RFP for Nonprofit Theory of Change Consultant
PROJECT 351 REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (Independent contractors and firms)
Responses Due: MAY 28, 2021
Full RFP available for viewing:
Project 351 is a youth-led movement of social change that unites an eighth-grade Ambassador from each of Massachusetts’ 351 cities and towns in a transformational year of leadership, service, and civic engagement. We are founded on the belief that every young person is remarkable and that within them lie the tools, vision, and desire to build a more just, inclusive, and united global community. Over a year’s term, Ambassadors -- and the thousands of classmates they engage -- demonstrate the power and potential of young people in service, and inspire hope for the future they commit to create.
Theory of Change Outline & Goals:
Project 351 is the only model of its kind in the nation and is uniquely positioned to demonstrate the power of service to unify, uplift, and transform. Fueled by the social justice passion of our eighth grade Ambassadors, Project 351 prioritizes four strategic outcomes: 1) The young person’s transformation from quiet leader to agent of change; 2) Ambassadors and Alumni as catalysts of values-based and inclusive school environments & cultures, fostering civic engagement and enrichment through school-based service in partnership with educators and school administrations; 3) Scaled impact on the social change missions of our portfolio of nonprofit partners, extending the power of values-based collective action in our communities across the state; and 4) Long-term, systemic change in society: the recognition and resourcing of youth service as a determinant for academic, civic, and career success.
Developing a Theory of Change is critical to achieving our mission’s full potential. A comprehensive and rigorous process will maximize the impact of our 12-month Ambassador Journey and build on a decade of demonstrated impact in service learning and leadership development. A prioritized focus will be the development of evidence-based strategy and structures for program evaluation and measurement, transparent reporting, and continuous program improvement.
Project Timing & Scope:
The following scope of work represents the anticipated short- and longer-term activities and deliverables by project phase. Project 351 anticipates the project length to be approximately 12-15 months; the phases outlined below may shift and/or overlap. Project 351 anticipates moderate to significant collaboration and partnership with the selected consultant throughout. Project 351 may consider an alternative approach to the project if proposed by the applicant.
Short Term: Phase 1 ~ Activities & Deliverables ~ Approximate anticipated duration: 6 months
- Comprehensive review of Project 351 leadership development curriculum and civic engagement model;
- Stakeholder interviews and/or focus groups with Ambassadors, Alumni, educators, peer organizations, and nonprofit partners, with support from Project 351 to identify relevant subjects and introduce researchers;
- Market comparison with best-in-class peers, for insight on best practices and models of impact.
Long Term: Phase 2 ~ Activities & Deliverables ~ Approximate anticipated duration: 6–9 months
- Identification of prioritized competencies, measurable outcomes, and program modifications/innovations to drive greater impact, in cooperation with Project 351;
- Specific recommendations to advance DEI programmatic objectives, through a process of both independent work and coordination with another potential consultant whose scope will focus on DEI in administrative and leadership structures;
- Multi-year research and action plan for evaluation and ongoing program improvement, in cooperation with Project 351;
- Final report summarizing the articulated Theory of Change, strategic recommendations, and research and action plan.
General Terms (partial list; please reviewin detail before submitting a proposal):
- This RFP is not an offer or commitment to contract for the provision of services. Project 351 retains the right to modify, omit, or include any additional terms or conditions in any agreement that Project 351 may enter into for the provision of such services.
- All responses may be reviewed and evaluated by Project 351 employees, its agents, consultants, and subcontractors.
Who may respond:
Project 351 seeks a diversity of vendors, including but not limited to, businesses owned by women and people of color. In addition, we seek partners who have deep respect for and demonstrated expertise in:
- Education and youth development research, best practices, and program implementation, particularly in the nonprofit field and/or areas of service learning, service impact, character and leadership development, school-nonprofit partnerships, or social-emotional learning (SEL);
- The diverse communities across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts we represent and serve;
- DEI principles and practices that thrive within communities and workplaces experiencing significant organizational and cultural changes;
- An inclusive, welcoming and expansive definition of diversity that addresses the intersections of identity, particularly with youth;
- Dynamic and compelling Theory of Change models and articulating outcomes in measurable and achievable ways.
To submit a proposal:
We are grateful for the opportunity to engage with best-in-practice professionals to define Project 351’s Theory of Change, and welcome your interest. Please review project specifications and detailed guidance contained in the. The deadline for receipt of your proposal submission is FRIDAY, MAY 28, 2021. No proposals received after this date will be considered. Our selection process will conclude by MID-JULY 2021. All proposal submissions will be responded to once a decision has been made.