Big Ideas: A Request for Proposals

At Lewis & Clark, we rise as one. The collaborative potential of our three schools is boundless. Driven by a singular mission, our faculty and staff will marshal our collective resources to offer even greater opportunities for our students, and more effectively tackle some of society’s greatest challenges, locally and globally.

Strategic Plan Proposal TemplateBig Ideas Evaluation Process

Big Ideas Collaboration Google FormBig Ideas Collaboration Spreadsheet

Research indicates that donors of principal and transformational gifts increasingly want to support these Big Ideas: concrete projects that encourage interdisciplinary thinking and drive large-scale impact both on and beyond campus. As we build our next strategic plan, we want to identify and build upon opportunities that will differentiate us and inspire support among donors and funders.

This is a chance to be part of building a new future at Lewis & Clark. Successful proposals will create new opportunities for our students, for the institution, for yourselves, and for our donors. They will bring new resources to support work that you care deeply about.

We invite you to join us in the Strategic Plan Big Ideas generation process.

Anticipated Timeline

March 11
Big Ideas and Initiatives, Zoom Session with Dr. Fleming Puckett of EAB

All faculty and staff invited. An on-demand recording and slide deck is now available.
This presentation by Fleming Puckett of EAB shows us how other successful institutions have aligned major strategic planning initiatives and fundraising. Shortly after this session, we will share key information about how and when faculty and staff can develop and propose Big Ideas for consideration and possible inclusion in the strategic plan and next philanthropic campaign.

April 18, 2 to 4 p.m.
Big Ideas and Initiatives The slide deck is now available

This workshop with Dr. Puckett and Executive Council is for faculty and staff who’ve begun formulating new plans, or thinking about the enhancement of existing activities. This will be an opportunity to work on translating ideas into strategic proposals. This would be an excellent time to learn more and to make progress on your idea or proposal, wherever you are in the process.

May 31
Deadline for Submission of Big Ideas Draft Proposals

Big Ideas proposals should be collaborative and are most likely to be successful if they are developed in consultation with your dean or vice president, as well as with potential collaborators on campus. Using this template, please write a draft proposal and submit it electronically to, with a copy sent to your Executive Council representative, by May 31. We don’t expect proposals to be complete and polished at this stage. Do the best you can.

June to August

Executive Council completes initial review and assessment of Big Ideas and works with sponsors on the most promising submissions. Additional resources will be provided as necessary to support further development of the most promising Big Ideas.

Successful proposals will align with the Strategic Plan’s draft themes, generate donor interest, and demonstrate distinctiveness that will differentiate us from peers. Preference will be given too for proposals that demonstrate cross-school collaboration.

We anticipate that successful proposals will be related to projects or ideas that you’re already working on in some way or that you’ve already discussed with your dean or supervisor. But blue-sky ideas will be considered too. Those proposals chosen for further development will receive institutional support to build out a business plan and case.

Proposals that are selected for further consideration will then be supported with institutional resources to help you further develop and vet the proposal, including creation of a potential budget and business plan, assessment of the anticipated return on investment, the identification of additional collaborators, and refinement of the case that could be made to potential donors.