A Strategic and Organizational Equity Assessment and associated trainings to deepen The Ocean Foundation’s (TOF) Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (D.E.I.J.) efforts.



Introduction/Summary: 

The Ocean Foundation is seeking an experienced D.E.I.J. consultant to work with our organization in identifying gaps, develop policies, practices, programs, benchmarks, and organizational behaviors that foster authentic diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice domestically and internationally, and internally and externally. As an international organization, we must deepen our understanding of such values to develop immediate, intermediate, and long-term actions and goals to serve all communities better. As a result of this “audit,” TOF will engage the consultant in answering the following questions:

  • What are the top five critical areas of internal growth and/or change that TOF must address in order to fully reflect the four core D.E.I.J. values across our organization?
  • How can TOF better recruit and retain a diverse team and board members?
  • How can TOF play a leading, with others in the marine conservation space who are interested in developing and deepening D.E.I.J. values and practices? 
  • What internal trainings are recommended for TOF staff and board members?
  • How can TOF exhibit cultural competence while working in diverse communities, indigenous communities and internationally?

Please note that following initial discussions, these questions may change. 

About TOF & D.E.I.J. Background:  

As the only community foundation for the ocean, The Ocean Foundation’s 501(c)(3) mission is to support, strengthen, and promote those organizations dedicated to reversing the trend of destruction of ocean environments around the world. We focus our collective expertise on emerging threats in order to generate cutting-edge solutions and better strategies for implementation.

The Ocean Foundation’s D.E.I.J. cross-cutting values and its managing body, the D.E.I.J. Committee, were established on July 1st, 2016. The primary objectives of the committee are to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice as core organizational values, assist the President in the development and implementation of new policies and procedures to institutionalize these values, assess and report on the organization’s progress in this area, and provide a platform for all communities and individuals to equally vocalize common barriers faced, recent wins, and areas where changes can be made. At The Ocean Foundation, diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice are core values. They also promote the need and urgency to address this issue to the broader marine conservation sector as a whole. A recent paper Advancing Social Equity in and Through Marine Conservation (Bennett et al, 2021) also acknowledges the need to bring D.E.I.J. to the forefront of marine conservation as a discipline.  The Ocean Foundation is a leader in this space. 

TOF’s D.E.I.J. committee elected the following focus areas and goals for our cross-cutting values:

  1. Establishing processes and procedures that promote D.E.I.J. in organizational practices.
  2. Incorporating D.E.I.J. best practices in TOF’s conservation strategies.
  3. Promoting awareness of D.E.I.J. issues externally through TOF’s donors, partners, and grantees. 
  4. Fostering leadership that promotes D.E.I.J. in the marine conservation community.

Activities undertaken by The Ocean Foundation to-date include hosting a Marine Pathways internship, conducting D.E.I.J. centric trainings and roundtables, gathering demographic data, and developing a D.E.I.J. report. While there has been movement addressing D.E.I.J. issues across the organization, there is room for us to grow. TOF’s ultimate goal is to have our organization and culture reflect the communities where we work. Whether it means directly instituting changes or working with our friends and peers in the marine conservation community to institute these changes, we’re striving to make our community more diverse, equitable, inclusive, and just at every level. Visit here to learn more about TOF’s D.E.I.J. initiative. 

Scope of Work/Desired Deliverables: 

The consultant will work with The Ocean Foundation’s leadership and its D.E.I.J. Committee Chair to accomplish the following:

  1. Audit our organization’s policies, processes, and programming to identify areas for growth.
  2. Provide recommendations on how to recruit diverse team members and cultivate a progressive organizational culture. 
  3. Assist the committee in developing an action plan and budget to streamline D.E.I.J. recommendations, activities, and our strategy (goals and benchmarks).
  4. Guide board and staff members through a process to identify D.E.I.J. outcomes to incorporate into our work and concrete next steps for us to work together on actions.
  5. Recommendations of D.E.I.J. focused Trainings for staff and board.

Requirements: 

Successful proposals will demonstrate the following about the consultant:

  1. Experience conducting equity assessments or similar reports of small or medium organizations (of under 50 employees- or some definition of size).
  2. The consultant has the expertise working with international environmental organizations to advance D.E.I.J. across their programs, departments, projects, and initiatives.
  3. Consultant exhibits the ability to think deeply about organizational culture and turn that thinking and analysis into step-oriented, actionable plans for implementation
  4. Demonstrated experience facilitating focus groups and leadership interviews. 
  5. Experience and expertise in the area of unconscious bias.
  6. Experience and expertise in the area of cultural competence.
  7. Global D.E.I.J. experience  

All proposals must be submitted to elove@oceanfdn.org Attn D.E.I.J. Consultant, and should include:

  1. Overview of Consultant and Resume
  2. A concise proposal that addresses the information above
  3. Scope of Work and proposed deliverables
  4. Timeline for completion of the deliverables by February 28, 2022
  5. Budget including the number of hours and rates
  6. Consultants’ primary contact information (Name, address, email, phone number)
  7. Examples of previous similar assessments or reports, redacted as appropriate to protect confidentiality of previous clients. 

Proposed Timeline: 

  • RFP Released: September 30, 2021
  • Submissions Close: November 1, 2021
  • Interviews: November 8-12, 2021
  • Consultant Selected: November 12, 2021
  • Work Begins: November 15, 2021 – February 28,  2022

Proposed Budget: 

Not to exceed $20,000


Contact Information: 

Eddie Love
Program Manager | D.E.I.J. Committee Chair
202-887-8996 x 1121
elove@oceanfdn.org