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Request for Proposal: DEIJ Advisor and Consultant

About Grassroots Solutions

Grassroots Solutions is an engagement strategy and evaluation firm committed to building healthy, just and equitable communities. Majority-owned by women, we’re a diverse team based in ten states and the District of Columbia who come from backgrounds in policy, campaigns, philanthropy and advocacy. Since our founding in 1999, we have worked with a wide range of philanthropic, electoral, nonprofit and advocacy organizations in the U.S. and other countries. To us, engagement strategy and evaluation are leverage that unsticks people and organizations in the face of complex social problems.

To learn more about our work, check out our About Us section. 

Commitment to DEIJ at Grassroots Solutions

At Grassroots Solutions, advancing equity and justice means holding ourselves accountable to ongoing learning and then putting that learning in action. In 2018, we worked with a consultant who facilitated learning experiences about race, power, privilege, whiteness and white supremacy. Based on those experiences, we made a wide variety of adjustments, including to our hiring practices, professional development and ongoing learning experiences, contracting relationships, ways of collecting and analyzing staff and client feedback, and more to better reflect our values and commitment to using our power and privilege as consultants to advance equity and justice. Working with a consultant also helped us sharpen our articulation of values and how those are reflected in our company culture and work with clients. 

Today, we strive to understand and help meet the needs of people—our staff, our clients and the communities our clients serve—to achieve their potential and enjoy full, healthy lives, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, geographic location, socioeconomic background or ability. In practice, this can mean:

  • Embracing transparency and humility, and acknowledging when we make mistakes.
  • Constantly considering who is part of critical conversations and decision making, and who isn’t that should be.
  • Dedicating significant attention to historical and present contexts in an effort to dismantle and disrupt racism and oppression.
  • Regularly revisiting our hiring practices, vendors and subcontractors to ensure we are deliberately diverse in race, gender, geography, expertise and lived experience.
  • Exploring biases or preconceived notions that may affect how data will be gathered, how our strategy or evaluation products will be used, what will be produced and by and for whom.
  • Expecting and welcoming productive tension.

Looking ahead, we want to continue learning about how we can more deeply work in service of equity and justice as consultants. Since anti-racism is our north star, what do we need to ask ourselves to get there and stay there? What materials exist for us to utilize and learn from? We’re looking for someone to help facilitate a process to reflect on these questions and identify new ones.

What you will do:

Building on the DEIJ work Grassroots Solutions has done over the past four years, we are looking for an experienced and skilled learning partner and facilitator to work with us to learn and think about the next leap in our journey. An ideal candidate/firm will work with us on the following:

  • Support in developing a learning agenda that includes resources and suggestions for  how we, as consultants, can encourage our clients to strengthen their equity and justice work.
  • Facilitate up to 2 sessions — potentially in-person at our staff retreat in Q1 or Q2 — that reflect our learning agenda, and how to continue implementing it over time ourselves.
  • Help identify continued learning opportunities for the firm, potentially coming out of the retreat, be it various forms of reading material, models, conferences or other educational programming we may be unaware of.
  • Serve as an advisor and resource for Grassroots Solutions’ internal DEIJ Committee as we work through these issues and questions.

Some of the specific areas we hope to focus on through the learning agenda include:

  • Identify how to share power more broadly across the firm. This is something we will explore and identify with this candidate/firm and then implement on our own.
  • Help ensure our internal structures and processes are where we need them to be for difficult discussions internally and/or externally.
  • Discussions around giving and receiving feedback and how to navigate those conversations. Both internally and externally, we are looking to continue to learn how to “call in and call out.”

What you will bring:

  • Highly skilled facilitation that has a hands-on approach.
  • Ability to lead group exercises. 
  • Demonstrated experience designing and facilitating processes to clarify DEIJ learning priorities and ways to address them through training and formal and informal learning experiences. 
  • (Preferred) experience working with small to medium sized consultancies. 
  • An understanding of issues and organizations operating in the social change sector.
  • Diversity of lived and professional experience.

Process & Budget

Interested individuals and firms should submit a brief letter of interest that includes an overview of credentials and suggested approach based on our RFP (three to five pages) by February 18, 2022. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. Any questions about the RFP or our process can be directed to Suzanne Del Rosario at suzanne@grassrootssolutions.com

We will interview a select number of candidates and use that discussion to clarify a scope of work with the expectation that the selected consultant will begin work by the end of Q1 2022. The fee for the services described in this RFP is $50,000 and we are open to doing this work in phases over the course of a determined period of time.