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Request for Proposal: New Era’s Strategic Planning Process

September 9, 2020

Proposal Submission Instructions:

  • Send questions and submit proposals to RFP@neweracolorado.org 
  • Submissions close on October 17th: Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis and will be reviewed as they are received.
  • Budget: Up to $25,000, exclusive of travel and lodging costs or any other costs associated with outside advising or expertise outlined below. 

About New Era Colorado

New Era is a leading voice for young people in Colorado politics and one of the most effective youth civic engagement organizations in the country. We are working to reinvent politics for young people, mobilizing and empowering a new generation to participate in our democracy to advance progressive change. Since our founding in 2006, we’ve registered over 200,000 young people to vote and turned our registrants out at some of the highest rates amongst voter registration drives in the country. We’ve won on each of the issues we prioritize at the ballot box or the legislature (economic justice, abortion rights, climate change, and election access) and we’ve graduated hundreds of young people from our leadership development programs. New Era alumni now serve in elected office and key positions of power across the state. Along the way, we’ve made two viral videos (This Is Why We Vote; Campaign for Local Power) and driven Colorado’s youth turnout to third in the country in 2018. New Era is comprised of New Era Colorado Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and New Era Colorado Action Fund, a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization.

We are on a journey to embed equity and inclusion in our organization’s DNA, and to transform into a truly anti-racist organization. We have begun taking steps to address these issues and transform to help build power toward a more just future by requiring anti-oppression training for all staff members and specific training on anti-Black racism for non-Black staff; including DEI competencies as “must-haves” in our hiring practices; developing departmental and organizational equity blueprints to guide our work; establishing race-based caucusing to create healing spaces for BIPOC, and accountability and growth spaces for white folks; and exploring an internal and external reparations policy. Our ultimate aim for our anti-racism work includes: authentically centering the experiences and leadership of young people who identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Color in our program work; dismantling white supremacy within our organizational systems, policies, and culture, and rebuilding anew; and ensuring we have an inclusive, welcoming culture in which all staff and board members are valued, thriving, and advancing our mission.

Our team is deeply dedicated to social change, and takes the work very seriously—but not ourselves. We’ll never miss an opportunity to get a zoomed-in screenshot of you making a weird face in a group photo and we hope you like hot fries and have an HBO login to share. We’re relentless, passionate, advocacy, and organizing enthusiasts who are committed to making ourselves and New Era better every day. We truly believe in the power of young people.

Desired Outcomes of Strategic Planning

Process

A collaborative strategic planning process, involving New Era staff, Board, and key stakeholders that allows us to wrestle with key topics related to anti-racism, movement building, & youth empowerment; and analyzes and establishes the identity of New Era Colorado as an organization. 

A process that leaves our team unified, energized, and clear on our vision and priorities heading into 2022. 

Product

Strategic guidelines for the next 3-5 years that center anti-racism in our work, with clearly defined priorities in alignment with our mission that are both stable and nimble—a clear north star, with flexibility in getting there, including:

  • A renewed mission and vision statement that still centers the power of young people in democracy (in all its forms – voting, protest, policy, movement building, structural change).
  • A renewed set of values.
  • Clarity in our theory of change and assumptions.
  • A set of immediate and long-term outcomes, and a strong connection between New Era’s program and how it will achieve these outcomes.
  • A framework for how our programs achieve our mission that can be evaluated and tested.

Incorporation of organizational, programmatic, and operational priorities, including: 

  • Outlining a set organizational and programmatic priorities & goals aligned to our renewed theory of change.
  • Determining the unique strengths and value-add of New Era in the larger Colorado progressive infrastructure to identify a clear set of internal and external priorities. 
  • Integrating anti-racism to ensure it is centered in both internal organizational development and external strategy. 
  • Designing the internal infrastructure, including structural and operational systems, required to meet strategic goals. 

Anticipated Activities and Deliverables

Guide New Era staff, Board, and key stakeholders to develop a strategic plan for the next 3-5 years.

  • Engage New Era staff, Board, and key stakeholders throughout the planning process.
  • Facilitate strategic planning sessions with staff, Board, and key stakeholders to guide the reflection, analysis, and decision making process.
  • Read relevant materials and participate in meetings/calls with New Era staff as necessary to ensure understanding of our work. 
  • Interview and/or survey relevant stakeholders where necessary.
  • Work with the New Era team to develop all relevant materials for meetings/calls/and other engagement with stakeholders.
  • Engage in an iterative drafting process of a strategic framework which will consist of input and revisions from New Era staff.
  • Stakeholder Engagement: To ensure our strategic planning is comprehensive, it is likely that we will engage external stakeholders throughout the process where necessary, including: legal counsel, nonprofit operations experts, funders, former staff or Board members, etc. New Era will cover any additional expenses related to bringing in outside expertise.

Who We’re Looking for:

A strategic planner (or team of strategic planners) who is well-versed in:

  • Anti-racism theory, policy, and practices, including how to deeply embed anti-racism at the organizational and programmatic level
  • Managing challenging conversations & asking the hard questions
  • How to effectively communicate & manage project deadlines
  • Movement building & electoral/issue-based organizing
  • Strategic planning, including writing organizational theories of change & strategic frameworks
  • Human-centered design & collaborative processes
  • Facilitation with a variety of diverse stakeholders in various settings (including large group/1:1/virtual) to build toward consensus

This list includes a lot of varying and specific expertise. If you do not have all the expertise listed, we still encourage you to submit a proposal and be sure to highlight how you would bring in other stakeholders to advise throughout the process.

Logistics

Timeline: The details of this timeline will be adjusted based on consultant recommendations. 

  • Select strategic planning consultant by November 2020; begin planning process in December 2020.
  • Launch strategic planning with a statewide listening tour in January 2021. 
  • 3-5 facilitated meetings with staff, Board members, and other key stakeholders in January-August 2021. 
  • Final product drafted in early Fall of 2021.

Location:

  • The New Era team is based in Denver and Boulder, Colorado.
  • The stakeholder meeting locations will primarily be in Denver (but possibly remote); if in-person meetings are scheduled, you would be expected to be in person.

Required Proposal Contents: 1-3 follow up calls/interviews may be conducted to discuss approach and ensure the project is the best fit for the consultant and New Era. 

  • Brief overview of your practice (organization, company, independent work, etc.), including a short introduction to you/your team and a brief description of prior nonprofit strategic planning and facilitation experience. 
  • Overview of how you would approach addressing the needs outlined in this RFP, including the estimated amount of hours for the project.
  • 2-3 examples of relevant facilitation(s) conducted and/or final deliverable(s) produced. Examples of work with anti-racism at the center is required.
  • Proposed budget, including any additional expenses for travel, etc.
  • A list of 4 references (2 of which should be former clients).

Materials:

New Era Colorado Foundation & New Era Colorado Action Fund Overviews

Equity Statement

Our Values

By Request: New Era Colorado Foundation & New Era Colorado Action Fund Strategic Framework [2015-2020]