Request for Proposals - Strategic Planning Professional Services

March 8, 2019

Request for Proposals - Scope of Work
Strategic Planning Professional Services
Ohio Conference of Community Development, Inc.
March 8, 2019


Project Background

The Ohio Conference of Community Development (OCCD) is a 175+ member statewide association of community and economic development organizations, dedicated since 1965, to helping develop, implement and improve federal, state and local programs for community development. Beyond that, to develop and improve professional standards and practices across all phases of public administration related to community development.

Our members are community and economic development practitioners from Ohio 's cities, counties, villages, non-profit organizations and consulting firms. The organization has provided leadership, training, advocacy, and has been the collective voice of Ohio’s community development industry for over 50 years.

Project Overview

In effort to prepare the organization for the future, OCCD is seeking the services of a strategic planning consultant to assist the organization with various activities; including membership survey instrument development and analysis, staff and board workshop session, planning session design and facilitation, the synthesis of updated mission/vision statements, as well as the preparation of a final written and oral report detailing the findings and recommendations of the strategic planning project and potential goals for the organization.

Onboarding Process

In preparation for undertaking the strategic planning process, the Executive Committee has been tasked with reviewing the organization’s operations and fiscal practices over the past two (2) years.  This process has included a review of membership dues, training fees, cost reduction measures, and opportunities to increase revenue through fundraising and expanding training opportunities for members and non-members. 

In order to provide an adequate briefing, we would anticipate that the proposers would spend 1-2 hours with Doug Harsany, current OCCD President, either by phone or in person, if possible, covering work plan items that have been accomplished or are underway.  Foundational strategic planning work has been performed at the board level and one SWOT session was held with the membership attending OCCD’s Fall Quarterly meeting. Phil Downing, is leading the strategic planning effort for the board and has summarized the output of the SWOT breakout groups.  Anticipate 1-2 hours of discussion regarding the SWOT.  Again, this could take place by phone or in person if timing and scheduling allow. Interviews with other Executive team members and staff, collectively or individually, may be helpful (8 people total). We also feel that a workshop session should be conducted with the OCCD Board of Directors and staff. This could be done at a separately scheduled retreat, or as a part of a board meeting. The OCCD Board meets quarterly, with the next two meetings scheduled for April 23 and July 23, 2019.    

A draft membership questionnaire is in the process of being developed.  We would like the consultant to review the draft and make recommendations for updates prior to dissemination to the membership.  The plan is for OCCD staff to disseminate the questionnaire via Survey Monkey to the membership. Results would be compiled and provided to the membership by the consultant during a planning session with the full membership at the OCCD Summer Annual meeting, on July 24, 2019. The deadline for completion of the written report and recommendations will be at the OCCD Board Meeting on October 29, 2019. An oral presentation of findings and recommendations will be made to the OCCD Board at that time, followed by a presentation to the membership on October 30.

Qualifications of Consultant

The successful proposer will possess a demonstrated track record of providing strategic planning services to nonprofit membership organizations. The proposer maybe an individual firm, or collaboration of professionals that have successfully guided similar planning processes.

Response to this Request for Proposals

The proposing entity will provide the following information: 

  1. Resumes of each individual to be involved in the project, a description of their role, an overview of the organization’s past experience facilitating strategic planning projects, and a written example of previous strategic planning work.
  2. A statement outlining the proposer’s approach to this engagement and including milestone dates. We encourage respondents to provide recommendations on changes or additions to the scope of work, as needed, based upon your experience and expertise.
  3. Specify the Deliverables that will be associated with the proposal. At a minimum, we would anticipate the membership survey instrument development and analysis, the specified interviews, facilitation of the Board workshop and membership planning session, preparation and oral presentation of a written report with findings, updated vision/mission, goals, and other go-forward recommendations for the organization.
  4. Provide a Project Budget enumerating the cost for each proposed item in the scope of work and any other costs associated with the delivery of the services. Indicate the total cost to provide the scope of work and deliverables as proposed.
  5. Three references of organizations to which you have previously provided similar services.

Scope of Work

  1. Interview of OCCD President, strategic planning committee chair, and other Executive team and staff members. Also, interview a representative of the State of Ohio Development Services Agency, Office of Community Development (a significant stakeholder for the organization).
  2. Review and comment on membership questionnaire. Coordinate revisions with OCCD staff for dissemination to OCCD membership, with analysis and review of responses and comments in a written format for the Executive Committee’s review.
  3. Facilitate workshop with the full OCCD Board regarding strategic direction for OCCD.
  4. Design and lead a strategic planning session with the membership.
  5. Guide the organization in the process of updating the Mission/Vision for the organization and setting goals for the future.
  6. Identify strategic goals, including action items/steps, the responsible party, and a timeline for each goal.
  7. Provide advice to the Executive Committee and Board of Directors regarding the implementation of identified objectives.
  8. Develop a written strategic planning report summarizing needs, challenges, mission/vision, goals, and actions with specific recommendations for future growth and strategies to position OCCD as the preeminent community development professional organization for education advocacy, training, and technical assistance in Ohio.
  9. Present this report orally, and as a written draft to the Executive Committee, with a final report presented to the Board, and then the Membership of OCCD.


Activities and corresponding due dates for project implementation are as follows:

ActivityDate Due
Scope of Work Notice    March 8, 2019
Proposals Due to OCCD.April 8, 2019
Proposer Interviews/Selection/Contracting April 9-19, 2019
Interviews with Executive/Strategic Planning Teamby end of April, 2019
Survey Preparation, Dissemination, Compilation and Review      Spring, 2019
Workshop with full OCCD Executive Boardby July 23, 2019
Planning Session and Survey Review with MembersJuly 24, 2019
Draft Report presentation to Executive CommitteeSeptember 4, 2019
Final Report Presentation to Full OCCD Board  October 29, 2019
Final report Presentation to OCCD MembershipOctober 30, 2019


Please contact Phil Downing at or 614-314-8010 if you have any questions regarding this request for proposals.

Please submit proposals via email to

« Back to RFQ-RFP

Ohio Conference of Community Development Public Service Scholarship

Learn More

The scholarship program was established by OCCD to honor two men who dedicated their careers to Public Service. 

Like to make a donation?
Click Here


Upcoming Events