RFP for Executive Director Search Consultant

RFP for Executive Director Search Consultant

Unite Oregon and Unite Oregon Action seek to retain a consultant, firm or organization to assist the c3 and c4 boards and staff to recruit and hire the organization’s next Executive Director. This RFP outlines the expectations and timeline for the scope of work. The board seeks proposals from experienced and qualified search firms or consultants that have experience in executive director searches ,, including experience with conducting successful executive searches for nonprofit organizations of similar size and scope, and implementing equitable and inclusive recruiting and hiring processes. Unite Oregon’s founder and Executive Director of twenty years has recently departed to serve in a new statewide position. We look forward to working with the firm to attract a qualified and diverse set of candidates to hire our next Executive Director to carry forth Unite’s mission-based work. 

Request for Proposals (RFP) for Executive Search Consultant 

Release Date:  Feb 19, 2021

Due Date: March 5, 2021 


About Unite Oregon: 

Unite Oregon is a statewide racial and social justice nonprofit working to eliminate systemic inequities and fight for a more just and equitable society for immigrants, refugees, people of color, rural communities, and low- income Oregonians.  Founded in 2003, Unite Oregon is based in Portland, OR and has chapters in Multnomah County, Washington County, Clackamas County and Rogue Valley. Unite Oregon (a 501c3 organization) and Unite Oregon Action (a 501c4 organization) are led by people of color, immigrants and refugees, rural communities, and people experiencing poverty. We work across Oregon to build a unified intercultural movement for justice. Combined, we have a current annual budget of $4 million with a staff of 32. We also have 22,000 members and supporters across the state. 

RFP Selection Process Timeline 

Proposals are due March 5, 5:00PM, with a preferred start date of March 22, 2021. 

February 19, 2021: RFP Released 

March 5, 2021 Applications due 

March 5-8, 2021 First review 

March 8-10, 2020 Interviews

March 10, 2020 Recommendation to Executive Committee of the Board 

March 13, 2020 Final firm selected and awarded

March 22, 2020 Proposed start date 

Scope of Services

The selected firm will: 

  • Work in close coordination with Unite’s Transition Planning Team, a committee of board, staff and community members charged with supporting the search
  • Provide an outline of recommendations for the search process and work with the board to implement a search process including, but not limited to, the development of a plan and timeline for recruitment, selection, and communications;
  • Meet with board members and staff to clarify and determine views regarding desirable qualifications, experience and characteristics of candidates; 
  • Prepare a position description
  • Perform an extensive, nationwide search with a focus on local candidates for the next Executive Director of Unite; 
  • Conduct all aspects of advertising, solicitation of candidate applications, and background screening of top candidates
  • Identify qualified candidates and share with those candidates the board and staff criteria for the new Executive Director,
  • Facilitate input and prepare summaries from and conversations with staff and board members throughout the search process; 
  • Assist the board with assessment of pool of initial responses received from interested candidates; 
  • Assist board as requested in further review and identification of highest qualified candidates and facilitate requests for additional information from candidates and references
  • Support the process of final negotiations that result in an accepted Letter of Hire. 

A successful search is one that ends in the recruitment of a candidate(s) that effectively meets all the job requirements, staff and board criteria and qualifications, and which receives approval for hire from the Board of Directors. The end of engagement will be marked by a signed Letter of Hire. The Board of Directors are hopeful this will occur no later than June 2021. 

If the process does not result in a signed offer, Unite will work with the firm to negotiate possible extensions and/or adjustments to the process to identify a wider pool of candidates that results in a successful hire. 

Project Team 

The executive search firm will report to the Board Co-Chairs, Dora Perry and Manijeh Mehrnoosh, or designee, and will work in close coordination with the Transition Planning Team, an ad-hoc group of board, staff and community members providing support to the search process. The search firm and the Transition Planning Team will work collaboratively to develop an inclusive process that includes regular and consistent communication with staff members and other key stakeholders. The Executive Committee of the Board of Directors will make the final hiring decision. 

RFP Submission Requirements 

Proposals should be no more than six (6) pages, not including references, and cover the following: 

  1. Organization Description: Brief history and summary of your firm and expertise. 
  2. Recruitment Approach: Please tell us about the process you would go through to find a successful candidate. Detail how you will accomplish the above scope of work, including a clear delineation of what we should expect the firm to be responsible for and what you expect from Unite Oregon. Include what networks you are able to access on behalf of this search. 
  3. Deliverables: How will we measure success throughout the process? 
  4. Proposed Timeline: Estimate the start and end dates for each phase of the search process.
  5. Budget: Proposed cost along with narrative description of what is included in this cost. 
  6. References: Provide two references: 
    1. A successful Executive Director search, where the Executive Director has been with the organization more than three years. Please provide contact information for both the Executive Director and, if possible, the board member contact with whom the firm contracted.
    2. A recent (within the past 12 months) Executive Director placement. 

Please provide contact information for the Executive Director as well as the board or staff contact with whom the firm worked most closely. 

Proposals must be sent electronically in a single PDF file to: [email protected], Subject Line: Executive Search RFP, by March 5, 2020, at 5:00PM PST. By submitting a proposal, the firm authorizes Unite Oregon to contact references to evaluate the firm’s qualifications for this project.

Evaluation Criteria 

All proposals will be evaluated based on the following key criteria: 

  • Performance capability—the extent to which the proposal demonstrates the firm’s ability to provide the depth and breadth of experience, skills, knowledge and creativity generally required by this project. 
  • Understanding of and commitment to Unite’s mission, values, programs and strategic objectives. 
  • Demonstrated experience with similar-sized nonprofit organizations. 
  • Completeness and quality of response, including clear deliverables and reasonable approach. 
  • Proposed cost and timeline. 
  • References. 
  • Preference will be given to firms certified as Minority and Women Business Enterprise (M/WBE) Service-Disabled Veteran (SDV) and Emerging Small Business (ESB) by the State of Oregon or equivalent. 

Top-rated candidates may be invited to interview with board and/or staff members. The selected consultant and Unite will then mutually discuss and refine the scope of work for the project and shall negotiate final conditions, compensation, and performance schedule for the subsequent contract to be executed.