Skip to content
Home Search


Request for Proposals: Assessment of Data Collection Tools and Processes to Integrate Equitable Evaluation and Trust-based Philanthropy Practices

Organization Overview

REDF (Roberts Enterprise Development Fund) is an intermediary organization that supports entrepreneurial leaders and their organizations through the investment of financial and human capital (capacity building, community building, and technical assistance).  REDF invests solely in employment social enterprises (ESEs), businesses that achieve transformative social impact by providing employment, job training, and support. As mission driven businesses, they employ and provide job training to individuals who have encountered barriers to gaining and maintaining employment due to experiences such as homelessness, incarceration, substance abuse, immigration, and educational disruption.

REDF’s latest strategic effort explicitly recognizes the role systemic racism plays in perpetuating unemployment and economic inequity. Naming and calling out the fact that the U.S. economy has long excluded Black, Indigenous, and People Of Color (BIPOC) individuals from the workforce while simultaneously undervaluing their contributions, leaving several generations without the ability to earn a livable income or build wealth for their families, despite hard work. Our five-year strategy has a focus on supporting growth, while magnifying the impact of the employment social enterprise sector as a tool for a more inclusive and equitable economy. One goal that we have is to deepen our investments in BIPOC leaders and leaders who identify as having lived experience, and the organizations they lead.  In this context lived experience are those that present barriers to obtaining and maintaining employment.  This includes history of incarceration(s), history of homelessness or housing instability, immigration status (particularly refugee status), and for young people, disconnection from education and employment opportunities. This has both shifted the composition of our portfolio, and  has also changed the types of support and technical assistance we provide leaders in growing their enterprises.

REDF Core Programs

  • REDF Accelerator: A 5-month, cohort-based learning experience—where leaders of early-stage enterprises work together to springboard growth.
  • Growth Portfolio: A 3-year grant investment paired with customized technical support for ESEs to build capacity and fuel sustainable growth.
  • REDF Impact Investing Fund: Flexible loan capital and capacity building to help ESEs improve financial sustainability, attract new investment, and grow.
  • REDF Community: Dedicated space and curated resources to help our over 150 ESE partners and their staff connect, grow.
  • Government Partnerships & Policy: Public-private sector partnerships and policy influence at the federal and state levels that promote public investment in ESEs and increase economic mobility for their employees.
  • Capacity Building: Customized capacity building assistance in five key areas—business model, program model, talent, fundraising, and operations—that amplifies the impact of our investments.

Background of the Need

As a nonprofit intermediary organization, REDF collects a range of information to serve multiple goals – funder reporting, internal performance management, advocacy efforts, and evidence building.  There are a lot of data collection touchpoints in place with our ESE partners, ranging from application, to assessment tools, to programming feedback, to benchmarking surveys.  The level of information that we collect from our partners is significant, frequent, and often duplicative.  And the expectations for submission of information is now extended past program involvement, beyond the life of a grant, or post-loan repayment to include program alumni who are part of Community.

For many years the focus of our measurement work has been on increasing awareness of employment social enterprises as a viable solution to unemployment through the creation of career pathways, and with that goal a lot of what we measured was linked to the ESEs’ impact and narrowed in on business growth and employment outcomes of their workers.  Despite our efforts, a lot of the data collection methods were extractive and only reflective of our needs as a funder.  We have now shifted our focus to include more deliberate and intentional internal evaluation that focuses on our touchpoints with our ESE partners and measuring how our engagement is supporting them in reaching their goals as well as our own goals around shifting business operations, revising program operations, and making equity focused investments.

REDF is at the initiation stage of leaning into equitable evaluation and trust-based learning practices in an explicit way, but there are ways that we have already been living out those values in our work. We have engaged our grantees as partners in an Evaluation Learning Committee. The aim is to foster an environment where all participants can learn from each other’s experiences and leverage the diversity of those experiences for a responsive and meaningful evaluation. Additionally, we have a Community of Practice where we are learning alongside a cohort of our ESE partners around developing or enhancing feedback practices within their organizations. We have also shifted our reporting expectations, reducing the number of submissions as well as working with organizations to determine how we can use the data they are currently collecting to meet our reporting needs rather than adding to what they collect (or building new tools). And while not across the board yet we are providing compensation for completion of surveys for some programs.  But there are still a lot of opportunities to shift how we’re working to better reflect those trust-based values.

One such opportunity is in examining our reporting requirements and other data gathering processes.  Being an intermediary organization puts us in a unique position as both a grantor and a grantee, and we are seeking to address the following needs:

  • What we are required to report to others,
  • What we want to learn from our grantee partners about their enterprises,
  • What we want to learn about our own programming from both an impact and a learning perspective, and
  • How we want to continue to build the evidence base for the ESE field and continue to elevate the sector for the unique value they bring into the workforce development sector.

However, we need to balance the level of information we’re collecting to meet those goals, remaining mindful of the burden it places on our partners due to the cadence and intensity.

Project Overview

We have both formal grantee reports that we require, as well as a number of other data collection mechanisms in place that gather information from our ESE partners about their programs, business model, and experience with REDF. As an organization we are leaning more intentionally into both equitable evaluation and trust-based philanthropic practices and would like to reflect those values in our data collection and reporting processes. As a launching point for adjusting current practice, we would like to conduct, with support of an external evaluator, a review of our current tools and practices.

Deliverables and Outcomes

Our goal is to find a consultant who can help lead us through the process in a way that centers the grantee partner experience, values the time and expertise of our partners, and generates insights to guide the development of revised reporting requirements, streamlined programmatic data collection touchpoints, and an overall improved partner experience. We would also like to gather information that informs how REDF communicates back to partners what data and information we’ve collected from the field in a way that is mutually beneficial and can support joint learning. We seek a consultant/team of consultants who can lead a collaborative process, engaging both our ESE partners as well as other REDF program staff. We would compensate our ESE partners for their time and expertise in accordance with our compensation guidelines which provides guidance for type and amount based on engagement type.

Deliverables would be a set of recommendations for improvements to the grantee reporting and other partner data collection tools and processes that center the values of equity, feedback/listening, and shared accountability. Recommendations will be shared in a written format, and as an oral presentation to the REDF Learning & Evidence Team to facilitate a discussion and deeper understanding of the proposed changes.

REDF Key Staff: The consultant would be working closely with two members of the Learning & Evidence Team Dina Wilderson, Director and Gemma North, Senior Manager.

Anticipated Budget: $20,000

Anticipated Timeline: May-September 2023

Interested consultant should submit a proposal that includes the following:

  1. Proposed Approach – provide a description of the approach you would take for this consultation. Include how you would incorporate the values of equitable evaluation.
  2. Detailed Scope of Work – provide a description of anticipated activities and timeline
  3. Roles and Responsibilities – describe the key roles that will execute the proposed activities
  4. Budget – a line-item budget for the project

Evaluation Criteria:

  1. The proposed approach is clear and would achieve the desired end result.
  2. The Scope of Work incorporates a collaborative approach and clearly shows how proposed activities would result in project goals.
  3. The key personnel identified for the project seems sufficient to carry out the proposed tasks and complete the project deliverables within the proposed time frame.

Proposals should be sent to Dina Wilderson at, and are due by end of day, Wednesday, May 3.

Share this post with your network!