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Strategic Planning Consultant

Employment type
13 days ago
Los Angeles

826LA is an award-winning nonprofit dedicated to working with students ages 6-18 in developing their creative and expository writing skills and to working with teachers to inspire their students to write.
Since our doors first opened in 2005, 826LA has served 100,000 students with free, project-based literacy programs. Over the past 16 years, we have seen, time and again, that our future will be written by our students. From an energetic class of second graders writing There Was A Hero Called Noodle: A Cheeseland Adventure to teenagers compiling stories for A Chance to Rewind Time, 826LA students reflect, question, and connect by sharing their stories and poems, spelling tests, and college essays with our community of volunteers and staff.
But the work of 826LA and the students we support goes beyond the sharing of writing. In every program, students are also invited to share themselves; to observe our communities and share their critiques, beliefs, and visions for the future. 826LA students have shown us how to face each new day with resilience, confidence, and full of ideas. Our services are structured around the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention, and strong writing skills are fundamental to future success. 

Scope of Work:
826LA just celebrated its 15th anniversary. In that time the organization has had three strategic plans and has grown to a staff of 22 with approximately 1,000 volunteers a year who provide free writing services to under-resourced students. In fiscal year 2020 we served over 6,000 students. We have four primary locations in Echo Park, Mar Vista, and two Writers’ Rooms, one in Roosevelt High School and one in Manual Arts High School. The pandemic of 2020-2021 has forced 826LA to pivot completely to a digital learning environment. We have a new internal Equity, Diversity, Access, Inclusion (EDAI) committee focused on our initiatives. We are now beginning to put plans in place to return to our spaces and hope to be in our spaces in Echo Park and Mar Vista by the fall of 2021. We are also hoping to open a third Writers’ Room at Venice High School by the spring of 2022. Our board of directors is also evolving and undergoing some member changes, including saying farewell to our founding board president on June 30, 2021. This will  be a time of transition for the board as they deepen their work with committees, EDAI, and grow and diversify the board to 16 members.

Therefore, 826LA invites proposals from strategic planning consultant to accomplish the following tasks by June 30 2021:

1. STRATEGIC PLANNING: Complete a comprehensive strategic planning process to create a three-to-five-year strategic plan. The comprehensive planning process should be designed to:

  • Revisit and affirm 826LA’s vision, mission, and values and beliefs statements.
  • Prioritize principles of equity, diversity, access,inclusion, and anti-racism in the project design and facilitation    
  • Use the long-term vision and mission statements to identify specific, actionable goals for the next 3-5 year period.
  • Create a plan so that the board and staff—and, by extension, students, families, funders, and the broader 826LA community—have the appropriate context, tools, and skills to achieve these goals.
  • Identify critical challenges or impediments to 826LA’s achievement of its objectives, including those presented by: the nature of our funding model, our current operating model, and our governance structures.
  • Specifically looking for consultant with a background in fundraising (especially community-centric fundraising), social entrepreneurship, and education
  • Define specific action steps to be taken during the first year of the plan, assign board and staff responsibility for each action, and set a timeline.
  • Work with staff and board to develop replicable timelines for the full scope of the plan.


2. OPERATING PLAN DEVELOPMENT: Determine organizational needs for strategic plan implementation, including: FTE needs, staff capabilities required, org chart review, and development of ongoing feedback.

  • Work with staff and board to develop an operational plan, and a mechanism for board and staff to monitor, evaluate and make any necessary course corrections to the action steps on a regular basis. Set a specific timeline annually to update the plan and roll action steps forward for the upcoming year.
  • Provide ongoing counsel and guidance during the planning process. Work closely with 826LA staff and board during the planning process.
  • Provide one annual follow-up consultation. Facilitate a discussion of plan implementation at a board meeting date to be determined (after plan implementation is underway) to ensure plan implementation is on track and that any course corrections are addressed, if needed.


Submission details:
Please include the following in your proposal:

  • General qualifications of your firm/organization, as well as specific qualifications on the individual(s) providing the consulting services.
  • A representative client list and three references.
  • A work plan outlining your understanding of the scope of the work.
  • A preliminary timeline for the proposed deliverables.
  • A proposed fee structure and payment schedule.


Submission timeline:

  • Proposals due by 5:00PM on April 30, 2021; Interviews will be scheduled in May.
To apply

Please send proposals via email by 5:00PM April 30, 2021, to [email protected]

Please contact Joel Arquillos  for questions about the proposal submission details:
Joel Arquillos, Executive Director ([email protected])