Call for Proposals: Consultancy for Grant-making manual modernisation

Deadline for application: 15 August 2021

Location: Virtual


Oak Foundation commits its resources to address issues of global, social and environmental concern, particularly those that have a major impact on the lives of the disadvantaged. Through our grant-making, we support others to make the world a safer, fairer, and more sustainable place to live. With offices in Europe, India, and North America, we make grants to organisations in approximately 40 countries worldwide.

Oak Foundation’s grant-making and operating manual was developed in 2013, bringing together guidelines and support materials (checklists, guidance, and templates) about the grant-making process. The intention was to provide a reference guide to Oak Foundation staff and to act as a repository for process-related information. As a result, the manual comprises a mix of guidance on specific steps within the grant-making process, written at different points in time, memos and emails from staff announcing newly agreed processes, and notes from the president or other cross-foundational functions providing context on certain aspects of grant-making (like core support or capacity building).

Oak is in the process of several grant-making improvement projects including developing a new grants management system, streamlining the grant-making process, and clarifying due diligence. As these projects are being developed, we would like to bring on a consultant who will help us envision and develop a harmonised and centralised resource that provides comprehensive instructions on how to make a grant. This resource should be simple, organised, easy to find information, and make good use of visuals to aid in understanding the process. Ideally, the consultant would also serve as a thought partner in developing the training of staff to launch the new resource.


Scope of work

Oak Foundation is seeking to engage a consultant with expertise in instructional design, user experience, and knowledge management to help us modernise our grant-making and operating manual. We consider this project to have five components:

  1. Review current documentation structure and process updates – review the current grant-making manual, recent changes to the process, and process changes currently under development to gain a comprehensive understanding of where the updated grant-making process is headed.
  2. Develop layout and design – propose and help implement an updated structure and design that will make the resource more intuitive to navigate and locate the information needed. Outline the possibilities including how to reorganise the SharePoint pages (our current intranet platform) or find other solutions that can be integrated or complement our intranet that enables staff to get the information they need in different, more interactive, ways. An example of this might be a FAQ section or online decision tree that enables staff to access the answers to their questions. Work with Oak Foundation’s communications team to ensure a design strategy that is harmonised with Oak’s branding and digital workplace plans.
  3. Harmonise text ­­– edit and update existing manual text and any new processes to create a harmonised and easy to understand description and instructions on how to make grants.
  4. Visual design – develop supporting visual aids – including an overall visual of the grant process as a cycle that links with the wider picture of programme strategy and, ultimately, foundation mission – and other templates, flowcharts, diagrams and other images that aid in the understanding of our grant-making process.
  5. Thought partner – serve as a thought partner with the Head of Grants Administration and Oak leadership to develop a training plan and roll-out of this resource, considering long-term plans for training and updates

The final product should be intuitive, accessible, and straightforward to manage and maintain. Our processes can change or develop several times a year, so we need to be able to add and edit the content easily.

The consultant will be working in the first instance with the Head of Grants Administration, although it will be important to engage more widely across the foundation as this work develops.



We are seeking a consultant with:

  • Prior experience of implementing knowledge management resources and / or policies and procedure resources
  • Detailed knowledge and experience of SharePoint design
  • Knowledge of technology resources that can support knowledge management and dissemination
  • Experience working in multi-stakeholder environments
  • References from clients they have supported previously on similar projects



Project kick-off is anticipated for September 2021.  Initial review should be completed by end of September 2021, with implementation completed by December 2021.


How to submit a proposal

Please email Paul Murphy, Head of Grants Administration and Treasury with:

  • A short proposal, including a budget
  • Work history and relevant references for similar projects
  • Short (1-2 page) writing sample

Deadline: 15th August 2021

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

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