RFQ 2013



505 Deaderick Street, Nashville, TN 37243-1120

Robert P. Thomas, Chairman, TSMF
Lois Riggins-Ezzell, Executive Director, Tennessee State Museum


Leigh R. Hendry, Director, TSM Director of External Affairs


The Tennessee State Museum Foundation seeks proposals from qualified fundraising consultants to conduct a feasibility study for a capital campaign to support the development of a new, freestanding facility to be located in Nashville, Tennessee. The study should determine how much capital can realistically be raised for the project and estimate a timeframe for obtaining the campaign goal which is anticipated to be between $50 and $100 million – approximately 25% of the total cost of the new museum project.

For additional background on the Tennessee State Museum and Tennessee State Museum Foundation, please see Appendix A.

Current Status:

As part of his FY14 budget proposal to the Legislature, Governor Haslam created the “Governor’s New Museum Task Force” with the charge to develop a new master plan that will include a conceptual program, site location analysis, operating plan and budget, and capital plan and budget.  The Governor also charged the Task Force with developing a funding plan that requires at least 25 % of the funding to come from private sources. 

Objective and Deliverables:

       I.            Outline of Consultant’s Role

The Tennessee State Museum Foundation is seeking a consultant to conduct a capital campaign fundraising feasibility study to determine the amount of capital that could reasonably be raised from private-sector donors, philanthropic organizations and foundations. The consultant, working in close consultation and coordination with the Tennessee State Museum Foundation Board members, the State Museum Commission members, as well as the State Museum staff leadership, would:

·         Perform a fundraising assessment of the organization’s fundraising capabilities

·         Develop a preliminary case for future support

·         Identify broad-brush examples of potential donors and reasonable gift levels

·         Recommend the resources, including number of staff, volunteers and infrastructure necessary to achieve anticipated capital campaign goal of between $50 million and $100 million

The Tennessee State Building Commission recently approved state funding to engage a museum planning consultant to develop a master plan for the new State Museum (SBC#--529/050-01-2013).  The successful Capital Campaign Feasibility Study Consultant selected by the Tennessee State Museum Foundation will work in tandem with the museum master planning consultant chosen by the State of Tennessee.

    II.            Deliverables

The consultant’s primary deliverable is a feasibility study outlining the State Museum’s short-and-long term fundraising goals and long-term opportunities for financial success. The feasibility study must address the key areas cited below:

·         Situation Analysis—establish existing assets, challenges, opportunities and threats to the potential campaign’s success, based on:

-          Stakeholder research (interviews, survey, audience mapping, etc.)

-          Materials review

-          Infrastructure audit

-          Peer Competitor review/environmental scan

·         Test basic planning assumptions with potential donors

·         Assess potential support through interviews, research and development knowledge of the “landscape” of major potential donors in the state of Tennessee and beyond

·         Provide realistic assessment of campaign’s potential success by determining if there are enough donor prospects at every level to reach the stated campaign goal

·         Determine a realistic campaign goal

·         Recommend potential campaign strategies and identify potential strengths, weaknesses and a prognosis for success or inability to reach the stated campaign goal

·         Develop the preliminary Case for Support, including themes and supporting documentation for use in guiding a successful campaign.

·         Prepare and submit written report/fundraising plan, which integrates information gleaned from confidential interviews and other research, and make final recommendations for requirements necessary to conduct and implement a successful capital campaign.

 III.            Selection Process

A Selection Committee comprised of the Chairman of the TSMF, the Chairman of the Governor’s New Museum Task Force, and the Chairman of the Douglas S. Henry State Museum Commission, along with the TSM Executive Director and the TSM Director of External Affairs, will be responsible for reviewing responses to this RFQ against Criteria for Selection and developing a short list of firms to interview. Selected firms will be invited to make an oral presentation to the Selection Committee, which will then select the most qualified Capital Campaign Fundraising Feasibility Study Consultant, again referencing published Criteria for Selection below. The TSMF Chairman and Museum Executive Director will then begin contract negotiations with the most qualified firm. Should those negotiations not be successful, the next most qualified firm will be contacted.

 IV.            Criteria for Selection

The purpose of this RFQ process is to identify the qualified firms most capable of providing the desired services. The RFQ submittal should be organized to address the following criteria, which will be used to evaluate all submissions:

·         Relevant experience of firm principal and any staff to be included---40 points

·         References for projects of similar scope---30 points

·         Familiarity with TN statewide fundraising climate & major donor prospect contacts---25 points

·         Anticipated schedule and current availability---10 points

    V.            Submittal Requirements

All submittals must be made electronically to lhendry@bellsouth.net.

Please identify your submittal as: TSMF Capital Campaign Feasibility Study Proposal. It must be delivered electronically on or before 5 p.m. on October 8, 2013.

The recipient is:

Ms. Leigh R. Hendry
Director, External Affairs
Tennessee State Museum
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37243-1120

Unfortunately, late submittals will not be accepted. Submittal review and candidate interviews will take place in mid-October of 2013. Anticipated notice to proceed will be given in late October/early November of 2013. The final study should be ready to present on or before April 18, 2014.

Please provide straightforward and concise descriptions of the Respondent’s capabilities for satisfying the requirement of this RFQ.

Submittals should be organized in the following manner:

1)      Outside cover and first page shall contain project title: TSMF Capital Campaign Feasibility Study Proposal with the Respondent’s name and the Submittal date;

2)      Table of contents;

3)      Transmittal letter which summarizes why the Respondent is the most qualified applicant;

4)      Contain a statement that notes that all information contained in the RFQ submittal is complete and accurate;

5)      Contain a statement granting authorization for any member of the TSMF Selection Committee to contact any previous client of either the Respondent’s firm or a Respondent Team member to obtain an independent evaluation of the Respondent’s performance; and

6)      Contain a statement, based upon reasonable inquiry, of whether any individual who shall perform work under the contract has a possible conflict of interest (e.g., employment with the State of Tennessee) and, if so, the nature of the conflict.

7)      The transmittal letter must have the signature of an officer of the responding firm; and,

8)      The RFQ may not exceed a total of 10 pages when printed out.

Firm Description:

Include a complete narrative description of the Respondent’s firm (or firms if there is more than one firm involved). Information should include the firm’s area of specialization, the firm’s history, the location of office (s), names of principal officer(s) and the identification of major consultants to be utilized.

Experience:  List no more than six relevant projects but cite at least three. A relevant project is one which best demonstrates your qualifications for this project. Special focus and emphasis should be placed on projects that have a high degree of similarity to this proposed study. Include the following information for each example cited:        

a.       Name of project

b.      Type of Feasibility Study

c.       Project location

d.      Total project cost

e.       Services provided by your firm

f.       If applicable, indicate any team members involved in project and explain their specific role

g.      Provide a statement acknowledging whether the study was completed on time

h.      State if you were retained for any additional or follow-up role in the project

i.        Provide any addition material you feel may be relevant

Project Plan

Include a narrative based on the selection criteria, to describe how the Respondent will organize and carry out the work to deliver the feasibility study as requested.

If applicable, include an organization chart showing how the Respondent, if selected, would organize any additional personnel for the feasibility study.

If applicable, identify any key members of the team who would be involved in the project and describe their area of expertise while noting the role they will fulfill in the project and their availability.

If applicable, provide resumes of any person identified as key professional and include name, educational background, and their proposed role in the project, identify other relevant projects they have been involved in and add any other information that you believe may be relevant.


Tennessee State Museum Purpose & Organizational Background


The purpose of the Tennessee State Museum is to procure, preserve, exhibit, and interpret objects that relate to the social, political, economic, and cultural history of Tennessee and Tennesseans, and to provide exhibitions and programs for the educational and cultural enrichment of the citizens of the state. 


The Tennessee State Museum (TSM) was officially created in 1937 when the Tennessee General Assembly voted to establish “a state museum for the purpose of bringing together the administration of the various collections of articles … owned by the state.”  (T.C.A. 4-12-101)

Governing Authority:

Effective July 1, 2009, the Douglas Henry State Museum Commission (DHSMC) was formally established as the TSM’s governing agency.  The 13 voting members of the commission include 11 appointments made by the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, and the Speaker of the House, in addition to the chairs of the House and Senate Finance Committees or their designee.  Additionally, the TSM executive director serves as an ex-officio, non-voting member.  The DHSMC oversees museum operations and is entrusted with the strategic direction of the Museum, with an emphasis on the educational and cultural enrichment of the citizens of the state.

Museum Foundation:

The Museum also has a 501 (c) (3) non-profit fundraising organization: the Tennessee State Museum Foundation (TSMF), which exists solely to support the programs and activities of the State Museum through a statewide membership program, fundraising activities, grants management and a retail operation (T.C.A. 4-12-111). Originally founded as an organization to assist the Museum more than 30 years ago, the Tennessee State Museum Association was restructured and renamed TSMF in 1981 as the needs of the Museum became more defined.

The Foundation has a 22-member volunteer Board comprised of two legislative appointees (one from the State House of Representatives and one from the State Senate), plus one Governor’s appointee along with active community leaders and the museum’s Executive Director. During the past 25 years, the Museum Foundation has funded a number of highly regarded and well-attended major international art exhibitions, developed a more engaged statewide membership, produced special exhibition catalogs and scholarly publications, printed an award-winning quarterly newsletter and supported the Museum’s free, outstanding educational programs. 

Museum Background:

In 1981, the Museum’s permanent historical exhibitions from pre-history to1900 opened in the James K. Polk Building (JKPB) in downtown Nashville.  The TSM currently occupies approximately 120,000 square feet on three floors, including 60,000 square feet of exhibition galleries, along with 7,000 square feet of permanent foreign war exhibitions in the War Memorial Building. 

In addition, The TSM administers the artifact collection at the Tennessee’s Governor’s official Executive Residence and the artifact collection and tour programs at the Tennessee State Capitol.  The also TSM maintains ownership and oversight of most artifacts at the renowned National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis and the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame and provides traveling exhibitions and technical services to museums and historic sites across the state.

Museum Collection:

The TSM has one of the oldest collections in the United States, since it manages in trust the artifacts of the Tennessee Historical Society, which includes a nucleus from 1818.  TSM is one of the finest and largest state museums in the nation. Within its collection of more than 115,000 artifacts, the TSM has many one-of-a-kind items associated with such famous Americans as Andrew Jackson, Daniel Boone, James K. Polk, Andrew Johnson, David Crockett, Sam Houston, Alvin York, Cordell Hull, Alex Haley, and Elvis Presley.  The collections include art (fine arts, decorative arts, folk arts, and contemporary arts), political and social history (state, national and international), and military history (flags, uniforms, firearms, edged weapons, and artifacts related to civilian life during wartime), science, and natural history.   


The Museum is an accredited member of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) and adheres to the association’s ethical and professional standards and practices.

Programs, Activities, and Visitation:

TSM serves more than 100,000-plus visitors annually (nearly 179,039 in FY 2012-2013). School groups account for approximately 65% of the visitation. For its school programming, the TSM strives to provide exhibitions, resources and programs to serve Tennessee’s primary and secondary schools, both public and private.  The service goals for the non-school public are to provide special programs that enrich the visitor’s knowledge of the exhibitions and provide printed materials which meet a range of needs: from family activity guides to special tours, seminars, workshops, and other activities for adults.  The Museum’s store also carries educational materials and gifts for these diverse visitors. 

Museum Staff:

The professional and clerical staff of the museum numbers 42, arranged into seven program areas:  Administration, Museum Services, Collections, Exhibit Planning and Fabrication, Exhibit Design, External Affairs/Museum Foundation Liaison, and Public Programs. Each program is headed by a departmental director who reports to the Museum’s executive director. The executive director, in turn, reports to the DHSMC. 

Annual Operating Budget:

The State Museum’s annually confirmed state operating budget is approximately $3.9 million, including a small state allocation reserved for acquisitions. Additional support for TSM projects and activities comes through the fundraising efforts of the Tennessee State Museum Foundation.  

The State Museum is currently CLOSED at this location and scheduled to open at a NEW location in October 2018
Tennessee State Museum
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37243-1120
(615) 741-2692
TOLL-FREE: 800-407-4324

The Tennessee Military Branch Museum is open for visitors.
Tues.- Sat. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
301 6th Ave N
Nashville, TN 37243




The State Museum is currently CLOSED at this location and scheduled to open at a NEW location in October 2018
Tennessee State Museum
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37243-1120
(615) 741-2692
TOLL-FREE: 800-407-4324

The Tennessee Military Branch Museum is open for visitors.
Tues.- Sat. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
301 6th Ave N
Nashville, TN 37243