Deadline date

To ensure full consideration, proposals should be submitted via email by midnight on July 19th.

The ACLU of Virginia is seeking a highly competent, ethical and experienced diversity, equity, and inclusion consultant(s) to conduct a staff-wide climate assessment that provides a better understanding of the office’s current policies, culture, and practices with regards to diversity, equity, and inclusion. An assessment of the organization’s culture will identify strengths and weaknesses, recommend appropriate interventions, and inform staff dialogues regarding these issues to be facilitated by the consultant(s).

The purpose of the consultant(s) is to assess diversity, equity, and inclusion among team members at the ACLU of Virginia. The consultant(s) will review current policies and make recommendations for engagement and advancement to ensure every individual has the opportunity to grow, contribute, and develop to their full potential.

Key objectives include:

  • Creating and/or administering staff-wide climate assessment to provide a foundation for future work and to guide staff dialogues.
  • Facilitating at least three staff dialogues based on areas of need identified through the climate assessment.
  • Reviewing current policies included in the ACLU of Virginia’s Policies and Procedures Manual and making recommendations.
  • Recommending goals, metrics for goal-setting, and evaluation mechanisms to track progress towards those goals.
  • Identifying areas of opportunity to improve staff retention and equity within the office.
  • Providing resources and tools to support ongoing learning, development, and engagement.

Core competencies:

  • Understand the ACLU-Virginia’s mission and purpose, as well as how diversity, equity, and inclusion impact organizational cohesion and efficiency
  • Connect diversity, equity, and inclusion back to work processes and work design
  • Understand diversity, equity, and inclusion in the context of organizational and cultural change
  • Understand systemic issues of discrimination, and apply a broad and expansive definition of diversity
  • Be reliable and professional, communicate clearly, be reasonably available, respond to messages, and honor deadlines and commitments
  • Possess a strong leadership ability and willing to work with DEI Committee, Executive Director, and other staff members throughout the process to formulate a plan specific to the ACLU of Virginia.
  • Able to evaluate metrics, climates, data, etc. and make helpful recommendations, both in the short-term and in developing long-term goals and plans
  • Understand key concepts within equal employment opportunity and affirmative action issues

Proposal contents:

Successful proposal will include the following:

  • Clear outline of work and timeline for completion
    • Climate assessment and policy analysis prior to October 30, 2019
    • Dialogue, resources, sustainability and action plans to begin by September 2019 and completed prior to March 30, 2020
  • Costs and fees
  • Professional references
  • Examples of successful project or client work
  • Dialogue proposal and facilitation strategy
  • How you heard about this opportunity

Please note that the ACLU of Virginia reserves the right to choose one or more consultants to complete the work included in this request for proposals (RFP). Vendors not willing to accept award of partial bid must so indicate as part of their proposal. Partial bids from vendors will be accepted.

For the full RFP, please see the document attached below.


  1. When you state that partial bids will be accepted, do you intend to award this to multiple vendors or do they prefer a full-service consulting firm to deliver all services? 
    • We do not have a preference. We will assess all proposals and choose the prospective vendor(s) whose proposal (s) demonstrates the best fit with our organizational needs as described in the RFP. If different vendors are stronger in one area than another, we will consider awarding contracts to different vendors for different work described in the RFP.
  2. How many people are employed by ACLU-VA and what does the team structure look like?
    • Currently we have 17 employees and are planning to grow to 25 by March 31, 2020.  The organization has a leadership team made up of the Executive Director and five team directors (legal, philanthropy, advocacy, communications and administration and finance).
    • Our organization chart can be viewed at the attachment below.
  3. What staff do you expect to be in Focus Groups and how many one-on-one interviews do you prefer?
    • We understand that different consultants may have different strategies when conducting focus groups or one-on-one interviews to determine Office Climate. We ask that you submit a comprehensive proposal with your plans and goals with your suggested strategy. 
  4. What data have you collected internally thus far? 
    • So far, our Operations team conducts two types of surveys. 1) The Gallup Q12 survey is an annual survey taken in January by the entire staff to assess staff engagement. The survey assesses categories like Basic Needs, Management Support, Teamwork, and Growth. 2) The Pulse survey is a bi-annual survey taken to assess staff culture. The consultant we retain will have access to both survey results.
  5. Would you like to engage external stakeholders, partners or others in the climate assessment? If so, who would you consider a key stakeholder or partner? 
    • We are not looking to engage external stakeholders or partners at this time.
  6. How large is the DEI Committee and what is their current plan? 
    • Our DEI Committee consists of 7 members, with representation from each team. The committee works closely with the Executive Director to make quarterly goals for Staff Culture, Policy & Procedures, and Dialogues. 
  7. Are there multiple offices and locations?
    • Currently we only have one location in Richmond, VA where all staff members currently work. 
  8. Is there any data, such as staff retention rate, or other insight to culture that you can provide us in advanced?
    • We will not be releasing any internal data in advance of the contract award.
  9. Can you provide me with more details on expectations for dialogues?
    • We understand that different consultants may have different strategies when conducting staff dialogues. When submitting proposal please outline your vision and goals for such dialogues. 
  10. What is the budget for this project?
    • We are committed to diversity and inclusion at the organization and are open to all price ranges and services. Please feel free to create your proposal without budgetary concerns, and we can negotiate cost and content, if needed.
  11. It is difficult to know the solutions that an organization needs until assessing the climate. How should we go about that part of the proposal?
    • We understand that giving an exact price and giving specifics are tricky since next steps are dependent on results of the survey, research, and staff discussions, and we encourage you to mention that within your proposal. We encourage you to be as specific as you can be for this project and if selected for an interview expand on all the available options.
  12. Are you available to talk on the phone before submitting final proposal?
    • We will not be talking with any vendors before submitting proposals, but feel free to email the contacts indicated in the RFP with any questions and we will be sure to add all questions and answers to this FAQ page to assure every applicant gets the same information.

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