Community Foundation Sonoma County (CFSC)

Request for Proposal: Strategic Plan Facilitation and Stewardship

Philanthropy is commendable, but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice which make philanthropy necessary.
Martin Luther King, Jr.


At Community Foundation Sonoma County (CFSC), we believe in the power of connecting people, ideas, and resources to benefit all who live and work here. CFSC leverages our local knowledge and love of place to bring together community-minded donors and diverse nonprofit grantees to catalyze change in disaster response, health and human services, education, environment, arts and culture, and animal welfare. Over the last 40 years CFSC has granted out over $300 million, with over $19 million raised and granted in the past six years alone for local, long-term disaster recovery after Sonoma County faced back-to-back fires, floods, and the impacts of the global pandemic.

As we assess our diverse, changing community, we recognize the need to update our own philanthropic model to better meet the needs of Sonoma County. To that end, we are embarking on an exciting journey towards a visionary future where CFSC is a key philanthropic voice for investing in community and climate resilience, equitable opportunities, and solutions to historic social challenges, while amplifying the rich diversity of the people who live and work in Sonoma County.

As we look to the year 2024 and beyond, we recognize the need for a comprehensive and transformative strategic plan that will serve as our guiding compass and north star to inspire lasting and durable change within our community.


Scope of Services

CFSC seeks a qualified and experienced consultant or consulting firm to facilitate the development of a renewed organizational vision and 3-5 year Strategic Plan. The strategic planning process will include the identification of key priorities, goals, objectives, and leveraged community strengths, and address emerging challenges in a way that aligns with our mission and values.


CFSC is seeking candidates with proven experience in:
  • Developing strategic plans for nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and/or foundations
  • Working with people from diverse backgrounds
  • Understanding and experience implementing DEI principles and practices
  • Working with nonprofit Boards of Directors
  • Developing strategic visions and understanding organizational missions, mandates, and values
  • Conducting situational/organizational analyses
  • Posing critical questions to improve organizational efficiency and effectiveness
  • Developing long- and short-term goals and benchmarks for an organization or project
  • Presenting and group facilitation (in multiple languages a plus)


The Scope of Work for this project will include:
  1. Situational Analysis: Conduct a thorough analysis of the current landscape in Sonoma County, identify key trends, challenges, and opportunities that impact our Foundation’s work.
  2. Stakeholder Engagement: Engage with internal (staff and board) and external (community leaders and members, nonprofits, donors, fund holders, foundation/government funding partners, etc.) stakeholders through an inclusive participatory process.
  3. Vision and Mission Refinement: Facilitate a process to refine and articulate a compelling vision and mission statement that reflects the aspirations of the Foundation and the community served.
  4. Strategic Goal Development: Collaborate with the Foundation’s leadership and stakeholders to define clear and measurable strategic goals that align with the vision and mission.
  5. Implementation Roadmap: Develop a detailed roadmap outlining the steps, timelines, and resources required for the successful implementation of the Strategic Plan.
  6. Monitoring and Evaluation Framework: Create a robust framework for monitoring progress and evaluating the impact of the Strategic Plan over time with indicators of success to be used in the formation of a yearly Operations Plan.

The plan is expected to be completed within 6-8 months from contract award.


Proposal Submission Guidelines:

Project proposals should address the following areas:

  • Introduction: Provide an overview of yourself and/or your organization, highlighting relevant experience in strategic planning for philanthropic foundations or similar entities and experience in engagement with stakeholders from diverse backgrounds and experiences.
  • Methodology: Outline your proposed approach to conducting the strategic planning process, including details on data collection methods, stakeholder engagement and analysis.
  • Timeline: Present a detailed timeline for the completion of the strategic planning process, including key milestones and deliverables.
  • Budget: Provide a comprehensive budget that includes all costs associated with the strategic planning process, including fees, travel, and any additional expenses.
  • References: Include three professional references for similar projects that can be contacted by CFSC staff.


Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
  1. Experience and Expertise: Demonstrated experience and expertise in facilitating strategic planning processes for foundations or organizations with a philanthropic focus.
  2. Understanding of Sonoma County: Evidence of a deep understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities within Sonoma County.
  3. Approach: Effectiveness and innovation in proposing methodologies for engaging stakeholders and developing a visionary and transformative strategic plan.
  4. References: Positive and relevant references from previous clients.
  5. Cost: Competitive and reasonable cost for the proposed services.


Submission Instructions:

Please submit your proposal electronically to Amy Holter, Vice President for Community Impact, at by 5:00 pm on January 26, 2024. Late submissions will not be considered.

Thank you for your interest in fostering the future of the Community Foundation Sonoma County.

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