Request for Proposals: Strategic Fund Development Consultant
50 Valley Street
Providence, RI 02909-2459
Phone (401) 444.0600
Fax (401) 444.0635
Request for Proposals:
Strategic Fund Development Consultant
Introduction: Rhode Island’s leading companies, individuals, nonprofits, and unions invest in United Way of Rhode Island to make ours a community where every person in each community has an equal opportunity for justice and prosperity. Through Live United 2025 we are uniting our community and resources to build racial equity and opportunities for all. We’re proud to partner with foundations, individual and family donors, companies and organizations across the state to support our mission and their social responsibility focus.
As we take on the bold goals outlined in Live United 2025 and plan for our 100th anniversary in 2026, we’re looking to engage partners in long-term investments that will make a difference for generations to come. Whether investing in programs that engage the community in this work, or capacity building work that leads to
future impact, we have room for everyone at our table.
Why partner with United Way of Rhode Island?
Our legacy of proven results and our vision for a stronger Rhode Island makes us a formidable partner
We believe that building strong communities requires supporting leaders of color and addressing structural inequities
We value active engagement as a transformative driver of community success.
We know that attracting and retaining top talent is a critical priority for Rhode Island nonprofits and that it is necessary to support emerging leaders to create a social impact talent pipeline.
United Way of Rhode Island is increasingly focused on diversifying our revenue sources and updating our fundraising practices. Following several years of decline in our cornerstone fundraising program based on workplace giving campaigns, we have developed new strategies and engagements to deepen the culture of philanthropy in Rhode Island, but we need to go further.
Through this Request for Proposals (RFP), United Way seeks a Fund Development Consultant to support the development of a comprehensive fund development plan that will advance our work over the next 4-5 years. The successful consultant will work with board members, senior management, and other key staff towards the
development of a fundraising strategy to diversify sources of funds and develop new partnerships. The plan will explore and develop new strategies across the enterprise ensuring a comprehensive development plan that engages every stakeholder in our success.
Simultaneously to the creation of a comprehensive fund development strategy, United Way of Rhode Island would like to conduct a feasibility study to investigate and determine the scale, scope and general outlines of a 100th Anniversary campaign.
The selected consultant(s) will work with United Way key staff and community stakeholders to analyze specific opportunities and strengths of the United Way fundraising brand in Rhode Island. United Way is looking for support and guidance to evolve a deeply tenured and highly successful legacy fundraising strategy into a bold, modern, comprehensive and equitable one that will build towards our 100th Anniversary in 2026.
The new comprehensive fundraising strategy should consider opportunities across the organization including our community impact and operations teams as rich sources of information, collaboration, and relationships. The strategy should consider public, private, and individual opportunities for new fundraising strategies and partnerships.
Concurrent to the creation of a comprehensive fund development strategy, we would like to conduct a feasibility study to determine how much capital can realistically be raised from all sectors and sources, and in what duration of time as part of a 100th Anniversary Campaign. The study shall identify potential strategies and
infrastructure needed for next steps.
Finally, United Way of Rhode Island is deeply committed to racial equity and justice in our communities. Our new fundraising strategy needs to incorporate inclusive fundraising practices with considerations that avoid reinforcing historical inequities around wealth, access, and power.
Submission of Proposals
Please submit proposals to: Brooke Havens
Proposals are due by: April 15th
All questions pertaining to this proposal must be made via email to Brooke Havens.
Proposal Timeline and Evaluation
United Way intends to follow the below timeline for review and award of this solicitation:
o Submission Deadline: April 15th
o Review of Proposals: Last 2 weeks of April
o Work to begin: By mid-May
In order for United Way to conduct the most efficient proposal evaluation, bidders are required to include the following information in their proposals:
1. Bidders may apply for 1 or both of the detailed work scopes below – Comprehensive Strategy and/or Feasibility Study. Please clearly indicate which scope you are applying for.
2. Contact & Experience – Detailed contact information and bidder’s experience, including notable work related to nonprofit fundraising.
3. Price Schedule – A description of the bidder’s price schedule – daily or hourly rates.
4. Capability Statement – A detailed response to the service/specifications requested. Please include a recommended timeline for completion of the work.
5. Bidder’s References – A list of three references for whom you have provided similar consulting services over the past two years. For each reference, please include the name of the organization and the name, title, email address, and telephone number of your primary contact.
6. A sample analysis or report resulting from another similar type of engagement.
7. A copy of you and/or your firm’s public statement regarding Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice as well as an overview on how you are living the values illustrated in your statement.
Required Services / Specifications
Detailed Scope of Work: Comprehensive Fund Development Strategy
A. Assess United Way’s current fundraising program, board and staff expectations, current capacity and environmental context for fundraising utilizing past documents and plans and limited interviews.
1. Identify strengths and weaknesses of existing fundraising efforts and infrastructure to determine areas for improvement and development.
2. Assess the opportunities and threats external to the organization as well as the agency readiness that will inform the fundraising plan to ensure its success.
B. In partnership with United Way staff, develop a comprehensive multi-year fund development plan and implementation strategy to build a fundraising program that generates new revenue streams and realistic projections that that are in alignment with United Way’s mission/vision/values and goals as outlined in Live United 2025 and looking towards our 100th Anniversary Celebration in 2026.
1. Develop a comprehensive fundraising plan with strategies to increase United Way’s fundraising efforts from (i) individuals (ii) corporations and (ii) private foundations
2. Engage across the enterprise to include support and inputs from other business lines including community impact and operations.
3. Incorporate inclusive fundraising practices that support racial equity and mitigate historical power dynamics around philanthropy.
C. Provide and present the fundraising plan to the senior management team, key United Way staff, the Resource & Engagement Committee, and later to the board of directors and community advisory board.
D. Support initiation of the new plan in conjunction with United Way leadership for a period to:
1. Identify and research new high-potential donors that may align with the plan
2. Test out strategies with new donors
3. Provide training and guidance to board members, senior staff, and other key staff on how to implement the fundraising plan.
4. Recommend a potential course of action to identify resources and establish roles to meet the fundraising strategies outlined in the plan.
Detailed Scope of Work: Feasibility Study
A. Design and implement a feasibility study that includes the following:
a. Situation Analysis - Utilizing various methods, inventory assets, challenges and opportunities related to a state-wide 100th Anniversary Campaign.
b. Case for Support - Provide documentation and support for the development of a care statement around this campaign.
c. Donor Prospects and Volunteer Prospect Lists - Within the list, identify priority prospects across a full and diverse range of donor and solicitation levels.
d. Campaign Plan - Outline an anniversary campaign plan that includes case statement, time and dollar goals, prioritized donor segments, recommended solicitation strategies and tools for training volunteers and staff, campaign pyramid anticipating segmented goals from lead donors, major donors, private sector, foundations, public financing, etc.
e. Campaign Plan and Strategy for Public-Private Partnerships – Analyze and advise on opportunities for integrating a campaign with public resources given the nature of United Way’s public relationships with state agencies.
The successful bidder has a proven track record for creative excellence in developing fundraising plans and developing organizations’ fundraising capacity for Rhode Island programs and donors.
The successful bidder must demonstrate a proven track record for raising funds from individuals, corporate donors and private foundations
The successful bidder must have the ability to work independently, excellent written and verbal communications, and with strong outcomes orientation that gets results
Expertise in group facilitation, project management, and consensus building
Successful experience with inclusivity and coalition building and collective impact work or nonprofit collaboration
Background in organizational development and strategic planning
Excellent verbal and written communication
Once proposals are reviewed and evaluated, candidates or teams will be contacted for one or more phone or video interviews with members of the United Way team who will be involved in the project. One consultant/consulting team will be selected following the interviews and an agreement will be reached about the final terms of the contract.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
It is the policy of United Way of Rhode Island to engage in an active and ongoing process that affirms human diversity in its many forms, encompassing but not limited to ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation and identification, age, economic circumstance, class, disability, geography and philosophy. We welcome proposals from people of all cultures, backgrounds, and experiences, and we encourage proposals from people of color, persons with disabilities, bilingual and bicultural individuals, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
All produced materials, collected data and generated reports by the selected consultant on behalf of United Way of Rhode Island are confidential and become the exclusive property of United Way of Rhode Island. The selected consultant may not share project materials, data or project participant contact information unless explicitly authorized by United Way of Rhode Island.
United Way of Rhode Island Background
Vision: A Rhode Island where every individual in each community has equal opportunity for justice and prosperity.
Mission: Uniting our community and resources to build racial equity and opportunities for all Rhode Islanders.
From our inception in 1926, United Way of Rhode Island (UWRI) has effectively moved people from crisis to stability while working to strengthen the systems that provide support across the community. United Way of Rhode Island is an inclusive, collaborative, community-based organization dedicated to helping Rhode Islanders help themselves by connecting them with resources and tools to not only improve their lives but also change them. We facilitate Rhode Islanders helping Rhode Islanders, mobilizing corporations, government, policy makers, social services agencies and thousands of individual donors, volunteers and community members. Together, we work to strengthen our community, address issues of racial equity, advocate for systemic change, and provide support for everything from developing skills to secure better paying jobs, to obtaining housing and childcare, to accessing basic needs supports when times are tough, to improving educational opportunities for children and adults.