Alena Klimas

  • published Equity RFP in News & Events 2020-09-21 10:00:56 -0400

    Equity Consultants - Request For Proposals

    Project: Network Equity Strategic Planning and Individual Organizational Audits

    Organization: Appalachia Funders Network |

    Contact: Lindsey Wilson, Network Coordinator | | 828-280-3333

    RFP Submission Deadline: Monday, October 15, 2020 (end of day) 

    Project Overview and General Scope of Work:

    The Appalachia Funders Network seeks to deepen its engagement in equity work to improve the lived experience of people of color and other marginalized people and communities across Central Appalachia. This work will require changing strategies of the Network, individual members, and the organizations they fund. To truly commit to this work, the Steering Committee acknowledges that members will have to run their own organizations differently, measure impact differently, and most importantly, fund differently. 

    Over the next 18-24 months, the Steering Committee of the Appalachia Funders Network seeks to commission an Equity consultant with deep experience in network and organizational equity assessments, policy frameworks, and familiarity with Central Appalachia. Specifically, we seek a consultant to partner with the Steering Committee and the Network Coordinator around two central components: 1) co-developing a two-year Network Equity learning and work plan, and 2) conduct individual organizational equity audits (for approx. 5-10 organizations) and provide recommendations for adoption and implementation of equity focused improvements.

    Goals and Activities

    • Partner with the Steering Committee and Network Coordinator to co-develop a two-year Network Equity learning and work plan. 
      • Build upon the learning plan previously established by the Equity Group of the Appalachia Funders Network.
      • Meet monthly with the Network Coordinator and Steering Committee leadership to discuss plan implementation and refine any working/learning, as needed.  
    • Provide equity audits, organizational recommendations, and equity improvement plans for an “Equity Working Cohort” of approximately 5-10 member organizations ready to advance equity in their organizations. 
      • At the end of this approximately 18-month engagement with the cohort, the desired outcomes for each organization are: improvement of internal policies/procedures; improved impact measurement; more equitable funding.
      • Phase 1: Conduct equity audit reviewing internal policies and practices as well as external programs, grantmaking, and impact measurement. This is envisioned as primarily a text-based audit, but may include surveys and/or limited virtual interviews with staff and/or Board.
      • Phase 2: Develop individual organizational reports that include equity improvement recommendations across policy, procedure, grantmaking, and more. 
      • Phase 3: Working with member organizations, develop a strategic plan for future equity improvement Implementation.
      • Phase 4: Implementation of recommendations (Done by member organizations with limited support from the consultant).
      • Simultaneous to each phase, the Network Coordinator will convene each organization            in the “Equity Working Cohort” for monthly meetings with the goal of holding each other accountable and engaging in deep peer learning. 
      • *Each organization will pay the consultant directly for these services. We envision this cost being $7,500-12,500 per organization.


    Context and Background: The Appalachia Funders Network works across the Central Appalachian region to accelerate an equitable Appalachian transition by convening and connecting funders for learning, analysis, and collaboration. We envision a healthy, equitable, and vibrant region that, through strong partnerships, civic engagement, and leadership, preserves our unique assets and provides prosperity for all. (See more about the Network at

    This work of the equity consultant will run parallel to other network-wide activities deepening the Network’s engagement around issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

    Budget: $7,500-12,500 per member organization of Equity Working Cohort. $5,000 Equity Work plan development. $750 monthly retainer for 12 months after work plan implementation.


    October 15 (end of day)

    Proposals Due

    November 2

    Selected consultant contacted

    November 2020

    Initial meeting with selected consultant to refine scope, creative vision, work plan, timeline, and deliverables

    December 2020 through February 2021

    Develop two-year Network Equity Plan

    March 2021-March 2022

    Ongoing support of Equity Plan implementation 

    January 2021

    Begin work with Equity Working Cohort

    January 2021-May 2021

    Phase 1 of Equity Working Cohort

    May 2021-August 2021

    Phase 2 of Equity Working Cohort

    September 2021-January 2022

    Phase 3 of Equity Working Cohort

    February 2022-May 2022

    Phase 4 of Equity Working Cohort

    *Please note that the timeline and schedule is up for discussion with selected consultant.

    Project Guidance: The main project contact and primary thought partner is Lindsey Wilson, Network Coordinator. Project overview and guidance is provided by the Steering Committee of the Appalachia Funders Network.

    To Apply: Please submit the following:

    • A cover letter stating your interest providing these services for the Appalachia Funders Network, including organizational and personnel qualifications, and a general description of your approach to the work
    • A description of the work to be carried out and how this work will be performed
    • Detailed budget itemizing the cost of the various components of the project


    Candidate Selection: The successful candidate will be the person/firm who demonstrates the expertise, experience, and capacity to perform the work effectively. 


    The Steering Committee may choose to conduct interviews with a limited number of potential consultants during late October.


     Submission: The deadline for proposals is no later than the end of day on October, 15. You may submit your proposals via email to

    Download and share the PDF of the Appalachia Funders Network Equity Consultant Proposal, here.

  • published Keeper of the Mountains in Stories of the Power of Art 2020-08-19 17:58:51 -0400

    Keeper of the Mountains | SolarFest

    In a 2012 Earthjustice video, Keeper of the Mountains co-founder Larry Gibson guides the camera crew across the lush, wooded property on Kayford Mountain in Kanawha County, West Virginia that his family has lived on since the 1700s. 

    As his tour proceeds through the woods and up the grassy mountain, it ends at what should be a breathtaking view of rolling green mountains as far as the eye can see. Instead, Gibson reaches the apex only to unveil one of the largest mountaintop removal coal mines in Appalachia – 7,500 sprawling acres of gravel and rock devoid of any plant life, trees, or beauty. After almost 30 years of constant destruction on the mountain he called home, the sight still moves him to tears.

    Read more

  • AFN Energy & Natural Resources Group Peer Sharing

    On June 25th, the Energy & Natural Resources Group hosted a Funder Learning Call with the Nature Conservancy (TNC). Campbell Moore, Director of Central Appalachians for TNC, led the learning call. The call focused on the recent investment of the carbon market by Amazon and other environmentally focused philanthropies and companies. For more information on the program, please follow up with Beth Wheatley (, TNC Director of External Affairs & Strategic Initiatives in West Virginia and Co-Chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Group.

    Read more

  • AFN Funder Response II: Food & Agricultural Innovations Webinar

    On June 3rd, AFN hosted a timely webinar to address the COVID-19 Pandemic and  evaluate the role of the Network amidst a call for racial justice and policing reforms across all 50 states in response to the death of George Floyd. The webinar was introduced by Michelle Foster and Lora Smith, Network Co-chairs. Carole Pickering, Program Officer with the Educational Foundation of America, and Gerry Roll, Executive Director of the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky presented on regional projects.

    Read more