Strategic Planning for the Choose Clean Water Coalition

The Choose Clean Water Coalition seeks an experienced strategic planning consultant to design and facilitate a participatory planning process that will create a three-year strategic plan (2022-2025) for the organization.

About Choose Clean Water Coalition

The Choose Clean Water Coalition was formed in 2009 to energize the effort to restore and protect the rivers and streams that feed into the Chesapeake Bay. Representing more than 250 organizations, the Choose Clean Water Coalition harnesses the collective power of the many advocates and stakeholders working on this mission to collaborate on joint state and federal campaigns to advance the Chesapeake Bay restoration effort.

The Coalition is a capacity builder, providing our members with the resources they need to achieve our collective goals for clean water. This includes, but is not limited to, educating members on issues impacting the restoration effort, engaging in policy development and advocacy, strengthening communications campaigns and strategies, and advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) within our organizations. One of our largest focus areas is working with Coalition members to address racial inequities that show up in our work as institutional, systemic, and cultural challenges. We approach this work by promoting and incorporating DEIJ into the structures, analysis, policy development, decision-making and advocacy process of the Coalition. Through our strategic planning process, we seek to develop a plan that embeds equity and justice at the center of our work.

The Coalition has four full-time staff, one federal affairs contractor, an 18-person steering committee of Coalition member organizations, and six state lead organizations for member engagement. We also regularly engage and partner with federal, state and local offices, elected officials, funding providers, and other stakeholders.

Planning Needs

Our Steering Committee is interested in developing a plan that reflects current and future growth for the organization over the next three years, especially within the context of the approaching Chesapeake Bay restoration 2025 deadline. Over the past four years, the Coalition’s work has also evolved, with more requests of Coalition capacity for new priorities and projects. A large portion of these requests include education and training for Coalition members who seek to implement the DEIJ in Action Guide to better support black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) staff, advance equitable policies and advocacy efforts, and serve environmental justice communities. The Coalition wants this strategic planning process to embed equity and justice, help identify appropriate areas of growth and expansion, while also identifying challenges and barriers our organization will need to overcome to achieve our goals.

The Coalition’s current strategic plan was developed in 2017 through a robust internal and external process, with input from within our membership, leadership and partner organizations. We believe it is critical to engage a diverse cross-section of the Chesapeake restoration community in the development of this new plan, which includes members of the Coalition, funders, Bay restoration stakeholders, state and federal agency partners, and other non-Coalition member organizations.

Scope of Work

Develop a fully written draft strategic plan that will be turned into a finalized plan by the Coalition Steering Committee. The consultant will work closely with our strategic planning committee, made up of members of the steering committee and staff, to coordinate these efforts.

Design Strategic Planning Process
September 2021 – October 2021

  • Work with the Coalition Strategic Planning Committee to design a strategic planning process and formal timeline tailored to the Coalition’s needs.

Plan and Implement Robust Stakeholder Input
October 2021 – January 2022

  • Analyze the Coalition’s challenges and opportunities for growth through engagement of a diverse cross-section of audiences (surveys, listening sessions, and other feedback loops).

Analyze and Present Outcomes From Survey Results
February 2022

  • Debrief research results with Coalition Steering Committee to outline where there are opportunities for growth and where our challenges may lie.
  • Develop process and strategy for creation of the draft plan that includes the engagement of the broader Steering Committee and other stakeholders as needed.

Develop Draft Strategic Plan
February 2022 – March 2022

  • Facilitate meetings with the Coalition’s Steering Committee, Staff, and Strategic Planning Committee to advance the development of the draft plan.

Present Final Draft Strategic Plan
April 2022

  • Provide a fully crafted draft plan for the Steering Committee and Staff to finalize internally.

Response Requested

If you are interested in being considered for this work, please submit a brief statement of your qualifications, your approach to strategic planning, and two references by 5pm on July 30, 2021. Our budget for this project is between $20,000 – $25,000.

Proposals should be submitted via email to Mariah Davis and Kristin Reilly at