Project Overview: PennFuture and Conservation Voters of PA (CVPA) invite proposals from qualified individuals or firms to facilitate our respective efforts to develop and implement fully integrated institutional best practices to ensure that we become more welcoming, inclusive, and diverse organizations, including:

● Assessment: Assess current organizational policies, practices, and culture to identify manifestations and root causes of bias and inequity.

● Framework & Skill Building: Provide DEIJ training to staff, managers, and board as well as develop DEIJ tools and best practices for the organizations.

● Goal Setting & Implementation: Help staff establish a clear equity vision and associated DEIJ goals as well as accountability structures towards implementing the goals.

● HR Support: Support the development and implementation of best practices to further internal DEIJ values and goals.

● Integration: Establish guidance and recommendation in order to fully integrate DEIJ into each organization's programs, operations, and culture.

Logistics: Although this is a joint RFP and the organizations intend to hire the same consultant, PennFuture and CVPA expect the tasks identified herein to be undertaken as separate processes for each organization. Thus, the successful applicant will contract with each organization separately and manage two separate, although related, DEIJ processes within the timeframe indicated.

Timeline and Term: PennFuture and Conservation Voters of PA each intend to award separate contracts as a result of this joint RFP by October 12, 2020. The contracts’ terms are intended to extend through October 1, 2021, with possible options for additional work beyond the term of the initial contract.

Budget: The budget for all tasks for PennFuture shall not exceed $30,000. The budget for all tasks for CVPA shall not exceed $30,000.

Background

Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture) was created in 1998 as a statewide environmental advocacy organization. Our mission is to lead the transition to a clean energy economy in Pennsylvania and beyond; protect our air, water, and land; and empower citizens to build sustainable communities for future generations. Since our founding, we have achieved significant legal and policy victories that reduce pollution and protect the environment. With offices in Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Mt. Pocono, and Erie, our team litigates cases in local, state, and federal courts and before administrative tribunals; advances legislative and regulatory action on a state and federal level; provides public education; assists citizens in public advocacy; and encourages Pennsylvanians to engage in the democratic process.

CVPA is the statewide political voice for the environment. We elect environmentally responsible candidates to state and local offices, advocate for strong environmental policies, and hold our elected officials accountable to safeguard the health of our communities, the beauty of our state, and the strength of our economy. CVPA was launched in 2009 as a state affiliate of the League of Conservation Voters.

PennFuture and CVPA created a strategic partnership in 2017 to build power for the environmental movement in PA.
In 2019, PennFuture and CVPA each began to articulate new goals for DEIJ. For example, PennFuture included a strategic organizational imperative to “better reflect the communities of Pennsylvania through a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive staff and board” and PennFuture’s 2019-21 Strategic Plan includes “building a work environment that is inclusive and attractive to people of different identities and perspectives, and emphasizing talent retention.” Likewise, CVPA underwent an assessment with its national affiliate, the League of Conservation Voters, and identified some initial DEIJ goals as part of its strategic planning process.

Although the organizations have separately engaged in some DEIJ training, have established DEIJ committees at both the board (joint) and staff (separately) levels, and our staff separately participates in weekly open discussions about DEIJ issues, there is a strong desire to: more intentionally identify the systems of bias and inequity in our respective organizations; develop meaningful and effective tools to seamlessly, strategically, and permanently incorporate DEIJ in our internal practices and procedures; and thereby strengthen our potential as changemakers for environmental issues in Pennsylvania. Work under this RFP will form the foundation for our long-term vision that DEIJ will be fully integrated in each organization’s programs, operations, and culture.

Scope of Work

Although this is a joint RFP, the work undertaken by the consultant will be done separately for each organization and not jointly.

The consultant’s or consultant team’s tasks for each organization will include:

● Developing an engagement and communications strategy to ensure full staff and board member participation.

● Assessing current organizational policies, practices, and culture to identify organizational biases and/or inequities.

● Developing and facilitating a multi-day and/or multiple staff training workshops for staff, managers, and board, including developing staff understanding of key terms and concepts related to racial justice and equity.

● Establishing a clear equity vision and associated strategic DEIJ goals as well as metrics and accountability structures for the organization.

● Designing DEIJ tools and best practices for staff, including managing a culturally-competent organization.

● Providing DEIJ training for our board members.

● Assessing current DEIJ integration in hiring, employment, and goal-setting procedures and developing organizational and HR best practices, e.g. job description development, recruitment practices, updating the Employee Handbook and/or other policies to align with our DEIJ goals.

● Toward the end of the contract period, helping establish next steps for prioritizing, developing and implementing DEIJ best practices for external work, and recommendations for post-contract assessment and timelines.

Selection Criteria

PennFuture’s and CVPA’s respective DEIJ Committees will evaluate applications and make recommendations to the organizations’ executive leadership to make a final decision. We reserve the right to reject all proposals.
Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

● Demonstrated history of success in implementing organizational change for other clients.

● An understanding of the nonprofit organizational structure, including volunteer boards of directors, and how to best navigate inherent hierarchies and power structures.

● Experience conducting virtual and in-person DEIJ trainings.

● Demonstrated history of effective facilitation, communication, and training skills.

● Proven ability to develop internal best practices for non-profit organizations.

● Ability to identify and overcome organizational obstacles to DEIJ growth and change.

● Preferred but not required: Previous experience with environmental organizations and/or an understanding of the environmental movement and how race plays a role in the movement currently and historically.

Proposal Submission

Interested individuals or firms should submit their proposal to both Jay Andrews at andrews@pennfuture.org AND Hillary Mohaupt at hillary@conservationpa.org no later than September 18, 2020. Please include the subject line: “DEIJ RFP Application.”

Applications should include the following for each organization:

● A general description of the plan for accomplishing the scope of work outlined above (not to exceed five pages), including a description and/or samples of the tools or methods you use to assess an organization’s status and competencies around DEIJ work.

● Professional resumes of all individual(s) participating in this project.

● A work plan and timetable.

● A budget and outlined fee structure associated with the scope of work including hourly rate(s).

● Descriptions of three (3) representative projects demonstrating your or your team’s ability to successfully complete projects of a similar scope and nature. Include references for each project including the names and contract information for persons directly familiar with your team’s work.