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Open Call Request for Proposals

UPDATING OUR GRANTMAKING PROCESS: LEARNING AND EVALUATION SUPPORT

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation (Blue Cross NC Foundation) requests the services of a consultant to help us evaluate and learn from changes we are testing in our grantmaking process to support the strategic vision of the organization and ensure our practices and processes are lean, equitable, and transparent.

Background

As part of its Operational Excellence work, a cross-functional team of Blue Cross NC Foundation staff is in the process of redesigning an efficient and equitable RFP process in support of the Foundation’s strategies. The goals of the redesign are to simplify the process, support strategic decision-making, identify opportunities for external feedback, ensure an equity lens is applied throughout the entire process, improve applicant experience, and, ultimately, increase the impact of our resources.

Staff are testing updates to the RFP process in an upcoming grant opportunity to support organizations advancing local- and state-level early childhood system and policy changes. Updates to the process include soliciting external feedback throughout the development of the process, aligning the process with the Foundation’s strategy, hosting webinars and 1:1 calls with potential applicants, revising the financial and organizational review process, and conducting interviews for finalists as opposed to requiring written applications. Through these changes, we hope to improve the applicant experience and decision-making process and begin building relationships with new partners outside of our current portfolio. Lessons learned through this RFP will inform future grantmaking processes.

Description of Learning and Evaluation Services Requested

At the completion of this evaluation, we hope to understand what worked and what didn’t work in terms of the redesigned RFP process. These insights will help us actualize our culture of continuous improvement and inform our approach to redesigning other elements of our grantmaking process.

The Blue Cross NC Foundation is seeking proposals to evaluate the design and implementation of the early childhood RFP. This evaluation will help us explore and answer questions related to process and outcomes, support real-time process improvements, and inform longer-term work. Ultimately, we would like to understand if the changes we are making lead to leaner, more equitable, and transparent processes to support our strategic vision, mission, and goals.

Anticipated Budget and Timeline

Up to $50,000 is available for the evaluation.

Key Activity Estimated Date
Evaluation RFP Released December 14, 2020
RFP Due January 11, 2021
Contract Start February 1, 2021
Final Report Complete October 2021

 

Desired Skills, Qualities, and Attributes

  • Employs qualitative and quantitative methods
  • Has experience evaluating organizational processes and practices through a racial equity lens
  • Committed to the values of equitable evaluation
  • Can lead and support facilitated learning sessions
  • Demonstrates an understanding of the dynamics between nonprofit and philanthropic sectors
  • Demonstrates an understanding of the concept of Customer Experience Excellence
  • Familiarity with process improvement methodologies (e.g., Lean/Six Sigma, etc.)

Questions and Answers

A summary of questions received regarding this RFP, along with answers, can be found here.

How to Apply

To apply, download the RFP and submit a proposal to Sarah Smith, Director, Learning and Evaluation. Full applications are due by midnight on Monday, January 11, 2021.

Reach out to Sarah Smith, sarah.smith@bcbsncfoundation.org with any questions.