RFP: STRATEGIC PLANNING CONSULTANT

FULL PLATES FULL POTENTIAL STRATEGIC PLANNING
REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS

PROJECT OVERVIEW 

Full Plates Full Potential, based in Portland, Maine and working statewide, seeks an experienced consultant to work with the Executive Director, staff, Board of Directors, and other stakeholders to develop and guide an adaptive strategic planning process that will establish a strong foundation and framework for informing future decision-making and increasing impact in our work to end childhood hunger in Maine. 

WHO WE ARE 

Founded in 2014, and incorporated in 2018, Full Plates Full Potential is on a mission to end child food insecurity in Maine by maximizing participation in child nutrition programs. We provide technical and financial assistance to schools and community organizations across the state to help feed kids now, while advocating for the systemic changes necessary to ensure that all Maine’s kids have consistent access to nutritious meals. Maine has the highest rate of child food insecurity in New England and we expect a 40% increase in food insecurity related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

We have a fierce belief that ending child hunger in Maine is a solvable issue. We are not a direct service organization, instead operating as a systems change entity driven by effective and valued partnerships with folks at all levels to drive meaningful and lasting change in Maine’s child hunger landscape. 

Over the last year we gave out nearly $1.2M in grants, worked to pass significant systems-change legislation (including making Maine only the second state in the country to provide school meals for all children regardless of ability to pay), and partnered with a wide variety of stakeholders to support statewide food insecurity efforts. We are a small, but mighty team that values collaboration, impact, and fun. This fiscal year (July 2021 – June 2022) we have 6 full-time employees and an overall expense budget of ~$1.29M including direct grantmaking of ~$680K and operating expenses of ~610K. We are funded entirely through philanthropic sources with a healthy mix of individual, small business, and corporate support. After having been founded and led by two volunteer Board members, we hired our first Executive Director in January 2021 to continue to professionalize the organization and help us develop the systems, processes, and strategy necessary to realize our vision. 

After having been founded and led by two volunteer Board members, we hired our first Executive Director in January 2021 to continue to professionalize the organization and help us develop the systems, processes, and strategy necessary to realize our vision. 

SCOPE OF WORK 

Having grown out of our start-up phase, Full Plates is looking to more clearly define our end goal, develop a clear and comprehensive theory of change, and align on the values, systems, and processes needed to implement our work effectively and efficiently. 

A successful planning process will produce: 

  • Refined, updated, or created purpose, mission, and vision statements 
  • Clearly articulated core values that are grounded in principles of justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion; and appropriately recognize our unique place in the food security ecosystem 
  • A theory of change and/or logic model that clearly maps to our vision and prioritizes the use of data and evaluation to measure impact 
  • An effective “Year 1” implementation plan to guide our work in FY 2022-23 
  • Internal brand clarity that drives refinement of our external brand with a focus on better communicating our story and work to donors, supporters, partners, and other external stakeholders 
  • A flexible and adaptive framework to guide our work and decision-making in future years 

We expect a consultant’s work to involve: 

  • Active collaboration with the Executive Director to design an effective process and identifying any tools or resources that would be useful 
  • Guidance provided to Executive Director and others related to collecting, evaluating, and incorporating external stakeholder input 
  • Conducting 1-on-1 conversations with staff, Board members, and other stakeholders to inform process 
  • Active facilitation of staff and/or Board conversations to create aspects of the plan 
  • The drafting of various elements of the plan based on conversations with the team and in partnership with the Executive Director 

The ideal consultant will: 

  • Have a strong track record of supporting small, systems change non-profits with strategic planning  
  • Have familiarity with Maine (non-profit, governmental, and funder landscapes), ideally Maine food systems 
  • Be highly collaborative and process-driven 
  • Value justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion and approach their work through this lens 

TIME FRAME 

Our desire is to launch this work in September 2021 and to have our Foundational Narrative (purpose, mission, vision, core values, theory of change) completed by December 31, 2021 with a Year 1 implementation plan drafted by February 28, 2022. However, our highest priority is to work with the consultant who can best meet our goals for this process and produce a high-quality plan, so please indicate your earliest availability in your letter. 

BUDGET 

The budget range for a consultant for the strategic planning project is $10,000-$15,000. We have separate funds set aside for subsequent consulting specific to translating our strategy into an effective external brand. 

PROPOSAL REQUIREMENTS 

Submissions should include the following: 

  • Consultant/Firm Information, including:
  1. Name(s) and bio(s) of consultant or principal and relevant staff
  2. Contact information including physical address
  3. Track record of similar projects you have completed 
  • Project Approach, a brief narrative not to exceed four pages detailing your: 
  1. Interest. Please describe why this opportunity is of interest to you, your team, or your firm. What about Full Plates Full Potential, the project, and/or our mission aligns with your mission and goals?
  2. Qualifications/Experience. Describe how you, your team, and/or firm are positioned to fully complete the scope of work and achieve the desired outcomes outlined here. Possible elements to include: background, qualifications, and specialized/technical experience (including lived experience), or methods.
  3. Systems change work background. Please detail specific experience working with systems change organizations and on integrating justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion principles and actions into an organization.
  4. Description of your proposed approach to the project as outlined in the Scope of Work, including timeline and the deliverables you will provide.
  5. COVID-19 Contingencies. Briefly describe if/how your approach to this work could/would be impacted by the ongoing pandemic (e.g., what work could/would be done virtually, or other possible adaptations).
  6. Team. Identify the project manager, key personnel, any sub-consultants, and the engagement lead (if different from project manager).
  7. Rate. Include costs for engagement, itemizing wherever possible.

Please submit the proposal to Justin Strasburger, Executive Director, Full Plates Full Potential at: RFP@fullplates.org with “Proposal for Strategic Plan Consulting” in the subject line by end of day September 10, 2021. We will keep the RFP process open until we have contracted our selected consultant and reserve the right to make a decision prior to our submission deadline. 

QUESTIONS? 

All questions regarding this request may be sent to Justin Strasburger, Executive Director, Full Plates Full Potential at: RFP@fullplates.org 

TERMS AND CONDITIONS 

By no means does the request-for-proposals process imply any agreement or contractual obligation. The process only serves to gauge interest for the project by respective firms. Costs involved in preliminary activities will not be reimbursed by Full Plates Full Potential.