Purples Cactus with Yellow Flowers

RFP for Search Firm to Assist CFSA New President/CEO Hiring Process

The Community Foundation for Southern Arizona (CFSA) seeks to retain a consultant, firm or organization (Firm) to assist the board and staff to recruit and hire the organization’s next President and CEO.

The RFP below outlines the expectations and timeline for the scope of work. The selected firm will possess capacity and competencies on a full range of services, including experience with conducting successful executive searches for similar-sized nonprofit organizations, with a focus on community foundations and implementing equitable and inclusive recruiting and hiring processes. We look forward to working with the firm to attract a qualified and diverse set of candidates to hire our next executive leader.

The Community Foundation for Southern Arizona (CFSA) was founded in 1980 to connect donors to causes they care about and develop a philanthropic endowment for the community. The foundation has grown to over $160 million in assets and grants over $10 million a year to the community. Guided by a board of 17 Trustees and supported by a staff of 18, the foundation has continued to rise in prominence through the development of the Community Foundation Campus a multi-tenant nonprofit center that has become a focal point for nonprofit capacity building through nonprofit co-location and the development of the Center for Healthy Nonprofits.

CFSA is a recognized multi-sector collaborative leader and partner, helping to create the award-winning Making Action Possible (MAP) Dashboard Project (www.mapazdashboard.org) and the Pima Alliance for Animal Welfare to name a few of its successes. The foundation is also a leader in diverse communities, stewarding the LGBTQ+ Alliance Fund and African American Legacy Fund. The foundation has one geographic affiliate in Santa Cruz County.

CFSA has had four leaders in its history the last three of whom have each served for more than a decade.

RFP Selection Process Timeline

  • Proposals are due January 7, 2021 by 5:00PM, with a preferred start date of February 1, 2021.
  • December 10, 2020: RFP Released
  • January 7, 2021 Applications due
  • January 15, 2020 First review
  • January 18-22, 2021 Interviews
  • January 25, 2021 Recommendation to Executive Committee of the Board
  • January 29, 2021 Final firm selected and awarded
  • February 1, 2021 Proposed start date

Scope of Work 

  1. Recruitment and Selection of Candidates: Advise CFSA on a recruitment and selection approach, established timing requirements, including a recommendation for a compensation package that facilitates the successful recruitment of a President /CEO who meets the qualifications expectations of the CFSA and its stakeholders.
  2. Stakeholder Input: Gather and use stakeholder input to formulate the search criteria, search plan, and the profile of an ideal superintendent candidate to guide recruitment and selection, utilizing a variety of channels that are appropriate for each audience.
  3. Marketing the Position: Work with search committee to facilitate processes related to the search through the preparation and distribution of materials and advertisements necessary to effectively recruit a diverse pool of highly qualified applicants
  4. Screening Applicants: Screen all qualified applicants to highlight those most likely to be successful in the position, conduct appropriate reference and background checks and coordinate and facilitate the on-site or remote interview process of the most highly qualified candidates.
  5. Evaluation of Applicants and General Support: Assist the committee in the evaluation of finalists and the performance of the applicants through the interview processes, prepare reports and be available for meetings of the CFSA Board of Trustees, as needed.

RFP Submission Requirements

Proposals should include the following:

  1. Organization Description: Brief history and summary of your firm and expertise.
  2. Recruitment Approach: Please tell us about the process you would go through to find a successful candidate for CFSA. Detail how you will accomplish the above scope of work, including a clear delineation of what we should expect the firm to be responsible for and what you expect from CFSA. Include networks you are able to access on behalf of this search.
  3. Current Challenges: Please describe the current challenges posed by leading searches during a global pandemic and the strategies you have used to address them.
    Staff Biographies: Provide profile of the firm member(s) that would lead the search and any other staff that would be involved in the process
  4. Proposed Timeline: Estimate the start and end dates for each phase of the search process, including meetings with key stakeholder groups.
  5. Budget: Proposed cost along with narrative description of what is included in this cost. If “search-related expenses” are a line item, please define what those expenses might be.
    Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Commitments: Please submit the following information
    - Non-discrimination policy(ies);
    - Existing Diversity Statement;
    - Existing Diversity, Racial Equity, and Inclusion plan;
    - Staffing diversity;
    - Leadership diversity;
    - Record of any litigation in the past 10 years, including pending litigation (particularly, litigation that may be related to sexual orientation, gender, or race); and
    - Information regarding any potential litigation that may occur during the contracting period.
  6. References: Provide two references:
    1. A successful CEO search, where the CEO has been with the organization more than three years. Please provide contact information for both the CEO and, if possible, the board member contact with whom the firm contracted.
    2. A recent (within the past 12 months) CEO placement. Please provide contact information for the CEO as well as the board or staff contact with whom the firm worked most closely

Proposals must be sent electronically in a single PDF file to: Shari Stapleton-Smith at ssmith@cfsaz.org, Subject Line: Executive Search RFP, by January 7, 2020, at 5:00PM PST. By submitting a proposal, the firm authorizes CFSA to contact references to evaluate the firm’s qualifications for this project.

Evaluation Criteria

All proposals will be evaluated based on the following key criteria:

  • Performance capability—the extent to which the proposal demonstrates the firm’s ability to provide the depth and breadth of experience, skills, knowledge and creativity generally required by this project
  • Understanding of and commitment to CFSA Purpose and Values, programs and strategic objectives
  • Demonstrated experience with similar-sized nonprofit organizations, especially community foundations
  • Completeness and quality of response, including clear deliverables and reasonable approach
  • Proposed cost and timeline
  • References

Pursuant to CFSA’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and its Non-Discrimination Statement, preference is given to vendors with a proven record of commitment to diversity and inclusion as a practice.

Top-rated candidates may be invited to interview with the committee. The selected consultant and CFSA will then mutually discuss and refine the scope of work for the project and shall negotiate final conditions, compensation, and performance schedule for the subsequent contract to be executed.