RFP: Organizational Development Consultant

February 5, 2015

The AAUP Foundation (the Foundation) invites well-qualified development professionals (also referred to as “consultant” herein) to submit proposals for providing development and development related services. Proposals will be accepted from both individuals and firms, although in the latter case it is expected that the proposal will identify an individual to work with the Foundation.  It is anticipated that the consultant will be retained for an initial period of 3-6 months (with the potential for renewal). The consultant will report directly to the Executive Director of the Foundation.

Project Objective

The purpose of this RFP is to retain a consultant who will 1) assist the Foundation in clarifying its vision and goals; 2) assess the Foundation’s current development program and its potential for expanded development; and 3) devise a comprehensive development plan, including clear objectives and benchmarks, based on this assessment.  Consultant will be expected to possess a full range of professional services, preferably with experience in higher education and with membership organizations, to support these objectives.

Organization Background

In January 2013, the predecessor American Association of University Professors (the “Predecessor”) restructured into three separate legal organizations: the AAUP, a professional association; the AAUP-CBC, a labor organization; and the AAUP Foundation, a charitable organization. The Foundation was created to promote the charitable and educational work that builds on the historical achievements of the Predecessor. The Foundation serves the common good by developing programs to inform the public about the principles on which our system of higher education rests; by supporting research and publications that expand understanding of the purposes of higher education in a free and democratic society; by funding projects that respond to threats to educational quality, such as decreasing state support for public higher education, the growth of contingent faculty appointments, and attacks on academic freedom; and by providing direct assistance to faculty members whose rights have been violated.

The Foundation currently maintains eight (8) restricted funds that were created by the Predecessor (the “Funds”). The Funds were created to support varied purposes, including, but not limited to, supporting and promoting academic freedom, supporting legal cases implicating AAUP policies, and supporting issues of concern to contingent faculty. The comprehensive development plan and its implementation must address, as one of its objectives, the potential use of the Funds.  

Over the last two years, the Foundation’s development program has mainly consisted of direct mail and e-mail campaigns targeted to AAUP members and the leadership of the three entities mentioned above. The Foundation has no dedicated fundraising staff and very limited volunteer support for fundraising. Finally, the Foundation does not have a major gift or planned giving program in place.

Please find additional information about the AAUP Foundation at http://www.aaupfoundation.org/.

Anticipated Scope of Work

1. Clarify and Focus Vision and Goals. Work with staff and board to complete efforts to more clearly define the Foundation's vision and goals and assess its accomplishments and future potential for growth. 
2. Improve Readiness to Implement Development Program. Work with staff and board to assess the AAUP’s fundraising readiness as related to organizational capacity to support and sustain fundraising activities. Work with staff and board to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the existing development program and infrastructure and determine ways to pursue a more robust development program. Work with the Executive Director to determine staffing needs and identify appropriate staff training.
3. Create Development Plan. Based on the outcome in 1 and 2 above, work with staff and board to create a comprehensive development plan for annual and targeted campaigns, including planned giving, with specific monetary benchmarks and overall objectives for donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations. Develop, with the assistance of staff and the board, appropriate case statements and other fundraising resources to be used in implementing the plan’s initiatives.
The final scope of work will be negotiated with the selected individual or firm.


Proposals will be reviewed beginning on February 24, 2015, with a target date for acceptance of April 1, 2015.

Proposal Submission Requirements

To receive consideration, proposals must be submitted as follows:

  1. Proposals should include a cover letter to the attention of AAUP Associate Counsel, Nancy Long, representing the AAUP Foundation. The cover letter must include the name of the proposing individual/firm, the name(s) of the development professional(s) proposed to provide direct service for the duration of the project, e-mail address, postal address, and telephone and fax numbers.
  2. Proposals should include a narrative that speaks to the qualifications in the Evaluation Criteria outlined below, including a timeline with benchmarks and the number of hours and cost to accomplish the Scope of Work outlined above.
  3. Proposals must clearly outline the responsibilities both of the Foundation and the selected firm. ALL costs payable by the Foundation for these services must be clearly defined.
  4. Proposals should include the resume(s) of the development professional (s) who will provide direct service for this project.
  5. Emailed proposals must be a single PDF file with electronic signatures as applicable, and sent to nlong@aaup.org.
  6. If submitting a printed proposal, deliver six (6) copies to Nancy Long, Associate Counsel, on behalf of AAUP Foundation, 1133 19th Street, NW, Suite 200, Washington DC 20036 ATTN: Development Proposal.

By submitting a proposal, the consultant authorizes the Foundation to contact references to evaluate consultant’s qualifications for this project.

Evaluation Criteria

All proposals will be evaluated based on the following key criteria:

  • Performance capability—the extent to which the proposal demonstrates ability to provide the depth and breadth of experience, skills, knowledge and creativity generally required by this project
  • Completeness and quality of response—the thoroughness and concern for quality in your response
  • Understanding of and commitment to the Foundation mission and strategic objectives
  • Budget
  • Experience with similar membership organizations, preferably in higher education


Please list the organization name, contact person, title, telephone number, and email addresses of three references for similar projects, as well as a brief description of each project. Please also provide one reference from a less-than-satisfied client and a brief description of the project’s outcome.


Top-rated candidates may be invited to interview with the Foundation staff and board members.

Contract Award

The Foundation plans to select and award a contract to the best qualified consultant by April 1, 2015. The selected firm and the Foundation will then mutually discuss and refine the scope of work for the project and shall negotiate final conditions, compensation and performance schedule for the subsequent contract to be executed.

For More Information

For questions about this RFP, please contact Nancy Long at nlong@aaup.org or 202-737-5900 Ext. 3649.

AAUP Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, disability, race, color, religion, national origin, marital status, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, personal appearance, family responsibilities, genetic information, matriculation, political affiliation, or other characteristics unrelated to professional performance.