Request for Proposals: Urbanity Dance Strategic Plan

 

Summary

Urbanity Dance is a burgeoning contemporary dance company headquartered in Boston's South End, serving over 5,000 individuals through its three pillars of programming: Company, School, and Community. Since incorporating as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2011, Urbanity Dance has experienced rapid expansion in revenues as well as the numbers of individuals served through its programming.

Under this Request for Proposal (RFP), Urbanity is inviting consultants to apply for the opportunity to develop a 3-5 year strategic plan to help aid in the continued yet sustainable growth of the organization in the near and long-term future. The plan will act as a living document, a cornerstone for organizational planning, outlining goals and objectives across all three programmatic pillars.

Based on administrative availability, the ideal timeline for Urbanity would be initial consultation in January 2017, with three months of focused work February through April 2017, and a plan presented to Urbanity Dance’s Board of Directors, May 2017. This timeline is negotiable and Urbanity hopes to work with the chosen consultant’s schedule and suggestions - the one fixed requirement is that the final grant report must be completed and submitted by July, 2017.

The total proposed cost of the strategic plan is $20,000, though we invite applicants to present a budget for the proposed project, with a maximum $25,000. Urbanity has received grant funding of $16,500 from an anonymous trust. The additional required funds will be committed from Urbanity’s general operating funds.

 

Program Impact

Urbanity went through a strategic planning process in 2013 and has made progress on a number of initiatives and goals outlined from that plan. We are now in need to update our current goals and plans to support the current environment and organizational growth. The primary goal of the strategic plan is to develop strategy towards long-term financial health and stability, through earned revenue and development as well as managing costs. Secondarily, we hope to investigate and develop strategy on marketing and staffing.

The primary focus of the strategic plan would be an analysis of our financial goals, informing a projected budget for the next three to five years. This would help staff better project future goals per department, short and long term, and would help us marry programmatic goals with financial feasibility. This strengthens sustainability, and measures the power of incremental growth, and the importance of hitting current goals as part of a larger plan.

A strategic plan will allow us to increase efficacy from a development perspective. As a nonprofit actively serving our community, we are eligible for a number of grants, and need increased exposure to possible sources of funding, including individual donors, corporations and foundations. Currently, we are not saturating our market for development revenue, most of our revenue comes through our School programs. We believe that a thorough investigation of development strategy would allow us to investigate new sources of fundraising, including grants, and allow us to build our operation budget, and increase revenue by 50% over the next three years.

A strategic plan will also enable us to identify areas for growth by allowing us to better understand our customer base, the arts ecosystem in Boston and beyond, and possible markets. By interviewing and surveying both inside and outside of Urbanity’s current network, we would be able to get a data-driven pulse of our customer profile, expand on possibilities for market expansion, recognize opportunities from a customer point of view, and better project growth over the next three years. A plan will include research and will identify new areas for growth, including the possibility of scaling to new locations, new cities, and new programming. We will identify demographics which are currently underserved through dance and arts, and look at possible ways to serve those that may benefit from our programs.

Over the next three years, Urbanity faces decisions on how best to support continued growth from a staffing perspective. A strategic plan will lay a blueprint for staffing goals and objectives, including plan for an expanded organizational chart, and a chart to delineate employee responsibilities.  Strengthening HR support would allow us to better recruit top talent and retain current employees.

Urbanity’s Board of Directors is fully supportive and in unanimous agreement that a strategic plan is imperative at this juncture for continued and future success of this organization. To that end, the company underwent a board and staff retreat in May, 2016 to focus on possible goals and outcomes of strategic plan. A subcommittee for the strategic plan of three Board members has been identified to help direct and guide the process.

This RFP is for projects that range from one to six months to complete.

 

Eligibility

Individuals or organizations with prior experience consulting with small to mid-level arts or nonprofit organizations.

 

Administrative Requirements

To show how actual outcomes relate to planned outcomes, the chosen consultant will be asked to submit a final grant report, per the anonymous donor requirements. This report must be filed before July  2017.

The chosen consultant will be asked to invoice Urbanity, with appropriate IRS paper work. Half the payment will be made upon start date, and the remaining half upon delivery of the strategic plan.

 

Instructions

applications will be accepted on or after October 1, 2016 and must be received by November 30, 2016.

Applications may be mailed, emailed, or hand delivered.

Submit one original, signed application to:

 

Urbanity Dance

1800 Washington Street, Unit 100

Boston, MA 02118

Attn: Strategic Plan

 

Or email: Betsi Graves, Director, betsi@urbanitydance.org

For more information call (617) 572-3727

 

Application contents:

  1. Cover sheet that includes all relevant contact information, including but not limited to, the name of the contact person and their phone/email.

  2. A brief, concise summary of your proposed project.

  3. Proposal (no more than five (5) one-side, single-spaced pages) that includes the following:

 

  • Project goals and objectives.

  • Project cost. Amount of your request.

  • Project activities (describe your proposed timeline/tasks and show how it will help lead towards a strategic plan)

  • All staff/consultants responsible for your proposed project.

 

  1. Your qualifications, including your resume or your organization's background, primary mission, and history.

  2. Detailed budget for your project.

  3. Please include a list of past clients. Excerpted samples, testimonials or references are suggested.