This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Our 2022 Annual Report is now available.
Close this search box.

Request for Proposals (RFP): Development Contractor

Request for Proposals (RFP): Development Contractor


Parks California was created to be a new model of public, private, and non-profit partnership. As the official statutory, non-profit partner to California State Parks, working statewide, we’re uniquely positioned to innovate and work hand-in-hand with communities and experts to bring resources together – ensuring that everyone can experience healthy and thriving parks for generations to come.

At Parks California, our vision is for vibrant, healthy parks that welcome, engage, and inspire. As a team, each of us at Parks California strives to:

  • Be a valued and trusted partner organization.
  • Serve as catalysts for the future of parks.
  • Cultivate a culture of philanthropy.
  • Model emotional and cultural intelligence in our work every day.
  • Embody the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

We currently operate over 30 projects, which are funded by government, public-private partnership agreements as well as the generous support of private donations. We are a proud 1% for the Planet partner, a global network of thousands of businesses and environmental organizations working together to support people and the planet.

Want to learn more? Check out our website.


We are seeking an experienced development contractor to help us advance Parks California’s development efforts by researching and qualifying major gift and institutional prospects.

We are looking for a contractor who enjoys and has experience working in donor-prospect research, and managing multiple projects and tasks while meeting deadlines. The contractor’s work will help the Development Team and the wider Parks California Team meet the annual private-sector fundraising goals of the organization. The Contractor’s Scope of Work will touch on all aspects of program funding needs (Access & Belonging, Park Stewardship & Climate Resilience, Parks of the Future, Unrestricted Funding), across all sources of private funding (Foundations, Corporations, Individuals).

Scope of Work


  • Research and qualify funding prospects across sources: Individuals, Foundations, and Corporations for both unrestricted and programmatic funding.
  • Advise on cultivating prospects by aligning prospect interests with Parks California’s communications assets, events and network.
  • Aid in the implementation of a new CRM by entering qualified prospects, qualifying features, and mapping into excel sheet with specific fields for subsequent imports.


  1. Identify Qualified Leads: Weekly written report that includes 20 New Qualified Leads – ten institutions (foundations and corporations) and ten individuals. Qualified Leads are individuals and institutions with affinity/alignment, capacity, giving history, and current contact information (specific individuals for institutional leads).
  2. Process (see below) 40 Cold Individual Leads per week.
  3. Process (see below) 8 Recommended Individual Leads per week.
  4. Identify 30 Qualified Invitees, along with contact information, and deliver six weeks in advance for each of seven Development Events throughout the year and throughout the state.

5.    Map Institutional Leads and Prospects (see below – “Specific to Institutions”)

Processing Leads-Individuals: Using existing, albeit sometimes limited, information about a lead (name, address), gather relevant useful information which includes:

  • Verifying that the lead is valid – disambiguated, living, engaged in philanthropy,
  • Board service & list of board colleagues,
  • Key philanthropic history,
  • Employment, current and past,
  • Valid contact information beyond USPS address, if possible,
  • Verify contact information,
  • Philanthropic Foundation relationships,
  • Relevant educational institutions,
  • Known hobbies/interests/pursuits,
  • Any relevant association with parks,
  • Name of spouse/partner,
  • Map any connections to our Board members – directors and advisors – or staff.


Start with our existing curated, prioritized foundation prospect list of about 140 leads

  • Priority 1: Review highest priority known foundation (including corporate foundations) leads (20-25)
    • Deliverable is mapping: confirm fit, investigate potential contacts and recommend approach.
    • Priority 2: Review second tier of known foundation leads (25-30)
      • Deliverable is
        • Assessment of potential fit
        • Mapping those where a fit is viable
  • Priority 3: Scan remaining +/- 50 foundations we considered ‘Not a Fit’ (although they funded something related to our work) to see if any should be upgraded.

Generate new leads (not on existing list) – ONGOING

  • Stage 1: generate leads with fit (program and location fits funder priorities, Potential for $25K+ initial grant)
    • Goal: 10 new per week, supplying information requested on spreadsheet
    • Reporting should include information on research methodology pursued (similar organization, databases, etc.)
  • Stage 2:  Move approved leads to mapping stage
    • Goal: Handle prior week’s leads in next week


  1. Experience: Describe your experience in non-profit fundraising/development.
  2. Capacity & Qualification: Describe your capacity and qualification to provide these services including prior work and two references who can verify your experience.
  3. Knowledge: Describe your knowledge of supporting development and fundraising for non-profit organizations including working with CRMs, compiling information for demonstrating impact, communicating a compelling narrative about the work of a non-profit organization, reporting on the work, and researching and qualifying leads and prospects.
  4. Developing Reports: Describe your experience in synthesizing data and writing Impact Reports.
  5. Fee: Provide detailed breakdown of fees for outlined tasks. Detail your cost structure.
  6. References: Please provide three professional references.


This contract work will begin no later than March 1, 2024, and will be completed by December 31, 2024.


Please submit your proposal using the form at this link.

QUESTIONS? Please email Michael Bridges at mbridges [@]