Request for Proposals - Individual Donor Fundraising Consultant
The Center for Agricultural Development and Entrepreneurship (CADE) seeks a Fundraising Consultant to accelerate and strengthen its commitment to cultivating a community of individual and business donors who give sustained financial gifts, small and large, to the organization to fulfill its charitable mission.
The Consultant will provide the following services over 1 year:
Help cultivate a “Friends of CADE” community of up to 130 individual donors who give sustained gifts of all sizes, who may include but are not limited to: rural residents (farmers and non-farmers) who value purchasing local food and the pristine upstate natural landscapes stewarded by farmers, NYC residents with upstate second homes, business executives, former Board and staff of CADE, or others who value agriculture or a local food system.
Propose and administer internal infrastructure needed to succeed in individual donor fundraising, including:
Preparing an annual calendar of scheduled activities and related work plan, with capacity for Consultant to lead and implement all activities.
Building a donor database with a tagging system and personalized notes (who introduced them to CADE, size of gift, what inspired them to give, how frequently to return for gift giving, etc.).
Calendar prompts/reminders for staff or Board to send thank you letters, ‘thinking of you’ emails, success stories, or other communications to make donors feel connected and part of a “CADE family” on a sustained basis.
Sending templatized tax write off letters with personalized notes.
Curating attention-gathering marketing materials, posters, tabling assets that include a QR code for making an online gift, in partnership with CADE’s Sr Communications Manager.
Recommending backend website infrastructure to accept credit card payments.
Preparation of event invitations and promotional outreach to secure event ticket sales.
Cultivating a community of volunteers to assist with continuous individual donor fundraising efforts, including volunteer “creatives for CADE” to assist in building new networks and promote events/campaigns.
Tracking “what works and doesn’t” to solicit gifts or event ticket sales in year 1, making recommendations for year 2’s slate of activities building on successes, updating CADE’s individual donor strategy and plan of action.
Lead, organize, and coordinate gift-giving opportunities / campaigns, including:
A minimum of 1-2 free potluck dinner pilots with a pitch to join/support “Friends of CADE” with a goal of 10-20 guests raising $500 per event.
A minimum of 3 Jeffersonian-style ticketed dinner pilots serving locally sourced food with a curated selection of 10-12 guests per meal, to be hosted by a CADE farmer client, CADE Board or staff member raising $2,000-$3,000 per dinner.
An end-of-year / holiday / December public event hosted in a formal venue with locally sourced catered food inviting 75-125 guests raising $15,000-$20,000.
Tabling at at least 4 key public events, such as Taste of the Catskills or farmers markets, where target gift-givers gather, raising $500 per event.
Mohawk Valley Giving Day–an annual online giving day for regional nonprofits (likely September).
Report to the CADE Executive Director, Operations Manager, and Board Fundraising Committee bimonthly or monthly as requested.
A database of up to 130 individual donors by end of year 1.
Implementation of gift-giving events, including 1-2 potluck dinner pilots, 3 Jeffersonian dinners, 1 festive December public event, up to 4 public tabling events, and Mohawk Valley Giving Day in September.
Infrastructure for individual giving that can be sustained by CADE (template tax write off letters, calendar reminder prompts for donor outreach, promotional assets, website backend for accepting gifts, a volunteer network, etc.).
A final report due May 2025 capturing learnings and best practices from year 1 pilots, recommended actions for year 2, and suggested updates to CADE’s individual donor development strategy.
Fundraise a minimum of $27,000-$35,000 over 1 year.
Highly experienced in individual donor cultivation with a track record of success. Fundraising consultants solely with grant writing skills are discouraged from applying.
A passion for local food, farming, and a local food system.
Direct relationships with potential individual donor networks, upstate and downstate.
Highly personable, with comfortability in direct communication with potential donors and in making “the ask”.
Strong event planning and logistics skills.
Marketing and promotion experience, with foundational skills in communications software.
Entrepreneurial and creative.
Basic understanding of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools or donor databases.
Note: While much of the work can be accomplished remotely, CADE’s ideal candidate is based locally within hour radius of CADE’s office (likely in Otsego, Schoharie, or Delaware Counties or North/Western Catskills), with an already-existing donor network both upstate and down, OR willingness to travel readily and frequently to CADE’s geographic vicinity. Note that travel reimbursements should be integrated into Consultant’s fees, as CADE will NOT provide additional travel reimbursements.
The successful candidate may be invited to return for a year 2 contract, pending successful funds raised. Ultimately, within 3 years, CADE aspires to hire a PT or FT Individual donor staff person as an employee with related benefits, in which the candidate’s fundraising pays for the position and includes a minimum of $20,000 in additional revenues on top of the candidate’s salary and fringe. Candidates must have an entrepreneurial spirit, and a transparent understanding of how the position will be funded.
Please submit a proposal (not to exceed 2 pages) to Phoebe (email@example.com) with subject “RFP-Individual Donor Fundraising Consultant” by April 1, 2024 that contains the following information: (1) a brief letter of interest, highlighting your resume, qualifications, and network; (2) indicate past clients previously served and amounts raised for each; (3) an aspirational draft work plan, including a start date; and (4) a quote for fee for service hourly rate to conduct the deliverables outlined above, and a proposed AVERAGE weekly number of hours to conduct services. Note: CADE’s budget cap for consultant’s fee is $25,000 for one year of services for all deliverables, which must include consultant’s travel expenses.
Proposals will be accepted and reviewed by April 1, 2024, with an ideal start date of May 15, 2024 – May 14, 2025.
For follow up or additional questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
No phone calls please. Farmers, people of color, persons with disabilities, women and LGBTQ+ individuals are encouraged to apply and will be given priority consideration for the position.