Request For Proposal - State Lobbying Services

Request for Proposal Release: October 11, 2017

Proposals Due: October 27, 2017

Submit proposals to: Deann Cook, Executive Director United Ways of Iowa

(515) 971-5286



United Ways of Iowa (UWI) is the statewide association of 25 United Ways serving Iowans. Our focus is on supporting the outstanding work of local United Ways and convening the network to further build upon our collective impact in Iowa.

Since 2005, United Ways across the state have collaborated on public policy, serving as a neutral voice and go-to resource on health and human services at the state capitol. In addition to this work, we provide professional development opportunities for United Way staff, facilitate training and strategic planning for nonprofit boards, and lead statewide projects including the United Way ALICE Report for Iowa and Iowa Reading Corps.

United Ways fund programs that drive impact in education, financial stability, health, and emergency services, as well as operate resources including 211 Resource & Referral and VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance). In 2016, United Ways in Iowa invested $40 million in over 800 local programs. In addition, our local United Way members mobilized 26,500 volunteers who provided over 200,000 hours of service to their communities.



  • Guidance for the development of the UWI annual legislative agenda
  • Lobby on UWI key initiatives and monitor other issues of importance as prioritized by UWI
  • Build UWI relationships with key legislators, elected officials and executive branch leaders to build awareness of education, financial stability and health issues and advance UWI agenda
  • Maintain close working relationship with United Ways of Iowa Executive Director to develop strategies to address bills of interest and scheduled committee meetings or hearings related to such legislation
  • Provide content during session for weekly legislative update
  • Attend weekly UWI membership conference call during session to preview the week ahead, discuss issues to watch and allow members to ask questions or report on local issues
  • Participation in training, issue preparation and scheduling with legislative and departmental leadership for UWI Day on the Hill
  • Assistance (and occasional attendance) with scheduling & talking points for meetings held in summer/fall between legislators and local UW leaders
  • Occasional attendance (by phone or in person) at UWI statewide membership or board meetings (2-3x per year)
  • Complete required lobbyist reports for the association
  • Annual contract with quarterly billing detailing the nature of services rendered 



RFP Released October 11, 2017
Proposals Due October 27, 2017
Interview(s), if needed October 30-November 3, 2017
Selection November 6, 2017



Executive Summary:

An executive summary shall be submitted outlining a brief history of the firm and provide an overview of how the respondent will deliver the items included in the scope of work.


Firm & Staff Qualifications:

  1. Describe previous experience in providing the requested services to associations and similar human service organizations
  2. Detail the manner in which the firm will address UWI’s scope of work
  3. Outline how the firm will address the bipartisan nature of UWI’s work
  4. Provide names and backgrounds of all staff who will be assigned to UWI’s lobbying needs
  5. Explain lead lobbyist availability and response mechanisms for communicating with United Ways of Iowa ED and board members on both urgent and relevant issues
  6. Identify the nature of any potential conflicts of interest in providing services to United Ways of Iowa



List three references which are associations or organizations served in the past three years, including the name and contact information for key personnel responsible for that organization’s public policy work.


Professional Fees:

Each respondent should provide a fee structure including quarterly retainer and billing process.




Respondents should clearly identify the items requested in this document with a detailed written response in the order in which it appears. Please include all requested information within the body of the response, if at all possible. If necessary to include attachments, please clearly label each additional document and include it in the response email. Responses will be accepted electronically at the email provided below.



Questions about this RFP should be directed to: Deann Cook UWI Executive Director (515) 971-5286



All proposals should be submitted electronically by 5 pm on Friday, October 27, 2017 to: Deann Cook UWI Executive Director



Evaluation of each proposal will be based on United Ways of Iowa’s assessment of the respondent’s ability to provide the lobbying services specified in this document.

Final selection will be made by United Ways of Iowa’s Board of Directors no later than November 6, 2017.

United Ways of Iowa reserves the right to enter into private negotiations with the selected respondent even if those negotiations result in changes to the proposal.

Services will commence upon mutual agreement and signed contract between United Ways of Iowa and the successful respondent.