Technical Assistance Consultant Request for Qualifications

Technical Assistance Consultant Request for Qualifications


Overview

Group Health Foundation (GHF) is requesting qualifications from individuals or organizations (nonprofit or private) to support the design and development of a new technical assistance program in 2022. Our objectives are to support grantee infrastructure, capacity, skills, and knowledge which we believe will lead to short, medium, and long-term equity, power, and systems change for organizations in Washington. GHF is in early stages of planning, and is seeking a consultant to guide our learning, design, and decision-making processes.

Experience in philanthropy or health is not a requirement. We are most interested in partnering with individuals or organizations who share our values and our deep commitment to equity and racial justice. Additionally, we are prioritizing individuals and organizations whose work reaches all parts of Washington State. Teams of consultants are invited but GHF will only write a single contract. We invite those who are interested in this scope of work to review this document and submit your qualifications by February 25, 2022.

About Group Health Foundation

Group Health Foundation is a 501(c)(4) grantmaking foundation. We are committed to partnering with communities to advance a shared vision for a vibrant, healthy future in Washington. Our approach to philanthropy recognizes the expertise and wisdom that communities bring and emphasizes the importance of applying a broad definition of health and health equity that goes beyond medicine, disease, care, or changing individual behavior. We have funded a wide range of organizations and projects engaged in advocacy, leadership development, cultural reclamation, community healing, civic participation, organizing, anti-racism work, narrative change, and much more.

Following the 2018 hire of the Foundation’s president and CEO, Nichole June Maher, we began an intentional effort to focus our earliest relationship-building with communities most impacted by inequities and in places that have been excluded from philanthropic funding—particularly rural communities and smaller cities across Washington. We learned that there is transformative work happening across the state led by Black, Indigenous, and other people of color; immigrants and refugees; people with disabilities; LGBTQ+; people living on low incomes; and many who hold several of these identities and experiences.

Informed by these initial connections, we accelerated our grantmaking and team building in 2020 and are poised for significant additional growth in the coming years. Our anticipated grantmaking in 2022 is $66 million. Beyond funding dollars, grantees have expressed a need and desire for technical assistance. In response to this need, GHF formed a small team to lead the effort.

What we have learned so far

We have a strong starting point grounded in what grantees and community organizations have already shared with us through community engagement meetings, grantee check-ins, proposals, written reports, emails, and other informal connections. The categories below illustrate the type of capacity building needs expressed by grantees that are serving diverse communities, navigating complex political dynamics, and building organizational infrastructure and culture:

  • Leadership and Coaching: leading organizations through growth and change; scaling programs within smaller organizations; shifting approach from reactive/responsive to proactive/strategic
  • Organizational Development: strategic planning; board development and governance; leadership structures; succession planning and leadership transitions; process evaluation and improvement
  • Training and Skill Building: de-escalation training; narrative and storytelling; building collective power through organizing and advocacy; organizational learning and improving practices related to disability justice and accessibility
  • Technical Expertise and Consulting: nonprofit and business management; 501c3 and c4 development; navigating hostile political and social environments
  • Politics, Policy, and Advocacy: strengthening policy, advocacy, and lobbying strategies; power mapping; learning the civic infrastructure of Washington
  • Communications: media and communications planning; relationships with media; narrative and storytelling
  • Development and Fundraising: fund development; donor cultivation; public grants and contracts
  • Other: networking with other organizations based on geography, size, and priorities

GHF recognizes that we must continue to engage in deep listening and active support to ensure that organizations feel comfortable sharing their needs without punitive actions. We recognize the nature of technical assistance requires that we support organizations on their journey to finding what works for them and may result in adjusting course, setting new goals, and even abandoning plans that seemed right at the time. Our hope is to develop a Technical Assistance Program that is both proactive and responsive to organizational needs.

Scope of work

We expect all individuals or organizations working with us to develop an understanding of GHF, Washington’s communities, and grant recipients. We invite organizations to submit their qualifications for areas of work that includes:

  • Advancing racial equity; please identify specific projects and partners for which you or your organization led
  • Working with a GHF team to design, facilitate, and document engagement with grantee organizations and foundation staff to gain a better understanding of technical assistance priorities, experiences in accessing capacity building support, and/or qualities and qualifications of effective technical assistance providers
  • Maintaining clear and consistent communication that:
    • honors our intention to center community in our work;
    • keeps foundation staff involved and updated on information gathering process and status; and
    • values the existing relationship that program officers and other GHF staff have with grantees
  • Recommending a path forward for technical assistance work at the foundation

Deliverables

The successful consultant will work with a GHF working group comprised of programs staff and members of our executive team. We are seeking to include perspectives from across the organization and from the small group of grantees participating in a new technical assistance grants program. We are hoping the selected consultant can help us gather and synthesize information to support an effective path forward for an incoming portfolio director by leading on the following:

  • Create a learning and landscape assessment that includes key findings from research on effective technical assistance and capacity supports for BIPOC leaders which includes tribal sovereign nations and nonprofits, explores the role of foundations, and offers recommendations/options for GHF
  • Build out a detailed workplan that includes methods for data collection, grantee outreach, and data sharing
  • Coordinate closely with Foundation staff to schedule meetings with grantees and gather knowledge and information relevant to this effort
  • Lead discussion with grantees and have a plan to document the information in a uniform way across all conversations
  • Effectively communicate with program officers how you plan to engage with grantees and any advance materials you may need so they can help the grantee feel comfortable and ready to participate
  • Evaluate whether an additional survey instrument in conjunction with interviews is an effective method for data collection and plan to implement if necessary
  • Schedule and lead regular meetings with Foundation staff throughout the term of the contract to support portfolio design, outline work, and develop implementation plan

Qualifications

The Foundation will prioritize candidates that:

  • Have working knowledge of technical assistance programs, services, and providers across Washington
  • Have a history of developing projects with accessibility in mind from the start
  • Are knowledgeable of the landscape of technical assistance and/or capacity building opportunities to support organizations and leaders in rural communities
  • Are consulting groups and organizations whose owners and principals are queer, trans, BIPOC, disabled and from small cities or rural areas
  • Have a demonstrated body of work that has advanced racial equity and reflects deep experience working with, and assessing the priorities of, nonprofit organizations that are led by – and serving – Black, Indigenous, and People of Color
  • Can design and facilitate effective meetings virtually and in person, as needed
  • Are able to communicate with multiple audiences and stakeholders
  • Have awareness of, and ability to balance inherent tensions and power dynamics between a funder and its grantees

Submissions

Interested applicants should submit a response by email to GHFTechnicalAssistance@grouphealthfoundation.org with subject line “Technical Assistance RFQ” by 5pm on February 25, 2022. Your response should be delivered as a PDF and be no longer than 5 pages (excluding work samples).

Please include:

  • Proposed methodology for accomplishing the work outlined in this RFQ
  • Your knowledge of technical assistance services, programs, and providers across Washington, including in rural communities
  • Experience working with nonprofit organizations led by – and serving – Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), and specifically identify projects that have advanced racial equity
  • Experience facilitating meetings, collecting information, and developing written reports for grantee and foundation audiences
  • You or your organization’s approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Summary statistics on the racial, gender, and LGBTQ+ diversity of your organization and – separately – your executive leadership team and/or ownership group (if applicable)
  • Project budget; not to exceed $150,000
  • Contact information for the primary point of contact
  • Background information about yourself. If you are part of an organization, please include bios of the team members who would support this work
  • One or two work samples (optional, and not part of the page limit)

Timeline

Questions must be submitted in writing and emailed to GHFTechnicalAssistance@grouphealthfoundation.org no later than 5pm PST on February 9, 2022.

We invite those who are interested in this scope of work to review this page and submit your qualifications by February 25, 2022.

We will post here frequently asked questions about this process beginning Feb. 16 and will continue to do so up until the deadline. After reviewing all submissions, our team will invite a limited number of organizations to meet our team and respond to additional questions. All submissions will receive a response from us within three weeks of the submission deadline. For questions or comments, please email GHFTechnicalAssistance@grouphealthfoundation.org.