Request for proposal leadership atlanta class of 2017 community leadership projects

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This Request for Proposal (“RFP”) aims to assist you in preparing a compelling project proposal for the Leadership Atlanta Class of 2017. This class will begin its work end of August, 2016. Please review it carefully and contact Laura Guerin, Director of Programs, Leadership Atlanta with any questions. You may reach Laura at or (404) 876-4770, ext. 104.
All Completed Proposals are due by Wednesday, June 22, 2016 at 5:00PM.

Leadership Atlanta seeks to partner with approximately eight metro Atlanta nonprofit organizations as Community Leadership Project partners. Each selected organization will benefit from a project that a 10-12 member team of Leadership Atlanta Class of 2017 participants completes collaboratively during the program year (August 2016 – May 2017).

Celebrating more than 47 years of developing leaders, Leadership Atlanta is the oldest sustained community leadership program in the nation. Together with an expansive network of distinguished alumni, Leadership Atlanta continues a proud tradition of connecting and inspiring leaders to strengthen metro Atlanta's communities. The core of Leadership Atlanta's programming is our signature nine-month, executive-level series. A pivotal part of the program curriculum is service learning projects with local nonprofit organizations.
Community Leadership Projects aim to:

  • Provide a civic engagement opportunity for class members to collectively learn about and address a critical community need;

  • Provide an opportunity for class members to develop deeper relationships with each other through teamwork and to gain experience leading in a team setting;

  • Provide an opportunity for class members to learn about how local nonprofit organizations address community needs;

  • Provide value-added support and consultation to a local nonprofit which assists it in achieving its mission.


To submit your nonprofit’s project for consideration, please complete the online application in its entirety and email the additional requested documents to no later than 5:00PM on Wednesday, June 22, 2016.


Leadership Atlanta’s Community Leadership Projects are a critical component of the Leadership Atlanta class curriculum. These projects will take place over the course of the program year, from late August 2016-mid April 2017.

If your nonprofit is selected for the Class of 2017, 10-12 class participants will be assigned to your project’s team. This group will be a diverse group of individuals from a variety of backgrounds and sectors, including the government, business, academic, and nonprofit sectors. These members have enrolled in Leadership Atlanta’s program in order to learn about the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities we face as a region. Particularly, the Leadership Atlanta curriculum focuses on issues of education, criminal justice, health, race awareness, diversity and inclusion, leadership, economic development, and regional governance.
Your team members will be senior-level professionals who have demonstrated significant leadership in their profession and their community work. Each selected organization will be assigned a volunteer Leadership Atlanta alumnus as a Project Facilitator. This facilitator will work with the organization to finalize details of the Project during the first half of August. We will announce the projects to the class at their Opening Retreat in August. Their work on the projects must be completed by April 23, 2017 and we hope that your organization will allow our teams to present their project outcomes to your senior leadership team or board members after they have completed their work. The project groups may be of different sizes, depending on the optimal number of people needed to complete each one.
Leadership Atlanta will provide additional instructions, timelines, and tips for a successful Project to agencies upon selection.

In our experience, the most satisfying projects for both our nonprofit partners and our class members are those that fulfill an outstanding strategic need for the nonprofit organization. As senior-level leaders, our class members want to contribute something of intellectual weight and practical value to your organization. They enjoy being able to produce something tangible and meaningful for the nonprofit.

We encourage you to think about your organization’s needs and plans for the future. What needs creative thought that you may not otherwise be able to attend to? We welcome a variety of projects which will encourage participants to demonstrate leadership, use their creativity and that will promote teambuilding among participants. Examples of successful past projects include but are not limited to a marketing plan for your next five years, a strategic overview of your new proposed business product, a digital strategy for engagement, etc.
Preference will be given to projects that educate class members about a significant community issue, that focus on underserved and/or diverse populations, and that can be realistically accomplished within the timeframe.
Projects should be meaningful and add sustainable value to the nonprofit. The proposal should demonstrate the value of the project to the organization as well as to participants.
Projects that will not be considered include fundraising, clean-up/fix-up projects, stuffing envelopes, painting walls, filing and telemarketing. Activity-based projects or working directly with the clients of a nonprofit will not be considered unless these activities are clearly within the context of a larger, more meaningful project. We will not consider direct implementation of fundraising activities or board recruitment.

A committee of Leadership Atlanta alumni will review proposals and select this year’s nonprofit partners. Proposals are judged according to the following criteria.

  • Proposed Aim and Deliverable(s) of the Project:

    • We seek projects that allow class members to contribute something meaningful and/or tangible that adds strategic, sustainable value to the nonprofit partner.

    • The project should be able to be realistically completed during the nine-month program year in approximately 16-24 hours of work. (Please be aware that the class members are extremely busy professionals with significant restrictions on their time.)

    • The project should have a well-defined scope and explicit objectives.

    • Projects that serve underserved and/or diverse populations are most popular.

  • Subject Matter: We look for projects that allow class members to learn in-depth about critical community issues.

  • Creativity: We want projects that encourage creative problem solving among team members.

  • Collaboration: We desire projects that encourage teamwork and require class members to learn about leadership in a group setting.

  • Audience Served: Projects that serve underserved and/or diverse populations that have explicit objectives and well-defined scopes are most effective.

  • Nonprofit Organization Itself: We look for nonprofit partners that are of a size and degree of stability such that working with the Leadership Atlanta team will not place an undue burden on the organization. The agency should be committed to take full advantage of the project team’s output, and the organization’s senior leaders should be involved in the project team’s work. (Please note that due to class members’ roles as senior leaders we strongly encourage the Executive Director or CEO of the selected agencies to work in some capacity with Project groups.)


Organizations submitting proposals must be able to meet the following timeline.

  • June 22, 2016: Proposals due via online submission.

  • Week of July 18, 2016: In-Person Interviews as well as site visits with organizations selected as finalists will take place.

Selected nonprofit partners for the Class of 2017 must be able to meet the following timeline.

  • Week of August 1, 2016: In-Person meeting with organizations selected as nonprofit partners for the Class of 2017 to take place with Leadership Atlanta Facilitators.

  • August 27, 2016 (mid-day): First session with project team at Leadership Atlanta Opening Retreat (to be held in Rutledge, GA, approximately 50 miles east of Midtown Atlanta).

  • August 27, 2016-April 24, 2017: Team members work on projects according to scheduled agreed-upon by team members and nonprofit partner.


Please note carefully the following limitations applying to your proposal:

  • We will not consider projects from nonprofit organizations who have previously been a Community Leadership Project partner in either of the preceding two class years (September 2014-April 2016). This qualification ensures diversity in those partners selected. Organizations who have partnered with LEAD Atlanta, Leadership Atlanta’s young professionals program, during that stated time period are eligible.

  • We will not consider projects that solely constitute “busy work” for class members, such as stuffing envelopes, working at events, or painting buildings.

  • In order to protect the integrity of our class members’ personal and professional relationships, we will not consider fundraising projects or board recruitment projects. Requests by partner agency employees for fundraising or development assistance throughout the program year will not be allowed.

  • We will accept proposals only from nonprofit organizations whose tax exempt status is 501(c) (3) or from community coalitions affiliated with 501(c) (3) s.

  • There is no funding available from Leadership Atlanta for the project. The project must be able to be completed through the donated time and efforts of the 10-12 class members.

  • Leadership Atlanta is under no obligation to select any project that may be proposed. Leadership Atlanta is not responsible or liable in any manner for any risks, costs or expenses incurred by any proposing organization in the preparation of a proposal in response to this RFP or any revisions of a proposing organization’s proposal.

  • Leadership Atlanta reserves the right to withdraw participation in a project for any reason, including but not limited to, lack of oversight and involvement by the proposing organization, lack of sufficient resources from the proposing organization to complete the project, change in project scope, or any other reason.

  • Leadership Atlanta is not responsible for any expenses incurred by the proposing organization as a result of Leadership Atlanta’s selection of the project, Class Members’ participation in the project, or withdrawal from the project.

  • If the proposing organization intends to seek or actually seeks media coverage of the project, Leadership Atlanta staff must be contacted at least one (1) week in advance so that the proposing organization may request Leadership Atlanta’s approval to include mention of Leadership Atlanta, its Class Members, or its logo in the media coverage.

Thank you for your time! We look forward to reading your proposal and to possibly working with your team!

Leadership Atlanta RFP

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