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Request for Proposals: Strategic Planning Consultant for New York Immigration Coalition

The New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) is soliciting proposals from qualified strategic planning consultants for the planning and execution of a strategic planning process.  We are seeking consultants that have experience with coalitions, are well-versed in social justice issues, and have a basic familiarity with immigration issues and the landscape of immigrant-serving and –led organizations in New York City and New York State.   

We invite appropriate candidates to submit a proposal by January 31st, 2014 for consideration.
Organizational Information
The New York Immigration Coalition is an umbrella policy and advocacy organization for nearly 200 groups in New York State that work with immigrants and refugees.  Established in 1987 in order to coordinate services and advocacy in the wake of the 1986 immigration reform law, the NYIC has evolved since that time to become a leading advocate for immigrant communities on the local, state, and national levels.  The NYIC’s membership includes grassroots community organizations, nonprofit health & human services organizations, religious and academic institutions, labor unions, and legal, social, and economic justice organizations. 

With its multi-ethnic, multi-racial, and multi-sector base, the NYIC provides both a forum for immigrant groups to share their concerns and a vehicle for collective action to bring about positive social change locally and nationally. The NYIC works to develop innovative policies, promote and protect the rights of immigrants and their family members, improve newcomers’ access to services, develop leadership and capacity in immigrant communities, expand civic participation, and mobilize member groups and allies to respond to emerging issues and needs.

The NYIC is governed by a 25-member Board of Directors, made up of representatives of key member organizations across the state, with several working subcommittees (Finance and Executive). The NYIC currently has 18 full-time staff members.

Background of Strategic Planning Process
The NYIC held a strategic Board retreat in 2009, which identified key priorities (against the backdrop of difficult economic times) and made several key recommendations regarding organization structure, staff and leadership.

While progress has been made, additional work remains and new challenges have emerged. With the arrival of a new Executive Director in June 2013 – the first new Executive Director in the past 11 years, and only the third Executive Director in the 26 years of the NYIC’s existence – our Board and Executive Committee have identified the need to develop another strategic plan to 1) answer fundamental questions about our identity and nature as a coalition, 2) guide our programmatic work in the coming years, 3) provide several key structural recommendations for our organization’s long-term sustainability, and 4) prepare for different scenarios in the event of immigration reform or mass legalization. 

Outline of Strategic Planning Consulting Engagement
The consulting engagement will help us navigate two phases  The first phase will help us gather opinions from diverse people (current and prior Board, staff and key stakeholders) and come to consensus about our core identity & mission (“who we are as a Coalition?  what does it mean to be a Coalition?”), a review of our recent organizational history, and direct a conversation about our basic nature as an organization in the midst of the current political environment.  This should result in a vision of who we are as an organization/coalition, our core mission, and the optimal governance and institutional structure.

After answering these fundamental questions about the NYIC as an organization and institution, we then need to determine the NYIC’s key “Strategic Directions” (i.e. “NYIC must build a strong organizational membership through capacity-building” or “NYIC must build an individual membership” or “NYIC must build a strong policy presence.”)  We then need to begin to develop a robust funding & sustainability strategy that will help us maintain our current position and later thrive.This process should result in a clear 5-year strategy that we will develop annual plans & priorities that should be consistent with the key directions and the core mission, and carve out a powerful, unique leadership role in New York’s social justice and nonprofit community.  The process should result in answers to the following:

  • What is our core mission and how do we insure that our programs and initiatives align with and directly advance that mission in measurable and meaningful ways?
  • Who are our target populations? How can we support them with the greatest impact?
  • How should we respond to the fluid situation of immigrant reform on the Federal level, while also engaging in state and local/ area decisions?
  • What resource development strategies make sense to keep the New York Immigration Coalition financially sustainable, thriving and mission-focused over the next 3-5 years?
  • What will be our key infrastructure and organizational development needs over the next 3-5 years?
The consultant should have relevant experience in working with nonprofit and public sector organizations to develop strategic plans that respond effectively to internal, environmental, political and fiscal realities. Experience working with agencies that are active on immigration issues is preferred, but not required.

 RFP Requirements
The NYIC requests proposals of no more than 5 (five) pages in length that describe your experience providing strategic planning services to similar agencies, your proposed process for providing these services, and a proposed budget for these services. Please provide a budget that includes: number of estimated hours, billing rate, estimated out-of-pocket costs, and 3 reference names and contact information – preferably for whom you have recently provided services.
Completed proposals must be submitted electronically in MS Word or PDF Format to:
Steven Choi, NYIC Executive Director (schoi@thenyic.org).  Please reference: Strategic Planning.
Proposals must be received by the NYIC by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, January 31st, 2014. 


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