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Request for Proposal -
Marketing and Fundraising Consultants 

Covenant House Illinois (CHIL), a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization serving young people (18–24-year-olds) experiencing homelessness, is seeking proposals from qualified and experienced marketing and fundraising firms to assist us in enhancing our outreach efforts and securing funding to support our vital mission. 

CHIL opened its doors in 2017, offering limited drop-in day services and short-term shelter for youth experiencing homelessness. In 2019, responding to a deepening youth homelessness crisis in Chicago, CHIL purchased a new property on the city’s west side, launching an $11.5 million capital campaign to pay for the acquisition and redevelopment of the building. Operations in this new space commenced in 2021, concurrently with building construction and programs development and expansion. Now, with building renovations expected to wrap up in the spring of 2024 and a recently enacted strategic plan guiding all program activities and key growth areas for the next three years, CHIL is poised to become the premier not-for-profit agency in Chicago serving unhoused young adults. To help CHIL achieve its goals, the organization is seeking to develop a sustainable marketing and fundraising plan to ensure its continued capacity, financial stability, and flexibility to meet the evolving needs of young people.    

Scope of Work: The selected consultant will be expected to perform the following key tasks: 

  • Market Analysis and Strategy Development: 

  • Conduct a thorough analysis of our current marketing strategies and materials. 

  • Develop a comprehensive marketing strategy across channels (direct mail, website, email, targeted digital advertising, events, etc.) to increase awareness of our organization and its mission. 

  • Provide recommendations for improving our online and offline presence. 

  • Fundraising Campaign Development: 

  • Assess our current fundraising efforts and identify areas for improvement. 

  • Develop targeted fundraising campaigns to attract individual and corporate donors. 

  • Explore innovative fundraising ideas and opportunities. 

  • Assessment and Recommendations for Sleep Out Chicago Event: 

  • Conduct a comprehensive assessment of our flagship awareness-building and fundraising event, Sleep Out Chicago. 

  • Evaluate the effectiveness of current strategies, logistics, and participant engagement. 

  • Provide recommendations for improving and growing the event, including innovative ideas to enhance participant experiences, increase fundraising revenue, and broaden community impact. 

  • Donor Relationship Management: 

  • Recommend strategies to enhance donor engagement and retention. 

  • Explore opportunities for donor recognition and acknowledgment. 

  • Training and Capacity Building: 

  • Provide training to our staff on effective marketing and fundraising techniques. 

  • Build our team's capacity to sustain marketing and fundraising efforts independently. 

Proposal Submission Requirements: Interested consultants are invited to submit the following documents: 

  • A detailed proposal outlining your approach to the scope of work. 

  • Relevant experience and success stories in working with non-profit organizations. 

  • A proposed timeline for the project. 

  • A detailed budget, including all fees and estimated expenses. 

Please submit your proposal by Friday, April 5 to Johnpaul Higgins, Director of Development, at jhiggins@covenanthouse.org

Evaluation Criteria: Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria: 

  • Demonstrated experience in marketing and fundraising for non-profit organizations. 

  • Understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities in the homeless services sector. 

  • Innovative and effective strategies for renewable funding and maintaining a balanced funding portfolio. 

  • Proposed approach and strategies for achieving the outlined scope of work. 

  • Budget and cost-effectiveness. 

We look forward to receiving your proposal and potentially working together to further our mission of providing essential services to youth experiencing the devastation of homelessness. 

Thank you for your interest. 

Sincerely, 

 

Johnpaul Higgins 
Director of Development 

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