About The Improve Group
The Improve Group is a Public Benefit Corporation with a mission to help mission-driven organizations make the most of information, navigate complexity, and ensure their investments of time and money lead to meaningful, sustained impact. Founded in 2000, we have leveraged our commitment to our values, business acumen, and the talents of our exceptionally creative staff to build our business while supporting the work of organizations building a just, equitable, and thriving world. We value:
- Collaboration and inclusiveness
- Innovation and creativity
- Building a better world
Our services include consulting, capacity building, and systems development to help organizations evaluate their efforts and plan for the future.
Context and Need
We see our diversity, equity, and inclusion work as a journey—one that we’ve started, but one with a long way to go. And the work has gained momentum in recent years.
Thanks to these efforts, our staff is much more diverse than it was five years ago. In addition, many on our team are very passionate about equity and have been deeply affected by current events, from police brutality to rolling back of hard-won protections to a resurgent white supremacist movement. At several intervals throughout the year — at staff meetings, focused events and informally — our conversation has focused on how we continue our path to building a working environment at The Improve Group that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.
In late September 2017, our entire team collaborated to articulate what we hope to do next, the qualities we are looking for in a diversity, equity, and inclusion consultant to help move our organization further on this path, and the topics we hope to cover. The raw notes from this conversation are included as an appendix in the full RFP.
We know we have a lot of ground to cover. We are approaching this with humility and vulnerability, recognizing that there is a lot to learn, and we aren’t entirely sure where to start. We hope that our consultant can draw on their experiences in other small companies to help guide us through a process that includes:
- Opportunities for improving at the:
o Company level, by refining our systems, policies, and practiceso Group level, by getting to know each other, building trust and comfort, and enhancing our communication/interactionso Individual level, by building knowledge and skills related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Interaction characterized by:
o Group and individual interactiono A balance of safety—where people can be vulnerable—and discomfort—where we can identify areas for growtho Valuing individual experiences.
- An expectation that this work is a shared responsibility for all
- Plans for carrying this work forward into the long-term, with change-management processes and indicators for success.
Topics to address
Our staff identified many topics to cover. We recognize that we need to find a way to address the full range of topics, from interweaving them to prioritizing and sequencing them. We are hopeful our consultant can help us determine the best approach and valuable resources. The topics generally fell into these categories:
- Knowledge about issues like historical context, systems of oppression, bias, white privilege, gender, culture, disability rights, and intersectionality
- Skills for raising difficult issues and finding opportunities to engage with each other
- Strategies and actions for building relationships, minimizing bias, and reducing microaggressions
- Systems for increasing inclusion, and making our power structures and hierarchy more equitable
We hope to engage a consultant and begin our work together in December 2017. We anticipate the work to continue through much of 2018, and welcome suggestions from consultants about a realistic timeframe.
We have a budget of $10,000 for our work with a consultant. We welcome suggestions from consultants about what they would prioritize within this budget.
To apply for this work, please send a proposal to Leah Goldstein Moses at firstname.lastname@example.org by 10:00am on Monday, November 13, 2017. Questions about this RFP can also be sent to Leah by email by 5:00pm Monday, November 6, 2017.