Request for Proposals: Facilitation and Strategic Planning Services


November 9, 2022




The DowntownDC Business Improvement District (DDCBID) is seeking proposals from consultants with experience facilitating and drafting strategic plans. The selected firm will help the organization develop an updated strategic plan working closely with the DCBID’s executive committee, board, staff, and other selected partners and stakeholders. Consultants should have a good understanding of nonprofit governance and operations, experience with urban place-management organizations, and demonstrated success in strategic planning.


Founded in 1997 as a private nonprofit place-management organization, the DDCBID is a catalyst, facilitator, and thought leader in diversifying the DowntownDC economy, promoting public-private partnerships, and enhancing the downtown experience for all. The DDCBID oversees a 138-block area of approximately 520 properties and numerous parks and public spaces, from Massachusetts Avenue NW on the north, including the Walter E. Washington Convention Center at Mount Vernon Square, to Constitution Avenue NW on the south, and from Louisiana Avenue NW on the east to 16th Street NW on the west.


The DDCBID is seeking a consultant to work in close collaboration with the project team to assess and facilitate a strategic planning process with the goal of delivering an updated strategic plan with a five (5)–year perspective to DDCBID staff and its board by March 30, 2023.

The following general scope of services is anticipated:

  • Conduct a kickoff meeting with DDCBID staff to clarify expectations, desired outcomes, and finalize the project scope and schedule.
  • Review documents identified by DDCBID staff, including: business improvement district legislation, five (5)–year renewal plan, organizational documents, policy documents pertaining to DDCBID interests, city planning documents, and other relevant documents and plans.
  • Facilitate a variety of individual group meetings with DDCBID board, staff, and executive leadership; meetings to include retreats and/or small-group, breakout, and whiteboard sessions.
  • Document complete collection of notes from all meetings, focus groups, and breakout sessions.
  • Collaborate with DDCBID team and partners to retrieve public outreach data and analysis from the 2022 five (5) year renewal plan
  • Succinctly summarize and document findings from meetings conversations and engagement efforts with DDCBID staff, board, and stakeholders.


  • All source documents from deliverables and outputs.
  • Short- and long-form summaries of key findings, goals and metrics. Short form to include visuals and/or graphic representations of key plan elements.
  • Presentation to DDCBID executive committee, board and staff of final report and findings. The final report should incorporate thoughts and assessments from small group sessions.
  • Work plan with annual goals for each year, separated by DDCBID department.
  • Final strategic plan no later than March 30, 2023, with a goal of board approval during the April 18, 2023, board meeting.


  • Build support and DDCBID buy-in for the existing five (5)–year renewal plan.
  • Establish clarity of roles for the organization as well as realistic objectives for an implementable five (5)–year strategic plan.
  • Assess DDCBID resources for feasibility of plan implementation, including any recommendations for additional resources.
  • Clarify and redefine DDCBID’s values as well as the organization’s vision and mission statements.
  • Develop clearly defined organizational priorities, goals, and strategies that align with the organization’s core values as well as goals for transparency and diversity, equity, and inclusion.


  • Experience developing strategic plans for nonprofit organizations. Familiarity with place-management organizations (i.e., BIDs) is preferred; familiarity with land use, planning, and real estate is a plus.
  • Comprehensive capabilities in public outreach and engagement both through focus groups, popup activations, and online efforts.
  • Demonstrated success in facilitating working sessions and distilling meeting content and feedback into thematic areas for recommendations.
  • Experience creating executive-level visual collateral, including reports, graphics, and web content.


To be finalized with selected consultant.

Timeframe Action Item
November 9, 2022 Request for proposals released
November 21, 2022 Proposal responses due
November 30–December 7, 2022 Applicant interviews
December 16, 2022 Consultant selected
January 3, 2023 Kickoff meeting and Scope confirmation
January–mid February 2023


  • Kickoff meeting with key stakeholders
  • Board meeting: strategic plan process information session
  • Senior staff retreat
  • Online engagement (if applicable)
  • Data gathering and review (from five (5)–year renewal plan)
  • Focus groups, workshops, roundtables
February 14, 2023 Initial overview of findings and plan themes
February 21, 2023 Strategic plan structure (to share with senior staff)
March 15, 2023 First draft due
March 30, 2023 Final draft due
April 18, 2023 Annual board meeting: plan approval


  • Proposals must be submitted no later than 11:59 pm, Monday, November 21, 2022. Proposals submitted after this period will not be considered.
  • Proposals must be sent electronically in a single PDF file to Nabavi Oliver, Director of Administration:
  • Please use this subject line: Response to Strategic Plan RFP. Questions may be sent directly to Nabavi Oliver:
  • By submitting a proposal, the firm authorizes the DDCBID to contact references to evaluate the firm’s qualifications for this

Proposals should include the following:

  • Letter of intent explaining how your organization’s work, experience, background, and qualifications are particularly well suited for this project. It should highlight your ability to provide facilitation and strategic planning services for nonprofit clients and, specifically, place-management organizations, such as business improvement districts. Not to exceed two (2) pages.
  • Detailed proposed schedule and process outline.
  • Proposed not-to-exceed fee structure and billing rates for individuals assigned to the account.
  • Résumés and biographies of partners, account managers, and/or any field staff who will be assigned to the project.
  • Any additional information not specifically requested, but that you believe would be useful in evaluating your proposal. Not to exceed two (2) pages.
  • References and contact information from at least three (3) clients.
  • Up to three (3) samples of related work that demonstrates your capacity to successfully complete this project.


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

  • Performance capability: The extent to which the proposal demonstrates the firm’s ability to provide the depth and breadth of experience, skills, knowledge, and creativity required by this
  • Demonstrated experience with similar-sized nonprofit
  • Completeness and quality of response, including clear deliverables and reasonable
  • Proposed cost and timeline
  • References

While the order of these factors does not denote relative importance, the DDCBID acknowledges that selecting best-value providers primarily requires a balanced combination of (1) reasonable rates, (2) strong experience and demonstrated expertise in providing similar consulting services, and (3) a demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion through ownership or existing collaborative relationships.

Interviews may be requested with select respondents during timeframe noted above. Questions can be sent directly to Nabavi Oliver:


Organizational Documents

Guiding District Government Documents


Disclaimer: This RFP does not commit the DDCBID to select any firm, award any work order, pay any costs incurred in preparing a response, or procure or contract for any services or supplies. The DDCBID reserves the right to accept or reject any or all submittals received, cancel, or modify the RFP in part or in its entirety or change the RFP guidelines, when it is in the best interests of the DDCBID to do so.