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RFP - Strategic Planning

Date Posted: 7/6/2021
Department: Administration
Type of Employment: Full-Time

Request for Proposals for Strategic Planning Consultant

Iowa Environmental Council

Request for Proposal issued: July 6, 2021

Submission Deadline: August 1, 2021

The Iowa Environmental Council (IEC) requests proposals from qualified strategic planning consultants to conduct a far-reaching and inclusive input process to inform a Strategic Plan and guide the organization’s work over the next 3-5 years.

The selected consultant will be responsible for assisting the IEC Board and Executive Director with the full scope of developing a Strategic Plan. IEC is soliciting proposals for these services in accordance with the terms, conditions and instructions set forth in this Request for Proposal.

There is no expressed or implied obligation for IEC to reimburse responding firms for any expenses incurred in preparing proposals in response to the request or for attending any meetings or conferences related to preparing or presenting proposals.


The Iowa Environmental Council educates, advocates, and builds coalitions to raise awareness, generate action, and impact policy to make Iowa a better place to live, work, and explore. We achieve our mission through education, advocacy, and coalition building.

Founded in 1995, the Iowa Environmental Council is the largest and most comprehensive environmental coalition in the state. We are a nonpartisan alliance of more than 90 diverse member organizations including businesses, non-profits, school groups, religious organizations, and more, plus thousands of individuals working together to protect and preserve Iowa's environment. Our approach is inclusive, non-partisan, science-based, and solutions focused.

IEC’s work is focused on several key issues. Our Clean Energy and Climate Program works with diverse stakeholders to fully realize Iowa’s clean energy potential in a way that strengthens our environment, economy, communities, health and quality of life. This growing team includes our 100% Iowa grassroots campaign working with cities across the state to adopt and achieve ambitious clean energy goals. IEC’s Clean Water and Land Stewardship Program works to improve and protect Iowa’s water and land through conservation and land stewardship practices that improve water quality, address agricultural pollution, mitigate flooding, increase wildlife habitat, enhance outdoor recreation opportunities, protect soil health, and sequester carbon. As an organization, our work is increasingly guided by a commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.


  • Conduct pre-meetings with the IEC Strategic Planning Committee and Executive Director to clarify expectations and desired outcomes.
  • Review relevant documents identified by the Board and Executive Director including past strategic plans, current grant agreements, and organizational principles on justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.
  • Gather insight regarding critical issues and priorities for IEC from a broad selection of stakeholders including staff, board, individual and organizational members. This process could include surveys, targeted individual interviews, facilitated meetings, or other strategies to encourage participation and engagement.
  • In addition to this organization-wide strategic planning process, the consultant will provide focused planning for the IEC Water and Land Stewardship Program, gathering insight from relevant staff and coalition partners.
  • Provide Strategic Planning Committee with documentation of findings from review of documents and stakeholder engagement. Share emerging themes and preliminary direction for a Strategic Plan by no later than November 1, 2021.
  • Provide a draft Strategic Plan to staff and Board for review and discussion no later than December 1, 2021.
  • Attend and present the final report at an IEC Board meeting, January 20, 2022.


Proposals should include the following:

  • Cover Letter: Introduce the firm, including its size, structure, and mission. Describe the proposed team, listing the primary consultant and any other team members. For each, provide a bio and summary of relevant qualifications and experience. Describe the proposed approach to completing the scope of work outlined above. What is your approach to strategic planning and why is it a good fit for IEC? How does your approach lead to actionable and adaptable implementation of strategic priorities?
  • Contact Information: Individual or firm name, address, contact name, title, phone number & email address
  • Budget: Provide a budget outlining the estimated number of hours for the project, hourly rate of compensation, and any additional project costs.
  • References: Please list at least 3 clients you have worked with on similar projects over the past five years, providing contact information and a short summary of the services provided.


Consultants should be experienced in working with organizations in the development of an actionable and adaptable long-term strategic plan. In addition, experience working with environmental, policy, and/or statewide organizations is preferred. The intent of the Request for Proposal is to garner proposals from qualified strategic planning consultants to work in partnership with the Strategic Planning Committee, the IEC Board, the IEC staff and additional stakeholders. The successful proposer will work directly with the Strategic Planning Committee and the Executive Director to ensure all activities in this project are completed.


The successful firm or individual will be selected on the basis of professional qualifications and demonstrated competence. Particular attention will be paid to: 

  • Ability to perform the requirements outlined in this RFP. 
  • Qualifications and relevant experience of the firm and individuals who will work on the contract.
  • Capacity of the organization to meet the timeline for the project.
  • Demonstrated commitment of the firm and individuals to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in their work.
  • Reasonableness of the fee requested to do the work; comparability of fee to similar services offered by other qualified firm(s) or individuals.

The Iowa Environmental Council is an Equal Opportunity Employer dedicated to building a culturally diverse and pluralistic community engaged with working in a multicultural environment, and strongly encourages proposals from all qualified firms or individuals.


August 1, 2021 – RFP Submission Deadline (11:59 PM)

August 15, 2021 – Anticipated Notification of Selection

September 1, 2021 – Project Start Date

January 31, 2021 – Full Project Completed

Firms or individuals should send their proposals to Kitty Jacobson, Finance and Operations Administrator, at Iowa Environmental Council, 505 Fifth Ave, Suite 850, Des Moines, IA 50309, or via email to jacobson@iaenvironment.org. Please email Dr. Brian Campbell, Executive Director, with any questions about the RFP and scope of work (campbell@iaenvironment.org). In all communications, please include “IEC Strategic Plan RFP” in the subject line.

How to Apply:

1. View job description

Choose the job opening above that you are interested in and click "More Information" to view the full job description.

2. Cover letter & resume

Please include a cover letter and resume with your application. Cover letters may be addressed to the hiring manager listed in the job opening.

3. Response

If you are a final candidate for the position, you will be contacted by the hiring manager. No phone calls or emails please.