Advisory Support on Resource Mobilisation Benchmarking

Closing date
01 Jul 2022


Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) is an international organization that works in partnership with the United Nations and leaders in government, the private sector, financial institutions, civil society and philanthropies to drive faster action towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) – access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030 – in line with the Paris Agreement on climate.

Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched the Sustainable Energy for All initiative in 2011 to promote sustainable energy solutions. Now an independent organization, SEforALL maintains close links with the UN through a relationship agreement, partnerships with UN agencies and with our CEO acting as the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of UN-Energy.


SEforALL is registered as a charitable organization (‘Quasi-International Organization’) under Austrian law, and currently works with United Nations Foundation as a fiscal sponsor in the United States, as well as with the United Nations Office of Project Services (UNOPS) to manage funding and contracts. The organization’s funding currently comes from a mix of philanthropy (trusts and foundations) and government sources, with a small amount of private sector funding via partnerships and event sponsorships.

SEforALL is a new initiative; ten years as a campaign and six years as a legal entity and has ambitious resource mobilization targets embodied in its current business plan. SEforALL’s funding requirements for the next five years (2022-2026) are USD 250 million for operating funds (staff, procurement, travel, overheads etc.) plus a USD 500 million of grant funds to be passed through to private sector incentives for energy access projects, technical assistance, and education partners. At this stage of development, the organization is therefore seeking a more complete picture of how its resource mobilization strategy and practices benchmark against ‘best practice’ for the sector.

Scope of Work and Objective

SEforALL seeks to contract external advisory services via a short-term consultancy to provide insight into fundraising approaches and practices in comparable organisations where there has been a demonstrated rate of growth, with consideration given to different models of fundraising available, and the investment of time and resources required for success of each model.

The review must encompass information to answer three questions:

  1. Level of funding: How much investment in fundraising is needed to ensure that SEforALL fulfils its ambitions? What kind of returns on investment should be expected over a defined time frame?
  2. Targeting: What sort of funding model(s) should SEforALL pursue and what type(s) of funders should they prioritize? E.g.
    1. Public sector funding (bilateral approaches)
    2. Public sector funding (responding to tenders and RFPs)
    3. Philanthropic (foundations and trusts) funding
    4. Philanthropic (high net worth individual) funding
    5. Private sector partnerships and sponsorships
    6. Individual giving (including online donations, planned giving, crowd funding)

What factors do they need to take into consideration, for example, but not limited to: timescale and returns from each type of funder?

  1. What kind of investment: How best to deploy internal resources directed towards fundraising? What should the division of roles and responsibilities be between professional fundraising staff and technical/thematic experts? What kind of skills, experience and networks do staff need?

As part of this, the consultancy is required to provide information on:

  1. Characterisation of different comparator organisations and funding: overall growth; rate of funding; type of funding; source of funding and more
  2. Approaches to fundraising: identifying and targeting donors; timeframe; resources devoted to fundraising
  3. Staffing: number of staff; knowledge, expertise and networks of key staff and more.
  4. Systems and processes that underpin growth and maintenance of fundraising: including but not limited to: what is used by each organisation; resources needed to establish and maintain systems and processes

Approach, Timeline, and Deliverables


SEforALL expects the approach and methodology to take one of the following two forms; however, the consultant can propose the final approach.

  1. Draw on a range of different examples across a wide range of organisations that demonstrate best practice for different parts of the three questions.
  2. Identify and undertake case studies on 3-5 comparator organisations that can provide context on the set of three questions.

As part of this, the consultant is expected to undertake the following activities:

  1. Identify and justify a short list of appropriate comparator organisations which can inform the different questions, based on a set of selection criteria, e.g., comparable evolution of size and funding; spread across NGO/thinktank sector; variety of fundraising approaches.
  2. Review publicly available information for each organisation, identifying the gaps.
  3. Use professional experience and third-party interviews to comment on fundraising approaches, and where and how SEforALL could improve its approach.

The selected consultant will maintain close contact with a designated SEforALL contact throughout the assignment to facilitate the work. All draft reports will be reviewed by SEforALL, which will provide comments within one week of receipt.

The consultant should make a concerted effort to mainstream gender considerations throughout this assignment. If possible, the firm is also expected to implement at least a 40:60 female to male ratio in their team and to submit a copy of any gender policies they follow.

Timeline: The deliverables and timeline for this project are as follows:


Tentative Due Date

Agreed list of organizations and focal points

01 August 2022

Presentation of initial results from review of information and information gaps

01 August 2022

Draft questionnaire, interview structure and timetable

22 August 2022

Final questionnaire, interview structure and timetable

29 August 2022

Draft report and presentation of results

19 September 2022

Final report and recommendations

14 October 2022


Qualifications and Expertise

Organizations wishing to submit a proposal should demonstrate the following points qualifications and expertise with in the following areas: 


  • Must have at least 5 years’ experience delivering advisory support
  • Demonstrable knowledge and experience working with comparable organisations in the NGO/Thinktank sector, particularly in a context of ambitious growth.
  • Demonstrable knowledge and experience working with completing a fundraising cycle (end-to-end) timescales and investment needed for philanthropies and public sector funders, and normal returns on investment.
  • Demonstrable knowledge and experience working with internal resources as needed for effective fundraising (staffing, systems and processes)
  • Demonstratable experience with fundingand comparable organisations in the US and EU.
  • Demonstratable and relevant experience in working with trends in the energy sector and funding for the energy sector.


  • Experience with timescales and investment neededfor high net-worth individuals and other forms of individual giving (e.g., online donations, planned giving, crowd funding), and normal returns on investment.
  • Experience with working with the UN will be considered an advantage.
  • A good understanding of SEforALL, its mandate and goals.


There is no travel expected for this assignment


The consultant will report to Jim Walker, Senior Director Resource Mobilization, SEforALL

Bidding Process

Proposals must include the following (in either PDF or PPT format):

  • Technical Proposal:
    • Relevant skills, and experience of the team
    • Timing of activities and management approach
    • Organisation’s gender policy and proposed team’s gender ratio
    • Three (3) organizational references from the last three years
    • An overview of similar work carried out in the last 3 years
    • CVs of the proposed team
  • A Financial Proposal, outlining the costs associated with carrying out the scope of work, including:
    • Labour costs (personnel, daily rates, number of days)
    • Other costs
    • Costs must be in USD

Bidders are requested to disclose any potential conflicts of interest.

Please submit your proposal to by 1st July 2022, 17:00 PM Central European Time. In case of questions or queries contact SEforALL at