Request for Proposals: Learning and Evaluation Framework Partner

Issue Date: January 29, 2024

Deadline: March 8, 2024

Proposed Budget: $50,000



Community Vision seeks a learning and evaluation partner to help us establish a framework for ongoing collection of quantitative and qualitative information on both the impact of our work for client organizations, and the impact of our clients’ work for the communities we ultimately serve. By deepening our understanding of programmatic outcomes, we hope that this framework will support continuous improvement of our own services, guide medium-term program decisions for greatest impact, and deliver value to the clients and communities that take part in evaluation processes. We are interested in guidance and best practices for participatory evaluation, with the primary objective of creating in-house capacity at Community Vision to conduct ongoing learning and evaluation activities. As a complementary objective, we are interested in developing an approach to when and how we would engage independent, third-party evaluators for deeper research into selected topics. 


Community Vision

Community Vision is a federally-certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), founded in 1987, serving low-income communities and communities of color across Northern and Central California. Our Theory of Change is grounded in the vital role of community ownership and control of land and real estate assets in mitigating the impact of systemic discrimination on LMI communities of color. Our strategic approach is to combine flexible financing, catalytic capital, and technical assistance to advance community ownership of community assets. We achieve this by delivering affordable capital to organizations and entities deeply rooted in the communities they serve to purchase, preserve and develop social purpose real estate that provides affordable and supportive housing; builds income and wealth for local communities; meets human needs; allows small business to thrive; and fosters cultural expression.Through these real estate projects, low-income and communities of color can achieve permanency, well-being, justice, power, and equity. Our three core strategies that promote economic opportunity are:

  1. Responsive Financing: Flexible lending to support community real estate projects and related needs for affordable housing, community facilities, and small businesses. We bring a collaborative underwriting approach, building partnerships with borrowers and ensuring that community-based projects that others might consider ‘risky’ can successfully access capital.
  2. Catalytic Capital: Early-stage “possibility capital” to launch equitable community development projects. We work with philanthropic, government, and private sector partners to assemble and deploy early-stage and gap financing that catalyze and stabilize community-based real estate projects.
  3. Advising and Support: Culturally centered real estate and financial advising to advance projects and mitigate risk. Through one-on-one advising, training and webinars, multi-year cohort programs, and early-stage and pre-development project management, we ensure clients/communities have the knowledge and tools they need to become successful real estate owners.


Scope of Work

Community Vision is committed to being a learning organization, one that seeks out and incorporates information to continuously improve our programs. We are seeking an experienced partner to help us develop a framework for regular collection of qualitative impact data at two levels: rapid feedback from clients on the impact of our services (loans, grants, or consulting) on their organizations, and medium-term feedback on the outcomes of community development projects we’ve supported. 

Through this consultancy we want to explore methods of data collection, from participant-led interviews to automated surveys; systems for the collection and analysis of data, including potential technology applications; and information products for sharing our learnings with CV staff, partner organizations, and the public. The ultimate leave-behind will be a system for data collection and analysis that can be implemented in an ongoing way by CV staff. As a compliment to this in-house learning and evaluation framework, we also seek guidance on where and how we can best make use of third-party research. 

In developing a learning and evaluation framework, we are committed to a non-extractive approach that creates value for our clients and aligns with our Theory of Change. We seek to learn from emerging best practices in participatory evaluation, including ideas such as co-developing survey questions with clients, and returning data and interviews to clients for their own use. 

Potential Activities

  • Review CV’s current and past approaches to impact data collection 
  • Review leading practices in participatory and non-extractive evaluation
  • Facilitate a process to surface and build consensus among CV staff and leadership on our learning and evaluation objectives
  • With CV project lead, co-develop survey or interview instruments for customer feedback and for project outcomes 
  • Advise on systems for data collection and analysis 
  • Develop learning objectives for independent research


  • Regular meetings with CV project lead (Director of Policy and Impact), CV Executive Team, and ad hoc staff bodies
  • Recommendation on, and design of, survey instruments
  • Learning and evaluation framework manual, including explanation of selected approaches, procedures for information collections and analysis, and definitions of terms and concepts. 
  • Training for CV staff on selected learning and evaluation concepts, approaches, and tools
  • Presentations on final approach to Community Vision staff and Board

Submission Requirements

All proposals must include:  

  • Consultant’s and/or firm’s proposed process and approach to co-developing a learning and evaluation framework, including how you plan to engage and collaborate with Community Vision staff and leadership in the design and implementation of your process
  • Proposed timeline for all key tasks/deliverables  
  • Estimated budget  
  • Consultant’s and/or firm’s background and experience. Please highlight any experience in participatory evaluation, and community development finance/ social impact finance.
  • Biographies for staff and any anticipated subcontractors  
  • Project Summaries for 2-3 similar evaluations you/your firm has conducted, especially participatory evaluation or evaluation of community development or social impact finance. Please feel free to include links to or attachments of sample work products.  
  • Contact information (phone number and/or email address) for 3 professional references, including past and/or current clients  
  • Other relevant supportive information may be included as attachments to your proposal 
  • Deadline and Instructions:  All proposals must be submitted to by March 8, 2024. Electronic submissions only with no more than 5-10 pages, plus attachments. 
  • For questions or additional information, please contact  

RFP Process Timeline:

  • RFP released January 29, 2024
  • The CV project lead is available for questions via email or 30 min Zoom calls. Please email
  • Proposals due by email to by March 8, 2024 at 5pm PT. Please submit your proposal as a PDF document.
  • Proposal review period: March 11-15, 2024
  • Interviews (by invitation only): March 18-29, 2024
  • Notification of acceptance: April 1, 2023

Community Vision is committed to racial justice and equity. We welcome and encourage proposals from people of color, women, LGBTQIA+ people, and members of other historically disenfranchised groups.