Issued July 11, 2022
Proposals due 5pm EST July 22, 2022

Summary: WOAR Philadelphia Center Against Sexual Violence (“WOAR”) is issuing this Request for Proposal for the services of an Executive Search Consultant (“ESC”) or Executive Search Firm (“ESF”) to assist in the recruitment of an Executive Director (“ED”). The ESC/ESF shall assist the WOAR Executive Search Committee in attracting, interviewing, and hiring an ED.  Services include finalizing the position description, developing a recruitment plan, enacting the ED hiring process, conducting a nationwide search, vetting and presenting qualified candidates, assisting with final selection criteria, and providing guidance for the offer. The ESC/ESF will coordinate its efforts with the WOAR Executive Search Committee.

Background: WOAR was founded in 1971 and incorporated in 1973.  As the only rape crisis center in the City of Philadelphia, WOAR has transformed lives and communities by striving to eliminate all forms of sexual violence through specialized treatment services, counseling, comprehensive prevention education programs, and advocacy for the rights of victims of sexual harassment, assault and abuse.  The Board of Directors is currently seeking an ED with exceptional leadership and strategic vision. The ED is charged with executing WOAR’s strategic plan and has the overall responsibility to manage the 501(c)(3) organization, including building lasting relationships with key stakeholders, enacting a multi-faceted fundraising plan, and ensuring exceptional programming to serve all communities across the City of Philadelphia. The ED is WOAR’s public face and is responsible for fostering external relationships with donors, funders, governmental and community partners, and elected officials. WOAR serves approximately 12,490 individuals each year and has an annual budget of approximately $2.7 million. The ED reports to WOAR’s Board of Directors. The current Acting EDs have been serving at the organization for a combined 26 years and have been in the Acting ED role for 13 months. WOAR’s headquarters is located at 1617 JFK Boulevard, Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19103 and all staff are based at this location.

WOAR is in a growth stage organizationally. It is currently in the process of aligning WOAR’s vision, mission and values and defining SMART objectives to support the strategic plan.  The current strategic plan expires in May 2023.  WOAR is rooted deeply in its core values and spirit of innovation.  To continue to build on existing growth, the Executive Search Committee seeks an individual who is able to think critically and plan strategically; to build community with a diverse set of stakeholders; balance multiple competing priorities; whose cognitive processing abilities are resilient and adaptable to continual change; whose leadership style can nurture and sustain a climate of inclusivity, accountability and a culture of engagement; and who demonstrates sound judgment about which opportunities to pursue in alignment with the organization’s vision, mission, and strategic plan.

The WOAR Executive Search Committee seeks to identify a new ED over the coming months with a projected deadline of November 18, 2022.

Services Requested:

  • In collaboration with the WOAR Executive Search Committee, finalize a job description suitable for a nationwide search that is consistent with WOAR’s Succession Plan and Hiring Process (documents available upon request) as well as the future needs of the organization.
  • Coordinate with the WOAR Search Committee chair throughout the process.
  • Conduct a nationwide search to identify a diverse pool of highly qualified individuals to serve as the WOAR ED.
  • In coordination with the WOAR Executive Search Committee, develop candidate evaluation criteria.
  • Vet qualified candidates to identify those both willing and most worthy of consideration; refer those candidates to the Executive Search Committee.
  • Inform each candidate in final selection that their names will be shared with the WOAR Board of Directors.
  • Assist in developing an offer for the most qualified candidate, to include benefits and terms of employment. The executive offer will be evaluated by the WOAR Executive Search Committee as part of the final selection process.

RFP Selection Process Timeline:

Proposals are due July 22, 2022 at 5pm EST.  Start of work should begin within 7 days after the ESC/ESF is selected. The WOAR Executive Search Committee seeks to successfully conclude the entire search process within (3) months from execution of the contract (or by November 18, 2022).

RFP Submission Requirements

Proposals should be no more than 15 pages, not including references, and cover the following:

  1. Organization Description: Brief history and summary of your firm and expertise, highlighting experience with non-profit organizations and executive roles.
  2. Recruitment Approach: Describe the process to be used to find a successful candidate for the WOAR ED role, including team members. Detail how you will accomplish the above scope of work (how you build your candidate pool), including a clear delineation of the firm’s responsibilities and the expectations of WOAR. Include any networks to be used on behalf of this search.
  3. Deliverables: Delineate how success will be measured 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 and pricing structure.
  6. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Share experience, networks, and metrics recruiting diverse leaders.
  7. References: Provide two references from a similar search. Include:
  8. An example of 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.
  9. A recent (within the past 12 months) Executive Director placement of an individual with a BIPOC background. Please provide contact information for the Executive Director as well as the board or staff contact with whom the firm worked most closely.
  10. Any potential conflicts of interest

Proposals must be sent electronically in a single PDF file to Joanne Strauss, Board President at; Subject Line: WOAR Executive Search RFP. By submitting a proposal, the firm authorizes WOAR 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 WOAR’s mission, values, programs and strategic objectives
  • Demonstrated experience with similar-sized nonprofit organizations and diversity leadership placement
  • Completeness and quality of response, including clear deliverables and reasonable approach
  • Proposed cost and timeline
  • References

While the order of these factors does not generally denote relative importance, WOAR acknowledges that selecting best value providers primarily requires a balanced combination of (1) reasonable rates, (2) strong experience and demonstrated expertise in providing Executive Search Services, and (3) a demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion through ownership or existing collaborative relationships.

Disclaimer: This RFP does not commit WOAR to select any firm, award any work order, pay any costs incurred in preparing a response, or procure or contract for any services or supplies. WOAR reserves the right to accept or reject any or all submittals received, cancel or modify the RFP in part or in its entirety, or change the RFP guidelines, when it is in the best interests of WOAR to do so.