Fundraising Feasibility Study by rue12519

VIEWS: 0 PAGES: 6

More Info
									                          RFP # I-020-08
              Wisconsin Forestry Education Center
    Fundraising Feasibility Study & Pre-Campaign Services
                  Vendor Questions & Answers
                      September 22, 2008


Questions About the RFP
Questions:
Has a budget or budget range has been established for this project?
Do you have a cost breakdown for the various needs within the project?

Answer:
The DNR is not revealing what we expect to see as a reasonable cost for the services required by
the RFP. We do not want to influence the potential pricing that proposers may suggest with their
response. The cost proposal is 15% of the final score of any proposal submitted, so the lower
your cost proposal in regards to what is submitted by other proposers the higher the score you
will receive for cost. Of course if you reduce the quality of the work you propose to do in order to
keep your costs low, it may have a significant effect on the score you receive for the other 85% of
your proposal. We expect that well qualified proposers with the kind of experience that is needed
for this project will have a very good idea of how to price the services required based on the
market they compete in on a regular basis.


Question:
Am I to include a Proposal for Conducting the Campaign along with the Proposal for
conducting the Feasibility Study?

Answer:
No, the contractor to guide the campaign will be selected at a future date when the timing is right
to commence the campaign. However, pre-campaign services included in this contract include
advice and guidance on what we need to do to position ourselves to be ready to conduct a
campaign.


Question:
The RFP asks for us to list all of the studies we have done in the past three years along
with details of each. We have done numerous studies, and listing all of the information
will take up several pages. Is it possible to provide a sample, do you want us to list them
all?

Answer:
A sample report from one of your past studies - as noted in section 4.1.2(c) – would be a
welcome addition to your proposal. We encourage you to list all of your studies completed in the
past three years as listed in section 4.1.1 to show the breadth and extent of your experience.



Questions About the Project
Topic: Constituency / Interviewees
                                                                                                    2

Questions:
Have the government (all levels), industry, sciences and the environmental community
been involved in this process.
What relationships exist that could help you going forward?
What is your logical constituency for this project and have any cultivation exercises
commenced over your consultation and engagement process? What does this include?



Answer:
We have worked closely with the Wauwatosa Common Council and the Milwaukee County
leadership during the property purchase and establishment of intergovernmental agreements
related to the property. In terms of the federal government, we have a close working relationship
with the USDA Forest Service and other agencies with natural resource responsibilities. The
Wisconsin Council on Forestry, a cross-section of forestry representatives who advise the
Governor on forestry issues and policies, is enthusiastic about this project. Other supporters of
the concept include university interests, woodland owners, and educators. We have conducted
an early planning workshop and several open houses for public information and input, all of which
were well attended by neighbors, local leaders, and representatives of environmental groups,
woodland owners and other potential stakeholder groups. However, these stakeholder cultivation
activities all occurred several years ago. Since engaging M. Goodwin and Associates earlier this
year, we have refrained from doing further outreach and focused on building the organizational
framework. We will look to the recipient of this contract and to M. Goodwin for advice on the
appropriate timing and methods to begin constituency cultivation activities once again.


Question:
We understand that you will be heavily involved in the project. Are there others - either
staff or volunteers - who have been recruited to assist with the early stages of planning?

Answer:
The now-retired Chief State Forester who initiated the project and the current Chief State
Forester are both engaged in recruiting members for the founding board – the group that will be
involved in the initial phases of strategic planning. Also, the strategic planning consultant (M.
Goodwin and Associates) has a keen interest in all aspects of the project and will be involved in
key decision points as the project progresses.


Question:
Based on the original study that was done to determine need and audience, did any
prominent champions of this project emerge?

Answer:
Results of both the educational needs analysis and the market niche study indicated support for
the concept. While individual champions were not identified through these studies in particular,
we have noted potential champions through the initial planning steps.

Questions:
Do you already have interviewees in mind? Where are those names coming from (i.e., an
existing database)?
Do you anticipate that the vendor will be asked to provide guidance on the proposed list of
interviewees?

Answer:
We have created a database specifically for this project and have included potential donors



RFP#I-020-08 Questions/Answers                                               September 22, 2008
                                                                                                     3

gleaned from our own research and knowledge of the state. We definitely DO want the vendor
selected for this contract to provide guidance on the best names to include on the interview list.
Once the list is finalized, we will handle the logistics of setting up the interviews.

Question:
The RFP suggests approximately 50 interviews will be conducted. Can you estimate the
geographic distribution of these interviews? For example, will a majority be concentrated
in Milwaukee, with a handful in Madison, Green Bay, and other parts of the state?

Answer:
As stated in section 6.2(b), we anticipate that approximately 60% of the interviews will be in
Southeastern Wisconsin, with the balance in the Fox Valley (Green Bay, Appleton, Neenah),
Madison, Central Wisconsin (Stevens Point and Wausau), Western Wisconsin (Eau Claire area)
and the Northwoods (Spooner to Rhinelander).


Question:
Should we be anticipating “approximately” 50 interviews, or could it be substantially more
than 50?

Answer:
Our expectation is that 50 in-person interviews will be conducted. If your firm typically does more
– or if you feel more are needed in this case – you are welcome propose additional research in
the methodology section of your proposal.

Question:
Will you consider other data-gathering methods, such as online surveys, phone
interviews, and/or focus groups?

Answer:
If you feel other research would be helpful to supplement the interviews, we are certainly open to
surveys, focus groups or other data-gathering methods as well. If your intent is to replace the in-
person interviews with other methods, you would need to make a strong case in your
methodology as to why you think this would be more effective.


Topic: Board of Directors
Questions:
 How are board members being identified and recruited?
 Can you confirm the timeline regarding the recruitment of your board of directors; and
   is this on schedule (early 2009).
 Are the directors, who already are being recruited, being identified in the context of the
   fund raising they will be obliged to perform in support of the forthcoming campaign?
 Are they being advised that they will need to make their own significant gifts to the
   campaign?
 Is the board chair an individual of statewide visibility and influence, who will be able to
   recruit other board members as wealthy and powerful as he/she is?
 And will there be open board positions for still more appointments as the needs of the
   campaign become more evident?
 With the understanding that the new 501(c)(3) organization is now being formed (under
   the direction of M. Goodwin), is the board composition being developed with an eye
   toward private fundraising (including corporate and foundation sources)?




RFP#I-020-08 Questions/Answers                                                September 22, 2008
                                                                                                      4

Answer:
We are beginning the board recruitment with a tiered approach, starting first with those most
closely aligned with forestry since that is the subject focus of the facility. We expect that the
fundraising feasibility study - along with a strong case statement and a commitment from forestry-
related interests – will be a good tool to help recruit other board members. The team of the
current and retired Chief State Foresters are beginning their visits to forestry stakeholders this fall
and we still plan to move on to the next tier early in 2009. The intent is to include corporate and
foundation interests on the board.

The board recruitment includes the understanding that their obligation includes a significant gift
as well as active participation in the capital campaign. Given that board recruitment is taking
place in a tiered approach over an extended period of time, there will opportunities to include
large donors or others who bring needed campaign resources on the board. The board chair has
not yet been identified, but we understand that it needs to be someone with broad visibility and
influence.



Topic: Budget / Fundraising
Questions:
How much of the estimated need is for capital? How much is for endowment?
Does the $70 estimated goal include endowment?
Answer:
This estimated total goal is a very rough guesstimate at this point. The strategic planning
consultant (M. Goodwin and Associates) will be developing a more definitive budget as one of
their deliverables. Yes, this figure does include an endowment of about $9.8 million – which we
realize will likely need to be higher. We look forward to the professional advice from the vendor
who wins this feasibility study contract regarding not only the total goal we can expect to achieve
through fundraising, but what percentage of that should ideally be allocated to an endowment for
a project of this scope.


Question:
Have any early financial indications of support been directed toward this project?

Answer:
We anticipate that some federal funding will be available for the project, but we have not yet
explored avenues or amounts. Nor have we done any monetary “asks” yet. The State of
Wisconsin has paid for the early planning for the project, including the research done to date, the
contract with M. Goodwin and this fundraising feasibility study.

Question:
What has been your past experience in raising private dollars from foundations/
corporations or individuals?

Answer:
We are state employees and the state does not typically engage in these types of activities, thus
we have not had any past experience in fundraising. The intent is to have key staff members of
the new nonprofit organization (and these will not be state employees), including the executive
director and development director, in place to work in partnership with the campaign counsel to
guide a successful fundraising effort by the board.

Question:
My question concerns the third bullet point in 1.2.3g, page 6, and I am simply asking if my
interpretation is correct? Our methodology would not identify the names of the lead gift



RFP#I-020-08 Questions/Answers                                                  September 22, 2008
                                                                                                     5

prospects, although we always identify the number and amount of leadership gifts as self-
reported during confidential interviews.

Answer:
Our expectation is that the confidential report of findings will include the names and amounts of
potential lead gifts identified during the study process.




Topic: Case Statement
Questions:
Is the preliminary draft case statement prepared by M. Goodwin Associates available for
review?
Will fund counsel have input in the case statement before it is distributed to interviewees?
Do you anticipate that the vendor will be asked to provide guidance in the preparation of
the draft case statement?

Answer:
The case statement is being prepared now and a draft will be available the second week of
October. This means that the vendors invited to the October 21 final interview will have an
opportunity to review the draft, but it will not be available before the October 2 proposal deadline.
We expect that the vendor selected for this contract will want to review the draft and suggest
ways to make it stronger.



Topic: Other
Questions:
Are there any summaries of the research studies that were conducted to determine the
need for the Forestry Education Center?
What were the results of the research studies conducted in advance of the feasibility study
to determine the vision and endowment needs? Did the above studies identify the greatest
challenges to the project? greatest strengths?

Answer:
Executive summaries of the educational needs analysis and the market niche study are posted at
http://wisconsinforestry.org/studies (until October 2) if you would find these helpful in the
preparation of your proposal.


Question:
Will this be a statewide campaign? Has there been discussion regarding the positioning of
the new institution as a statewide asset or do you anticipate that it will draw largely from
the Milwaukee County area (both in terms of audience and fundraising)?

Answer:
This facility is intended to serve a statewide and regional audience. Therefore, the campaign will
be broader than just the greater Milwaukee area. However, we expect the largest percentage of
the visitors to be from the five county area in Southeast Wisconsin that encompasses the state’s
largest population.


Question:
Why is this an important undertaking now?


RFP#I-020-08 Questions/Answers                                                 September 22, 2008
                                                                                                     6


Answer:
Statewide social research conducted by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
(summary posted at http://wisconsinforestry.org/studies ) (until October 2nd)has shown
substantial disconnects between residents of the Milwaukee area and the state’s forest resource.
Because this is a critical time for Wisconsin forests as they face tremendous challenges and the
fact that the forests are crucial to the well-being of the state, it is important that Wisconsin’s
largest urban population appreciate the role that forests play in their daily lives and the value of
the forests to the state’s social fabric, economic stability and ecological health.
This project ties in well with a number of national concerns and initiatives. It will help bolster the
math and science skills of students as well as getting students excited about exploring the great
outdoors.


Question:
What are your major concerns in beginning a project of this magnitude?

Answer:
Our major concern is whether the financial resources can be garnered to support the planning,
development and operations of this facility.


Question:
What relationship do you expect M. Goodwin and Associates to have with the fund raising
consultant beyond communicating the early case for support?

Answer:
Although M. Goodwin and Associates have a strong interest in all aspects of the project, and
aspects of this contract will have areas of overlap with their board development and case
statement work, they have a long list of deliverables under their contract and will have limited time
to interact with the recipient of this contract.




RFP#I-020-08 Questions/Answers                                                 September 22, 2008

								
To top