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Marburn Academy Opens Search for Strategic Planning Firm


Request for Proposals
Strategic Planning

Deadline for Submission: December 14, 2021


Marburn Academy is issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) to identify, vet, and evaluate qualified consultants to support and partner with Marburn as it develops its next strategic plan.


Marburn Academy is a not-for-profit, independent day school devoted to serving the educational needs of bright students with learning differences, such as dyslexia, executive function difficulties, and attentional challenges. Marburn is the only school in Central Ohio with academic and co-curricular programs specifically designed to address the full range of unique learning and personal development needs of students with these learning differences. Founded in 1981, Marburn initially served twelve (12) students. Today, Marburn serves more than two-hundred-and-seventy (270) students from thirty-three (33) districts in Ohio.

Marburn adopted its current five-year strategic plan in 2017. This was the culmination of a collaborative effort between the community’s various constituent groups and an outside research and planning firm. Marburn’s strategic plan has stewarded the school well through a robust period of growth and development.

With the support and guidance of the selected partner, and working cooperatively with Marburn’s broad community, the next strategic plan will be developed over the course of the 2021-2022 school year and will be adopted by Marburn Academy’s board of trustees in June, 2022. The first year of implementation is expected to be the 2022-2023 school year.

Anticipated Selection Schedule

Marburn’s timeline for identifying, vetting, and selecting a qualified partner in this process is as follows:

Step or Phase Relevant Dates and Deadlines
Marburn Academy will issue its “Request for Proposals” (RFP) November 15, 2020
Marburn Academy will field questions November 16, 2020 – November 23, 2020
Submission Deadline for Proposals December 14, 2020
Selection committee to review proposals, conduct interviews, and make selection December 14, 2020 – February 1, 2021
Marburn Academy will award contract February 1, 2021
Contract completion and signing February 5, 2021
Marburn Academy announces its new partner to the community February 9, 2021


Characteristics of Qualified Partners

Marburn will review strong proposals from all prospective partners. With this being said, the following considerations will be weighed heavily in the selection process.

  • An ability to customize and align the process to Marburn Academy’s specific needs, goals, and community.
  • Significant experience employing effective practices within the realm of consulting and strategic plan development
  • A commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in past projects and the partner’s own development and practice.
  • A wherewithal of current educational trends and metrics impacting private, independent day schools in Ohio, the Midwest, and nationally.
  • An aptitude for gathering (through various means) and analyzing data to effectively incorporate each constituent group’s (e.g. students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni, donors, and community partners) perspective and position.
  • Verifiable success with respect to the execution and implementation of strategic plans the consultant has helped create, organize, and advise upon.
  • A demonstrated aptitude for communicating throughout the process to key constituent groups, as well as key outcomes as the strategic plan is finalized.
  • A proven track-record for keeping to timelines and remaining on budget.

Contents for Proposals

In order for proposals to be considered, they must be clear, concise, well-organized, and complete. The length of the proposal is less important than the quality of the components and visual exhibits that will be included. Proposals should contain all of the following:

  • A Cover Letter: The letter should include the proposal’s title, submittal date, the name, address, and telephone number of the consultancy. A designated contact person should be provided with their email address and telephone number.
  • Key People: The description of the consultancy should provide information regarding the firm’s size, location, composition, expertise, and years in business. Key people, i.e. chief executive officer, proposed client manager, etc., should be listed with a brief description of their qualifications and their resume.
  • Past Experiences and References: Proposals will provide a minimum of three (3) similar projects along with outcomes that demonstrate aptitude for strategic planning. Also, three (3) references should be listed to be contacted at a time of Marburn’s choosing.
  • Project Overview: The heart of the proposal, this section should clearly communicate the consultancy’s approach to supporting Marburn’s strategic planning process. At a minimum, it should include a summary of the proposed approach, timeline, outcomes, and deliverables.
  • Cost: A proposed budget must be included with the proposal. This includes a full description of the expected expenditures for the work described in the project overview, i.e. consultant fees, potential travel expenses, printing costs, etc. (Costs of bidding on this opportunity should not be included in the proposed budget.)

Process for Selection

Proposals should be sent via email (as a .pdf) to

Three, signed hard-copies should also be sent to:

Eldrich Carr, Head of School
Attn: Strategic Plan Proposal
Marburn Academy
9555 Johnstown Road
New Albany, Ohio 43054

After submissions have been received, a selection committee will evaluate all proposals, interviewing any, all, or none of the respondents before making a final selection.

Additional Notes

Questions regarding the process, potential proposals, or any other associated matter should be sent to If the matter is urgent, please call Marburn Academy.