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Take the Building Blocks Self-Assessment

Are you interested in becoming an Equity Change Agent? Do you want to know how to systematically address issues of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion? Take our Building Blocks Self-Assessment to move your organization to be anti-racist, your strengths and goals. Our training team will use the results to customize a program that best aligns with your organizational needs!


Congratulations! You have taken the first step in your commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEI&J). Now what? Are you looking for a guide, consultant, teacher, or coach to help you and your organization down this path? How do you find the right person for your organization? What should you be looking for in your search? The DEI&J journey will take a different path for each organization. The first step requires everyone in your organization to commit to traveling together to an unknown destination. Organizations will enter the path at different points, some being father down the road than others. No matter how far along you are when beginning this journey, it is important to communicate your organization’s commitment to DEI&J. It is also important to let your whole organization know that they will not be walking this path alone. Confidently convey that your organization is committed to finding the best suited person to help successfully navigate your shared DEI&J journey.

How to find a consultant?

Take our Building Blocks Assessment Tool to determine where you are in the DEI&J building process and what your organization needs. What are your current goals? What are your pain points? What is the best way your organizational culture learns? The answers to these questions can tell you what kind of consultant you need. There are different types of consultants for different projects, and for different stages of your DEI&J initiative. Make sure to find the right consultant for your organization’s DEI&J needs.

Types of consultants

  • The Implementor/Executor – (3-6 month engagement) takes a plan you already have and puts it into place.
  • The Listener – (6-9 month engagement) works with your organization to gather feedback through focus groups, stakeholder interviews, and/or surveys. They then synthesize what your organization is saying and communicate it back to you.
  • The Assessor – (2-3 month engagement) comes during a time of crisis and will shake up your organizational culture. They sift through your organization to unearth areas for improvement and identify areas needing attention.
  • The Facilitator – (4-6 month engagement) addresses a specific and urgent problem by guiding your organization through conflict resolution.
  • The Architect – (6-12 month engagement) provides a bird’s eye view of your organization and helps develop a plan for your organization to implement the needed changes.
  • The General Contractor – (3-5 year engagement) is a mix of many of the above types and is deeply engaged with your organization over a long period of time. They function as one of your navigating forces, but may team up or bring in other consultants to address specific needs.

What type of equity work is the best fit for my organization and what is an appropriate timeline for what we need?

Once you complete the Building Blocks Assessment tool, know what some of your goals likely will be, and understand the type of consultant you will need, it is important to then have a preliminary idea of the type of work that a consultant will do and a realistic understanding of the amount of time it will take. The DEI&J Toolkit lays out a series of stages organizations go through in doing this work. Knowing where your organization starts on these stages allows you to have an idea of how long the next steps will take. For many organizations, a five-year timeline for deep organizational change is a reasonable timeframe.

  • Pre-Requisites of Equality (0 to 2 years) – getting the organization to the same starting line
    • Baseline education training
    • Cultural representation
  • 101 Diversity (2 to 3 years) – has some interventions in place and needs next steps
    • Intermediate education training
    • Assessment
  • 201 Inclusion (3 to 5 years) – ready to implement some interventions while growing
    • Facilitation
    • Personal growth
    • Policy changes
  • 301 Equity (5+ years) – has the beginnings of an equity strategic plan and looking for in-depth work
    • Advanced education training
    • Organizational change management
    • Comprehensive assessment and reassessment
    • Transforming culture
    • Accountability

How much money should I budget and for what?

For large organizations of 500+ employees, we recommend between 5% to 9% of your total administrative costs. Organizations can choose how to best allocate those funds through in-house investments like a Chief Diversity Officer and equity department staffing, or they can add consultants for different parts of the work. Below are sample costs based on the organizational goals desired and separated by organizational size/budget. Often the investments made in equity culture change will be recouped in savings in other areas like turnover costs, recruiting costs, etc. and increases in revenue like new contracts, referrals, better service delivery, etc.

Your Annual Organizational Goals <250 Employee Organizational Costs 250-500 Employee Organizational Costs 500+ Employee Organizational Costs
Baseline Educational Trainings $1,500-$2,500 per 3-hour training $2,500-$3,500 per 3-hour training $3,000-$5,000 per 3-hour training
Assessment $5,000-$8,000 per year $8,000-$15,000 per year $10,000-$20,000 per year
Facilitation $300-$1,000 per hour $300-$1,000 per hour $300-$1,000 per hour
Change Management $2,500-$5,000 per year $5,000-$10,000 per year $5,000-$10,000 per year
Transformational Trainings $10,000-$15,000 per year $15,000-$30,000 per year $15,000-$30,000 per year
Comprehensive Assessment $10,000-$15,000 per year $15,000-$20,000 per year $20,000-$30,000 per year
Long-term Consultancy $10,000-$20,000 per year $15,000-$25,000 per year $20,000-$30,000 per year
Recruitment/Branding Campaign $10,000-$15,000 per year $20,000-$30,000 per year $20,000-$30,000 per year
Affinity Group/Employee Resource Group Establishment $3,000-$5,000 per year $3,000-$5,000 per year $3,000-$5,000 per year
Events $7,000-$10,000 per event $7,000-$10,000 per event $7,000-$10,000 per event
Ad hoc Hourly Rate Consulting $300-$1,000 per hour $300-$1,000 per hour $300-$1,000 per hour
<250 Employee Organization 250-500 Employee Organization 500+ Employee Organization
Estimated Annual Totals $59,600 – $97,500 $91,000 – $150,500 $103,600 – $172,000

How to vet consultants?

After tying your organizational goals and culture with the type of consultant needed, what else are you looking for when you vet a consultant? Ultimately, you want the best fit for your organization – look for a consultant who has the skills and traits to help you reach your goals (i.e. innovation, organization, current approach to equity work, focus, communication, ability to navigate different levels of power, ability to generate buy in, capacity to challenge and mediate conflict, etc.). You may also want to assess a consultant based on years of experience, education, and references; however, these would be secondary to best fit. As DEI&J work is a newer field, a particular consultant may have fewer years of experience but be well suited for your organizational goals as their approach may pull from a more current framework. Make sure you choose a consultant that you confidently feel is representative of your organization.

With the above in mind, you could evaluate the potential consultants using the following:

  • Video(s) of prior trainings (often found on the consultant’s website)
  • Written statement on their theory of change (often found on the consultant’s website)
  • Work references and personal references
  • Participation of senior managers, middle managers, and line staff in material review and interviews

What other resources should I line up?

Once you have selected a consultant, you need to remember that they will not be able to implement the desired organizational change alone. You must leverage your internal and external resources to collaborate with them. There are several people in your organization occupying effective DEI&J positions who may just not yet be applying an equity lens to their work. The human resources department, finance department, training department, compliance department, clinical quality department, management team, funders, regulators, etc. all impact the change you are trying to make. Meet with these internal leaders and create a list of what each department will bring to the DEI&J initiative you are starting.

Learn more about our DEI Mission, Principles, Trainings and Anti-Racism work.

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