Deadline Extended | RFP: Equity Summit Fundraising & Sponsorship Consultant

Deadline Extended: Proposals are now due on Friday, August 25th.

About SGA

Smart Growth America (SGA) is a national non-profit organization which is dedicated to advancing equitable, sustainable land use, development and transportation. The organization empowers communities through technical assistance, advocacy and thought leadership to create livable places, healthy people, and shared prosperity. We work with elected officials at all levels, real estate developers, chambers of commerce, transportation and urban planning professionals, and residents to improve everyday life for people across the country through better development.

About the Equity Summit

Smart Growth America’s largest event of the year is the Equity Summit, a 3-day virtual conference dedicated to helping practitioners, government professionals and community advocates advance racial equity in land use, economic development, and transportation. . Launched virtually in 2021, and hosted again in 2022 and 2023, the conference has successfully hosted 600-1000 attendees per year for engaging and action-inspiring virtual programming. Past conferences have received extremely strong feedback from attendees on the format, speakers, and conference.

Project Scope

SGA seeks a fundraising consultant to support SGA staff with strategy and identifying sponsors for next year’s event, which will be held for the first time in-person in Washington D.C. in March 2024, with a virtual component. The fundraising consultant would build from past outreach efforts for this event to support SGA in scaling the support of the event and transitioning to an in-person conference with a wider variety of sponsorship offerings. The role will create an overall short fundraising strategy and then lead outreach to potential sponsors with follow–up to interested parties conducted by SGA staff.

The short Summit fundraising strategy will include 1) An overall positioning strategy for the Summit vis-a-vis sponsors including sponsorship benefits; 2) A sponsor outreach plan and targets for the event; 3) Ballpark fundraising goals 4) An overall Summit fundraising timeline and milestones with simple metrics for evaluating success.  To create the strategy and help staff implement it we anticipate the chosen consultant will review past Summit sponsorship marketing materials and website/social media fundraising-related content and previous outreach plans and targets, and other information as determined by the consultant based on their experience with fundraising for events of this kind.


Expected qualifications include:

  • Experience with corporate sponsorship, including sponsor identification, development, and delivery of sponsorship benefits;
  • Experience leading successful effort to secure events-based sponsorships and with developing benefits for virtual and in-person events;
  • Understanding and or focus on equity, smart growth, land use, transportation, real estate, and related fields preferred;
  • Excellent communications skills and ability to be an ambassador for Smart Growth America;
  • Proven ability to create an implementable fundraising strategy with a details-oriented approach;
  • Collaborative approach with our SGA staff.


Tasks will include the following:

  • Review past sponsorship outreach strategies and materials from the Summit in 2022 and 2023 and advise on approach in 2024, including:
    • Potential sponsors outreach list
    • Template language for sponsor outreach
    • Sponsorship benefits for virtual and in-person aspects of the Summit
  • Create 2024 event strategy building from the above draft materials;
  • Provide prospect research support where needed (e.g. identifying the correct contact at a firm of interest);
  • Lead outreach to potential sponsors, with SGA staff supporting when interest is identified;
  • Advise SGA on systems and processes for tracking the delivery of sponsorship benefits.


Deadline Extended: Proposals are now due on Friday, August 25th. SGA anticipates identifying a fundraising consultant and doing a brief kickoff meeting in late August.  The creation of the short inn strategy should occur by mid-September with implementation, including outreach to potential sponsors and partners, to occur from September-January/February in advance of the March 2023 event.


Up to $20,000 is budgeted for this contract. Cost will be considered as part of the assessment of proposals.

Proposal Requirements

Proposals should be succinct and include the following:

  • Cover letter, indicating why your firm is interested in and qualified for the job
  • Individual qualifications/CVs
  • High-level timeline and key tasks list for August-February 2024
  • Hourly rates for staff involved
  • Proposed total cost 
  • References

Full and open competition policy

SGA strives to ensure full and open competition, guarantee the objective performance of contracts, and eliminate the possibility for unfair competitive advantages, and therefore SGA uses a competitive process for its procurements.

Proposal selection shall be based on overall value to SGA considering responsiveness to the solicitation, price, quality, alignment of proposer staff experience with work needed, and other relevant factors. SGA will also consider other benefits associated with the procurement in the selection process, including but not limited to, the opportunity to use small, disadvantaged, women-owned, and minority-owned firms.


Please submit proposals to Katharine Burgess, Vice President of Land Use and Development,  [email protected] by Friday, August 25. 


Advancing Racial Equity