Request for Proposal (RFP) for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Consultant

Overview

Delta Institute (Delta) is seeking a consultant to facilitate a series of training courses over a six-month period (July – December 2024) for the organization’s staff, associate board, and governing board. This will include an in-person training in Chicago on July 12th, with subsequent virtual training staggered over the duration of the consulting period.

Interested consultants should submit a PDF proposal via email to development@delta-institute.org by June 21, 2024.

About Delta Institute

Delta collaborates with communities to solve complex environmental challenges throughout the Midwest. We address Midwestern environmental, economic, and climate challenges today, so that our home and region are more resilient, equitable, and innovative tomorrow.

Through our work, Delta benefits more than five million Midwesterners by transitioning one million acres to conservation-focused practices, and by improving water quality and reducing flooding by capturing 100 million stormwater gallons. By 2025 we will achieve these goals through our agriculture, climate, water, and community development projects.

We believe this is what a more resilient, equitable, and innovative Midwest looks like.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Delta

At our core, we at Delta are an organization that is defined by its people and our impact, and we can only be successful in advancing our mission and vision if we are intentional and authentic in our approach to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in all aspects of our organizational culture and programming.

Over the past few years, we have committed ourselves to being more transparent with our partners, supporters, and stakeholders regarding our approach to advancing DEI at Delta. Since Delta ad hoc DEI Committee concluded its scope of work in 2019, we have implemented several new policies and activities:

  • Publishing an executive summary of our DEI Committee’s work (March 2021);
  • Revising organizational branding for improved accessibility (June 2021);
  • Using the DEI Committee’s work to inform Delta’s refined Strategic Plan (July 2022);
  • Developing an Organizational Community Engagement Stipend Policy (August 2022);
  • Refining our approach to using inclusive vocabulary (August 2022);
  • Developing and adopting a Black Labor Acknowledgement (March 2023);
  • Developing and adopting a Land Acknowledgement (March 2023);
  • Integrating more accessibility features on our website (April 2023); and,
  • Hosting a first-ever in-person DEI training for our Board, Associate Board, and Staff (July 2023), with a final report on learnings/takeaways (September 2023).

To truly create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization, we must continuously invest in a cycle that helps us assess what we’ve put in place, explore how we can improve upon it, and refine it as needed to further reach our objectives. Learn more about our DEI work by visiting https://delta-institute.org/dei.

Project Objectives

Delta is seeking proposals from consultants with experience facilitating training sessions related to advancing organizational DEI. The objectives of this project follow:

  • Delta has a reasonably significant bench of experience and background in our DEI journey and is looking for a deeper connection between DEI and our Strategic Plan and projects—we’re looking for the “next step” in our DEI efforts.
  • Help create a shared understanding across Delta’s three internal constituency groups (i.e., staff, Delta Emerging Leaders associate board, and the governing Board of Directors) of how equity advances Delta’s mission and vision and informs/strengthens our Strategic Plan and projects.
  • Create a safe space where attendees can reflect, explore, discuss, and evaluate DEI at Delta.
  • Collect feedback after the training session that allows staff and board members to share their thoughts, questions, and suggestions for future DEI activities with a hoped-for measurable change in:
    • Self-reported understanding of environmental justice;
    • Self-reported understanding of the importance and centering of DEI within Delta’s Strategic Plan and projects;
    • Self-reported belief in why equity is important within nonprofit governance and management.
    • Self-reported confidence in equity considerations.

Deliverables

We estimate a total number of 12 hours, with additional time spent in preparation and material/training creation. Hour breakdown includes:

  • July In-Person Training: 2 hours facilitation, 1 hour set-up/tear-down. Travel and preparation are in addition.
  • September Virtual Trainings for all 3 Delta groups (governing Board, associate Board, and staff); 3 hours facilitation; preparation in addition.
  • November/December Virtual Training; 2 hours facilitation, preparation in addition.

The selected consultant will provide the following deliverables:

  • Participation in a planning meeting in advance of the July in-person training session and subsequent virtual sessions.
  • July In-Person Training: Design and facilitation of a two-hour in-person training session the afternoon of Friday, July 12th, in Chicago for approximately 40 staff and board members of Delta. This in-person training will focus on:
    • Discussion of DEI at Delta in our Strategy, projects, and organizational culture.
    • Discussion and unpacking of “environmental justice,” and its impacts on our region, work, and shared vision.
    • Breakouts and small group dialogue.
    • Survey or other mechanism to collect feedback from all training session participants that will then be used to help inform subsequent virtual trainings.
  • 4 follow-up virtual trainings, which are identified (generally) as:
    • September: Three 1-hour virtual trainings for all 3 groups (governing Board, associate Board, and staff) to be held separately. The general topic will be ways to center DEI in the functions of that specific group, with call-back to the July training. Trainings will likely sync with existing meetings, including:
      • September Quarterly Board Meeting
      • Delta Emerging Leaders Monthly Meeting
      • Staff Monthly Stand-Up Meeting
    • November/December: One 2-hour long virtual training for all three groups together to revisit/re-engage on the July training now that there has been the September training and related reflection/time/discussions.

Timeline Considerations

All proposed date changes will be considered, except for the July 12th training session. The term of completion for this project runs from contract signing in June through (approximately) December 20, 2024.

Key Dates for this RFP:

  • Monday, June 3: RFP posted online.
  • Friday, June 21st: Proposals are due by 11:59 pm. Please send all proposals via PDF attachment to development@delta-institute.org.
  • Wednesday, June 26 – Thursday June 27: Interviews (if needed).
  • Monday, July 1st: Consultant selected and notified.

Budget

The project has a total budget (flat fee) of $10,000. This is inclusive of all consultant fees for compensation, travel, printing, materials, supplies, or other expenses the consultant requires.

Consultant Evaluation Criteria

Required:

  • Demonstrated success in working with groups diverse in gender expression and identity, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, religion, nationality, physical ability, neurodiversity, socio-economic background, age, and other aspects of intersectionality.
  • Knowledge of Midwest social issues, including those of BIPOC, the LGBTQ+ community, and people with disabilities.
  • Knowledge of environmental justice, and a reasonable understanding of the interconnectedness between a wide array of environmental justice considerations and issues impacting Midwestern communities.
  • Knowledge and practical use of bias assessment and conflict management tools.
  • Prior experience working with non-profit organizations.
  • Public speaking finesse, with being able to react in real-time if breaks, breathing moments, or processing is needed.
  • Cultural skills in interviewing under-represented groups.
  • Ability to be responsive and communicative.
  • Word/PowerPoint/Excel skills.

Submission components

Bidders will be asked to provide:

  • A 1–3-page overview of your proposed approach which answers the following questions:
    • What specific training, education, and expertise do you and/or your team have to develop a proposal that addresses the objectives expressed in this RFP?
    • What direct experience, both professional and personal, do you and/or your team have working with diverse communities that would directly improve your ability to successfully address the objectives expressed in this RFP?
    • What past work have you completed that makes you and/or your team uniquely qualified to successfully address the objectives expressed in this RFP?
    • What factors might prevent you and/or your team from successfully addressing the objectives expressed in this RFP?
  • At least two references with contact information;
  • Summary of projected costs; and
  • Samples and/or case studies from previous projects.

Compensation

The following compensation schedule will illustrate the payment milestones for the consultant’s planning, facilitation, and reporting work:

  1. Installment 1 (July 2023)
    1. Billable upon signing of agreement
  2. Installment 2 (August 2023)
    1. Billable upon completion of the July in-person training session
  3. Installment 3 (December 2023)
    1. Billable upon completion of virtual trainings in September and Nov/Dec to Delta

Failure by contractors to complete the work, as described in the final signed agreement with Delta, will result in withholding of payment by Delta, until full completion of the work.

Due Date for Submission

Friday, June 21st, 2024 (11:59 pm CT)

Please send all proposals via PDF attachment to development@delta-institute.org.

Questions regarding the RFP process and formal RFP responses/applications should be sent to development@delta-institute.org.

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