Request for Proposals for a Consultant to Facilitate the Toronto Environmental Alliance’s Strategic Planning Process

Issued by the Toronto Environmental Alliance

1. Background 

Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) is a not-for-profit organization that advocates on behalf of all Torontonians for a green, healthy and equitable city. TEA is recognized Canada-wide for our municipal work on climate change, waste and toxics reduction, and other issues that are critical to the health and well-being of Toronto residents. To promote a greener Toronto, TEA works with concerned individuals, workers, grassroots organizations, businesses, professional associations, and elected officials. We have over 60,000 supporters across the City of Toronto. 

TEA’s current strategic plan ends in March 2020. We are looking to develop a new three year plan that builds on our unique strengths and meets the pressing needs of our times. We want a plan that is aspirational, innovative, grounded in the needs of the communities we work with and provides a compass for TEA to have the greatest positive impact. TEA is looking for a consultant who can work with its Board of Directors and staff team to facilitate this next step in our evolution.

2. Scope of Work

General Purpose

This RFP is a search for a consultant to lead the TEA board and management team through the process of developing a three year strategic plan. The plan will articulate TEA’s strategic priorities and include the directions, goals, objectives and high-level actions that will guide the organization for the next three years in further developing its impact and leadership in the community. This plan will not only reflect the current environmental/social/economic context but will also anticipate the opportunities and challenges TEA will face in the future and provide direction to address them.

Ideally, the consultant will:

  • build on leading and innovative practices/research in strategic planning to ensure a strategy that enables TEA to engage in ongoing strategic thinking and to learn, adapt and course correct as needed
  • design a process that integrates TEA’s commitment to equity, environmental justice and evidence-based approaches
  • engage stakeholders differently and creatively to facilitate meaningful planning contributions and strengthen their connection with TEA

Activities

TEA is asking interested consultants to present a brief proposal in response to this RFP outlining activities that fit within the budget listed below.

These activities and deliverables may include some or all of the following:

  • Facilitate meetings with the Board of Directors and staff team
  • Work with a strategic planning committee
  • Engage stakeholders, which may include key informant and community interviews, focus groups, surveys, facilitated conversations and/or other formats using design thinking approaches
  • Review existing plans and documents pertinent to the comprehensive strategic plan, identifying trends and patterns that are applicable, as well as strengths and opportunities
    Development of a final report that includes:
    • strategic directions, goals, objectives and high level activities
    • how TEA can best position itself to continue its role as a leader in environmental issues in Toronto
    • key indicators for success and/or a dashboard/monitoring tool

Some of these activities may be taken on by the staff and/or board. We are looking for the consultant to prioritize those activities that are best served by a strategic planning expert and a neutral facilitator/consultant.

Timeframe 

This work begins in January 2020 with a target completion date of June 30, 2020.

3. Budget

Consultants are to propose a project budget including the number of working days required to achieve deliverables and provide a daily consulting rate(s) for the work. The budget should not exceed $10,000 Canadian Dollars.

4. Selection of Applicants

All proposals will be reviewed by the Strategic Planning Committee. The Committee is not obliged to accept the lowest, or any bid.

Consultants will be evaluated on the following criteria. These criteria will be the basis for review of the written proposals and the interview session. 

  • Understanding of our organization, the context in which we work and the task  
  • Project approach 
  • Consultant firm experience and/or primary consultant’s experience
  • Demonstration of cost-effectiveness and prioritization of high-value activities for the funds provided

Qualifications of Applicant

To accomplish the scope requested, the consultant will need to possess the following:

  • Experience with successfully developing consensus-based and community-engaged strategic plans for nonprofit organizations
  • Strong facilitation skills
  • Knowledgeable of the local non-profit sector and relevant issues and trends
  • Demonstrated knowledge of environmental and social justice issues, including the policy landscape in the Toronto, would be a strong asset
  • Experience with gathering and utilizing data to inform the strategic planning process
  • Expertise in the latest thinking around meaningful strategic planning that leads to effective and relevant plans for organizations

5. Proposal Elements

A: Overall Submission 

  • Letter of Introduction including an executive summary that demonstrates an understanding of the scope and requirements of the project 

B: Organization and Staff Experience and Abilities 

  • Profile of Consultant (Experience and Qualifications)
    • Proposed Staff Team (Resumes recommended)
    • Experience with similar projects and two (2) References 

C: Work Plan and Resources 

  • Draft Overview of Approach, along with initial thoughts on a Work Plan, including tasks, timelines and deliverables 
  • In the case of more than one consultant, identify the principal and anticipated division of work
  • A brief description of how you would work with the Strategic Planning committee 

D: Total Fixed Price 

  • Estimate of hours/days of work 
  • Daily rate(s) of consultant(s) 
  • Total cost plus HST 
  • The total price quoted must include all labour, other overhead, materials, equipment, travel, communication and delivery costs, disbursements.

Submissions should be sent by email to: 

The deadline for proposals is December 6, 11:00pm EST and should be submitted to Executive Director, Emmay Mah at emmay@torontoenvironment.org. No phone calls please. 

Incomplete proposals will be rejected. Proposals that are delivered late will not be considered.

 

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