The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation (“Washington Trust”) seeks a consultant to conduct a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) audit for the organization. This project will be conducted in coordination with the Washington Trust Board of Directors and staff. This Request for Proposals (RFP) outlines the context, scope of work, timeline, and other parameters for this project, as well as desired qualifications and evaluation standards for proposals.

Background Information

Washington Trust for Historic Preservation

The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation is dedicated to saving the places that matter in Washington State and promoting sustainable and economically viable communities through historic preservation. We are Washington’s only statewide nonprofit advocacy organization working to build a collective ethic that preserves historic places through advocacy, education, collaboration, and stewardship. For more than 45 years, the Washington Trust has successfully advocated for legislation and funding that supports historic preservation and sustainable communities across Washington.

Context for Pursuit of a DEI Audit

The field of historic preservation nationally is in a moment of reckoning with the biases and prejudices of its past. Federal legislation and policies (such as the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966) that established the field and continue to inform much of individual states’ policies and decision-making are now more than 50 years old. The existing criteria for the National Register of Historic Places, as well as for local and state historic registers, tend to favor a dominant narrative of white privilege, leading to the preservation of classical architecture, mansions built by the white elite, etc. Relatively few properties on the National Register are associated with women or people/communities of color. Yet, in recent years, the discourse has begun to change. Preservationists have started to examine the limitations and exclusions inherent in preservation criteria and policy, to question whose stories are being told by the buildings we memorialize. (The issue even made its way into news headlines and mainstream culture in 2020 and 2021 as civil rights protests targeted many monuments for their racist associations with slavery and the Confederacy.) At the same time, preservationists and civic leaders across the country have upheld the potential for preservation to help lead the way to greater social justice and more equitable representation by promoting intangible heritage, preserving vernacular architecture, and celebrating the stories of underrepresented communities.

The Washington Trust wants to lead the charge for more inclusive preservation in Washington State. Our Board of Directors and staff together believe this is the path forward for preservation. To date, our DEI-related activities include:

  • Two diversity workshops for staff and board members
  • A diversity committee comprised of board members
  • Diversity-related components in organizational strategic planning (though strategic planning was put on hiatus with the onset of the pandemic)
  • DEI priorities in staffing hiring and board recruitment
  • Staff DEI educational activities including a book club and discussions/presentations
  • Development of organizational Values Statement centering inclusivity
  • DEI-related changes to the Valerie Sivinski Fund and other programs
  • Identification of DEI Audit as major board goal for 2022

We are committed to continuing to grow as a DEI-focused and anti-racist organization and seek to conduct this DEI Audit in order to examine our own biases and blindspots and improve our policies and practices to support racial and economic justice in the field of preservation.

Project Objective

The Washington Trust seeks to conduct a DEI Audit evaluating internal policies, infrastructure, and communications in order to better facilitate diversity, equity, and inclusion in our organizational practices and advance our DEI goals. We seek the services of a qualified consultant to evaluate our current strategies and policies and to develop recommendations for improvement and future growth.

Scope of Work

The selected consultant will conduct a DEI Audit for the Washington Trust. Deliverables include:

  1. Conduct research—such as interviews, focus groups, surveys, reviews of demographic data (provided by the Washington Trust).
  2. Audit existing materials for background information and advice on messaging, implementation, criteria, and other elements. Existing materials for review include:
    • Staff handbook
    • Board handbook/materials
    • Organizational bylaws
    • Website:
    • This Place magazine
    • Annual report
    • Digital communications and social media
    • Other materials as needed
  3. Develop a DEI plan for the organization with regards to internal policies, infrastructure, communications, metrics, etc.
  4. Provide an implementation strategy/timeline.

Project Guidance

Throughout the DEI audit process, the selected consultant will work closely with the Washington Trust DEI Audit Committee (an ad hoc committee of the Board), the Board of Directors, and Washington Trust staff. A staff or committee liaison will be appointed to be the consultant’s primary point of contact.

Schedule and Budget

  • Questions on RFP due: EOD Friday, April 22, 2022
  • Proposals due: EOD Friday, May 6, 2022
  • Consultant selected by: Monday, June 3, 2022
  • Completion of Scope of Work: June 3 through December 31, 2022

The total budget available is $30,000-$35,000.

Consultant Qualifications and Evaluation Criteria

The consultant will be responsible for the timely completion, quality, and integrity of their work. Proposals will be scored by a minimum of three (3) Washington Trust DEI Audit committee members and/or advisors based on the following evaluation factors, listed in order of relative importance:

  • Proposed approach to the scope of work, including demonstrated understanding of project objectives and desired outcomes.
  • Qualifications and experience of the consulting team, including professional experience with DEI work, experience with public engagement/outreach, capacity for project management, and quality of representative examples.
  • Ability to meet proposed project schedule and budget.
  • Presentation, clarity, and completeness of the proposal.
  • Any other factors deemed relevant and appropriate in the selection process.

Submitting a Proposal

Interested parties should submit their proposals via email to Kristy Conrad at kc*****@pr********.org by EOD Friday, May 6, 2022. Consultants with an interest in submitting a proposal will review the contents of this RFP and the Reference Materials listed below. Additional questions are welcomed until Friday, April 22, 2022, and should be directed to kc*****@pr********.org or 206-426-2939. Any documents and information supplied should be considered proprietary materials and should not be made public.

All proposals should include:

  • A description of services/management approach and proposed process for completion of the preceding Scope of Work.
  • A brief overview of similar projects completed.
  • An overview of the proposed consultant project team, including resumes of key staff.
  • A cost proposal for completion of the Scope of Work as outlined above. This should include a budget of hourly rates and time estimates for all key staff, as well as costs for anticipated travel.
  • A specific point of contact for follow up.

Reference Materials

Requirement and Policies

  • All consultant-prepared assets and materials will become property of the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.
  • All financial, statistical, personnel, and/or technical data supplied by the Washington Trust to the consultant are confidential. The consultant will use reasonable care to protect the confidentiality of such data.
  • The Washington Trust has final editorial control over any assets and materials created.
  • The consultant will not issue news releases related to the services being provided under this contract without the prior written consent of the Washington Trust.
  • The consultant will not use the Washington Trust name, logos, images, or any data or results arising from this contract as a part of any commercial advertising without first obtaining written consent of the Washington Trust.
  • The selected consultant shall be responsible for the furnishing of all supplies and services required to accomplish all services required under the preceding Scope of Work.