Now Hiring: Fundraising Consultant

Scope of Work

Local Media Association (LMA) seeks a Fundraising Consultant or Firm with a proven track record of building and executing fundraising strategies, and with purpose-driven alignment around sustaining local media organizations through business transformation. At least some strategic experience or knowledge of media disruption is preferred.

LMA seeks to raise significant funds to launch a unique Business Model Accelerator that will create sustainable revenue paths forward for all local media (newspapers, radio and TV broadcasters, and digital publishers). This person will be charged with leading all aspects of the fundraising process, aided by LMA staff, to secure these funds. This is a 4-6 month contracted position, or until funds are successfully raised, with potential longer-term opportunity as the Accelerator grows.

About LMA / About the Business Model Accelerator

The Accelerator is a purpose-built entity created to find new business models to sustain local journalism. Its holistic structure and rigorous methodology uniquely enable the Accelerator to research, vet, test, and then execute on promising models. Its focus is bold, transformational revenue streams — $500M+ ideas – not incremental change. For those models demonstrating the strongest promise, the Accelerator will deliver playbooks, training, workshops, on-demand support and embed specialist teams within media companies to ensure successful deployment and execution. When fully funded, the Accelerator is expected to cost in the neighborhood of $48MM.

The vision for the Business Model Accelerator emanates from an intensive, 14-month strategic planning process in conjunction with LMA’s Board of Directors. This journey included investments in consultants, in-depth research (interviews, focus groups, surveys), and a dedicated strategic planning committee that shaped the vision for the Accelerator.

LMA has an extensive, distinguished history of leading change across the local media industry, focused around a core mission of business model transformation and sustainable revenue growth. As the true “umbrella organization” for all local media, LMA works closely with a vibrant community of 2,800+ newspaper, radio, TV, digital publishing, and R&D members to aid their transformation. The Accelerator represents a natural, and ambitious, extension of LMA’s core mission, with robust support from the Board to take the next step in catalyzing transformation.

Historically, LMA’s diversified revenues come from a mix of membership, conferences, unique experiential learning programs (Innovation Missions, Chief Digital Clubs), training, and more. While LMA does have a track record of fundraising from foundations and corporations, we have not fundraised at this level before or for a project of this magnitude. We seek a partner to work closely with our strong staff and Board to provide expertise at a higher level as we embark on the campaign.

Consultant / Firm’s Responsibilities in a Successful Collaboration Include:

  1. Build a comprehensive pipeline of potential funders of all types. For all prospects identified, this includes their mission, funding history, goals and conditions for investment, current initiatives, and key points of contact. Prospective funders should be ranked and scored along these dimensions, as well as their alignment with the vision for LMA’s Accelerator.
  2. Identify how to most effectively position the Accelerator for each prospective funder, based on the characteristics in point #1, and others. Then, collaborate with LMA leadership to properly tailor the Accelerator narrative to resonate with the funder, and ensure the best chance for success.
  3. Lead outreach to all prospective funders – and other contacts / influencers, as needed – to introduce the Accelerator, position it effectively, and secure meetings with key decision makers.
  4. Participate in meetings with funders, supporting LMA leadership to ensure success.
  5. Spearhead follow-up correspondence with prospective funders, including working closely with LMA leadership to produce additional resources, as needed.
  6. Provide a weekly status report for LMA leadership on the fundraising pipeline, including discussions that have advanced or ceased, new prospects, timelines, and next steps.

All proposals must include:

  1. A cover letter, with a concise narrative that addresses: a) Why the applicant is passionate about this work; b) The applicant’s approach and vision for leading the campaign and accomplishing the Scope of Work within the allotted project timetable.
  2. Experience and qualifications of the Consultant or Firm, including any specific media experience in addition to fundraising and philanthropy background. Include a client list and references if applicable.
  3. Expected fee structure to contract to perform this work.

Proposal Evaluation Criteria

All accepted proposals will be reviewed and evaluated using the following criteria:

  1. Overall match between the RFP requirements and proposal: a) Understanding of scope, mission, and objectives; b) Strategic approach to the project
  2. Qualifications and relevant previous work, including and beyond media. Demonstrated ability to carry out similarly ambitious strategic projects effectively and collaboratively.

Proposal Submission

Please submit your proposal via email at lindsey.estes@localmedia.org

An initial round of telephone interviews will be conducted, followed by interviews with 2-3 finalists. LMA aims to contract with the consultant or firm within 60 days.