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Working to create a world free of violence & abuse

Vera House Issues RFP for Strategic Planning Consultant


Vision: A world free of violence and abuse 

Mission: Prevents, responds and partners to end domestic, sexual violence and other forms of abuse 

Vera House is a victim service organization providing direct services to the City of Syracuse and Onondaga County communities for more than 40 years. Training, education and prevention services extend into the state of New York and the national landscape. As much strategic progress has been made over the last four years, the Board of Directors and Executive Leadership recognize that the next three years are pivotal for the organization, leadership, staff, its brand, voice and critical delivery of services. 

We are seeking a consultant to provide a customized strategic planning process and plan that includes leadership succession and will enable the organization to fully realize and implement the emergent changes given lifecycle and community needs over the next three years. We also recognize that the recent pandemics of COVID19 and racism have shaped the immediate future of victim/survivor need, funding and response. 

Vera House initiated a transformative process beginning in 2018 to build capacity for greater impact of those most vulnerable and challenged in receiving services in our community. With the centering and focus on victims and survivors of BIPOC, refugee, immigrant and New American communities, strategic partnerships have been created and cultivated. Internal capacity building has focused on the following strategic direction and priorities: 

Strategic DirectionPosition Vera House as an expert locally and nationally in the prevention of and response to domestic violence, sexual assault and other forms of abuse with a focused on underrepresented populations. 

Strategic Priorities:

  1. Voice of Vera: developing the communications, marketing and engagement through intentional relationships and promoted mission stories of our work
  2. Culture of Planning, Learning and Performance: plan and prepare for program opportunities related to the specific areas of sheltering services, intervention and support for those who cause harm
  3. Investment in Infrastructure for Growth and Renewal: develop and increase for fee services specifically focusing on curricula, consultation and training 
  4. Ally and Advocacy: Increase attention and action internally and externally in areas of policy and protocol for the most effective response to victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence

In our progress and work to prioritize, our pursuit to become anti-racist, and address the white supremacist foundations of our organization have become core to our planning and execution. We are determined to continually identify and dismantle the mental models, structures, values and protocols that are oppressive and harmful for our staff and those we serve. We do not identify with a traditional DEI (Diversity, Equity and inclusion) lens, but instead work to deconstruct the premises that have created various types of oppression and inequity for all people groups. 

Snap Shot

SummarySeeking a consultant to execute a strategic planning process that builds on the transformation process underway at Vera House 


  • Design and implement a strategic planning process that includes succession planning 
  • Engage Board of Directors, Foundation Trustees, Executive and Senior Leaders along with staff, volunteers, strategic partners and victim survivors, specifically the Survivors Network to determine priorities and needs 
  • Create a developmental, flexible and adaptable strategic plan that includes investment from all stakeholders 
  • Identify clear capacity building activities that moves the organization thru the regeneration into growth stage
  • Provide organizational leadership with recommendations to aid and guide strategic plan implementation and accountability

Timeline: Begin planning process in October 2021 with plan and recommendations presented no later than February 2022

Cost: < $20,000 

Key Considerations

  • Organizational restructure 
  • Organizational Co-Leadership Model 
  • Program data, evaluation and redesign 
  • Teaming
  • Trauma-informed values and services 
  • Healing and healthy relationship promotion 
  • 24-hour crisis support and safer living 
  • Anti-racism and oppression 

Please submit questions and proposals to Sarah Fitzgerald, Program Committee Chair, at no later than August 13, 2021.