Request for Proposal:
Racial Equity Assessment

The Illinois Environmental Council Education Fund, a 501(c)(3) educational organization, and the Illinois Environmental Council, a 501(c)(4) advocacy organization, collectively referred to as IEC, are seeking proposals from qualified consultants to work with IEC staff, board of directors, affiliate members, and the environmental community to assess racial equity in its operations and programs. 

Project Timeline 

Monday, June 15: Posting of Request for Proposal

Friday, July 12 (3PM CST): Proposal Submission by email

Friday, July 19: Anticipated award of project

November 2020: Draft completion of project and presentation to board of directors

December 2020: Presentation of project at December board meeting and annual meeting


Proposal submissions are due no later than 3PM on Friday, July 12, 2020. Please submit your proposals via email to Please note that file sizes must be under 25 MB. Acceptable file types are .pdf, .doc, and docx. 

IEC Mission & History

Our organization was founded in 1975 by a group of grassroots environmental organizations from across the state and subsequently earned our reputation as the voice of the environment for Illinois by building strong connections with decision makers at local, state and federal levels. Our efforts are bolstered by the 100 organizations we count as affiliate members. Our vision is an Illinois where informed decision makers successfully champion the environment and win. 

Goals of the Initiative

Our goal is for IEC to be rooted in a foundation of diversity, equity and inclusion. Under our recently adopted strategic plan, IEC set the following goals related to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI):

    • We support leaders from underserved and underrepresented voices.
    • We extend our influence by building partnerships beyond the environmental sector.
    • We shape our work through diverse and inclusive leadership
    • We demand environmental protections for the benefit of all. We prioritize the communities that are suffering from environmental racism. 

Committing to diversity, equity, and inclusion in our work will strengthen the environmental movement for long-term success. We started this work in our last strategic plan and want to formalize and institutionalize this work though a DEI plan that both Boards can adopt. We also know that climate change and environmental concerns extend to groups not working directly on environmental issues. We can learn about these groups and highlight environmental aspects that have momentum for creating positive change in communities across the state.

Scope of work and deliverables

The goal of this initiative is to assess the current racial equity of the operations and programs of IEC and make recommendations for next steps concerning policy changes, trainings, community meetings, and other actions that will advance racial equity both operationally within IEC and the decisionmaking process used by IEC’s coalition to choose legislative priorities.

Part A – Internal operations scope of work

Suggested activities:

  • Interview of current and past employees
  • Interview or survey of board of directors
  • Review of employee handbook, organizational chart, and other relevant material.
  • Review of hiring practices
  • Review of decision making structure, power dynamics, and office culture

Final report should assess the current status of racial equity with respect to the operations at IEC, including hiring practices, office culture, power dynamics, and decision making structure, which includes IEC’s leadership and board. We also seek actionable recommendations and when relevant metrics for expected program outcomes, trainings, internal staff discussions, or policy changes. Please provide information on how you will make those recommendations, specifically tailored to IEC’s needs.

Part B – Programs scope of work

IEC plays an important role in guiding the environmental community in Illinois to make decisions on environmental policy issues.

Suggested activities

  • Focus group with affiliate members 
  • Focus group specifically with Environmental Justice organizations
  • Review of decision making structure including composition of member affiliates, norms, or other policies used to guide decision making in programs
  • Review of work product including 501(c)(3) work such as website messaging, educational events and materials and other educational work and 501(c)(4) work such as advocacy events, scorecard, and action alerts.

Final report should assess the current state of racial equity with respect to IEC’s programs and program partners with recommendations for changes to decision making, key relationships, and other community norms.

Technical proposal requirements
  • Cover letter
  • Detailed summary of experience
  • Project staffing with brief bios
  • Proposal scope of work narrative with budget and timeline
  • Qualifications and References

VII. Contract 

Our budget ranges from $5,000-$15,000 depending on the scope of work. The contract will be between IEC and the selected firm who will be technically and administratively responsible to IEC. 


Inquiries regarding this RFP should be directed to IEC executive director Jennifer Walling at