

Center for an Agricultural Economy is requesting proposals for the design and execution of a strategic visioning and comprehensive planning process. We are seeking a strong facilitator with deep experience guiding the successful development of consensus-based strategic plans. Applicants must demonstrate knowledge of non-profit organizational development, impact evaluation and accountability metrics, and approaches that center equity and anti-racist principles.

ABOUT CAE

CAE is a non-profit organization based in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. Through programs that support food access, farm viability, and working landscapes, CAE is transforming the food system by promoting local foods and the people who produce them. 

The past 2.5 years have been a period of growth and evolution for CAE. We see this is a critical time to evaluate and affirm the alignment of our mission and goals, and set a trajectory for the future. We’re seeking a skilled organizational facilitator to lead the development of a strategic plan that will set the direction of our work for the next 3 years. 

SCOPE OF WORK

CAE envisions this work unfolding in stages resembling those roughly outlined below. However, the consultant will craft a detailed plan for an effective process to successfully develop an actionable strategic plan. The consultant will act as the facilitator for this process, with participation and leadership from CAE board and staff. 

Task 1: Project Initiation and Scheduling

Work together with Financial Manager, in consultation with Executive Director, to set the intentions and expectations for the planning process. Develop a comprehensive understanding of the goals and timelines, roles/responsibilities, lines of communication. Finalize contractual arrangements. Identify:

  • Objectives and desired outcomes
  • Team composition and working relationships
  • Strategic planning workshop format
  • Schedule and logistics
  • Opportunities and challenges

Task 2: Research & Planning

Conduct a deep dive review of CAE’s 2017 Theory of Change process and materials; understand the organizational conversations and context that have led to this step. Develop detailed workshop outline and agenda, facilitation tools, and workshop materials. 

Task 3: Workshop Delivery

Facilitate the development of an organizational strategic plan through an inclusive process that engages members of both staff and board. Facilitate discussions that stimulate thoughtful engagement, collaborative analysis, and move the group to consensus around the key mission imperatives that will be the blueprint to guide the organization’s work for the next 3 years. 

Specifically, reaffirm the intent of the Theory of Change. Then, grounded in that shared collective vision, guide the group in the establishment of workplan goals, measurable objectives, critical tasks, and timelines.

Task 4. Impact Measurement

Work with the Financial Manager, in consultation with the Executive Director, to develop performance impact benchmarks and accountability measures to ensure that CAE is responsive to its mission/vision, community, and stated plan. 

Task 5. Strategic Plan

Compile the results and products of the various work sessions into an actionable 3 year strategic plan, including recommendations for the plan’s implementation and support structure. The final comprehensive plan should identify:

  • Shared vision
  • Goals
  • Objectives
  • Strategies & tactics
  • Responsible partners and their roles
  • Measures
  • Outcomes
  • Initial communications strategies (Key messages? Target audiences? How are the messages delivered and by whom?)

PROPOSALS

Please include/address in your proposal:

  • Your approach to strategic planning and a summary of your related experience
  • Three client references
  • Suggested project timeline with major tasks and milestones
  • Project budget by line item
  • Example(s) of similar project plans/products

Proposals should be submitted to jobs@hardwickagriculture.org with the keywords “Strategic Planning” included in the subject line. The deadline for submissions is May 7, 2021.