LION Publishers is hiring a Strategic Growth Plan Consultant

We’re looking for someone to guide us through long-term strategic visioning.

January 23, 2023 by LION Publishers

Photo by Alvaro Reyes via Unsplash
Photo by Alvaro Reyes via Unsplash

Status: Independent contractor
Reporting to: Deputy Director
Project Type: Short-term contract, with variable working hours, from roughly June–August, 2023.
Compensation: $15,000 (An estimated 25 hours per month for three months at an effective rate of $200/hour)

About LION Publishers

Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit professional journalism association for independent news publishers. While most of our 450+ members across the U.S. and Canada run local news businesses, we also have members who serve larger regions and specific identity-based communities across geographies. LION provides teaching, resources and community to independent news entrepreneurs as they build and develop sustainable businesses. One of our core values is being people-centered, and here are some ways we build that culture for our staff. 

Project Summary

We’re looking for an entrepreneurial advisor to guide our organization through long-term strategic visioning to help inform our fundraising and operational planning. Your project goals will be to offer frameworks and feedback on a five-year strategic growth plan, and a corresponding operational plan.

Project Scope of Work


  • In collaboration with the Deputy Director, write a strategic plan for external publication designed to inspire and inform funders, employees, and stakeholders alike. This plan includes:
    • A longer term goal for LION that is audacious enough to capture attention
    • A “eureka” insight on LION’s approach that differentiates it from its peers and competitors
    • The core pillars of a multi-year roadmap that doubles down on that eureka insight
  • In collaboration with the Deputy Director, create an operational framework that builds confidence in the strategic plan, listing out tangible milestones toward longer-term goals. 


  • Within first 30 days
    • Provide templates/examples/methods of strategic planning process for Deputy Director to adapt
    • Identify relevant stakeholders for interviews
    • Facilitate conversation with Deputy Director and other team members as needed on the goals of the strategic plan
    • Providing templates and general advice on stakeholder interviews, conducted by the Deputy Director
  • Within first 60 days
    • Offering feedback on insights from interviewees
    • Offering feedback on the draft strategic plan
  • By end of the 90 days
    • Offering feedback on the finalization of the strategic plan
    • Facilitating and offering feedback on the operating plan

Our Deputy Director will ultimately be responsible for writing this plan, with ample feedback from the LION team. We expect the consultant to work in more of an advisory capacity rather than execution role.

LION is an Equal Opportunity Partner

LION believes that a team with diversity of backgrounds and experiences will generate the most innovative ideas and ultimately do the best work in support of our mission. This is why we welcome contractors, vendors, staff and board members who contribute to a diverse, equitable and inclusive work environment. We understand diversity as multi-dimensional and intersectional, encompassing race and ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, age, ability, class, geography, and more.

We know there are great candidates who might not check all the boxes listed below or who possess important skills we haven’t thought of. If that’s you, don’t hesitate to apply and tell us about yourself. 

Skills and Qualifications for The Project

  • Has experience and success with creating strategic and operating plans for nonprofit organizations (journalism/media-specific experience not required)
  • A deep listener who can absorb information about LION’s current opportunities and challenges and ask smart questions about how to translate those into a long-term organizational vision
  • Demonstrates a high level of organization and clear communication with LION executive leadership staff about organizational vision and goals
  • Offers thoughtful and constructive feedback to the LION team,  without needing to do the work themselves, while also coaching on the process of creating strategic and operational plans

Skills and Expectations for Collaboration with the LION Team

  • Work in a way that upholds and reflects our organizational values: Being data-informed, equitable and inclusive, people-centered, systems thinkers, transparent and iterative
  • Use digital tools and platforms to stay organized, communicate transparently, and collaborate with team members remotely 
  • Collaborate strategically with others, clearly defining processes for decision making
  • Give and receive constructive feedback to help the team produce its best work
  • Celebrate our wins and learning moments
  • Take on an experimental mindset and demonstrate flexibility to iterate on our work, systems, and processes 
  • Be willing and able to ask for help when needed, and demonstrate an ability to learn and grow

Submission Requirements

Submit your application using this form by February 28, 2023

If you have questions about this project, reach out to Deborah Brown at [email protected]

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