Request For Proposals: Development and Implementation of AFN Strategic Communications Plan

Project: Development and Implementation of AFN Strategic Communications Plan

Organization: Appalachia Funders Network |

Contact: Kathryn Coulter, Network Coordinator | [email protected] | 828-273-3839

RFP Submission Deadline: Feb. 11, 2019

Project Overview and General Scope of Work:

  • Products:
    • Targeted strategic communications plan to draw attention to the Central Appalachian Economic Transition and related work of the Appalachia Funders Network and/or its six working groups. The communications plan should include recommendations of suitable publications to approach for article submissions.
    • Pitch articles showcasing examples of promising community development work and related to Appalachia Funders Network collaboration.
    • Written and distributed press release(s) informing national funders and investors about the 10th Annual Gathering in Athens, Ohio on April 2-4.
    • Targeted marketing to attend the 10th Annual Gathering
  • Core themeof each piece of writing answers the question “Why should national funders be interested in funding in Central Appalachia and how is the Network the best way to start?”
  • Goals:
    • Describe to national funders the opportunity to connect to knowledgeable Appalachia funders via the Network and to promising initiatives in Central Appalachia.
    • Call national funders and investors to action to attend the 10th Annual Gathering, join the Network, and commit funding in Central Appalachia.
  • Audience: National funders/philanthropy, national investors
  • Potential Outlets for Publications: Chronicle of Philanthropy, Philanthropy News Digest, guest blog on other funder network websites, etc.

*This is a general framework, but we are open to advice.

Background: The Appalachia Funders Network works across the Central Appalachian region to accelerate an equitable Appalachian transition by convening and connecting funders for learning, analysis, and collaboration. We envision a healthy, equitable, and vibrant region that, through strong partnerships, civic engagement, and leadership, preserves our unique assets and provides prosperity for all. A core goal of the Network is to increase philanthropic investment in the region and have been intentionally engaging national philanthropy for several years toward that end. (See more about the Network at

Budget: $20,000


Feb 11

Proposals Due

Feb 15

Selected consultant contacted

Late February

Initial call with consultant to refine scope, creative vision, work plan, timeline, and deliverables

Early March

Communications plan established, ad copy developed and distributed for marketing the Gathering

Mid-late March and early April

Targeted press releases developed and shared for pre-Gathering press attention and/or post Gathering announcement of activities/impacts

March 25-April 4

Field general press inquiries via phone leading up to and during the 10th Annual Gathering (April 2-4)

Mid-April thru September

Pitch stories and publish article(s) intended to attract investment attention on Central Appalachia.

*Please note that timeline, creative, and editing schedule is up for discussion with selected consultant.

Project Guidance: The main project contact is Kathryn Coulter, Network Coordinator. Kathryn will be the point of contact for the selected consultant. Project overview and guidance is provided by the Steering Committee of the Appalachia Funders Network.

Proposals and Selection Criteria: Proposals should present a general overview of writing concept described above, roles of client and consultant, budget, sample published writings, and experience writing about philanthropy. Proposals will be evaluated based on the feasibility of timeline, experience writing about philanthropy, adherence to budget, and sample writing submissions. Special priority will be given to consultants within the Central Appalachia region.

Submission: The deadline for proposals is no later than 5:00 pm Eastern Standard Time on Monday, February 11, 2019.  You may submit your proposals via email to [email protected].