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Developing a three-year Strategic Plan for WomenStrong International

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New York, United States
Non-Profit : Charitable

WomenStrong International seeks to complete a strategic planning process with key stakeholders, in order to advance our mission, revise our theory of change, guide operations and programming, and attract funding for the next three years.

To help us achieve this, WomenStrong is seeking a consultant(s) who will facilitate a Strategic Planning exercise and help craft a functional Strategic Plan document that will chart
WomenStrong's course for the next three years. This process should draw from the consultant(s)' familiarity with the sectors in which WomenStrong works, and the challenges faced by local, women-led non-profits in effectively and sustainably implementing programs. The consultant(s) will facilitate discussions among the team and with other stakeholders (i.e., grantee partners, Learning Lab consultants, Board members), to ensure alignment between WomenStrong's approach to grantmaking, its program activities, and its desired short- and long-term outcomes, and to identify assumptions implicit to this approach.

WomenStrong is a learning organization, built on respect and compassion that recognizes our common humanity and essential dignity. Our work is rooted in listening deeply to women and girls, responding to what they say they need, and learning from what works. We have faith in the power of collaboration at all levels, and seek to take a non-proprietary, multidimensional, and holistic approach to our work. This extends to the development of our Strategic Plan which we intend to approach with the utmost inclusivity, appreciating each others' experience and knowledge as we seek to build a more inclusive, relevant and sustainable organization. WomenStrong sees enormous value in involving our grantee partners in this strategic planning exercise. With the guidance of the consultant(s), we would like to invite partner representatives to join discussions at different points in the process. In discussion with WomenStrong, the consultant will agree on the number of partners and a schedule for engagement and propose meaningful ways to engage partners' voices.

Expected Skills and Experience:

We are looking for an individual or a team possessing the following skills and experience:

Demonstrated background in strategic planning and facilitation, particularly with organizations of similar size and focus;
Demonstrated ability to adapt techniques of engagement to meet the needs of the
organization's culture and structure;
Excellent interpersonal communication and group facilitation skills, to enable safe and creative spaces for collective enquiry, debate, learning, and decision-making;
Experience developing interactive and creative methods for gathering and incorporating
stakeholder input;
Good understanding of current priorities, trends, opportunities, and challenges in the feminist and women's rights movement. Specific knowledge or experience working with women-led organizations and on the thematic areas relevant to WomenStrong (girls' education and empowerment, women and girls' health, violence against women and girls, and economic security and opportunity for women and girls);
Experience working with teams existing across different cultures, geographies, languages, and time zones;
Familiarity with current philanthropic trends, grantmaking mechanisms, and trust-based
philanthropic partnerships;
Excellent analytical and framing skills, with the ability to see intersections and threads between and among WomenStrong's priorities and teams;
Ability to organize, interpret and communicate complex information from multiple sources in
succinct and engaging ways;
Experience in facilitating meetings, interviews, focus groups, etc., in a virtual setting.

Actions and deliverables:

The consultant(s) will co-develop the strategic planning process with WomenStrong. Therefore, the following activities plan is a starting point that can be adjusted, and the final deliverables will be agreed upon, once the consultant(s') proposal has been accepted.

1. Activities

Stage 1: Pre-planning
Initial planning meetings to understand WomenStrong's priorities/concerns/ ambitions;
Thorough review of WomenStrong's history, model, theory of change, organigram, budget,
fundraising to-date, and other relevant documents;
Questionnaire design/focus group. and/or interview preparation;
Preliminary meetings/interviews with selected staff, Board members, and grantee partners
of WomenStrong;
SWOT or GAP analysis of the organization to evaluate opportunities and concerns.

Stage 2: Strategic Plan development
Facilitation of Strategic Planning meetings and workshops involving WomenStrong staff,
grantee partners, consultants, and Board members, to discuss key findings of the
preliminary interviews, and from there, to start to build the Plan itself.

Stage 3: Finalization
Creation of an actionable Strategic Plan that includes:
o An updated mission and vision for the organization;
o Clear aims, objectives, and an updated theory of change in support of the vision;
o Strategies to implement the theory of change and to achieve the organization's goals;
o Measurable outcomes within the timeframe of the Plan;
o Analysis of how the Strategic Plan will be supported by both WomenStrong's communications and development (fundraising) efforts and by its operational and HR structures;
Presentation of the draft Strategy before it is final, to collect and incorporate useful
Facilitation of feedback mechanisms, and integration of appropriate feedback;
Completion of final Strategic Plan document.

Timeline indicating key milestones;
Report on the process, including a summary of stakeholder interviews/ consultations;
Workshop agenda;
Three-year Strategic Plan document that includes a budget for its implementation.

Timeframe: We anticipate that this process will begin before the end of March 2022 and take
between 3-6 months, with the exact timeframe to be determined in consultation with the successful applicant(s).

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