Request for Proposals: Assessment of disaster funder motivations and needs


The Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) was founded in 2010 to pioneer the practice of strategic disaster philanthropy. Since then, it has grown in its ambition, envisioning a world where the impact of disasters is minimized through thoughtful, equitable and responsible recovery for all. CDP has a $33 million budget and a team of more than 25 staff members working remotely across the U.S.

In 2023, CDP adopted a new strategic plan that aims to increase CDP’s visibility, reputation and influence as the leading expert in disaster philanthropy that advances the equitable recovery of marginalized communities before and after a disaster.

We are seeking a consultant to conduct research that would deepen our understanding of our target audiences within philanthropy, which are primarily foundation, corporate and individual donors who give to disaster-related causes. Findings will help guide the work of implementing our current strategic plan, including our advisory services, fundraising, marketing and communications, educational resources, partnerships and special projects.

Proposals must be submitted by Monday, July 1, 2024, at 6:00pm EDT.

About the Center for Disaster Philanthropy

CDP is a trusted partner, expert and authoritative resource helping individuals, foundations, and corporations boost the impact of philanthropic giving in response to disasters and humanitarian crises by supporting equitable recovery and addressing root causes of vulnerabilities worldwide.

In 2022, CDP awarded $22.1 million through 93 grants to 91 grantee partners worldwide; demonstrated thought leadership through 14 webinars, 21 external commentaries, 128 blog posts, 34 featured speaking engagements and other events; and served nearly 20 philanthropic partners through consulting efforts.

In 2020, CDP was a featured nonprofit for the 14th Annual CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute.

CDP has consistently earned Charity Navigator’s Four-Star Charity rating and Candid’s Platinum Transparency seal.

As an organization grounded in racial and intersectional equity, our team members are deeply committed to strengthening communities most vulnerable to disasters because of systemic inequities. We are guided by our values of integrity, boldness and innovation, humility, and empathy in all that we do in pursuit of our mission.

Bottom line: We aspire to walk the talk of anti-racism and to treat each other and our partners in ways that inspire trust, creativity, learning and care.

Scope of work

We aim to learn more about our current and prospective donors and clients, which constitute our primary target audiences. They include foundation, corporate and individual donors.

This project will help us answer overarching questions such as:

  • Why do donors choose to support us?
  • Why do nondonors choose not to support us?
  • What messages most resonate with our audience?
  • How can we effectively reach our donors and prospective donors?
  • How can we support donor disaster literacy?
  • How do donors view various disasters and complex humanitarian emergencies and issues vital to disaster recovery?
  • What gaps are donors encountering that are hindering them from adopting high-impact disaster-giving strategies and practices?

We anticipate this work starting in July 2024 and being completed by October 15, 2024.

CDP’s team will use these findings to guide messaging for marketing, communications and fundraising, disaster literacy educational products and services, and inform future planning and action across organizational functions.

Expected engagement and deliverables

Below is a list of phases and deliverables with the anticipated time required for completion. These are illustrative and bidders should feel free to adjust as needed, including the time anticipated for completion, with some description/justification of why.

Phase 1: Large survey design

  • Consulting with CDP staff to inform the questions, methods and deliverables.
  • Designing and implementing a survey, developed in collaboration with CDP staff.
  • Anticipated time: 16 hours/2 days

Phase 2: Survey implementation

  • Identification of donors targeted
  • Survey distribution and follow-up/reminders
  • Data analysis (by sub-groups)
  • Presentation of data to the CDP team (report or deck format)
  • Anticipated time: 40 hours/5 days (primarily for data analysis)

Phase 3: Qualitative deeper dive

  • Designing and implementing qualitative information gathering (e.g. key informant interviews or focus group discussions) with specific donors based on results from the survey that require deeper analysis.
    • g. 7-9 donor discussions if Key Informant Interviews are suggested, 2-3 if focus group discussions are the chosen methodology
  • Coding/analysis of qualitative data
  • Presentation of results to the CDP team
  • Anticipated time: 40 hours/5 days

Phase 4: Final results presentation

  • Submission of a final report that contains at least a summary of findings, key takeaways, and any identified solutions or recommendations.
  • Creation and presentation of a slide deck that summarizes results and is useful for education within the wider CDP organization.
  • Anticipated time: 24 hours/3 days

Throughout: Provide updates to CDP throughout the project and communicate about progress and any issues that may arise. Please factor in regular meetings with the CDP project lead throughout the above-outlined phases.

Consultant background and characteristics

  • Familiarity with philanthropic donor landscape and philanthropy serving organizations.
  • Background in applied research methodologies and techniques (key informant interviews, focus group discussions, and survey design and implementation).
  • Demonstrated ability to work efficiently and independently to deadlines.


  • Include the anticipated number of work days.
  • Proposal budget should not exceed $25,000.

Proposal guidance

To respond to this RFP, please submit a proposal of no more than five pages that contains:

  • Name and contact information of the project lead.
  • Experience and qualifications, including brief biographies of team members who would work on the project.
  • Thumbnail scope and approach with timelines per activity and deliverable.
  • Budget cost – if the cost varies based upon the number of constituents surveyed, please provide cost bands, not to exceed $25,000 for the largest band.
  • Three references that have in-depth and proven knowledge of the applicant’s expertise and relevant work experience.

Additionally, we welcome the submission of any supporting materials that will help CDP better understand your work and the proposal.


  • Questions due by: Wednesday, June 19, 2024 at 6:00p Eastern
  • Proposals due by: Monday, July 1, 2024 at 6:00p Eastern
  • Review of proposals: First week of July
  • Interviews: Second week of July
  • Consultant selected and agreement signed by: Third week of July
  • Deliverables completed by: October 15, 2024


For questions or to submit a proposal, please email:

Devin Mathias
Senior Director, Development
(734) 277-6511