If you share our passion for making the efforts, energy and resources of charities have a greater impact, then this is the right place for you. Below are all our current opportunities for you to help us build a more effective charity sector. Please note: We reserve the right to close these vacancies prior to the application deadline once a sufficient number of applications have been received. 

Embedding diversity, equity and inclusion in grant-making due diligence: a request for proposals  

NPC is seeking consultancy support to review the opportunities and challenges for embedding diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in grant-making due diligence and support us to improve our approach. This is an exciting, high impact, opportunity to collaborate with sector leaders in grant-making and to influence practice across the philanthropy sector. 

This project forms a part of ongoing work at NPC to think critically about our processes and seek to embed DEI into everything we do. This has included organisation-wide self-reflection led by an external DEI consultant as well as work to look critically at our consulting frameworks, reflect DEI in our events programme, and embed DEI throughout our recruitment and operations 

Background 

What do we mean by grant-making due diligence? 

Due diligence refers to the process through which a grant-maker (such as a philanthropist, trust or foundation) learns more about an organisation to help to guide a grant-making decision. The process typically involves gathering information and engaging with the organisation to understand how well it would fit with the grant-maker’s goals and funding criteria. 

NPC’s approach to due diligence is informed by our What Makes a Good Charity? (WMAGC?) framework, published in 2016, which is a step-by-step guide to charity analysis focussing on the key characteristics we believe are common to all effective charities. It is the basis on which we conduct due diligence for our funder clients and has been used extensively across the sector by other funders and charities to assess organisations’ efficiency and effectiveness. It focusses on four domain areas: purpose, impact practice, people, and finance and operations.  

What do we mean by diversity, equity and inclusion? 

In the context of grant-making, we consider: 

  • Diversity to be about recognising, respecting and valuing each other’s differences. Grant-makers looking at diversity across their portfolios might recognise and value differences based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, health, geographic location, neurodiversity, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies.  
  • Equity to be about ensuring equality of opportunities and outcomes. Equity-based approaches to grant-making acknowledge that different groups and communities don’t all start from the same place. Therefore, solutions need to be tailored to different needs if they are to promote fair outcomes overall. 
  • Inclusion to be about everyone feeling valued and welcomed within a given setting. Inclusive approaches to grant-making seek to overcome power dynamics and barriers that may exclude people. 

Whilst each of these is a significant concept in its own right, the three terms are interconnected and it is important to work on achieving all three of them together. Using the famous party metaphor of long-time DEI educator Verna Myers, ‘diversity’ is being asked to the party, ‘inclusion’ is being asked to dance, and ‘equity’ is having an accessibility ramp to the door. 

Why look at embedding diversity, equity and inclusion in due diligence? 

Due diligence is a core part of the grant-making cycle, which determines which organisations are funded and how resources are distributed across the charity sector. If we want to improve diversity, equity and inclusion across the sector, it’s vital to look at how well current due diligence frameworks and processes support these principles.  

At NPC, we are aware that our frameworks, including WMAGC?, are influential across the sector. In A Rebalancing Act, we highlighted the power that funders have to set norms across the sector about what ‘good’ looks like. As an advisor to funders and philanthropists, we arguably have a similar power and need to use it wisely. 

Why this project? 

We are seeking consultant support for this project as it is likely that there are implicit assumptions, cultural biases, and mental models that we are not able to see ourselves as we are embedded in that world—it needs some external perspective and challenge. We are particularly keen to be supported and challenged on our approach to racial justice as this has been highlighted by Baobab Foundation, Future Foundations UK, Ubele Initiative, Funders for Racial Equality Alliance and others as a core structural challenge for the grant-making sector that we are a part of. 

We are also keen to gather insights from our stakeholders without NPC being in the room, as our presence may change what people share. 

Objectives 

There are two main objectives to this project: 

  • To engage charities and funders on the opportunities and challenges for better embedding diversity, equity, and inclusion in grant-making due diligence. 
  • To provide NPC with recommendations for how we might improve our own approach in response. We are keen to use the findings from this work to inform both our direct consultancy work with funders and philanthropists, as well as our frameworks and advice for the wider sector. 

Approach 

This project will build on thinking that NPC staff members have already done on how to embed DEI in grant-making and the strengths and shortcomings of existing approaches to due diligence in the sector. We would like this project to consider both process (how due diligence is conducted) and content (what issues due diligence explores).  

We suggest that the methodology incorporate three main stages, though we are open to other approaches that meet the objectives of the brief. 

  1. Project set-up and familiarisation with NPC’s existing work, including interviews and a focus group with NPC staff. We can help you with the logistics of setting up interviews and the focus group, including suggestions for which staff to involve and managing calendar invitations. The interviews are likely to include 5-6 NPC staff who are experienced in conducting due diligence and/or involved in our wider effective philanthropy work. The focus group will include a wider range of NPC staff, including those bringing experience in our data and learning work, think tank and communications. 
  1. Engagement with charities and funders through interviews and/or roundtables. We envisage this including representatives from: organisations working with and for a range of minoritised groups; grant-makers involved in conducting due diligence; and charities that have had due diligence conducted on their work. We welcome your suggestions on specific stakeholders to involve, though we can also help with our own ideas and networks. 
  1. Write-up of findings, including opportunities and challenges for better embedding DEI in grant-making due diligence and recommendations for NPC on how we might improve our own approach. 

Skills and experience  

We are looking for a consultant or consultants that bring the following: 

  • Expertise in diversity, equity, and inclusion (essential). We are particularly keen to hear from consultants who bring expertise in racial justice along with an understanding of the importance of taking an intersectional approach to DEI. 
  • Expertise in appropriate engagement methods such as roundtables, semi-structured interviews and focus groups (essential). 
  • Ability to critically assess existing approaches and provide constructive challenge (essential). 
  • Understanding of grant-making and current grant-making discourse (desirable). 

Timescales 

We would like to kick off the project by the end of June. We anticipate that interviews, staff focus group, and engagement with charities and funders will take place in July, August and September, with the consultant(s) reporting back to NPC by early October. This is our preferred timescale for the work but we would be happy to discuss other options with you if for whatever reason this timescale proves impossible. 

Budget 

We have a budget of £7,000 – £10,000 (including VAT & expenses) available for this work.  

Whilst we anticipate that the consultant(s) will lead on the research, we welcome your suggestions for ways that we could work with you to make the budget go further—for example, supporting on logistics for the staff interviews and focus group. Please note that we are currently operating a hybrid working model and expect much, if not all, of the project will be online.  

Application process 

We are looking for short proposals (no more than 5 pages plus appendices if needed) outlining your approach to this work, the skills and experience that you bring, and your proposed budget and timeline. Please send proposals to Sarah.Denselow@thinkNPC.org by 9am on Monday 20th June 2022. 

We anticipate holding interviews in the w/c 27th June 2022. Please let us know if you would have any difficulties with attending an interview during this week. 

For further information or to have a conversation about this project, please contact: Sarah Denselow, Principal for Effective Philanthropy at Sarah.Denselow@thinkNPC.org  

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