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Request for Proposals – Chapter Administrator for APA Northern New England Chapter

The Northern New England Chapter of the American Planning Association (NNECAPA) is seeking proposals from individuals, organizations and firms to serve as the part-time, subcontracted, Chapter Administrator for the organization’s 500 members and Executive Committee. The Chapter Administrator is responsible for administrative, membership, and service functions, and provides a continuous, professional, and comprehensive approach to delivering membership services in accordance with national APA policies, NNECAPA bylaws and the NNECAPA strategic plan.

About the American Planning Association (APA)

APA is a 501c3 non-profit education and membership organization with approximately 38,000 members. Members include practicing urban planners, planning students, elected and appointed officials, planning commissioners and interested citizens. APA and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), are dedicated to advancing the art, science and profession of good planning – physical, economic and social – to create communities that offer better choices for where and how people work and live. More information on APA can be found at www.planning.org.

About the APA NNECAPA Chapter

APA’s membership is organized into 47 different chapters across the country. Most chapters follow state boundaries, NNECAPA being one of two multistate chapters comprised of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. Within the Chapter there are three Sections which follow the three state political boundaries.  While the national organization provides many services to the membership, NNECAPA and its Sections provide education and services that are customized towards planners in the three states. We have over 500 members which include professional planners, students, planning faculty, affiliated professionals and some elected and appointed officials. While a member of the greater APA 501c3 designation, two of the Sections have their own separate 501c3 and 501c6 designations in their respective states.

The chapter’s two guiding principles are Members First and Fostering Partnerships:

 Members First: All of the programs, projects, and activities of the Chapter have a central focus of providing service and value to the membership. While some activities are best suited to professional planners, all types of planners – lay and professional – are welcomed and supported by the Chapter.

 Fostering Partnerships: Given the geography of our chapter and the diversity of Northern New England’s planners, communities, and landscapes, the Chapter recognizes that most activities will be conducted by the Sections in concert with other groups or agencies. The Chapter works in partnership with the three state Sections to advance the art and science of planning in Northern New England

We strive to create a network of professional and citizen planners collaborating to increase awareness of the value of good community planning principles across the NNECAPA Region. NNECAPA is an organization representing mainly rural and some urban interests, advocating for public policy that will ensure vitality for NNECAPA communities. The mission of NNECAPA is to improve and promote the standards and quality of planning at all levels in the States of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont; to encourage the free exchange of ideas among planners in Northern New England; and to facilitate the participation of members in the activities of the American Planning Association.

Governance of the chapter is through the Executive Committee which includes six Officers and six Section Representatives. Each of the three Sections are governed by a local Executive Committee, of which two members serve on the Chapter Executive Committee. The Executive Committees are responsible for overall policy direction and budgeting as well as its members chairing various working committees. Chapter and Section officers currently carry out day to day business activities of the chapter and the sections including record keeping, bookkeeping and financial management, and oversight of education programming. The Executive Committee as a whole also provides oversight over the chapter’s finances. The Executive Committee is chaired by the Chapter President and each of the Section Executive Committees are chaired by a President. The Chapter President also has additional responsibilities within national leadership of APA including serving on the Chapter President’s Council (which coordinates activities between Chapters and serves as an advisory committee to the APA Board of Directors) and the official communications conduit with national staff.

More information on NNECAPA and the Chapter Strategic Plan can be found at www.nnecapa.org.

The Chapter Administrator’s Role

NNECAPA and the three state Sections are currently all-volunteer organizations. Last year we voted to merge the four separate organizations into one APA Chapter with three Sections, with the goal of increasing our capacity to provide services and expand our service offerings. As such, we have reached a point where typical administrative responsibilities are taxing our current officers and keeping us from optimally fulfilling our mission and implementing our Strategic Plan. The role of the Chapter Administrator would be to help take over administrative responsibilities from chapter officers including securing sponsorships, organize our major annual events including the two-day Chapter conference and at least one event in each state, help grow our local chapter-only membership and help coordinate overall membership registration with APA national staff. As we have not ever hired a Chapter Administrator, this is an exciting opportunity for an individual or organization to help define this role moving forward.

Requirements

The qualified candidate individual, firm, or organization will have a basic understanding of the planning profession and practice of planning at local and state government levels.

NNECAPA anticipates that this contract will be awarded to an individual, firm or organization who will work on a contractual basis with the organization as an independent contractor. The proposed contract schedule will run on an annual basis subject to renewal by the Chapter Executive Committee. We foresee the individual, firm, or organization as maintaining or pursuing other clients and projects in addition to the services they provide our chapter.

Conflict of Interest

We foresee the individual, firm, or organization as maintaining or pursuing other clients and projects in addition to the services they provide our chapter.  As such, it will be important that the Executive Committee evaluate any potential conflicts of interest including missions that may run counter to our chapter’s mission and that of APA national.

Scope of Services

The Scope of Services for the Chapter Administrator position could include the following roles and responsibilities. As this is a request for proposals, we fully expect to negotiate a final scope of services and fee with the selected finalist that will fit within the current and future budgets of NNECAPA.

  1. Basic Services
  • Coordinating membership database with APA national staff (who maintain membership rosters for the Chapter and all three Sections) with Wild Apricot/Constant Contact accounts.
  • Report membership numbers to the Executive Committee and all Presidents quarterly
  • Mailing new member packets/information (created by Chapter or Sections)
  • Assist in maintaining the Chapter and Sections website (provided by APA), listserv, and Facebook page in conjunction with the Public Information Officer and Communications Committee
  • Coordinating and submitting Certification Maintenance credits for approval by AICP for chapter events and approved (by NNECAPA Professional Development Officer) additional workshops
  • Distribute the quarterly chapter newsletter via email using already our already established email management program
  • Assist the Communications Committee in preparing and distributing press releases as needed
  • Assist with distribution of electronic surveys and annual section elections ballots (APA national creates ballot national/chapter ballots) (Content created by NNECAPA and Sections)
  • Check chapter email weekly and respond to or forward messages
  • Maintain copies (electronic) of chapter agreements, board actions, contracts, contacts, and important documents in conjunction with the Chapter Secretary
  • Maintain and utilize chapter Dropbox account in conjunction with Chapter PIO.
  1. Conference and Event Services
  • Maintain registration system including payment by credit card for chapter conferences and events. Currently chapter events include one large conference and at least three section events annually (handled by website and PayPal)
  • Send confirmation letters and pre-conference information to registered participants
  • Invoice conference and event participants who do not pay online and follow up with outstanding invoices
  • Develop conference participant nametags and packets
  • Prepare speaker nametags
  • Coordinate catering, room, setup, and AV logistics with host site in partnership with Conference Committee Chair
  • Collect and provide copies of speaker bios
  • Coordination of design and printing of conference programs and/or marketing materials with the conference committee
  • Assist with electronic marketing through email, web, and Facebook for conferences
  • Maintain conference budget and actual income and expenses in conjunction with Conference Chair
  • Possibly provide on-site registration and check-in assistance
  1. Financial Services
  • Accounts Receivable processing for the 4 general fund checking accounts with invoice approval by Treasurers (each account has a monthly average of less than 10 transactions, when not including the conference or annual meeting events. With those events average monthly transactions for one organization is closer to 30 transactions, while the other 3 remain at 10 transactions.)
  • Assist the Sponsorship Committee with securing sponsorships for Chapter events and services
  • In conjunction with the Treasurers, maintain all chapter financial records including chapter checkbooks and reconcile bank statements. Sections will choose to maintain their own checkbooks.
  • In conjunction with the Treasurers, participate in annual filings of all tax and corporate records as required by law and APA
  • Provide the Treasurers with monthly account statements and budget reports
  • Coordinate with APA National for receipt of membership dues to NNECAPA quarterly, and distribute dues from NNECAPA to state sections in conjunction with Treasurer.
  1. Other Duties
  • Graphics and Design services maybe required on an hourly basis for support of conferences and events
  • If a Section would like assistance with additional events, an hourly or per event fee, should be available
  • We are open to suggestions and ideas on how the Chapter Administrator could grow their role within the Chapter as well as fund the expansion of their role

Submission Content Requirements

Proposals should contain the following materials:

  1. Brief description of the candidate’s understanding of the organization and the field of planning.
  2. Description of the candidate’s organization or firm and their ability to provide the services as provided under “Scope of Services”. (Description must include: number of years of operation, legal operating status, current general liability coverage or stated ability to obtain coverage if a contract is offered and statement of availability and during the full term of services requested.)
  3. Descriptions of at least three other experiences similar to the services requested under “Scope of Services” (include description of the service provided, dates provided, and reference contact information. This can include job duties of a like nature that can be transferrable to the scope of services requested.) (i.e. was Treasurer of a non-profit organization, served in a leadership role of a 501c3, etc)
  4. Work management plan including proposed project manager and resumes of personnel expected to be assigned to the project. Indicate the individual that will lead the management function for each of the service areas noted above. Indicate how continuous services will be provided if the project manager cannot provide services for any reason.
  5. Breakdown of cost estimates for each of the four service areas (Basic, Conference and Event, Financial and Other) based on above Scope of Services.
  6. Any other information the submitter deems important to support the submittal and help us best understand the submitter’s qualifications.
  7. Any potential conflicts of interest that may impact the submitter’s ability to perform their duties fully for the chapter and how those conflicts may be mitigated. (This does not necessarily disqualify the submitter as we understand as interests between clients may conflict.)

One (1) electronic version of the submittal in either Microsoft Word compatible or PDF format shall be submitted to:

Sarah Marchant, AICP

APA NNECAPA Chapter President

PO Box 2019

229 Main Street

Nashua, NH 03060

603.589.3075

marchants@nashuanh.gov

Deadline

Proposals will be accepted through Wednesday, February 20, 2019 at 5:00pm.

Evaluation Criteria

Proposal submitted to NNECAPA will be evaluated using the following criteria, in no particular order:

  1. Understanding of the role and function of the organization and knowledge of the planning field.
  2. Understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the Chapter Administrator position
  3. Work management plan
  4. Experience of personnel (and if applicable the organization) expected to be assigned to the project, in particular the lead individual.
  5. Cost of Services
  6. Past work experience with similar projects, responsibilities or duties.
  7. Statement on how the Chapter Administrator can make NNECAPA more successful in fulfilling its mission.

NNECAPA reserves the right to reject any and/or all submissions and re-advertise this request. All submissions will become the property of NNECAPA and will not be returned. The Executive Committee will review all submissions and rank proposals. Phone interviews may be conducted with top proposals and a final proposal will be selected to enter into negotiations with the successful firm or organization.

Timeline for Selection

It is our intention to select and have a Chapter Administrator under contract by the end of the 2nd Quarter of this year. We potentially see our Executive Committee approving a contract at their May 17th meeting, although we will provide as much flexibility in the selection process and timeline as necessary to assure we secure a qualified and compatible candidate.

 For More Information

Interested firms or organizations are encouraged to contact Sarah Marchant, AICP (marchants@nashuanh.gov ) or (603-589-3075) at the contact information above for more information regarding this request for qualifications. We are more than happy to discuss this RFQ at any time as we would like to provide you with as much information as possible for you to make an informed submission.

For more information on the chapter, visit the organization’s web site at www.nnecapa.org . For more information on the American Planning Association, visit their website at www.planning.org.

 

 

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