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Strategic Planning - RFP

Downtown Indy, Inc. (DII) is seeking written proposals from qualified consultants or firms to assist in the development of a community-centered, metrics-driven strategic plan for the organization.

As an organization focused on enhancing Downtown as a great and diverse place to live, learn, work and play through programs, public space activation, and operational support, our interest is in identifying a partner who embodies the same creativity and focus that defines our efforts. Additionally, the successful partner will be well-equipped in helping a board coalesce around a common vision and identifying unmet needs or duplicative efforts within a civic non-profit ecosystem. For additional information about our work, including our signature events, please visit explore the rest of our website. 

Further information about the project goals, scope of work and submission details are outlined below. Proposals, including comprehensive pricing, must be received by email no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, January 20, 2023. Late or incomplete proposals will not be considered.

For questions regarding the anticipated work, scope of the project or other details regarding your submission, please see below, or contact us for more detailed information. 

Strategic Plan RFP Background and Requirements


Downtown Indy, Inc. (DII) is an Indianapolis-based, private, civic nonprofit organization established in 1993 as a public/private partnership. DII promotes and encourages the continued development of a diverse, vibrant, and pedestrian-friendly Downtown. The organization consistently advocates for a great urban core and manages, markets, activates and develops the Downtown area, working closely with city departments and community partners to keep our city clean, safe, beautiful and thriving.

Over the course of DII’s 30 years, the organization has had a number of operational and action plans, but this process will mark the organization’s first, formal strategic plan. As such, in addition to tasks such as ecosystem evaluation, goal-setting and evaluation of operational priorities, this process should yield a shared understanding of DII’s vision, mission and goals amongst key stakeholders.


  1. Establish a shared understanding of Downton Indy, Inc.’s mission, vision and goals.
  2. Better understand the organization’s role in the broader civic ecosystem, including identifying the existence of duplicating roles, unmet needs and areas for improved partnership.
  3. Articulate a pathway to long-term financial sustainability, including exploration of how unmet needs in the civic ecosystem might become revenue generators.
  4. Outline short- and long-term goals, tied to clear metrics, for board and staff.

Scope of Work

  1. Conduct civic ecosystem review and analysis, including a scan of competitor downtowns and broader trends, and other community engagement deemed necessary.
  2. Review DII’s vision, mission and current goals, and provide recommendations for revision.
  3. Review DII’s current organization structure and capacity, providing recommendations for funding models and structural adjustments to help meet future goals.
  4. Conduct necessary sessions with key stakeholders (including, but not limited to, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Visit Indy, and the City of Indianapolis) as well as board members and staff, to explore strengths and weaknesses, analyze overlaps or gaps in services, and develop the strategic plan.
    5. Assist DII board and staff in development of metrics and evaluation processes.

Evaluation of Proposals

The ideal partner will be able to demonstrate a record of previous short- and long-term planning on behalf of organizations focused on economic development, placemaking, marketing and event management.

In awarding a contract for services, DII will evaluate potential partners on a number of criteria, which will include:

  1. Extent to which the proposal addresses the stated scope of work and demonstrates an understanding of DII’s work.
  2. Clarity of plan, approach and methodology used to perform the requested work and develop DII’s strategic plan.
  3. Qualifications and experience of firm or consultant in providing strategic planning services.
  4. Knowledge of local context. This requirement can be met by showcasing connection to Indy or plans to subcontract with Indianapolis based partners.
  5. Project cost.

Submission Details

As stated above, please submit necessary materials to EMAIL by Friday, January 20, 2023. Responses should be no longer than 10 single-sided pages and should include:

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Description of proposer’s approach and methodology, especially focused onorganization’s focused on economic development, placemaking, marketing andevent management.
  3. A list of project deliverables and associated draft timeline with associated costs.
  4. Credentials and qualifications of key personnel who will be engaged in theproject.
  5. Examples of previous work completed for similar organizations.