RFP for The Development and Implementation of Communication Strategies

Proposal Deadline: December 15, 2015

Overview

The National Fish & Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) invites communication and/or marketing firms or other professionals to submit proposals to provide media relations and communications support for the Northeast Regional Office and Southern Regional Office and the programs within these regions.

Background

NFWF manages a variety of grant programs along the East coast of the United States.  Over time, the funding levels, projects, scope, reach and audience of these programs have grown significantly.  The need for effective communications, media, and marketing strategies has grown as well, and we are seeking to learn how professional communications consultants, companies, and individuals may be able to assist NFWF in fulfilling its mission.

Key Audiences

  • Active funders: Federal and corporate

  • Potential funders: Federal, private foundations and corporate

  • Potential conservation partners (e.g., state agencies, non-funding Feds)

  • State and local governments and private citizens

  • Grant program applicants

Scope of Work

The selected party will perform the following activities for programs under NFWF’s Northeastern Regional Office and Southern Regional Office. Programs currently under these Regions include the Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Program, Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund, Delaware River Restoration Fund, Long Island Sound Futures Fund, Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund, New England Forests and Rivers Fund, Longleaf Stewardship Fund, Forestland Stewards Initiative, and a developing program for the North Central Appalachian Region.

1) Media Outreach

  • Develop press releases for grant awards, forums, grant completions, success stories, and other issues
  • Assist with PR for events such as annual grantee roundtables, “big check” and ribbon cutting events, and community forums.
  • Manage national and regional media outreach and follow-up to secure placement of stories with appropriate media outlets
  • Increase media interest in and coverage of program events and activities
  • Coordinate and execute press conferences and media tours
  • Assist grantees in conducting media outreach about their grants and outcomes of completed projects (e.g. local media lists, local press releases, letters to the editor, media kits, pitching)
  • Provide timely and comprehensive reporting on media outreach outcomes.

2) Develop Communications Content

  • General guidance on message strategies
  • Turn computerized reports into miniature “case studies” for placement with print and/or broadcast local and hyper-local media outlets
  • Develop project highlight pieces, grantee interviews, video spots
  • Assistance with Annual Reports and other external communication

3) Develop placement strategies for communications materials

  • Promote placement on external program and partner websites, blogs etc.
  • Manage potential media tours
  • Assist in one-on-one meetings with stakeholders

The period of performance will be one year from the date of the award to the selected Contractor with an option to extend for an additional one-year, to be exercised at NFWF’s discretion. Such extension, if exercised by NFWF, shall be subject to a five (5) percent increase from the original award amount. This list outlines the general scope of work to be addressed under this RFP; however, it is subject to change in response to additional similar task orders as needed from NFWF, funders, and other program partners.

CRITERIA FOR COMPETITIVE APPLICATIONS

The evaluation criteria listed below will be used to evaluate proposals for the purpose of ranking them based on how fully each proposal meets the requirements of this RFP. The contract award recommendation of the review panel will be determined based on the Offeror with the highest scoring submitted proposal.

1) Understanding of the Scope of Work: The proposal must demonstrate a thorough understanding of developing and implementing communications strategies for both programs and grants. (20%)

2) Technical Approach: The proposed technical approach for fulfilling the scope of work must demonstrate familiarity and proficiency in media relations and communications support. (20%)

3) Qualifications of Proposed Personnel: The proposal should describe relevant professional experience in the following areas: (a) fostering regional and national media relations; (b) developing and distributing message content; (c) communicating with staff and grantees that may and/or may not be familiar with the world of public relations. (20%)

4) Contractor’s Past Performance: The proposal should include information on past performance related to the technical expertise you will be offering. (20%)

5) Cost Proposal: The cost proposal budget should be cost effective and should maximize the value for monies requested in the Offeror’s budget. Please break various tasks into separate line items. Proposal costs should be the minimum necessary to adequately achieve the stated scope of work. Profit/profit margin must be separately itemized in the budget. Offerors must use the attached budget template. (20%)

ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS

Eligible applicants are nonprofit organizations, for-profit businesses and individual consultants.

SELECTION PROCEDURE

A panel of NFWF staff will review full proposals submitted in response to the RFP. The panel will assess each proposal according to the project description and evaluation criteria provided in this RFP.  Applicants may be asked to modify objectives, work plans, or budgets prior to final approval of the award.  One contractor will be selected to meet the scope of work. Specific funding amounts will be negotiated with the Foundation and additional funding will be considered annually based upon the expressed needs of the programs. If multiple institutions are involved, they should be handled through sub-awards and sub-contracts. 

SUBMISSION Requirements

Proposals must be submitted under the same cover at the same time, in three distinct and separate documents:  1) Technical Proposal, 2) Cost Proposal, and 3) Evidence of Financial Stability.  Interested parties should submit proposals electronically to NFWF (Candace Leong, Candace.Leong@nfwf.org) as Word documents or PDF attachments following the requirements below:

1) Technical Proposal:

  • Contact Information: Primary contact person, company name, address, phone, email, website, and Federal ID#.
  • Narrative: Concise (5-page limit) description of the work plan and a summary of the organization’s expertise and experience. List recent (last 2-5 years) accomplishments, events and previous services related to the technical expertise you will be offering.
  • Biographies: Resumes and/or vitae of key staff and their role in your proposed work area.
  • References: List of three clients who have received services from your organization that is similar in nature to the proposed work; include names, postal and email addresses, and telephone numbers.

2) Cost Proposal: The Cost Proposal includes the proposal budget and budget justification. The cost proposal must be submitted using the attached budget template.

3) Evidence of Financial Stability: The Offeror shall provide with the RFP response, proof of financial stability in the form of financial statements, credit ratings, a line of credit, or other financial arrangements sufficient to demonstrate the Offeror’s capability to meet the requirements of this RFP.

 

Applicants should submit questions regarding this RFP via e-mail to Candace Leong (Candace.Leong@nfwf.org).

SPECIAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS

1. Conflicts of Interest

Offerors must notify NFWF in writing of any apparent or actual conflicts of interest, including organizational conflicts of interest, that are known at the time of this proposal or that may arise during the life of this award, in the event an award is made.  Conflicts of interest include any relationship or matter which might place the Contractor, the Contractor’s employees, or the Contractor’s subcontractors in a position of conflict, real or apparent, between their responsibilities under the award and any other outside interests, or otherwise.  Conflicts of interest may also include, but are not limited to, direct or indirect financial interests, close personal relationships, positions of trust in outside organizations, consideration of future employment arrangements with a different organization, or decision-making affecting the award that would cause a reasonable person with knowledge of the relevant facts to question the impartiality of the Offeror, the offeror’s employees, or the offeror’s future subcontractors in the matter.  Upon receipt of such a notice, the NFWF Contracting Officer will determine if a conflict of interest exists and, if so, if there are any possible actions to be taken by the Offeror to reduce or resolve the conflict.  Failure to resolve conflicts of interest in a manner that satisfies NFWF may result in the proposal not being selected for award.  Any such notice shall be included with the Evidence of Financial Stability submission.  

2. Additional Responsibility Matters

By submitting a Proposal in response to this solicitation, the Offeror warrants and represents that it is eligible for award of a Contract resulting from this solicitation and that it is not subject to any of the below circumstances:

  • Has any unpaid Federal tax liability that has been assessed, for which all judicial and administrative remedies have been exhausted or have lapsed, and that is not being paid in a timely manner pursuant to an Contract with the authority responsible for collecting the tax liability, where the awarding agency is aware of the unpaid tax liability, unless the agency has considered suspension or debarment of the corporation and made a determination that this further action is not necessary to protect the interests of the Government; or
  • Was convicted (or had an officer or agent of such corporation acting on behalf of the corporation convicted) of a felony criminal violation under any Federal or State law within the preceding 24 months, where the awarding agency is aware of the conviction, unless the agency has considered suspension or debarment of the corporation and made a determination that this further action is not necessary to protect the interests of the Government; or
  • Is listed on the General Services Administration’s, government-wide System for Award Management Exclusions (SAM Exclusions), in accordance with the OMB guidelines at 2 C.F.R Part 180 that implement E.O.s 12549 (3 C.F.R., 1986 Comp., p. 189) and 12689 (3 C.F.R., 1989 Comp., p. 235), “Debarment and Suspension,” or intends to enter into any subaward, contract or other Contract using funds provided by NFWF with any party listed on the SAM Exclusions in accordance with Executive Orders 12549 and 12689. The SAM Exclusions can be found at https://www.sam.gov/portal/public/SAM/. 

Requesting Organization: National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), 1133 15th Street NW, Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20005

Contact: Candace Leong, 202-595-2413; Candace.Leong@nfwf.org