Request for Proposals: Racial Equity/Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Consultant


Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation

Request for Proposals

Racial Equity/Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Consultant


The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation is soliciting proposals for the services of one (1) Racial Equity/DEI Consultant to help guide its efforts to embrace diversity, equity, inclusion, and racial equity across all aspects of the Foundation.

More than 80 years ago, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation began investing in its mission of improving the quality of life of all North Carolinians. Today, millions of diverse experiences and opinions are shaping our state and our communities in complex ways. We believe this growing diversity continues to make North Carolina a state of great promise. By becoming more flexible, skilled, and adaptable as a funder, while simultaneously adhering to enduring values like fairness, dignity, integrity, and equity, we are working with others to pursue a vision where we all thrive.


While the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation has a long history of working to promote diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), the 2018 launch of its new Framework for Grantmaking and Learning included a stated commitment to racial equity. Since then, the Foundation has taken various steps to deepen its understanding of how to use a racial equity lens in our work. The Foundation collected feedback from staff, grantees, and Board Members by having honest, open conversations and DEI training. We have worked to capture critical points of feedback pertaining to Racial Equity/DEI in our strategies, grantmaking processes and internal and external practices.


The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation is seeking a Racial Equity/DEI consultant that we anticipate will work with us for a minimum of 12 months, in which the consultant will provide project management services, review current practices and organizational culture, meet with senior leadership, and facilitate internal discussions and trainings between and across staff and Trustees. Through partnership with ZSR leaders and the Foundation’s internal Racial Equity/DEI committee, the consultant will deliver a comprehensive action plan to help us best engender a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and racial equity and guide the integration of DEI/Racial Equity principles into our culture and operations.

The consultant will:

  • Conduct an equity-centered assessment/audit of current internal policies, procedures, and processes, to identify any current behaviors, processes, procedures, and practices that may be barriers to an inclusive and equitable workplace. The consultant will recommend improvements.
  • Work in conjunction with staff and the Racial Equity/DEI committee to design and develop a comprehensive work plan and timeline aimed at helping staff and Trustees develop skills, strategies, common language, cultural awareness, and frameworks to implement key racial equity and DEI priorities.
  • Provide project management and training services to begin to implement the work plan.
  • Provide insight and knowledge on Racial Equity/DEI best practices related to the non-profit and philanthropic sectors.
  • Help us gather and analyze relevant data and input from staff, grantees, and other constituents.
  • Assist us in developing methods for evaluating our progress and areas for continued growth and development along with the impact of our Racial Equity/DEI initiatives.


The consultant will have:

  • Relevant and impactful experience working with the philanthropy sector, preferably with private, community, or family foundations.
  • Strong knowledge of North Carolina and the South is preferred.
  • Must have considerable experience in developing and executing organization-wide Racial Equity/DEI assessments, planning, project management and implementation efforts for large nonprofits or philanthropic organizations in North Carolina.
  • Demonstrated understanding and/or experience working with a family foundation is a plus.
  • Experience conducting diversity and inclusion surveys, developing DEI/Racial Equity data strategy and analysis, and implementing effective action plans at various organizational levels.
  • Focus and extensive experience especially diving into tough Racial Equity/DEI subjects targeting intersectionality including generational differences, regionalism and geographical location, race/ethnicity, class, gender, gender identity and neurodiversity.


RFP Submissions should include the following details:

  • Summary of Approach and Frameworks for Racial Equity/DEI: please include specific examples of strategies, training content and approach, and descriptions of key activities.
  • A description of you/your team, including their qualifications.
  • A description of your experience and approach for providing Racial Equity/DEI project management, organizational, cultural, and personal change outcomes, and planning services to similar organizations, including two concrete examples of changes that clients have been able to implement at an organizational level because of your work.
  • A description of your proposed process, including methods, procedures, and timeline for providing these services to ZSR. Include a work schedule or timeline that identifies project management goals, meeting dates, time frames for major work elements, target dates for key milestones and dates for completion of a draft and final plan.
  • On a separate sheet, please provide the names and contact information for up to four (4) client references, preferably agencies or organizations for which you have recently provided similar services.
  • Compensation requirements and accountability measures.

Submit RFP responses by 5:00 p.m. on July 1, 2023, to: Eniris R. Riddick at For inquiries, please contact: Eniris Riddick at