Request for Proposal (RFP)

Garden Native Tour Director for 2018


San Diego Chapter of the

California Native Plant Society

c/o San Diego Natural History Museum

P.O. Box 121390

San Diego, CA 92112-1390


September 7, 2017


1. Summary and Background

The San Diego Chapter (Chapter) of the California Native Plant Society (CNPS-SD) is currently accepting proposals to plan and direct a garden tour on April 14 and 15, 2018, in the northwest portion of San Diego County.  CNPS-SD held its first garden tour in spring 2012 and has been holding annual tours each spring since 2014. The tour is the Chapter’s major fundraiser of the year.

The two-day garden tour generally encompasses about 20 private and commercial gardens planted primarily with native plants from the San Diego region. CNPS-SD’s garden committee, known as Garden Native, provides most of the volunteers for hosting the tour, which draws about 400 people and involves about 80 volunteers each year. Historically, sponsors have contributed $20,000 to $30,000 for the tour.

The purpose of collectively Request for Proposal (RFP) is to solicit proposals from various candidates or teams, conduct a fair evaluation based on criteria listed herein, and select the candidate or team who best represents the organizational skills needed to run the garden tour.

2. Proposal Guidelines

This Request for Proposal represents the requirements for an open and competitive process.  Proposals will be accepted until 5 pm PDT September 30, 2017.  Any proposals received after this date and time will be returned to the sender.  All proposals must be signed by the submitting candidate or team members.

Outsourcing or subcontracting any work to meet the requirements contained herein must be clearly stated in the proposal.  Additionally, costs included in the proposal must be all-inclusive to include any outsourced or contracted work as well as direct costs.  Any proposals that call for outsourcing or contracting work must include a name and description of the person or organizations being contracted. 

All costs and fees must be itemized and explained.

Contract terms and conditions will be negotiated upon selection of the winning bidder for this RFP.  All contractual terms and conditions will be subject to review by the state CNPS office and will include scope, budget, schedule, and other necessary items pertaining to the project.

3. Project Purpose and Description

Purpose of the Project:

The purpose is to provide CNPS members and the general public with a number of gardens that they can visit and explore. The gardens must be planted primarily with species native to the San Diego region.  The garden tour itself should serve several purposes:

  • Education about native plants and gardening with them, and perhaps habitat restoration depending on the sites chosen for the tour.
  • Inspiration and motivation.
  • Outreach to the general public and potential new CNPS members.
  • Sharing of gardening experiences.
  • Reaching a wide audience.

Project Description:

The project is to organize and direct a garden tour in the northwest region of San Diego County, generally north of I-8 and west of I-15. The annual tours generally include several facets, such as book sales, presentations, posters and refreshments at various locations along the tour route. Other ideas should be considered.

4. Project Scope


The following tasks are required and others may be included in the proposal. How the tasks will be accomplished should be described in the proposal:

Obtaining and revewing sponsorships (see section 5).

Coordinating with the CNPS-SD Media Director who will promote the tour through the chapter website, email marketing, and social media.

Selecting the gardens for the tour (gardens at institutions, agencies or private homes) and interacting with the leads or homeowners at each site.

  • Selecting a second check-in point for the tour. One has been arranged to be at the Anstine-Audubon Nature Preserve in Vista.
  • Coordinating the training of volunteers.
  • Coordinating closely with the Garden Native Committee for assistance with any and all of the tasks.
  • Coordinating with CNPS-SD Media Director to manage sponsorship advertising graphics and a follow-up tour survey.
  • Submitting a brief report to the by the Friday prior to each month’s board meeting.
  • Coordinating with CNPS-SD Media Director who will create and administer an online ticketing site for the tour.
  • Write content of tour program and coordinate with an independently hired graphic designer to create the program.
  • Identify or use already-available volunteer to design a flyer for the tour.


  • Tour flyer that will be distributed throughout the region by Garden Native members and other Chapter members.
  • Tour program.
  • Report describing the results of the tour, including the number of tickets sold, the number of gardens visited, the number of volunteer hours, and the income and outlay for the tour.

5. Tour Success Criteria

The following criteria must be met to achieve a successful tour:

  • Sponsorships and ticket sales that cover the direct costs of the tour (programs, volunteer training, food for volunteers, etc.) and provide a net profit to the CNPS-SD chapter.
  • A user-friendly environment for purchasing tickets and getting tour information from CNPS-SD.
  • A tour program that gives accurate information and directions and with suggested routes.
  • A positive experience for volunteers and garden owners.

6. Proposal and Project Timeline

Proposals due to CNPS-SD President: 5 pm PDT, September 30, 2017

Evaluation of proposals by CNPS-SD: October 1, 2017 thru October 15, 2017*

Candidate selection: October 16, 2017

Contract negotiations: October 17, 2017 to October 23, 2017

Notifications to unselected bidders: October 31, 2017

Project initiation: November 1, 2017

Tour planning completed: December 15, 2017

Submit schedule and list of potential sponsors via email to the CNPS-SD Board: December 31, 2017

Tour: April 14 and 15, 2018

Final report: May 31, 2018

* If additional information or discussions are needed with any bidders during this two-week period, the bidder(s) will be notified.

7. Budget

All proposals must include proposed costs to complete the tasks described in the project scope.  Costs should be stated as one-time or monthly costs. All costs and fees must be clearly described in the proposal.

8. Bidder Qualifications

Bidders should provide the following items as part of their proposal for consideration:

  • Description of experience in coordinating and directing events.
  • Timeframe for completing the project.
  • Project management methodology.
  • Experience with native plants.

9. Proposal Evaluation Criteria

CNPS-SD will evaluate all proposals based on the following criteria.  To ensure consideration for this Request for Proposal, your proposal should be complete and include all of the following criteria:

  • Overall proposal suitability: proposed solution(s) must meet the scope and needs included herein and be presented in a clear and organized manner.
  • Organizational and scheduling experience: Bidders will be evaluated on their experience as it pertains to the scope of this project.
  • Value and cost: Bidders will be evaluated on the cost of their solution(s) based on the work to be performed in accordance with the scope of this project. The selection will be based on the best value to CNPS-SD, not necessarily the lowest cost.

10. Proposal Submittal


Proposals must be submitted to by 5:00 pm PDT on September 30, 2017.