[WORK WITH US: STRATEGIC CONSULTANT]

[Please send proposals to hi[@]witpgh.org]

The purpose of this Request for Proposal (RFP) is to solicit proposals from consultants experienced in strategic planning to lead the Women in Tech (WITPGH) Board of Directors through a long-range strategic planning process

    • Work with a Strategic Planning Team, comprised of Board Members, org partners, as well as key management staff, to articulate a clear strategic plan for WITPGH for 2021-2026. This plan should identify reorganization of team roles for specialized focus of each individual in regards to their individual capacity and expertise, specific fundraising, grantmaking, communication, partnerships, and programming objectives for the organization to pursue over the next 5 years in pursuit of its mission.
    • Develop a timetable of implementation with specific measurable benchmarks, objectives and tasks to be accomplished to achieve goals. Identify clear, measurable outcomes for how to measure organizational and strategic effectiveness, impact, success, and how to maximize partnerships in the following ways:
      • Neighborhood Allies: continue to build on our current relationship in a project management capacity for assistance on metric collection, data analysis, and membership in a collective of other non-profit digital skills building organizations through LevelUp412.org
  • Vibrant Pittsburgh: connect with area employers keen to hire and include the folks we serve from underrepresented backgrounds. 
  • Employers: develop and enhance the connections between our organization and local employers in order to bring more  job opportunities, as well as awareness of tech jobs, to our graduates and those within our WIT PGH community.
  • The Center on Interracial Relationships: solidify workshop opportunities  aimed to help women of color in navigate space that isn’t rooted in values nor prioritizes their identities.
  • Community Forge: solidify and implement current vision of cyclical partnership for WITPGH and CF that includes coworking, workshops, and paid mentorship/freelance opportunities for WITPGH scholars via CF’s business database.
  • Develop a three year strategic fundraising plan generating $150,000 – $300,000 annually in unrestricted income that is in alignment with WITPGH’s mission with efforts from individuals, corporations, and special events. Ensure that this plan has line items in the budget to effectively support all partnership execution.
  • Establish a framework and process for the organization’s leadership to effectively implement the strategic plan and monitor progress toward achievement of goals and objectives while embracing new opportunities to work with other local organizations and support their mission through our work.
  • Facilitate meetings and provide leadership, direction and expert consultation and advice related to the development of an effective strategic plan, including successful implementation.
  • Deliverable should be a clear, easily consumed, strategic planning roadmap, accompanied by a strategic planning timeline, implementation and evaluation methodology.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

WIT PGH’s initial roots were founded in advocacy. From its inception, WITPGH aimed to raise awareness that technology is for everyone and that the conversion rate of diversity and inclusion panels is nonexistent in PIttsburgh, thereby advocating that there is a lot of work to be done. WITPGH events were the first women in tech public events in the city to prioritize including genderqueer individuals not only in the workshop and event invitations, but also in the execution of the events themselves. Beyond this, WITPGH is currently a queer led organization as well as majority led by non-white decision-makers, ensuring that leadership is not speaking for or on behalf of the needs of those from the constituents we serve. Our current product offerings exist to create equity in technology for Black, Brown, and Idigineous women and femmes by eliminating barriers to entry such as cost, connections, resiliency and identity navigation in business. Our mission exists to carve out equity by building skill sets that extend digital literacy and autonomy to those who need it most.

Our organization believes in collaboration over competition. We take pride in being able to increase the value, enhance the touchpoints, and extend the impact our organization can make by collaborating with others. We prioritize collaborating with other businesses led by marginalized voices and identities in order to build new tables where everyone has an opportunity to not only build their own table but also a future they want to see. 

In our Hacking Barriers product offering specifically, we partner individually with local experts, prioritizing the opportunities for women of color, to come and share their journey into tech, teach salary negotiation techniques, interview tips, resume techniques, portfolio projects, and more.

MANAGEMENT ISSUES TO BE ADDRESSED/SCOPE OF WORK:

Our first goal was to establish a product for our organization that was in alignment with our mission to create tech equity through digital literacy and autonomy. This goal was achieved through our product Hacking Barriers to Entry which is a holistic approach to a coding bootcamp created for BIPOC women and femmes from Allegheny County. Having successfully achieved that objective, the challenge for our next plan is how to build on that work, and develop a sustainable financial, programmatic, staffing, and board model to ensure that WITPGH has sustainable success now and into the future. This plan will be focused more on the business plan that will support the organization’s mission. While we would like to re-commit to our mission and values we do not expect to engage in a re-evaluation of those mission and values. 

In developing the 2021-2026 plan, the applicant selected for this project will be expected to guide the organization in establishing a sustainable roadmap that consists of: conducting interviews and facilitating all working sessions with the Team and other key Board and staff members, and perform a SWOT analysis. Based on the analysis, specific goals will be identified and, ultimately, the consultant will develop a final strategic plan that provides WITPGH with clear objectives and action steps that lead to achieving organizational goals. The strategic plan will also include information on effectively monitoring progress and how and when the agency should reassess goals, objectives and action steps to make sure that they are still relevant and reflect environmental changes that may impact WITPGH’s ability to implement plan and recommendations. 

Specific areas that need to be addressed in the creation of a 3-5 year strategic plan include but may not be limited to:

  • An environmental scan that examines internal and external opportunities and perceptions impacting the organization’s ability to achieve mission. 
  • A thorough assessment of infrastructure needs including, but not limited to space, technology, human capital and financial resources 
  • The development of a sustainable financial and programmatic model to achieve goals. The proposal will provide an executive summary of the work that will be performed by the consultant and a detailed work breakdown structure, with timeframes, of the steps that will be taken to develop a strategic plan. 

PROJECT REQUIREMENTS & TIMELINE:

  1. WITPGH is seeking proposals from applicants who are capable of addressing all of the above stated management issues and who can provide additional expertise to help the organization and the community it serves achieve a successful project outcome. 
  2. While WITPGH understands that completing this project requires significant and active Board and staff involvement, it is important to note that the applicant selected will be responsible for completing all project work products and final deliverables (e.g. writing organizational assessments, writing the actual strategic plan, etc.). The staff will not be expected to be involved in writing work project products or final project deliverables. 
  3. Applicants are to propose which aspects of the project will require Board and/or staff involvement and include the expected time requirements for all activities involving their participation. 
  4. Proposals must include a clear description of the applicant’s plan to complete all of the project components (i.e. in what order will the projects be completed, how long each component will take to complete, etc.)  
  5. Applicants must include in their project timelines “check-in” points for WITPGH and funder(s) to be provided with project status updates. As work products/deliverables are completed prior to the established check-in points, applicants will be required to send WITPGH and the project funder(s) these materials to facilitate the status update meetings and/or conference calls. The successful applicant will be responsible for setting up the check-in meetings/calls, preparing an agenda for each meeting/call, sending out meeting invites and writing meeting minutes. 
  6. In addition to the check-in meetings and/or conference calls, the applicant will be expected to present a status update on her/his preliminary findings and recommendations prior to writing the final project deliverables and strategic plan. 
  7. WITPGH will be responsible for implementing the recommendations from all final deliverables; however, it is expected that the consultant selected will provide the agency with ongoing coaching and implementation support as needed, per letter of agreement. 
  8. It is expected that the total cost for this project will not exceed $15,000. 

EVALUATION CRITERIA: 
In awarding a contract for consulting services to develop a long-range strategic plan for the organization, WITPGH will examine a number of factors and criteria will include: 

  1. The extent to which the proposal addresses the stated management issues and clearly describes the scope of work 
  2. Specific plans or methodology to be used to perform the services 
  3. Qualifications and experience of consultant in providing strategic planning development 
  4. Availability for work beginning in April or May of 2021 with strategic plan draft presented to the WIT PGH board no later than June 2021
  5. Project cost

    *This RFP is adapted from the Women and Girls Foundation
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