RFP for a Capital Campaign Feasibility Study Consultant

Last Updated: May 5, 2011

3780 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010, USA



The American Institute of Architects Los Angeles (AIA LA) and the Center for Architecture and Urban Design seek proposals from qualified fundraising consultants to conduct a feasibility study toward the development of a future home. The study should determine how much capital can realistically be raised and in what duration of time. Additionally, should the project move forward after the initial testing phase, the consultant would develop a plan outlining the cost of ongoing campaign counsel.

Organizational Background

The Los Angeles Center for Architecture and Urban Design will serve as the future home for AIA LA and other affiliated architecture and design organizations. The Center will seek to increase the value of architecture, planning, and urban design by engaging members of the public and the design profession in education and dialogue about the importance of the built environment. The Center will be open to anyone passionate about his or her city. Programs and activities hosted at the Center will include those developed separately by AIA Los Angeles or the Center for Architecture and Urban Design; programs created jointly by both organizations; and programs hosted by strategic programming partners, including ASLA (landscape architecture), ULI (development and urban planning), A+D Museum (exhibitions), USGBC (green building), APA (planning), AFLA (tours and family education), and others.

The current estimated fundraising goal is $5-$12 Million with a proposed opening date between 2015 and 2017. The capital campaign range is broad because it has not yet been determined whether the Center will occupy and renovate pre-existing ground floor office space or build a new, ground-up building.


Outlining the Consultant's Role

We are seeking a consultant to conduct a capital campaign feasibility study to determine the amount of capital that could reasonably be raised from private-sector donors, philanthropic individuals, and foundations. The consultant, in coordination with AIA LA staff and Board Members, would:

  • Perform a fundraising assessment of the organizations' fundraising capability to date.
  • Develop a compelling case for future support.
  • Identify a donor list comprised of local, regional and national philanthropic donors and foundation prospects.
  • Recommend campaign strategies for reaching new and diverse audiences and
  • donors.
  • Offer key staff and leadership training in capital campaign solicitation.
  • Provide specific recommendations on donor recognition appropriate to this
  • project.
  • Assist with early implementation, outreach and communication about the
  • Conduct a feasibility study (see "Objectives" below).

Objectives of the Feasibility Study

In addition to the above, the consultant's primary deliverable is a feasibility study outlining the Center for Architecture and Urban Design's short- and long-term philanthropic goals and long-term opportunities for financial success. Specifically, the feasibility study should address the following key areas:

  • Test basic planning assumptions with potential donors. Find out how potential donors feel about the proposed Los Angeles Center. Do potential donors see the Center as important enough to place on their priority giving list?

  • Expand potential prospect list. Develop the optimal funding mix of lead donors, major donors, private foundations, and, if necessary, direct-mail public solicitations. Identify public grant and possible tax credit sources.

  • Ascertain potential support. Through ongoing interviews and knowledge of the Fundraising Task Force's solicitation capabilities, the consultant will provide a realistic estimate for potential campaign success. The consultant will determine if there are enough donor prospects, and enough prospects at different giving levels, to reach the recommended goal.

  • Identify volunteer leadership potential. Interview potential campaign leaders and civic, business, cultural, and other community leaders who may be willing to serve on the Fundraising Task Force. Identify board leadership and their fundraising capabilities. Assess what it will take to recruit volunteer leadership.

  • Set a realistic campaign goal. Currently the goal has been established as a range between $5-$12M, depending on which building/renovation type is deemed feasible.

  • Determine campaign strategies. Identify strengths, weaknesses, and a prognosis for success/inability to reach recommended goal. Make proposal for successful implementation.

  • Develop a fundraising plan for soliciting individual prospects. Information developed in the confidential interviews with the consultant will be used to develop an appropriate solicitation plan, giving level(s) and fundraising schedule (including potential in-kind gifts).

  • Prepare written report/fundraising plan. The completion of the feasibility study will be a written report that synthesizes the findings from the confidential interviews, and the consultant's recommendations for conducting a successful capital campaign.


  • Situation Analysis. Establish foundation of assets, challenges, opportunities and threats related to campaign, based on (e.g.):

    • Stakeholder research (interviews, surveys, audience mapping, etc.)
    • Materials review
    • Infrastructure audit
    • Peer competitor review/environmental scan
  • Case for Support. Develop foundational document and appropriate supporting documents to guide philanthropic strategy for campaign.

  • Donor Prospect List, Volunteer Leadership Prospect List, Top Prospects for Both. Identify most promising prospects for capital campaign donors and volunteer leadership, based on (e.g.):
    Review existing members/donors/prospects lists Conduct strategy/information-sharing workshop Wealth screening current lists Research to uncover potential new donors, volunteer leadership Feasibility Report & Suggested Campaign Structure. Test case/messaging, prospects (donor and leadership), campaign scope/gift pyramid with key stakeholders to measure the feasibility of conducting a successful campaign.

  • Campaign Plan. Develop a capital campaign plan that includes clarified goals (dollars raised, timeframe, donor distribution); milestones (date specific objectives for dollars raised, plus supporting benchmarks-volunteers recruited, prospects cultivated, solicitations), prioritized donor segments; recommended key cultivation and solicitation strategies and supporting tactics: specifications for campaign tools; budget and timeline; and recommended evaluation methods.

  • Campaign Implementation Counsel. Provide strategic counsel throughout capital campaign planning, launch, implementation, evaluation, and refinement. Activities may include: driving implementation of the strategy, facilitating the most effective use of staff and volunteer resources, preparing coaching and supporting staff and volunteer solicitors, conducting direct cultivation and solicitation of prospects where appropriate, developing and/or editing proposals, updates and other campaign materials, advising on campaign communication and serving as a strategic partner to the campaign's leadership.

  • OPTIONAL: Campaign Identity & Presentation Tool Templates. Establish brand and visual identity for campaign; develop campaign tools.


Proposal Requirements
Address the following topics in a 15-page (or less) proposal. Please submit additional information or sample materials where relevant, including case statements, campaign collateral, and training material.

  • Project Understanding.
  • Project Approach including significant phases and deliverables. (i.e, describe your feasibility study process. Include the duties you perform and those you expect to be done by the client staff or leadership. What information and recommendations will be included in the Feasibility Study Report? What components are included in the campaign plan?)
  • Project timeline.
  • Estimate of fees and expenses for feasibility study.
  • Estimate of fees and expenses for ongoing campaign counsel, should your firm be awarded the feasibility study project.

  • Firm capabilities:

    • experience with similar organizations and capital campaign projects
    • experience with feasibility studies and fundraising plans
    • experience in the AEC community
  • Project team. (Biographies or resumes detailing experience with similar projects, raising private funds, working in AEC community)
  • References: Complete contact information of three references from the past 3-5 years.

Evaluation Requirements

  • 25% Quality and completeness of understanding, approach and overall proposal
  • 25% Quality of match between qualifications/capabilities and experience, project scope and requirements
  • 20% Expertise of project team
  • 15% References
  • 15% Value/ROI for Budget

Estimated Schedule

  • Issue Request for Proposals.......................Mo May 2, 2011
  • Questions/Clarifications Due......................Fr May 13, 2011
  • Answers Provided By................................Mo May 16, 2011
  • Proposals due..........................................Tu May 31, 2011
  • Evaluation of proposals.............................We-Th June 1-2, 2011
  • Interviews conducted with finalists.............Tu June 14, 2011
  • Announce decision and send notification.....Tu June 28, 2011
  • Begin work..............................................We June 29, 2011

AIA Los Angeles and Center for Architecture and Urban Design reserve the right to revise the above schedule.

Questions/Clarifications Contact Nicci Solomons at nicci@aialosangeles.org

Proposal Submissions Proposals are due no later than 5:00 pm on Tuesday, May 31, 2011. Hard copy or electronic copy is acceptable. Please send electronic copies directly to nicci@aialosangeles.org

Last updated: 12-Dec-2012 03:23 AM
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