Request for Proposal: Private Donor Fundraising Consultant
May 18, 2022
Issued by: Burien Actors Theatre (BAT Theatre)
BAT Theatre’s Representative:
Maggie Larrick, Managing Director
Burien Actors Theatre (“BAT Theatre” or “BAT”) is a small regional theater company requesting proposals for a Fundraising Consultant to assist BAT with developing BAT’s capital campaign, conducting a feasibility study and designing a private donor fundraising campaign coupled with public and private grants. We will also be focused on maintaining or improving funding for BAT’s operations to recover and grow following the COVID shutdown, and to develop our audience for a new performing facility. The capital campaign’s target is approximately $25 to $35 million to acquire land and renovate or construct new buildings to create a performing and visual arts center that serves as a community hub and “gathering place” for artists and art lovers in Southwest King County.
BAT Theatre is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 1980 as Burien Little Theatre, comprised of members of Burien’s informal theater groups, primarily Burien Workshop Theatre. BAT has grown into a regional theater, attracting audience and theater artists from around the Puget Sound area, as well as national-level and local playwrights.
BAT’s Mission: “We welcome and embrace our shared humanity through live theater. We question norms and thrive because of our diversity and energetic commitment to excellence”.
In 2020, BAT lost its home (a former school building auditorium and some classrooms) of 40 years. The City of Burien ended BAT’s lease to move forward with a City Parks and Recreation Activity Center.
With the Covid pandemic shutdown in 2020 and no performance space, BAT began to think about what the company could do not only for its own future but also for other performing and visual arts organizations in the Southwest King County area. Starting in May 2020, near the beginning of the Covid shutdown, BAT continued its live performances, moving them online to Zoom to keep everyone safe. BAT also restarted its outdoor theater performances in summer 2021.
The immediate service area for BAT has an estimated population of 180,000 people. It encompasses Burien, SeaTac, Tukwila, Des Moines and Normandy Park, and unincorporated North Highline, as well as the Port of Seattle, and is served by Highline College and the Highline School District. BAT’s market presence, while centered in Southwest King County, reaches well beyond with artists and patrons from throughout Greater Seattle including the Kent Valley cities.
BAT’s Board of Trustees, consulting with its subscribers, artists and other community interests, revisited its Mission and future business strategy – approving a 5-year Strategic Plan in December, 2021 to develop a performing and visual arts center. The focus is inclusion, diversity and outreach for the rich artistic talent and diverse cultures in the market area, and to have facilities that expand our audience and fully includes those diverse cultures.
BAT has hired LMN Architects for a conceptual design of a multi-purpose Performing and Visual Arts Center. Architect plans and drawings are underway.
BAT has also contracted with Donna Christensen, a government relations consultant, to assist BAT to expand grant funding for theater operations and help find the capital grants to develop the Performing & Visual Arts Center. The many cities serving this area and the Port of Seattle create opportunities and challenges for BAT, so an important element of our strategy will be public partnerships and grant funds from local, regional and state government.
Scope of Work
BAT is seeking a professional Fundraising Consultant to assist BAT with a feasibility analysis, market strategy on audience development sources for capital and operating grants, as well as advising BAT’s Board of Trustees and BAT’s Theatre Capital Campaign team on private donor fundraising for the capital campaign.
The Fundraising Consultant will have a proven track record of excellence in developing fundraising plans for capital campaigns, and guiding a small nonprofit to develop a successful private donor program to finance performing and visual arts facilities.
The consultant’s responsibilities will include:
A kickoff meeting with BAT’s Board of Trustees and BAT’s Capital Campaign team to align scope, priorities, work plan, deliverables, and estimated costs for services.
A proposed schedule and estimate of fees of each phase of work.
A market feasibility study to evaluate capital and operating funding sources to build and operate a 200 to 300-seat performing venue and visual arts center while maintaining BAT’s operations.
Conducting an audit of BAT Theatre’s fundraising capacity for both operations and the capital campaign. Identifying strengths and weaknesses of existing fundraising efforts and infrastructure to determine areas for improvement and development. Assessing opportunities and threats external to the organization as well as organization readiness that will inform the fundraising plan to ensure its success. Working closely with BAT’s government relations consultant.
Designing a fundraising major donor pledge and recognition program.
Conducting at least two trainings for BAT’s Capital Campaign team, Board of Trustees and staff, as determined with the BAT’s Capital Campaign team, to prepare them to make face-to-face meetings with prospective donors. Training needs to be in a format accessible to new Campaign Committee and Board members – particularly for new members who may be appointed or elected after the first phase of training.
Assisting the Board of Trustees and Capital Campaign team to identify prospective donors (private sector, government, foundations, individuals and others) and develop strategies to cultivate relationships with those donors to achieve financial support for the capital campaign, in coordination with BAT’s government relations consultant. A list of likely public or private foundation funding sources will be provided with any known application deadlines or requirements.
Developing a strategic multi-year fundraising plan that is in alignment with the organization’s mission, vision, values, capacity and strategic plan.
Providing timely and accurate progress reports to the Capital Campaign team.
Building capacity of BAT to successfully engage in private donor fundraising activities for the capital campaign.
All proposals should be submitted electronically in PDF or Word formats to:
Burien Actors Theatre
Burien, WA 98166
3. All proposals include:
Experience and qualifications of the proposed consultants to perform the project scope of work, including principal professional(s) providing direct service for this project.
Brief narrative that addresses how the Scope of Work, as outlined above, will be accomplished, including timeline with benchmarks and number of hours required to accomplish the plan.
Reporting and communication plan.
Consultant’s knowledge of and experience with Burien and the Southwest King County area, or similar markets and demographics supporting performing arts and visual arts centers.
Clear outline of responsibilities for both BAT and consultant.
Project budget for key elements of the scope of work with estimated costs payable by BAT.
Three (3) references from recent arts nonprofit clients for whom consultant has performed similar services.
Proposed Evaluation Criteria
Proposals will be reviewed by the Selection Committee appointed by the Board of Trustees. The Committee will review proposal, evaluate and score using the following criteria:
Overall match between the RFP requirements and proposal: Understanding of scope, objectives and completeness and coherence of response (20 points)
Qualifications and previous work of consultant (20 points)
Demonstrated ability of consultant to carry out fundraising plan of similar character and size (20 points)
Cost effectiveness/Return on Investment in fundraising strategy (15 points)
Consultant’s approach and ability to help BAT advance its Mission, Vision and Values to implement its Strategic Plan in service of its diverse market area (25 points)
The Selection Committee will present its recommendations for review and approval by the Board of Trustees. The Board will conduct an interview with one or more of the finalists prior to its decision.
Proposed RFP Evaluation and Selection Schedule:
Selection of the fundraising consultant is expected to proceed as indicated below:
RFP Release Proposals Due: May 18, 2022
*Consultant Submittals: June 17, 2022
Selection: July 1, 2022
Project Begins: July 2022
Project Completion: To be determined by BAT and selected Consultant in Scope of Work and schedule.
*Submissions before the deadline will receive preference, but BAT will continue to accept submissions after the deadline until the position is filled.
BAT’s Strategic Plan