The last strategic planning process that Skills for Change (SfC) engaged in was in 2016. While that process was successful, the assumptions that process was based on are now out of date and the realities of our scope of work have changed drastically. SfC operates within a crowded industry of organizations dedicated to serving immigrants and refugees. However, few have SfC’s 40 years of experience, network of employers, wrap-around services, industry partnerships, or our unique facility that caters to numerous in-person program needs.
To ensure meaningful support for immigrants and refugees, we have also invested significant resources into service delivery expansions that include digital literacy, equity and Anti-Racism initiatives, mental health, among others. Before the pandemic, SfC had an established infrastructure focused on in-person program delivery. We then had to pivot and offer as many virtual programs as possible and now, we are preparing for a hybrid model. Looking ahead, with our expanded catalogue of programs and services and as our society begins to prepare for post-COVID life, SfC is in immediate need of an updated review of industry gaps and priorities.
This proposed project will focus on equipping SfC’s Board of Directors, Senior Executives, Program Directors, and subsequently the entire staff with an informed, nuanced, strategic, and coordinated set of goals and objectives. COVID has reshaped our society and has highlighted and/or exacerbated challenges faced by immigrants, refugees, and members of other disenfranchised populations – the more SfC knows and understands about these new realities, the more targeted, impactful, and sustainable our programs will be.
Therefore, we are proposing for a review of internal programs as well as an external environmental scan conducted by a nonprofit-focused consultant. This consultant will gather, organize, and present important information about SfC and our industry and lead SfC through an updated strategic planning process.
About Skills for Change
For 40 years, Skills for Change (SfC) has played a significant role in supporting immigrant and refugee communities. As one of the leading service providers for newcomers and internationally trained professionals in Canada. SfC offers 25+ programs and services and annually serve 16,000+ newcomers, immigrants, refugees, racialized and vulnerable groups in services around employment, settlement, entrepreneurship, and more. Over the years, SfC has expanded its services to include a specialized mental health program as well as dedicated programs for women, youth, and seniors. SfC builds
and maintains partnerships for and with our clients and employers, thereby making a positive contribution to the Canadian economy and broader society. We engage all stakeholders to produce meaningful results, and all staff play a critical role in serving as catalysts for the success of our clients. SfC believes that every person has the right to learn, work, and live in a society that treats individuals with respect and dignity. We also believe that we must take an active role in eliminating discrimination by supporting every person’s right to learn and work and by advocating for systemic and social change.
SfC’s expectation is for the selected consultant to take a leading role in driving this all-important post-COVID Strategic Planning process. An objective perspective that can conduct a thorough review of SfC’s programs, processes, and policies and place them into context within our current Strategic Plan as well as our new Strategic Plan is crucial. Members of SfC’s seasoned and knowledgeable ranks of senior leaders are intending on taking more of a ‘back seat’ role to this process to allow for more of the objectivity from the external consultant to show through in the final product.
Thus, the specific requirements are as follows:
- Meet with SfC senior leadership and conduct introductory discussions
- Conduct internal program review and external sector analysis to identify SfC’s place within the industry highlighting its strengths and opportunities for growth
- Lead SfC Board of Directors through a consultation on Strategic initiatives and priorities
- Prepare a draft Strategic Plan and present to senior leadership and Board of Directors
- Lay groundwork for implementation by offering operational insights to senior leadership
Preferred Vendor Response
If interested in being considered for this project, please send an email with any follow up questions you may have or with a full quote + proposal for the project to Josh Budish, Manager, Program Design and Partnership Development at JBudish@skillsforchange.org.
SfC’s ability to engage in this important process is funded by an Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) Grant and so the selection criteria will include:
- Demonstrated ability to fulfill all of the project requirements
- Demonstrated knowledge of Skills for Change and/or the social services sector as a whole (specific experience with immigrants, refugees, newcomers, or other marginalized groups considered a plus)
- Fit within the approved budget for this project, which is laid out in our contract with OTF
- Ability to deliver within expected project timelines
SfC’s fiscal year ends on March 31 and begins on April 1. It is our intention to begin this process in June 2022 and have a draft Strategic Plan to present to the Board of Directors in March 2023.
Deadline to Apply – June 15, 2022
Funding provided by the Ontario Trillium Foundation