Friends of the New York Transit Museum
For Strategic & Business Planning Services for
The New York Transit Museum

“Friends…”, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, seeks proposals to provide both a strategic plan and a business plan to migrate the New York Transit Museum to financial self-sufficiency.

Deadline for responses:  February 28, 2018, 5:00 PM EST

Responses must be submitted no later than February 28. 2018:

By mail to:
Concetta Bencivenga, Museum Director
New York Transit Museum
130 Livingston Street, Room 1051A
Brooklyn, NY  11201

Or by email to:
[email protected]

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A. Overview of Services Requested and the Submission Process

In furtherance of its purpose to support the New York Transit Museum in fulfilling its mission to promote the history, advances, impact, and future of mass transportation in the New York metropolitan area, Friends of the New York Transit Museum is seeking the services of a firm to provide strategic and business planning services to migrate the Museum toward financial self-sufficiency.  Such services shall encompass a feasibility study, identification and evaluation of current and potential sources of increased income, recommendation of a path to achieving self-sufficiency, a “road map” to achieving the identified performance targets, periodic reassessment of the performance efforts and targets, and assistance in achieving individual targets and the overall objective.

While Friends of the New York Transit Museum intends to select a single firm/team to provide all of the services requested, proposers may include sub consultants in their proposals for the purposes of providing the range of services needed.  The selected proposer will be responsible for contracting directly with any and all sub consultants, and, be responsible for coordinating, managing the services and product of said sub consultants, and compensation of said sub consultants.

Proposals should provide a straightforward, complete and concise description of the proposer’s capabilities to satisfy the requirements of the RFP.  Two (2) copies of your proposal and work samples are required for submission.

Proposers submitting a proposal in response to this RFP may be required to give a presentation of their proposal to Friends of the New York Transit Museum.  This presentation may provide an opportunity for the firm to clarify or elaborate on the proposal, but will in no way change the original submission. Friends of the New York Transit Museum’s request for a presentation shall not constitute acceptance of a proposal.

Proposals, in duplicate, must be received no later than 5:00 PM EST, February 28, 2018.  Deliver all proposals to: Concetta Bencivenga, Director, New York Transit Museum, 130 Livingston Street, Room 1051A, Brooklyn, NY  11201, Attn: PLANNING SERVICES RFP.

 Friends of the New York Transit Museum reserves the right to reject any or all proposals submitted if such election is deemed to be in its best interest.  Friends of the New York Transit Museum assumes no obligation, no responsibility and no liability for costs incurred by the responding firms prior to the issuance of a contract.   

B. About the Friends of the New York Transit Museum

Friends of the New York Transit Museum (“FNYTM”) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization chartered to support and effectuate the work of the New York Transit Museum. FNYTM is governed by a Board of Trustees, which includes transportation, engineering, business development and academic professionals.

C. About the New York Transit Museum

The New York Transit Museum (Museum or NYTM) is one of only a few museums in the world dedicated to telling the story of urban public transportation.  The Museum collects, exhibits, interprets, and preserves the history, sociology, and technology of public transportation systems in the New York metropolitan region, and conducts research and educational programs that make its extensive collections accessible and meaningful to a broad audience.  It also functions as a public education and communications “arm” of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), a fare media outlet, and is the official repository of all documents, drawings, maps and ephemera for the MTA and its subsidiary and predecessor agencies.  As such, it has a continually-expanding collection that currently totals more than 800,000 artifacts, documents, drawings, photographs, moving images, etc.  The oldest elements of the collection date to the early 1800’s.

The Museum occupies a de-commissioned, bi-level, 1930’s era subway station located at 99 Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn, NY  11201 (at the corner of Boerum Place and Schermerhorn Street).  Founded in 1976, the Museum also includes a Gallery Annex and Retail Store in Grand Central Terminal, an archive facility, and an online presence.  In 2016, the Museum had 181,000 visitors. An additional 435,000 people visited the Gallery Annex. Total visitation increase 37% from 2011.  The diverse audience includes school and camp groups, individuals with special needs, high school and college students, teachers, adults, and seniors. A wide range of programming (including STEM-related programs and workshops, off-site tours, etc.) is developed and presented to appeal to the different populations.  In 2016, the Museum received a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award for its Subway Sleuths program, marking it as a leader in arts & culture. Special off-site programming is also being developed, to increase the Museum’s reach into local communities and schools.

Education is central to the Museum’s mission. The scope of its exhibits cover all aspects of the history/development, operation, engineering, science, art, sociology and future of New York mass transit. Themes include the impact of mass transit on urban development and community life, the technology of mass transit and advances in the system, the history and experience of mass transportation, etc.

The Museum, its Grand Central location, and its archive are all properties of MTA.  Currently, MTA and its subsidiaries underwrite approximately seventy-five percent (75%) to eighty percent (80%) of the Museum’s annual operating expenses.


FNYTM is seeking an experienced firm to develop and assist in the implementation of a strategic plan and corresponding business plan to migrate the New York Transit Museum toward financial self-sufficiency.  The successful firm will identify, evaluate and recommend a pathway to self-sufficiency that is consistent with the Museum’s mission and continuing relationship with MTA, provide a detailed plan for implementation, as well as provide intermediate performance assessments, plan modification recommendations, and implementation assistance.  A one -year relationship with the consultant is envisioned, though self-sufficiency is likely to take longer to be achieved.

A.  Scope of Project

The scope of work of the Consultant includes, but is not limited to, the following:

1. Feasibility Study
  1. The purpose of a feasibility study for The New York Transit Museum is to ascertain and define a path whereby NYTM can achieve financial self-sufficiency.
  2. As the first deliverable- within a reasonable timeframe, approximately six weeks after contract award- the Consultant shall present the results, methodology and evidence of the feasibility study.
2. Strategic Plan for the New York Transit Museum

The Consultant shall develop a strategic plan for the Museum for achieving financial self-sufficiency.

3. Business/Implementation Plan for the New York Transit Museum

The Consultant shall develop a corresponding, comprehensive business/implementation plan for the Museum.  The plan shall include the following components:

  1. Comprehensive plan for achieving the strategic goal(s), including but not limited to:
    1. Showing costs, margins, operating complexity and resources required.
    2. Specific steps, critical actions, responsibilities/accountabilities, milestones, and – where appropriate – applicable dates.
    3. If applicable, facilities plan inclusive of capital improvement, maintenance and security needs.
    4. Identification of potential operational issues/challenges and how they can be resolved.
  2. Market Analysis, including:
    1. Identification of viable funding sources, prioritized by likely potential for success.
    2. Potential for partnering with other institution(s).
    3. Reasonable estimated income projection and target date(s) per potential source.
    4. Profiles of identified potential funding sources.
    5. Examples of key criteria to be met to successfully achieve goals / targets.
    6. Trends in funding sources’ giving and yield.
    7. If new or increased fees are involved, documentation supporting success of such initiatives at comparable levels for comparable institutions, projected timeframe for achieving NYTM goal(s), and intermediate targets (“benchmarks”) to assess whether goal is being reached or reassessment is needed.
4. Implementation Plan for the New York Transit Museum

The Consultant shall develop an Implementation Plan for the FNYTM, which shall include the following components:

  1. Identification of resources structure needed.
  2. Organizational structure needed.
  3. Ramp-up program (timetable and action items).
  4. Implementation program (timetable and specifics for achieving individual and overall targets).
  5. Intermediate targets (“benchmarks”) and corresponding timetable (to help FNYTM monitor and assess whether plan is proceeding well, or requires adjustment or reassessment).

B. Fundraising Staffing and Expertise

If the responding firm has not included an individual or other sub consultant with fund raising expertise as part of its proposing team, or does not have fund raising expertise on staff, FNYTM will have the right to add a sub consultant(s) with such expertise where it deems necessary to achieve the scope of work described herein.  If FNYTM so elects, the Consultant will contract directly with such sub consultant(s), and the fees and charges of such sub consultant(s) will be passed through to FNYTM.  The Consultant will be responsible for coordination and management of services and all other work product of the sub consultant(s).  The Consultant shall hold all sub consultant contracts and be responsible for the coordination and management of all sub consultant work.

C.  Project Schedule

FNYTM anticipates a compressed schedule for information gathering, planning, plan presentation and revision/refinement, and plan implementation.  It is expected that while services will be provided over a 12 month period, that the largest part of the work effort will be provided in the first six months of the contract.  Consultants are encouraged to identify opportunities to further compress the proposed 12-month project schedule.  Approximate milestone dates for the contract work are listed below, but are subject to change per the request/consent of FNYTM:

February 2018 – January 2019
March 29, 2018


Firm selected.
April 11, 2018


Information gathering, feasibility study, and strategic and business planning efforts begin.
May 18, 2018 Presentation of feasibility study results, methodology and evidence.
June 20, 2018



Presentation of and draft strategic and business implementation plan for review, (including analysis of comparable organizations, and analysis of pertinent issues).
July 11, 2018


Presentation of revised/refined draft plan.
October 15, 2018



Review of plan implementation.
November 20, 2018


Presentation of revised plan.
December 31, 2018


Review of plan implementation
January 31, 2018


#4 Final Payment

Final report prepared





Please letter your responses exactly as the questions are presented herein.

A. Experience, Structure and Personnel

  1. Materials that highlight the firm’s unique strengths, talents, philosophy, sensitivity to the public realm, breadth of knowledge, and experience.
  2. A description of the firm’s organizational structure, including resumes of the principals, project manager(s) and professional staff who would work directly with FNYTM.
  3. Overall description of the firm’s relevant work. Include synopses of pertinent, major projects that the firm has completed involving museums or other comparable not-for-profit organizations.  Indicate whether the projects’ budget and schedule constraints were met.  Include the name of the client, the name of a contact person who is able to provide a reference, a description of the nature of the work, the size and complexity of the project, the project cost, and the agreed upon fee arrangement(s).
  4. Innovative and outstanding work experience and unique qualifications related to museum strategic and business planning, particularly in relation to financial sustainability.
  5. Any other information that you believe would make the firm’s work on behalf of FNYTM superior to that of other firms, or information about your firm’s specialization or particular skill in performing the requested service.

B.  Methodological Approach

  1. A description of how the firm intends to address the anticipated scope of services set forth in Section II of this RFP.
  2. A statement explaining the firm’s approach to strategic and business planning including methods, analytical techniques, or models, etc., that would be employed.

C. Fee

Note: FNYTM expects to enter into a cost plus fixed fee contract with a not to exceed budget cap. Although proposed fees will be taken into account, FNYTM reserves the right to negotiate a lower or different fee structure with any firm that is selected.

  1. Total estimated firm fee for completion of the project, and whether the firm would be willing to agree to a cap.
  2. The normal hourly rate of each principal and staff member whose resume is provided or whose job category may be required, and the rate and hours estimate used in the proposal.
  3. A list of anticipated reimbursable expenses and the rate charged for each.
  4. Any reduced fees offered to municipalities, governmental entities, educational or cultural institutions, nonprofit organizations, and/or civic organizations.
  5. Any other fees or charges.

The fee proposal must be submitted in a separate, clearly marked, sealed envelope.  Fee proposals will not be opened until all proposals have been initially evaluated.

D.  Contact Information

On a single cover sheet in your proposal, please provide:

  1. The lead firm or individual name.
  2. The lead firm’s contact person.
  3. Where applicable, license or certification information of lead firm principal or individuals working on the FNYTM project.
  4. Telephone numbers for firm principals and individuals working on the FNYTM project.
  5. E-mail address for firm principals and individuals working on the FNYTM project.
  6. The legal address of the lead firm or individual. If the address is shared with other entities, please indicate that, the name(s) of the other entity(ies), and the relationship(s) to that entity(ies).
  7. The year the firm or individual practice was established. (If previously in business under another name, then separately list the other name and the years operated under the other name.)
  8. The MBE/WBE status of the firms (Minority-owned Business Enterprise or Women-owned Business Enterprise, as presently certified by New York State).
  9. The type of work or specialty and size of firm.
  10. The signature of the lead individual, and the date of the signature.

E. Conflicts of Interest

  1. Submit a statement describing any potential conflict of interest or appearance of impropriety, relating to other clients of the firm, or officers, directors, and employees of FNYTM and/or the New York Transit Museum, that could be created by providing services to FNYTM.
  2. Indicate what procedures will be followed to detect and notify FNYTM and to resolve any conflicts of interest.
  3. Indicate any pending litigation and/or regulatory action by any oversight body or entity that could have an adverse material impact on the firm’s ability to serve FNYTM
  4. Indicate if the firm has ever had a prior contract with any governmental entity or educational or cultural institution terminated for any reason, and provide an explanation.
  5. Submit a completed Background Questionnaire (Attachment 1).

F. Non-discrimination Policy

  1. Firms with 50 or more employees shall submit a copy of their nondiscrimination and affirmative action plans.
  2. Firms with less than 50 employees shall submit a statement of their commitment to equal opportunity and affirmative action from their chief executive officer.

All information and documents described in subsections A through F above must be included or addressed in the submission.


In evaluating proposals submitted pursuant to this request, FNYTM requires the following minimum qualifications of firms submitting proposals to be considered for evaluation:

  • Five years’ experience providing strategic and business planning services for projects of similar scope and complexity.
  • Experience in guiding / assisting in implementation of strategic and business plans for cultural / educational institutions.
  • Experience in developing effective processes for involving and responding to a wide variety of stakeholders and players.
  • Experience working with hybrid or nested organizations is strongly preferred.

In evaluating proposals submitted pursuant to this request, FNYTM places high value on the following factors (Note: these are not necessarily listed in order of importance):

  • Methodology with respect to the anticipated scope of services that demonstrate maximum comprehension of and ability to provide such services to FNYTM.
  • General experience of the firm and employees to be assigned to the project
  • Particular experience of the firm and employees to be assigned to the project, in providing strategic and business planning services and assistance to cultural / educational institutions.
  • Innovative or outstanding work by firm that demonstrates the firm’s unique qualifications to provide planning and assistance services.
  • Selected firm’s staff ability, availability of the assigned staff (team), commitment to this project, and facility for working with FNYTM directors, officers, staff and consultants.
  • Conformity with or exceeding applicable FNYTM policies as noted herein, including policies relating to nondiscrimination and affirmative subcontracting goals.
  • Projected cost of services.

FNYTM reserves the right to determine which proposals have met the base requirements of this RFP.  In addition, FNYTM may reject any and all proposals, waive irregularities in proposals, allow a Proposer to correct minor irregularities, and negotiate with all responsible efforts in any matter FNYTM deems necessary to serve the best interest of FNYTM.


The contents of the proposal prepared by the successful firms, with any amendments approved by FNYTM, will become a part of the contract that is signed as a result of this RFP process.  The terms outlined throughout this RFP should be considered all-inclusive. The selected firm(s) will be required to:

  • Work with FNYTM, Museum and MTA staff, and their consultants to provide business planning services to FNYTM on matters that may arise in connection with the planning, development and funding of the Museum.
  • Maintain accurate accounting records and other evidence pertaining to costs incurred in providing

services, and, on FNYTM’s request, to make such records available to FNYTM at all reasonable times during the contract period and in accordance with stipulated document retention policies for a  reasonable time thereafter

  • Assume sole responsibility for the complete effort as required by this RFP, and be the sole point of contact with regard to contractual matters.
  • Refrain from assigning, transferring, conveying, subletting or otherwise disposing of the contract or its rights, titles or interest therein or its power to execute such agreement to any other person, firm, partnership, company or corporation without the prior consent and approval in writing of FNYTM.
  • Comply with applicable law governing projects initiated or supported by FNYTM, including all applicable IRS requirements and regulations.

FNYTM reserves the right to terminate any contract entered into as a result of this RFP at any time, provided that written notice has been given to the firm at least thirty (30) days prior to such proposed termination date.  However, should termination be based on a material misstatement made in Attachment 1, then at FNYTM’s election termination may be effective immediately upon the giving of written notice.


A. Obligation Only on Formal Contract

The issuance of this RFP, the submission of a response by any firm, and the acceptance of such response by FNYTM does not obligate FNYTM in any manner.  Legal obligations will only arise on the execution of a formal contract by FNYTM and the firm(s) selected by FNYTM.

Responses to this RFP will be prepared at the sole cost and expense of the proposing firms.  No materials submitted in response to this RFP will be returned. All proposals become the property of FNYTM, and may be subject to disclosure as requested, upon completion of the process.  Proprietary information that Proposers wish to remain confidential should not be included in their response materials.

B. Friends of the New York Transit Museum Reservation of Rights

FNYTM reserves the right to:

  1. Amend, modify, or withdraw this RFP.
  2. Revise requirements of this RFP.
  3. Require supplemental statements or information from any firm.
  4. Accept or reject any or all responses hereto.
  5. Extend the deadline for submission of responses thereto.
  6. Negotiate or hold discussions with any respondent and waive defects and allow corrections of deficient responses which do not completely conform to the instructions contained herein.
  7. Cancel this RFP, in whole or in part, if FNYTM deems it in its best interest to do so. FNYTM may exercise the foregoing rights at any time without notice and without liability to any proposing firm or any other party for their expenses incurred in the preparation of the responses hereto or otherwise.

C.  Nondiscrimination and Affirmative Action Policies

It is the policy of FNYTM to comply with all federal, state and local laws, policies, orders, rules and regulations which prohibit unlawful discrimination because of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability or marital status, and to take affirmative action in working with contracting parties to ensure that Minority- and Women-owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs), Minority Group Members and women share in the economic opportunities generated by FNYTM’s participation in projects or initiatives, and/or the use of FNYTM funds.

Attachment 1

Consultant Background Questionnaire

*Proposal for Strategic & Business Planning Services for Friends of the New York Transit Museum

Date:  _______________

Lead firm or individual name:  ________________________________________________

  1. Is the Proposer subject to any legal or financial constraint that may impede its provision of the requested services?

Yes ___           No___             (If “yes”, please explain on a separate page.)

  1. Within the last 5 years, has the Proposer, or any of its principals or predecessor entities, been declared not responsible by NYS or any other governmental agency or educational or not-for-profit institution?

Yes ___           No___             (If “yes”, please explain on a separate page.)

If “yes” to question 2 above, was the basis for the finding of non-responsibility due to a violation of NYS Finance law Section 139-J?

Yes ___           No___             (If “yes”, please explain on a separate page.)

If “yes” to question 2 above, was the basis for the finding of non-responsibility due to the intentional provision of false or incomplete information to a government entity?

Yes ___           No___             (If “yes”, please explain on a separate page.)

  1. Has the Proposer, or any of its principals or predecessor entities, ever been debarred, suspended or otherwise disqualified from bidding, proposing, or contracting?

Yes ___           No___             (If “yes”, please explain on a separate page.)

  1. Is the Proposer, or any of its principals or predecessor entities, currently disqualified from selling or submitting bids/proposals to or receiving awards from or entering into any contracts with any federal, state or local government entity, public authority, or any other public entity?

Yes ___           No___             (If “yes”, please explain on a separate page.)

  1. Is there a proceeding pending relating to Proposer’s responsibility, and/or possible debarment, suspension, or qualification to receive a public contract?

Yes ___           No___             (If “yes”, please explain on a separate page.)

  1. Within the past 5 years, has Proposer, or any of its principals or predecessor entities, defaulted on a contract or been terminated for cause?

Yes ___           No___             (If “yes”, please explain on a separate page.)

  1. Has a government agency or other public entity requested or required enforcement of any of its rights under a surety agreement on the basis of the Proposer’s default or in lieu of declaring Proposer in default?

Yes ___           No___             (If “yes”, please explain on a separate page.)

  1. Within the past 5 years, has the Proposer or any of its principals or predecessor entities, been required to engage the services of an integrity monitor, in connection with the award of or in order to complete any public or private contract?

Yes ___           No___             (If “yes”, please explain on a separate page.)

  1. Has the Proposer, or any of its principals or predecessor entities, ever been convicted of, or pleaded nolo contendere to a felony, or, a misdemeanor related to truthfulness in connection with business conduct?

Yes ___           No___             (If “yes”, please explain on a separate page.)

  1. Does the Proposer, or any of its principals or predecessor entities, have pending before any state or federal grand jury or court an indictment or information of the commission of a crime which has not been favorably terminated?

Yes ___           No___             (If “yes”, please explain on a separate page.)

  1. Is the Proposer, or any of its principals or predecessor entities, the subject of any pending investigation by any grand jury, commission, committee, or other entity or agency or authority of any federal, state or local government in connection with the commission, or alleged commission of a crime?

Yes ___           No___             (If “yes”, please explain on a separate page.)

  1. Within the 10 years period preceding this Bid/Proposal, has the Proposer, or any of its principals or predecessor entities, been convicted of or had a civil judgement rendered against it/them for or in relation to: (i) commission of fraud or a criminal offense in connection with obtaining, attempting to obtain, or performing a public (federal, state or local) transaction or contract under a public transaction: (ii) collusion with another person or entity in connection with the submission of bids/proposals; (iii) violation of federal or state antitrust statutes, or false claims acts, or (iv) commission of embezzlement, theft, forgery, bribery, falsification or destruction of records, making false statements or receiving stolen property?

Yes ___           No___             (If “yes”, please explain on a separate page.)

  1. Within the 10 years period preceding this Bid/Proposal, has the Proposer, or any of its principals or predecessor entities, entered into a consent decree, deferred prosecution agreement, or a non-prosecution agreement?

Yes ___           No___             (If “yes”, please explain on a separate page.)

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