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RFP: Peer Network Management and Learning Cohort Development

Posted By: Benjamin Bullock Together SC ,

Request for Proposals: Peer Network Management and  

Learning Cohort Development and Facilitation 

Download PDF Version of RFP

SCROLL DOWN TO THE BOTTOM FOR Q&A!

Overview 

Together SC is launching a variety of new programs and services to better support and engage its membership. The goal of these programs is to provide sound technical assistance and facilitate better connection in the nonprofit sector. This RFP is seeking management and administration of 3 peer networks and their affiliated learning cohorts. Together SC projects expanding this effort in future years to additional professional focus areas. Currently two peer networks are established for Black Nonprofit Leaders and Advocacy Allies and a learning cohort for New Nonprofit Executives. 

 

Organization Background 

Together SC serves the thousands of South Carolinians dedicated to community service, leadership, and caring through nonprofit and philanthropic organizations. Together SC is comprised of 800+ member organizations that consist of thought leaders, agents of change, and trusted, vital community advocates.  It is the only statewide membership organization focused on bringing together South Carolina's leaders and partners to strengthen the state's entire nonprofit community.  

Constantly adapting to the changing landscape of the nonprofit world, Together SC empowers S.C.’s nonprofits and their allies to become integral partners in successfully building vibrant, equitable communities. We believe that well-managed and responsibly governed nonprofits result in stronger, healthier communities. 

 

Project Goals:  

There are two primary goals for this project: 

1) Establish focused peer networks to increase collaboration among nonprofit leaders in similar roles across South Carolina and encourage resource sharing.  

2) Establish learning cohorts that will ensure a consistent base level of knowledge across professional disciplines.  

Together SC is seeking consultants or firms to facilitate peer networks and learning cohorts for the following focus areas: 

  • Development  

Peer Network: Collaborate with development professionals to include local AFP chapters to ensure statewide coordination and recruit a growing network of fund development professionals to regularly engage in virtual or in person networking opportunities. Consultant will help recruit a leadership team and coordinate all efforts with their guidance. 

Learning Cohort: Using feedback provided by the leadership team, design a 3-6 session learning cohort to be delivered virtually with a possibility for limited in person engagement. Learning cohort could consist of a Development 101 training program for people new to the field, intensive focus in a specific area, or any certification type style program. Ensure a development learning track is offered in coordination with Together SC’s 2022 Nonprofit Summit.  

  • Volunteer Management 

Peer Network: Support the Volunteer Administration Alliance in offering regular learning and networking opportunities, and assist with any other promotion of volunteer management as a career path. Consultant will help recruit a leadership team and coordinate all efforts with their guidance. 

Learning CohortUsing feedback provided by leadership team, design a 3-6 session learning cohort to be delivered virtually with a possibility for limited in person engagement. Learning cohort could consist of Volunteer Management 101 training program for people new to the field, intensive focus in a specific area or any certification type style program. Ensure a Volunteer Management learning track is offered in coordination with Together SC’s 2022 Nonprofit Summit.  

  • Operations/Finance/Human Resources 

Peer Network: Create opportunities for collaborative learning for operations/finance/human resources staff, engage members in sharing solutions and ideas to address ongoing common issues related to nonprofit operations, support engagement with various surveys to include a compensation and benefits analysis. Consultant will assist in recruiting a leadership team and coordinate all efforts with their guidance.  

Learning CohortUsing feedback provided by leadership team, design a 3-6 session learning cohort to be delivered virtually with a possibility for limited in person engagement. Learning cohort could consist of Operations 101 training program for people new to the field, intensive focus in a specific area or any certification type style program. Ensure Operations/Finance/Human Resources learning track is offered in coordination with Together SC’s 2022 Nonprofit Summit. 

  • Equity Roundtable 

Peer Network: Create an inclusive space for nonprofit leaders to learn and share the actionable efforts their nonprofits are executing in support of racial equity and social justice. Consultant will assist in recruiting a leadership team and coordinate all efforts with their guidance.  

Learning Cohort: Using feedback provided by leadership team, design a 3-6 session action-oriented learning cohort with the goal of providing implementable tools for building more equitable organizations and communities. Potential topics may focus on leadership, advocacy, operations and culture.  Ensure equity learning track is offered in coordination with Together SC’s 2022 Nonprofit Summit.  

 

Timeline: 
  • July 31: Proposal due date 
  • August 31: Consultant Selection process completed 
  • September 15: Selected Consultants submit detailed Program of Work to begin in October 2021 and conclude June 30, 2023 
  • September 30: Final contracts for 2 years of work are awarded and signed 
  • October 2021: Peer networks launch 
  • January 2022: Learning cohorts launch 

 

Application Requirements:  

Consultants should submit a simple proposal which includes the following: 

  • Clearly identify the learning cohort and peer network the consultant would like to manage. 
  • Consultant bio – include relevant expertise as it relates to the selected peer network. 
  • For the peer network: outline agenda and possible content to ensure regular meetings are engaging and informative. Outline a strategy to engage new participants and establish a high level of retention for established participants. 
  • For the learning cohort: provide recommended framework for 3 – 6 session learning cohort for the proposed peer network. Include topic overview, basic curriculum and session descriptions, and adult learning accommodations. 
  • Identify possible partners or subcontractors that will assist in the effort and their qualifications for their specific responsibilities. 
  • Outline a proposed timeline with all offerings starting October 1, 2021 running through June 2023. 
  • Discuss your approach for collaborating with a leadership team and Together SC staff to ensure participants engaged in this effort are representative from rural and urban areas across South Carolina. 
  • Discuss how race, equity, and inclusion are centered in your approach to your work and how you will ensure participation in the effort will increase equity in the field. 
  • Submit your fees. Together SC is allocating an annual fee of $7,500-$10,000 to manage and implement learning cohort and peer network services. Fees will remain level for the second year of the contract. 
  • Contracts will run from award date through June 30, 2023.  
  • Applicants are not required to have current membership with Together SC, but if selected will be expected to join and serve as an active member of the Consultant Collaborative. 

 

Submit questions and applications to benjamin@togethersc.org. Questions will be shared and responded to publicly via this link. Please allow up to 3 days for responses and use subject line RFP Questions. 

Q&A
  • Do you envision the peer network and learning cohorts as two separate things with potentially different participants? Based on current networks and what is working, do you hope for a specified frequency of meetings?
    • Peer networks and learning cohorts are separate things, likely with different participants. There may be some crossover. Peer networks are expected to meet approximately 4-6 times per year virtually in the first year of operation. The learning cohort will consist of one series of 3-6 workshops. Participants completing all workshops will receive a certificate a completion at the end of the session. All of this is based on initial assumptions and may change based on the feedback of the volunteer leadership team to best meet the needs of the group within the constraints of the established scope of work with the consultant. The same consultant or team of consultants is expected to facilitate both the peer network and learning cohort for the specific focus area.
  • Are you requesting 3-6 sessions spread far apart between October 2021 and June 2023?  Or are you seeing this as two separate years?  When does one year end and the second year start if you are seeing this as two periods?
    • The learning cohort will one series of 3-6 workshops in the first six months of 2022. A second contract year will run from July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023 and the series will be offered again in either the fall or spring.
  • Do you want the leadership team to be made up of professionals in the cohort area who may suggest needed content?  Or did you have a different leadership target audience in mind?
    • Recruitment for the leadership teams has already started. Leadership team participants will represent diverse nonprofits, regions of the state, and years of experience within the focus area.
  • Is the $7,500-$10,000 the minimum and maximum payment that Together SC is able (has budgeted) to pay each consultant in each cohort/network area for the entire scope of work? Is the second year of the contract October 2022 to June 2023?  It seems there is a good bit of work requested for each network/cohort so I wanted to make sure I understand.
    • The budgeted fee is a projected range to pay a consultant for coordinating the peer network and learning cohort within a single focus area. The first contract year runs from projected contract signing estimated at September 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022. The second contract year runs July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023.
  • For the Operations Peer Network, are you requesting the consultant provide a sample process that the cohort could use for a compensation and benefits analysis?  Surveys to whom…cohort participants?
    • The intention is to collaborate with the leadership team to best identify the needs of the group. If there is a need for a compensation and benefits analysis, this group will provide feedback in the design and implementation of that effort. This is an overview of a sample idea the network could focus on during their time together. The leadership team will provide direction and insight into the specific work that will be produced in collaboration with the consultant and Together SC staff.
  • What role would the consultant play in ensuring a learning track is offered at the 2022 Nonprofit Summit?
    • Consultants would work with staff at Together SC and the summit planning committee to ensure offerings for their related subject matter area are well represented and meet the needs of the network/cohort. There will be two days of peer network learning at the summit. The consultant will facilitate networking opportunities, help identify speakers and lead learning opportunities, be on site at the summit to connect with members of the group, and serve as a host at networking events for the learning cohort/peer network.