Creating an RFP for DEIB work The Nova Collective

Creating an RFP for DEIB work

RFP processes can be an intentional, organized way to source a qualified partner for your DEIB journey. The process itself forces the organization to sift through priorities, determine goals and establish budget – which is critical in shaping the journey.  

Unfortunately, the “standard” RFP process can be fraught with inequities. And, too often, organizations follow a template that doesn’t yield the best partnership for their goals. 

Below are some of Nova’s DEIB RFPs Do’s and Don’ts: 


  • DO articulate the journey your organization has been on. Share previous work done, and areas within the organization where you’d like to see more progress. Focus on what outcomes you can envision.
  • DON’T prescribe the exact, nuanced process that will need to be followed. All partners will have their own POV and their own process to achieve your outcomes.
  • DO clearly share timeline, deadlines and other logistical details
  • DON’T be outrageous with your deadlines. In 99% of the RFPs we see, the deadline to submit is unrealistically soon and the deadline for a decision by the organization is delayed/missed. It’s rude.
  • DO understand what priorities you have for a partner. Pricing?  Industry experience? Compatibility with your team?
  • DON’T get too locked in to exact, 1:1 experience. You are looking for a partner that has solved your problem – NOT a partner who has done this exact same project with a competitor.
  • DO publish your budget. It’s just the nice thing to do.
  • DON’T worry so much about who is local and who is not. In this remote world, a partner’s regionality should be one of the last things on the list.
  • DO send any of your upcoming RFP opportunities to (hey, we gotta run a business here!) 


Remember, this work is relational and requires a great deal of trust and vulnerability.  With the right partner, your organization can evolve and embrace the myriad benefits of building Community through Inclusion and Equity.  

Prioritize a partnership that will lend itself to candor, compassion and collaboration – and lean into the journey with your whole heart!

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