1 Request For Proposals Writing and Digital Content May 11, 2015
Request For Proposals
Writing and Digital Content
May 11, 2015
The McKenzie River Trust seeks a skilled writer with photography and video skills
to create content for our print publications, website, and social media accounts. The
ideal independent contractor will have a strong background in using storytelling to
drive people to take actions that positively impact community issues.
About the McKenzie River Trust:
Founded in 1989, the McKenzie River Trust is a nonprofit land trust based in
Eugene, Oregon. Local landowners founded MRT to protect the incredible natural
beauty and the ecological values of lands along the McKenzie. In the year 2000, we
expanded our service area to eight different watersheds in western Oregon. MRT
now works from the Cascade Mountains to the Oregon coast, protecting and caring
for over 4,000 acres of land.
Today, MRT has grown to a professional staff of 8, a volunteer Board of Directors of
14, and more than 700 members. Since adopting an ambitious plan for further
growth in spring 2015, MRT is poised to increase our portfolio of protected lands. In
the coming years, we will also amplify the impact that our work has on the health of
our communities and our natural systems in western Oregon.
Overarching Goals of MRT’s communications:
1. Increase the visibility of the McKenzie River Trust, particularly among
western Oregonians who are enthusiastic about nature, the outdoors, and
2. Build strong understanding and affinity for the day-to-day work of the
McKenzie River Trust among our members and potential members.
3. Share how our members’ support of MRT helps create meaningful impact on
the lands and rivers that our members cherish in our region.
Scope of work:
The selected contractor will support the McKenzie River Trust’s communications
strategy by creating regular content that tells meaningful stories about the
McKenzie River Trust.
Stories will include:
Profiles of people connected to MRT including landowners, conservation
partners, contractors, donors, and staff.
Behind-the-scenes looks at land protection, stewardship, and restoration
Event previews and summaries.
The contractor will work within MRT’s Communications Plan and brand guidelines
(currently in development) to create high-quality story content that can be shared
on multiple communications channels. The contractor will also pitch stories for
consideration for future communications.
MRT staff will be responsible for creating a communications calendar that integrates
content into MRT’s communications. Staff will also be responsible for cultivating
audiences, sharing the content created by the contractor, and monitoring
effectiveness of communications strategy on all channels. Liz Lawrence, Associate
Director for the McKenzie River Trust, will be the primary staff contact for this
You will be an ideal fit for this contract position if you have the following skills and
Extremely strong writing skills, proven through a minimum of 3 years’ work
experience in journalism, writing for fundraising, or other professional
writing work on deadline.
A sincere interest in meeting people and getting to know their stories.
The ability to take technical scientific information and interpret it for a
general audience in both writing and visuals.
A demonstrated ability to work independently while following brand
guidelines and meeting deadlines for deliverables.
The demonstrated ability to adapt one piece of content to multiple platforms.
Knowledge and genuine interest in telling stories through a broad range of
communications tools such as direct mail, email newsletters, Facebook,
Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, blogs, and advertising.
The ability to communicate the connections between one person’s story and
big picture community trends.
An understanding of best practices for using storytelling to raise money.
Proven experience in using storytelling to raise money for nonprofit causes is
a major plus.
Comfort and ability to successfully interview people in the field in Lane
County, Oregon and surrounding areas under a variety of deadlines and
Knowledge of community issues and dynamics in the McKenzie River Trust’s
service area and familiarity with nonprofit players a plus.
On a monthly basis, you will provide:
1. One completed story package that follows the MRT brand guidelines,
including, at a minimum:
A 300-600 word version for the MRT print newsletter or e-newsletter.
At least 4 options for high-resolution photos that could go along with
the story, including a portrait of the person/people featured in the
A version of the story for Facebook and Twitter.
A short video (15 seconds or more) that can be used to help tell the
story on digital communications channels.
Additional content as mutually agreed upon for each month.
2. Beginning with the third month, three new story ideas to consider for the
Because of the learning that will be required for this work, we hope to find a
contractor who can support our needs long term. To begin, this contract will last for
4 months beginning June 15, 2015, with an opportunity to renew for 6 months or
longer. Renewal or extension of the contract will depend upon mutual evaluation of
objectives and fit after the initial contract period.
RFP distributed: May 8, 2015
RFP responses due: May 29, 2015
Contractor selected: June 10, 2015
First month’s deliverables due: July 15, 2015
Second month’s deliverables due: August 15, 2015
Third month’s deliverables due: September 15, 2015
Fourth month’s deliverables due: October 15, 2015
Responses to this RFP should show a sincere interest in and understanding of the
work of the McKenzie River Trust.
To respond, please deliver the following within a single PDF or Microsoft Word
document. Your response may include hyperlinks to work samples if applicable.
1. An overview of the person (or people) who will perform the work. Tell us
why you are the ideal fit to work with the McKenzie River Trust on this
project. Please include a summary of your experience with content
production, storytelling, and nonprofit organizations. If multiple people will
be performing the work, please indicate each person’s role and share their
Two work samples. Each work sample should include the following elements:
a. A written 300-600 word version of a story about a person or small
group of people. Stories need not be related to conservation, the
environment, or the work of the McKenzie River Trust, but they
should exemplify the skills and strengths that you bring to this
b. 4 pictures that go along with the story, including at least one picture
of the person featured in the story. (If you were not the photographer,
please submit a brief statement about how you would meet the
photography requirements of this contract.)
c. An example of how you would repurpose this story to share it on
d. A short video that goes along with the story, or a brief statement that
describes the video you would produce and how you would make it.
e. Optional: You may also submit a long-form written version of the
story or other associated content such as infographics.
If you are not based in Lane County, please explain how you would meet the
requirements to interview people in person in the field at least once monthly.
List of Client References. Please provide a list of current and past clients.
Please identify which of your references are nonprofits. Client references
should contain the following information:
Organization name, city, and state
Contact name, title, and phone number
Type of services performed for client that include specific successes
and value provided for client
Duration of relationship with client
Projected cost, including your preferred fee structure.
All proposal responses must be received electronically by Friday, May 29, 2015 at
5pm PST. Proposals should be submitted to Liz Lawrence, Associate Director, at