Community Revitalization

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The Community Revitalization Fund (CR) is seeking an evaluator or an evaluation team to conduct a summative evaluation of a $23 million affordable housing fund.  GNOF’s Community Revitalization Fund was created and launched in partnership with national and local foundations in 2007 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to support New Orleans’ housing and community revitalization.  This RFP seeks an evaluator who can create and implement an evaluation design that goes beyond traditional evaluation and draws upon the power of narrative to understand the complexities of the Fund’s work and its impact on the lives of New Orleanians, the local community development sector, the Greater New Orleans Foundation, and the funder collaborative that supported the Fund.

Proposals for the evaluation must be submitted to Isabel Barrios, CR Fund Program Officer, in the form of one electronic copy emailed to Isabel@gnof.org and one hard copy mailed to: Greater New Orleans Foundation, 1055 St. Charles Avenue, Suite 100, New Orleans, LA 70130. Proposals are due Monday, March 9th, 2015.

The evaluator/evaluation team will:

  1. Include GNOF staff in the design of the evaluation.
  2. Create a participatory evaluation process that will seek input from GNOF, its funders, and its grantees in evaluation design and implementation.
  3. Collect and organize important data on the impact of the Fund.
  4. Develop a creative and engaging evaluation report with a strong narrative that incorporates data on results, as well as grantee, funder, and citizen voices to tell the story of the Fund’s impact.
  5. Employ photography, audio, and video recording to develop a video message that can be shared with funders, grantees, and the public.
  6. Elevate storytelling as a way to illustrate the impact of the Fund.

THE COMMUNITY REVITALIZATION FUND

The Greater New Orleans Foundation’s Community Revitalization Fund was created and launched in partnership with national and local foundations in 2007 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to support the housing and community revitalization needs of New Orleans.  A total of $23 million was raised for affordable housing and community development in New Orleans.  Grants from the Fund supported housing and community revitalization activities that sought to create—or were a component of—a working system that generated equitable housing and community development at scale.  The Fund objectives and strategies were as follows:

  • Strengthen the affordable housing sector within the City of New Orleans such that it is more professional, more productive, and better designed.  GNOF’s goal is that all facets of the affordable housing sector—public and private, rental and owner-occupied—have well-trained and experienced staff, as well as access to best practices and policies and rich professional resources.
    • The Fund supports promising and experienced local developers in attracting new staff and building the capacity of existing staff to engage in large-scale redevelopment work that is now required by this city.  The Fund is a) identifying a cadre of promising individuals, nonprofit organizations, quasi-governmental agencies, and city and state offices that are charged with redevelopment and support their work; b) underwriting working capital and technical assistance to key actors in the housing development community.
    • The Fund is working to increase public and private capital funding pools for housing initiatives, as well as establish or broker more cooperative relationships between lenders, developers, the City of New Orleans, and the State of Louisiana.
  • Fund housing production, either directly or indirectly.  GNOF’s goal is to have thousands of units of rehabilitated and newly-constructed homes made available to New Orleanians within the Katrina Diaspora and to others seeking to repopulate the city.  These units will be high-quality, ecologically safe and healthy, and affordable within mixed-income settings.
    • The Fund will create new or improve existing processes and systems in land disposition, land banking, nonprofit and for-profit affordable housing financing, new housing construction, housing rehabilitation, government permitting, and zoning.
    • The Fund will support methods or efforts aimed to increase housing production throughout the city and shorten the development cycle without sacrificing quality.
  • Promote the redevelopment of New Orleans according to equitable and Smart Growth principles.  GNOF’s goal is to make grants promoting development that creates mixed-use, mixed-income, and mixed-race neighborhoods, each anchored by community facilities, schools, health-care facilities, pedestrian-friendly streets, and dynamic public open spaces.
    • The Fund will encourage the adoption of the principles of the Unified New Orleans Plan (UNOP), a comprehensive plan for the city of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina and, if necessary, provide resources to ensure that UNOP has the force of law.
    • The Fund will support the successful integration of green building practices in neighborhood development.
    • The Fund will support efforts for New Orleanians who became “citizen planners” during post-Katrina planning processes to ascend into leadership roles and become effective stewards of the implementation process.
  • Increase GNOF’s capacity as a leader for rebuilding efforts.  GNOF’s goal is to use the diverse experiences and supportive professional networks of the fund’s participants to build its grantmaking practices in a discreet, peer-to-peer setting.
    • There will be a fund for community revitalization projects where none previously existed.
    • GNOF will hire personnel with relevant expertise in order to manage the organization overall and the community revitalization program specifically.
    • Funders, community development practitioners, and government will demonstrate increased commitment to the improvement of New Orleans’ housing production system.

Funder group members: The CR Fund has a total of 22 funders—local and national—-including: The Ford Foundation, Kellogg Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Gates Foundation, Hilton Foundation, Taylor Foundation, and Entergy Foundation.

Grantees:

The CR Fund made grants to over 50 organizations such as universities, neighborhood-based community development corporations, large-scale developers, and recovery organizations.  (See appendix for full listing.)

EVALUATION QUESTIONS

GNOF is seeking an evaluator or evaluation team to address the following questions:

  1. How and to what extent did the work of the CR Fund help New Orleans families return to a rehabbed or new home?
  2. How and to what extend did the CR Fund increase GNOF’s capacity as a leader in community development?
  3. How and to what extent did the CR Fund strengthen the affordable housing sector in New Orleans?
  4.  How well did a funder collaborative serve as an effective strategy for funding post-disaster rebuilding and development?

The final set of questions will be determined collaboratively with the evaluator.

EVALUATION GUIDELINES

The major areas of this evaluation are:

  1. Quantitative and qualitative outcomes in affordable housing rehabilitation and development.
  2. Qualitative outcomes for residents served by our grantees.
  3. Quantitative and qualitative outcomes in the strengthening of the affordable housing sector.
  4. Quantitative and qualitative outcomes in the increased capacity of the Greater New Orleans Foundation to lead in the rebuilding of New Orleans.

 PRELIMINARY EVALUATION DESIGN should include:

  • Brief statement of the purpose of the evaluation
  • A demonstrated understanding of the goals and objectives of the Community Revitalization Fund
  • The evaluator’s approach to working with GNOF, its grantees, the people it serves, and CR Fund funders

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE EVALUATION

The evaluator will:

  • Meet with GNOF staff, grantees, and funders to determine relevant evaluation questions and select a final set of areas of inquiry with their input;
  • Propose appropriate data collection methodologies;
  • Analyze qualitative and quantitative data;
  • Prepare an evaluation report and present to GNOF for approval; and
  • Coordinate with GNOF and a videographer/photographer to develop an audiovisual component of the report.

QUALIFICATIONS

Your proposal should describe the relevant capabilities of the firm—including short descriptions of similar projects—and describe who will be working on the evaluation and their prior experience, team roles, and responsibilities.  The successful proposal will demonstrate:

  1. Extensive expertise and experience in evaluation, research, and knowledge-building particularly related to work undertaken by non-profit, philanthropic, and community-based programs or organizations.
  2. Knowledge of the fields of community development, philanthropy, and affordable housing is preferred.
  3. Strong analytical skills and an ability to articulate a range of findings (performance measures, progress reports, community impact, practical and constructive feedback, etc) in a useful manner to all key stakeholder groups.
  4. Experience in developing participatory, story-centered evaluations with multi-media approaches.

Preference will be given to qualified applicants located in the Gulf Coast Region or qualified applicants who can partner with a qualified local entity.

PROPOSED BUDGET

Describe the resources necessary to implement the evaluation that you propose.  Your budget should provide as much detail as possible on salaries and fringe, full- and part-time effort projected for the evaluator and/or team, direct costs such as travel and supplies, and indirect costs.

PROPOSALS MUST

  • Contain a cover sheet
  • Be signed by a person authorized to contract for the selected and proof of authorization for the signature should be included
  • Describe the relevant capabilities of the evaluator/evaluation team, and videography / photography partners
  • Include three references of clients for whom the firm has conducted related projects with contact information and short descriptions of the relevant projects.
  • A budget
  • Be limited to 15 double-spaced, typed pages with all margins set at one inch.

SELECTION PROCESS

GNOF staff will select a proposal based on the following:

  • Proposed design and implementation of the evaluation
  • Professional experience and reputation in evaluating the effectiveness of community development efforts
  • Knowledge of issues in the field of community development, philanthropic collaborative, and disaster recovery
  • Creativity in the format proposed for the final report
  • Budget

 ATTACHMENTS

  • List of Community Revitalization Funders
  • List of Fund grants already awarded
  • Interim CR evaluation

Deadline: Monday, March 9, 2015

Please mail a copy to:

Isabel Barrios, CR Fund Program Officer
The Greater New Orleans Foundation
1055 St. Charles Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70130

Please email a copy to Isabel@gnof.org.

Download the CR Fund RFP.

Previous Grantees

Year Grantee Purpose Amount
2014St. Bernard ProjectTo support the pre-disaster recovery lab.$30,000
2014Project HomecomingTo support the Generations of Hope Community.$5,000
2013Center for Community ProgressTo support the New Orleans Vacant Properties Initiative.$125,000.00
2013Make It Right FoundationTo study the impact of green construction.$50,000.00
2013Nonprofit Finance Fund$46,249.98
2013Broadmoor Development CorporationTo support housing renovation and development.$100,000.00
2013Louisiana Housing AllianceTo support attendance at the annual conference.$1,000.00
2009Bayou District FoundationTo purchase individual lots and vacant homes in the area surrounding the St. Bernard development site.$500,000
2011St. Paul’s Episcopal ChurchTo support the Homecoming Center.$220,000
2012St. Paul’s Episcopal ChurchTo sponsor the attendance of families that have been served by the Homecoming Center to the Secret Millionaire event.$1,000
2011Southeast Louisiana Legal ServicesTo support the New Orleans Title Clearing and Reform Initiative, a joint project of SLLS, Pro Bono Project, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and Appleseed.$592,978
2011SEE The MovementSolar opportunities for people everywhere IV Project.$375,000
2010Project Home AgainTo support construction management and land acquisition to build 75 energy efficient homes in Gentilly$400,000
2009Preservation Resource CenterTo support Advocacy, Education, Outreach, and Comeback programs.$450,000
2011Preservation Resource CenterPRC's Education & Outreach, Advocacy, Operation Comeback, and Rebuilding Together programs.$350,000
2011Pontchartrain Park Community Development CorporationTo support hiring of staff.$250,000
2010Nonprofit Knowledge WorksTo support the creation of the revised New Orleans Index.$25,000
2009Nonprofit Knowledge WorksTo support the creation of a common base of reliable data around housing and recovery.$368,326
2009Newcorp Inc.To support the Qatar Treme / Lafitte Renewal Project.$100,000
2009New Orleans Neighborhood Development FoundationTo increase staffing for NDF programs.$160,000
2009New Orleans Neighborhood Development CollaborativeTo catalyze housing production in the C.J. Peete re-development and surrounding central city neighborhood.$1,000,000
2009Louisiana Housing AllianceTo support the coordination of efforts to retain resources for affordable rental housing.$37,500
2009Louisiana Disaster Recovery FoundationTo support the City of New Orleans Office of Recovery and Development Administration.$25,000
2009Local Initiatives Support CorporationTo perform organization diagnostic for five New Orleans CDCs.$60,000
2010Jericho Road Episcopal Housing InitiativeTo support the housing, vacant land management, and brownfield remediation programs.$425,000
2009Gulf Coast Housing Partnership, Inc.To build Gulf Coast Housing Partnership's organizational capacity and project development portfolio.$250,000
2009Greater New Orleans Nonprofit Knowledge WorksTo support the 2009 New Orleans Index.$60,000
2010Global Green USA New Orleans Resource CenterTo support the continued growth of Global Green's Build it Back Green program.$275,000
2010Enterprise Corporation of the DeltaTo support the Mid-South Equity Fund. $100,000
2011Enterprise Community PartnersTo support the expansion of Enterprise's work with local government, nonprofit, and for-profit developers to produce quality, healthy, affordable housing.$500,000
2010Efforts of GraceTo support the purchase of the Venus Gardens condominiums on OC Haley Boulevard.$200,000
2012Dr. Murphy W. McCaleb Educational FundTo support the construction of a 43-unit Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) development in Central City.$200,000
2010Committee for a Better New Orleans / Metropolitan Area CommitteeTo support Citizen Participation plan.$44,000
2009Central City Renaissance AllianceTo support housing needs in Central City.$42,000
2009Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New OrleansTo support Operation Helping Hands.$450,000
2013Broadmoor Development CorporationTo support general operations.$50,000
2010Beacon of Hope ResourceTo expand services and programs in Orleans Parish neighborhoods.$82,000
2012Artspace ProjectsTo support Phase 1 of the redevelopment of the Andrew J. Bell School Campus in the Treme neighborhood - affordable live/work space for low income artists and their families.$150,000
2009Neighborhood Housing ServiceTo support NHS Nola's post-Katrina growth.$200,000
2010National Community Land Trust NetworkTo provide assistance to nonprofit and government entities interested in developing community land trusts in New Orleans.$32,500
2010National Community Land Trust NetworkTo support land trust work in New Orleans.$6,500
2009Milano The New School of Management and Urban PolicyTo support the Community Development Finance Curriculum at UNO.$165,493