Invitation to Tender: New Connections Network facilitator

We are looking to work with a facilitator to support our New Connections Network, which will enable peer support and learning for funded organisations, as well as help shape Esmée's future processes and funding practice.

New Connections is a ringfenced fund of £1.5m to find and support organisations that could not, or would not, usually apply to Esmée. We will make around 20 grants of £60k for up to two years to organisations working across our strategy that are led by communities experiencing racial inequity, but do not meet our usual turnover or governance criteria.

New Connections Network

As part of the programme, we want to set up a Network for funded organisations, which will run from May 2024 to December 2025, and will have two elements:

  1. A programme of peer support and learning, and additional capacity building, co-designed by organisations funded through New Connections;
  2. Giving guidance, challenge, and advice to the Esmée Fairbairn team, in order to shape our future funding practice.

The Network Facilitator will:

  • Connect, communicate with, and convene the funded organisations;
  • Be a critical friend to Esmée, asking questions and making sure we are being both realistic and ambitious about what we can change;
  • Enable learning - facilitate, make connections and enable shared learning and peer support amongst organisations we fund;
  • Create a space of safety and hold space for diverse views – ensure that Network members feel safe to express their views, supported to participate, and able to contribute in the way that suits their needs;
  • Add value – use their expertise, and draw together the expertise of the funded organisations, to advise Esmée on its processes and funding practice.

The contract will be for two years, beginning in May 2024. The total budget for the contract is £50,000 including VAT and travel.

Esmée will arrange and provide any meeting rooms for learning events, and pay for catering and travel expenses for participants. We will provide administrative support in organising events, but all event materials and outputs will be the responsibility of the Facilitator.

What we're looking for in a consultant

  • Experience of facilitating and convening organisations to work together in a creative and inclusive way - with the aim of sharing learning;
  • Knowledgeable about racial justice and understands the challenges for organisations working for racial justice in the UK;
  • Awareness of the challenges of working in the Racial Justice space;
  • Experience of leading, supporting or working in a ‘start up’ or new organisation would be an advantage;
  • A commitment to equity in their work – this might be through anti-oppressive practice, participatory methods, or working in a community-led way;
  • Ability to maintain an online learning community (using online tools, social media or email);
  • Evidence of a clear communication style; and
  • A good working relationship with high levels of trust and honesty.

Sending in your proposal

If you are interested in tendering for this project, please:

The closing date for proposals is 17 March 2024. If you have questions about this brief, please send us an email.

Learn more


You might be interested in

  • LocalMotion-Community members meet in Carmarthen, Wales, for a Learning Summit2

    LocalMotion secures £18m funding until 2031

    LocalMotion's original funders, including Esmée, are continuing their involvement in the social justice network, ensuring six places in England and Wales can realise their long-term plans for change.

    Read more
  • Northern Roots-Group of young people all pulling on a rope together in game

    Making partnerships work

    Read our new Insights report, which shares learning and advice from organisations we fund on what makes good partnerships, and how to make them work.

    Read more
  • Regents Canal near Angel

    What do people think about Esmée Fairbairn Foundation 2024

    Read the findings of a 2024 survey of successful and unsuccessful applicants about their experience of Esmée. Gina Crane, Esmée's Director of Communications and Learning shares her reflections on the findings.

    Read more