August 23, 2023

Educators for Excellence Seeks Proposals for a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Partner

Educators for Excellence is seeking the services of a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) partner to help us embed our commitment to DEIB and in becoming an antiracist organization in all areas of our work. 

The partner will assist in developing and implementing a DEIB Initiative that fosters a culture of belonging, inclusivity, equity, and diversity to improve how we do our work, how we provide services, and how we create a best-in-class workplace where employees feel deeply valued and a sense of authentic belonging.  

Specifically, E4E is seeking a partner who will perform the following:

  • Landscape Analysis: With input and support from E4E, conduct and share an organization-wide assessment designed to gauge the organization’s DEIB alignment and needs.   
  • Process and Materials Refresh: Review and build upon E4E’s current DEIB trainings, initiatives, and structures to position us to move into the next phase of our work.  
  • Coaching and Support: Provide support and guidance to our Diversity Council and its Officers as they grow into their roles. Coach and support our Executive and Leadership teams as we work to become a more inclusive and equitable organization and deepen our commitment to antiracism.  
  • Strategy Development: Help us to create a strategy and roadmap that strategically scopes and sequences DEIB recommendations for E4E to implement over 3 years, and in alignment with our most recent Strategic Plan. 

Coaching and Support and DEIB Strategy and 3-year roadmap development are the primary areas of interest and support and where we would like partners to focus their approach.  

Interested applicants should understand the needs of Educators for Excellence as a nonprofit organization and should be invested in our mission of empowering teachers. Partners considering the submission of a proposal are encouraged to contact Educators for Excellence so that we can answer questions and help you target your proposal to our needs.

Interested Applicants can access the RFP here.

Proposals should be submitted electronically to Educators for Excellence on or before Wednesday, September 20, 2023, 12:00 pm Eastern Time. Please direct all questions related to this RFP to Darin Simons, Jr. Chief Operating and People Officer, at [email protected]. All questions must be received by Friday, September 15, 2023, 12:00 PM ET.  

Why are we doing this work? Why now? 

Our commitment to antiracism and to our DEIB work are important to us as an organization. These commitments and this work are not things that we start and stop, rather we want them to be front and center in our work every day. We’re seeking support from a partner to help us design a strategy that guides us in this work over the next three years. 


When is E4E’s Fiscal Year?

E4E’s Fiscal Year runs from July 1 – June 30 each year. 

When did the reorganization happen?

May 2023

How many people are on E4E’s different Leadership bodies?

  • Executive Team: 5 Members
  • Leadership Team: 12 Members (includes 5 Executive Team Members, Six Chapter Executive Directors, and 1 Vice President) 
  • Diversity Council: 3 Officers and 10 total members 

What is the criteria for membership on the Diversity Council? What is the process? Must have been at E4E for at least 6 months and have demonstrated DEI interest and competence. We seek diverse membership on the council and members are compensated for their work. 

How many people are on the People and Equity Team?

There are three people – the Chief Operating and People Officer and two HR Business Partners. The People and Equity Team leads E4E’s HR function 

Would it be possible to engage the entire E4E team during this engagement? If so, how?

Yes, E4E primarily operates in a remote environment, though we have monthly, virtual full team meetings. We’d welcome ideas on how to broadly engage the entire E4E team during this engagement.

Do you prefer the landscape analysis to be internal listening, external listening, or both?

The landscape analysis should be concentrated internally but we are open to hearing about any external considerations.  

What did your strategic planning process look like?

E4E engaged with an external consultant last fiscal year to lead us through an organization-wide strategic planning process that resulted in a 3-year strategic vision for the organization. 

Should support be delivered in person, or remote?

We’re open to both, though remote engagement will likely be the primary format.  We do not have any in-person, full organization meetings planned, but our Leadership and Executive teams meet in-person each quarter. 

What are examples of the organizational documents and data will be available to the selected vendor? 

Staff engagement survey data, E4E’s strategic plan, the developing learning organization framework, etc. 

When is the next staff engagement survey scheduled to launch? When was your most recent survey?

Our most recent spring survey concluded in May 2023. Our fall survey launches in November 2023

How should we think about the materials refresh? How many hours of content will we be asked to update?

We would ask that the vendor prioritize content refresh and development so that it is directly aligned to high leverage needs identified from the landscape analysis. 

Are we able to see the strategic plan? 

Not at this time. Though, we do plan to make the plan available to the selected partner. 

For the Landscape Analysis, are there any priority big questions your team wants answered?

We would like for the landscape analysis to give us a sense of where we currently are as an organization in our DEIB work and where our pain points might be.

Are you open to having us developing the comprehensive DEIB 3-year strategy, which will include your current goal to elevate the role of our Diversity Council and to deepen our Commitment to DEIB, prior to providing targeted coaching and support teams?  

Yes, we are open to prospective partner approach and recommendations 

Is there an online learning platform that E4E is already using to store all of its organizational training content? If so, are you able to share the tool you’re using currently?

E4E currently uses Cornerstone as its Learning Management System and we have an internal “hub” that houses a lot of our other organizational content and tools.  

Are you open to ongoing support and/or advising after the engagement is over? 

Yes, but this will be tied to and dependent upon the development of our FY25 budget. 

Who is on the diversity council?  

The diversity council includes 10 members, representing each of our chapters and streams, as well as a diversity of identities and role types/positions across the organization. 

Would you like individual coaching or team coaching? 

We are open to the partner’s approach, but would prefer a mix, with 1:1 coaching being provided to some combination of the CEO and other executive roles, and Diversity Council Officers.  

If we did listening sessions with the teams, how would you recommend breaking them up for folks to be most authentic in sharing? Should each team (Executive, Leadership, People & Equity, and Diversity Council) have its own session or can some be grouped together based on overlapping roles?

We are open to the selected partner’s approach but sessions may be grouped; we would also welcome ideas for engagement more broadly across the organization (e.g. surveys, focus groups with other teams/roles, etc) to inform the Landscape Analysis. 

The RFP mentions that FY20 included an audit of your policies. The RFP asks for a landscape analysis of your current policies. Is the new landscape analysis a review of the updated policies that came out of the FY20 audit? Is the goal to pressure test the updated policies from FY20 or has there been expressed concerns that the updated FY20 policies did not quite have the impact on DEIB as was hoped?

The landscape analysis is a review of policies and people data to help us understand where we are in our DEIB journey at this point in time, post a recent organizational restructuring. While we believe that many of the policies that were revised as part of the FY20 audit are strong, equitable, and inclusive, we would like a ‘fresh eyes’ perspective, and we also recognize that certain policies (and/or the implementation of those policies) may still need additional fine tuning beyond the work we did in FY20.

Does E4E utilize focus groups as a means of data collection on staff experience as well?

We currently have quarterly executive team listening circles 

Do the current DEIB training materials exist as a formal scope and sequence that builds upon each session or are the trainings currently stand-alone? Are the current DEIB trainings optional or required for the staff? Who are the current facilitators of the trainings and how often do they occur?

We have a mix of training and resources that are both optional and mandatory for staff. Sessions are generally facilitated by members of our Diversity Council and People and Equity Teams. Scheduled and mandatory DEIB training occurs during onboarding. 

The E4E team is geographically dispersed. Is the expectation that training and strategic planning work would take place virtually or is there an opportunity for in-person collaboration?

In 1-2 sentences, what does success look like at the end of this project? …and at the end of the 3 year roadmap? 

At the end of this project, all four deliverables have been completed and we have a cohesive and aligned DEIB strategy that our LT, ET, and DCO are prepared to support and lead. 

At the end of the 3-year roadmap, E4E isn’t seeing gaps in employee experience, engagement, retention across lines of difference. We have improved systems and structures in place to constantly review, update and design our policies and ways in working in support of our people and culture, and E4E team members rate the organization high in this work. 

Is it acceptable to have written references forwarded directly to you if previous clients are unable to get them to me in time for my on-time submission of the proposal?


What are the current meeting structures of the Executive Team, the Leadership Team and the Diversity Council? I am trying to get a better understanding of frequency/cadence of your meeting structures. 

The Executive Team Meets weekly. We have Leadership Team meetings approximately every six weeks. Our Diversity Council Meets monthly. Meetings can range from 1 hour – 4 hours. We also have quarterly in-person retreats for Executive Team and Leadership Teams.

Leveraging language from the RFP, do you envision training sessions and strategy development sessions happening within current meeting structures or would we need to create new meeting structures?

Where exactly does the DEI Ambassador role fit into the Executive Team, the Leadership Team and the Diversity Council structure? 

There are multiple DEI Ambassador roles – our Diversity Council members and our Identity Based Learning Community facilitators, for example, are both types of DEI Ambassador roles. These roles are not technically part of our ET or LT; however, some members of the ET and LT serve in these roles. 

Has the Diversity Council trained the Executive Team and the Leadership teams before? If so, what has been the general response to their training experiences by both the facilitators and the participants? 

The Diversity Council has led Critical Issues Discussion groups for the full organization. Response has generally been positive. 

Are there any anchor resources, books, texts, frameworks specifically related to DEIB that are used at E4E or have been used in the past? For example, some of our clients have engaged in book studies leveraging Kendi’s work or Singleton’s work around courageous conversations, or Ginwright’s work around structures of care. 

Currently, some of our chapters lead guided discussions around these works and others, and at times we have used some texts/resources/frameworks for organization-wide DEIB engagement, but we don’t have a formal anchor resource as an organization. 

What specific areas or aspects of E4E’s systems, processes, and structures are you particularly interested in assessing regarding their alignment with DEIB work and antiracism?

We would like the selected partner to help us identify a set of systems, processes, and structures that we should focus on as an organization. We hope much of this comes from the landscape analysis. But in general, we’re interested in understanding  the extent to which our ways of working, formal and informal, are harming or supporting our commitment to DEIB work and antiracism. 

Can you provide more information on how E4E’s CEO, the Executive Team, and the Diversity Council will be involved in each stage of project execution and delivery?

These bodies will be very involved in each phase of execution and delivery. As senior leaders we believe it is important that we show up in this work in meaningful ways. The CEO, and members of the Executive Team and Diversity Council will be part of the selection committee.  And, the Executive Team, Leadership Team, and Diversity Council expect to have a regular cadence of engagement in this work alongside the consulting partner throughout the entirety of the project.

Regarding the Targeted Coaching and Support deliverable, can you elaborate on the specific skills and abilities the Executive and Leadership teams, People and Equity Team, and Diversity Council members need to develop to effectively lead the DEIB strategy and roadmap?

This is a large group with different needs, skills and abilities. In general, we are looking for support and coaching in leading across lines of difference. 

In 2021, your RFP mentions that you had “Critical Issue Discussions”. Would you describe these more? Also what issues were discussed? These are issues based discussions around issues of race, gender, and ethnicity. 

For example, we have a critical issue discussion about white supremacy. Our last CID was held in the spring. 

Would you share more about your People Model? 

This is a part of our Strategic plan. It names this DEIB work as a key part of our collective work.  

Is there a way to see your Learning Organization Framework? This is under development and not yet available. However, we are using improvement science and liberatory design principles to develop and iterate upon this framework. 

When was the last time you experienced great success bringing in an outside facilitator for this work?  

We haven’t had an external facilitator work with us on an org level recently, though teams and chapters have engaged with external partners for support. 

What kind of resources are you hoping to have designed and/or refreshed? 

We have a mix of synchronous and asynchronous DEIB resources, including recorded webinars, job aids, tools and protocols, and resource documents. 

Is there a change management timeline and strategy already in place for the leadership transition as you move to a sole-CEO? Would that be a helpful piece of support to include?

There is a change management timeline and strategy in place and that we are executing. We would be interested in hearing ideas for how to strengthen this work, though this is not a requirement outlined in our RFP.

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Educators for Excellence Seeks Proposals for a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Partner