Strategic/Business Planning Consultant

Grist is seeking a skilled and experienced consultant to work with our board and staff to undertake a strategic planning process that begins in the summer 2012 and concludes with a strategic and financial plan in place by early fall.

 About Grist

 For more than a decade, Grist has produced intelligent and irreverent journalism that educates the public, engages influential policymakers, and inspires action. Our mission is to set the agenda by showing how green is reshaping the world. We cut through the noise and empower a new generation to make change. Headquartered in Seattle with a staff of 27, Grist reaches more than 1,200,000 people a month and has received several prestigious awards for our pioneering work. Major outlets including TIME, Newsweek, and NBC’s Today show have featured Grist’s unique voice and influential role in shaping the national conversation on sustainability.

Project Background

 In 2009, Grist undertook an in-depth planning process to refine the organization’s vision and mission, and to establish our strategic framework. This process included a competitive analysis of the field and an audience assessment, and it yielded a detailed roadmap for the following three years, including milestones for our programs and metrics by which we measure our impact.

We are now in the third year of this plan. We believe the vision and mission we identified hold true, and much of the framework has served us well. We are seeing dramatic growth as an organization, however, and want to explore how we can focus and expand our programs to increase our impact and produce more change in the world. To do so, we must update our plan by:

  • refreshing our core strategies for growth
  • identifying programmatic milestones and outcome goals for the next three years
  • revisiting how we measure our impact
  • conducting an analysis of our competitive space, including industry-wide trends in audience growth and revenue-generating activities
  • benchmarking how our budget and audience size compare to others in the media and green landscapes
  • examining larger internet trends and how they might affect our business

Our updated strategic plan must contain ambitious goals that reflect the current landscape in which we’re operating and that set us up for continued good health as an organization. The consultant will work closely with Grist’s Board and management team to arrive at this plan.

Project Deliverables

  1. Focused benchmarking/SWOT analysis
  2. Refreshed strategic framework
  3. Programmatic milestones and outcome goals for fiscal years 2013, 2014, and 2015 (beginning October 2012 through September 2015)
  4. A three-year roadmap that translates our milestones and goals into an operations plan, including staffing, technical, and other requirements, with achievable benchmarks along the way
  5. A three-year financial plan, including expenses, revenues, and categories of revenue sources

Consultant Requirements 

  • Deep experience establishing and leading processes to arrive at long-term plans that are clear and actionable
  • Strong track record of working successfully with entrepreneurial organizations
  • Exceptional facilitation skills to guide participants through the planning process, gather and distill meeting outcomes, and reach conclusions
  • Strong analytical skills to collect and analyze quantitative and qualitative data
  • Savvy in financial planning
  • Excellent writing skills to synthesize process results into a coherent plan
  • Experience in the new media space and with nonprofit organizations preferred

To throw your hat in the ring, please send a brief proposal and description of your qualifications to Erika Croxton at