Request for Proposals: Equity and Inclusiveness Assessment + Blueprint 

To view this request as a PDF, click here.

Date of Request for Proposals: December 1, 2018
Deadline for Request for Proposals: January 31, 2019

Summary

New Era Colorado seeks a consultant (or pair/team) to work with us to pursue organizational transformation in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We seek to do a full organizational assessment of our practices around diversity, inclusivity and equity, to conduct trainings simultaneously as needed of our staff (and possibly our board), and to work with us to create a blueprint we can follow to make concrete improvements in each of these areas over the next several years.

About New Era Colorado

New Era Colorado works to reinvent politics for young people, mobilizing and empowering a new generation to participate in our democracy to make Colorado a better place for everyone. We provide the resources and tools for young people to gain collective power in all levels of the political process, including issue organizing, electoral mobilization, and the legislative process. We’re grassroots, we’re nonpartisan, and we’re empowering our generation to lead Colorado forward. Our three core program areas are civic engagement, advocacy, and leadership development. We run large-scale voter registration drives and voter turnout efforts, train 60+ young leaders through 12-week leadership development programs each year, and advocate for economic justice, election access, climate action and reproductive rights.

We have 11 permanent staff and two offices, one in Denver and one in Boulder. In major election years, our staff grows tremendously to include up to 50 full-time staff and dozens of part-time staff, and we regularly have small teams of full- or part-time organizers for various efforts and campaigns. We were founded in 2006 by a multi-racial group of individuals, though throughout our 12-year history we have been a predominantly white-led organization.

Our staff and board has committed to engaging in work to become a more fully inclusive organization that is capable of effectively advancing equity through all the work we do, and has been planning to embark on this process for a number of years. We underwent an assessment process in 2017/early 2018.  We are restarting this process to achieve a clear blueprint to close the gap between our values and our work.

Our Goals

As an organization, we value diversity, equity and inclusion, but there is a gap between our values and our work. Our current programs, goals, and structures aren’t currently achieving the change we want to see and believe is necessary. We want to be an organization that can fight for shared liberation for young people, but we’re not currently achieving that. We’re aiming to take the first step in a long-term process towards becoming a more diverse, more inclusive organization that is more representative of young people in Colorado and can more authentically and effectively advance equity through all aspects of our work. Long-term, we hope to achieve equity within the organization, especially racial equity, and transform our organization into one that has equity, inclusiveness, anti-oppression, and anti-racism in its DNA. We see individual-level trainings as necessary to pursuing the systemic changes we seek, but hope to focus primarily on systemic change. While race and racism is our primary focus, we hope our process can be broader as well to consider other forms of oppression and how to combat them in our own organization and through our work.

To begin, we are seeking an organizational assessment and assistance with a planning process that can be informed by this assessment, and any trainings that should accompany the assessment and planning processes. This process should create a concrete, actionable plan for organizational transformation. In the future, we hope to work with the same consultant (or team) to provide ongoing support and guidance, but we’re not able to foresee that aspect of the work at this stage.

Description of Desired Outcomes

At the end of the process, we would like to see the following concrete outcomes:

  • Assessment: Multidimensional information gathering with data on our community, our field, and our organization, including a review of internal policies, norms, structures, power structures, workflows, etc…
  • Blueprint: An outcomes-based blueprint for organizational transformation that goes beyond surface level changes to make us more inclusive, more diverse, and more capable of effectively advancing equity through all the work we do. Includes both long term and short term measurable goals to help us achieve organizational change.
  • Training: Increased competency of and fluency among staff and board members in these areas, particularly as is needed to do a proper assessment and blueprint.

Please note: We have a lot to learn about what this process could and should entail for our organization, so we see these desired outcomes as an initial draft but hope to work with the consultant (or team) to better refine the process and our goals.

What we’re looking for in a consultant/team

We would like a consultant (or team) to be our partner and our guide in moving us closer to our goals, though we understand that significant capacity, commitment and leadership is necessary within our organization and that we cannot rely on external folks to do all of the work for us. We hope to take the consultant’s input to determine the length of time within which we work together, and to help us better shape our goals for this process and of course the shape of the process itself.

Our organization is by, for, and of young people. Our staff is young, and we infuse our work with irreverence, humor and flexibility. We are seeking an adaptable consultant with experience in the nonprofit sector and electoral work who believes in our approach and the value of our work—particularly our electoral work, but also our advocacy and leadership development work as well.

Proposal Content

Interested parties should submit the following:

  • Proposed consulting plan, project approach, and rough timeframe
  • Budget
  • A list of past clients
  • Bios (or resumes) of all relevant team members
  • References, with contact information
  • Contact information for all relevant team members
  • Work samples of action plans provided to other organizations

We will review proposals on a rolling basis, and plan to include an interview phase prior to making a final decision. Please submit your proposal as a single PDF to equity@Neweracolorado.org.

The priority deadline for proposals is Tuesday January 15th at 5pm MT, though we are able to be flexible—so if there’s a reason that deadline wouldn’t work, please just let us know.

Budget and Timeframe

Our budget for this phase (assessment, training, and planning) is approximately $12,000-$15,000. We recognize this is an ongoing process, and hope to work with the consultant during this initial phase of our work to plan additional phases (and ongoing work), which we will need to fundraise for. We hope to begin work with a consultant as soon as possible and would like to work with the consultant to develop an appropriate timeframe and timeline.

Contact information

For questions, clarifications, or anything else, please contact:

Lizzy Stephan, Executive Director, Lizzy@neweracolorado.org | 845-551-6843

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