Request for Quotations: Contract to Provide Technical Liaison Support in the National Coastal Resilience Fund
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) invests in restoration of natural systems that enhance habitats for fish and wildlife while helping to protect coastal communities so they may recover more quickly from the impacts of storms, floods, and other natural hazards. Through the National Coastal Resilience Fund (NCRF) and related program work, NFWF seeks to benefit U.S. coastal communities including the Great Lakes and U.S. territories. The NCRF invests in planning, design, and implementation of projects to restore contiguous areas of natural habitat such as coastal marshes and wetlands, coastal forests, rivers, and streams, dune and beach systems, oyster and coral reefs - maintained at a significant size for the habitat type - to provide communities with enhanced protection and buffering from the impacts of sea-level rise, changing flood patterns, increased frequency and intensity of storms, and other environmental stressors. NFWF is also interested in identifying projects that seek to re-shape our thinking on how to protect communities in light of projected environmental stressors, and use innovative approaches to address these challenges. NFWF seeks to advance projects that include adaptation to projected future environmental conditions, so that individual projects are resilient into the future.
NFWF seeks two qualified individual Contractors to provide field support to applicants and grantees engaged in advancing the use of nature-based features to improve coastal resilience and associated NFWF grant programs. This support will help to advance the goals of the NCRF and increase the number and size of qualified applicants to the program. The contractor will provide support for one-year (with the option to renew for an additional year) and report to Kaity Goldsmith, Manager of NFWF’s National Coastal Resilience Fund.
Each year, the National Coastal Resilience Fund grows significantly in terms of funding levels, the number and size of projects, the reach and audience of the program, and the number of applicants exploring innovative approaches. The need for effective field support has also grown. NFWF seeks two field liaisons to: (1) assist applicants in developing high quality proposals that are aligned with NFWF’s priorities, (2) help communities design and move towards large-scale implementation projects, (3) help troubleshoot grant implementation, and (4) facilitate communication and development of networks among grantees to encourage shared learning. This program is national, and a contractor should be prepared to provide support to practitioners throughout the program footprint working on a variety of natural and nature-based features; however, offerors should highlight if they have a particular expertise in a certain region of the larger NCRF footprint or particular natural or nature-based feature.
To assist the successful implementation of the National Coastal Resilience Fund, this RFQ is seeking two qualified individuals to serve as independent contractor(s) to NFWF with the following qualifications:
- Three to five years’ experience working directly with resilience related programs, particular expertise in implementing Natural and Nature Based Features is preferred.
- Experience translating program goals to a broad audience.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills.
- Experience working with and engaging diverse groups.
- Ability to work independently in a rapidly changing environment.
- Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail.
- Computer proficiency, including databases, spreadsheets, and word processing.
- Spanish language proficiency preferred.
SCOPE OF WORK
NFWF seeks two qualified Contractors to develop and implement a work plan designed to maximize the outcomes of the NCRF, which aim to provide dual benefits to human communities and fish and wildlife habitats. The following tasks constitute the Scope of Work for this Request for Quotations. The selected Contractor will be expected to work on all five tasks described throughout the duration of the period of performance. The contractor should anticipate check-in calls every two weeks with NFWF throughout the duration of the project. Please provide time and cost quotes for each task using the Contractor Budget Template. NFWF anticipates level of effort not to exceed half-time, a not to exceed cost will be negotiated upon award with each selected Contractor.
Task 1: Promote regional-scale collaboration - Assist prospective applicants and current NFWF grantees in establishing, strengthening, and sustaining regional‐scale partnerships and collaborative approaches to advance NFWF’s goals under the National Coastal Resilience Fund. Facilitate peer-to-peer learning among grantees through field tours, workshops, webinars and other avenues. Facilitate collaborative initiatives around NFWF priorities in priority geographies.
Task 2: Identify and grow opportunities for new applicants - Conduct outreach and assist potential applicants in targeted geographies to help them understand NFWF funding priorities, develop restoration project concepts, identify potential partnerships, and identify funding opportunities for matching funds.
Task 3: Troubleshoot grantee challenges and help advance projects - Occasionally conduct post-award site visits to trouble-shoot potential challenges with project implementation, provide technical support to grantees in conducting pre-project monitoring assessments, and collect photo documentation. Connect with grantees regarding post-project monitoring assessments, obtain lessons-learned or NFWF program feedback, collect photo documentation, provide guidance regarding projects’ long-term maintenance and stewardship plans, and scope potential next phases of projects with grantees.
Task 4: Provide liaison support for the NCRF - Liaise between NFWF grantees and NFWF staff, and between NFWF grantees and collaborative resilience-related initiatives to enhance communication between grantees and key stakeholders.
Task 5: Support NCRF proposal review - Assist in grant proposal review for annual funding opportunities. Written review is anticipated for approximately 40 pre-proposals and 30 full proposals per year.
- Semiannual written and ongoing verbal progress reports
- Final report summarizing lessons learned at contract completion
- Written reviews of grant proposals
These deliverables may be expanded or refined during the contract negotiation.
CRITERIA FOR COMPETITIVE APPLICATIONS
Proposals will be evaluated and scored on the following criteria. Offerors should organize their Statement based on these sections:
- Understanding of the Scope of Work. A statement of no more than one page demonstrating an understanding of the challenges faced by the National Coastal Resilience Fund, including a comprehension of the geography, communities, partners and their dynamics. This section should include a description of how the offeror will communicate with NFWF and program stakeholders and report on progress, results, and deliverables. Weight: 20%
- Technical Approach. The proposed technical approach of no more than three pages should clearly describe a proposed technical approach for facilitating the success of grant investments and overall program strategy and improvement. Weight: 25%
- Qualifications of Proposed Personnel. The section should clearly describe how the offeror's training and experience provide the requisite experience to successfully implement the tasks. Resume and/or Vitae of the principal investigator, describing relevant professional experience in the following areas: (a) experience working with federal, state, and local governmental agencies, national and local NGOs involved with resilience; (b) any experience with Foundations and grants management; (c) experience with the design and implementation of natural and nature-based features; (d) experience with community scale resilience planning; and (e) strong customer service. There is no page limit associated with this element of the Statement of Qualifications. Weight: 25%
- Contractor’s Past Performance. The Statement of Qualifications should identify at least three past engagements conducting similar work for NFWF or other organizations, identifying the offeror’s quality of work, timeliness, and cost control. The statement should also include communication experience writing reports, conducting webinars and delivering presentations to different types of audiences. The cumulative statement of past performances should not exceed one page. The Statement should include names, email addresses, and telephone numbers of points of contact for the referenced engagements. Weight: 15%
- Budget. The proposed budget should itemize work in sufficient detail to enable reviewers to evaluate the appropriateness of the entire funding request. You must use the Contractor Budget Template. Please include the proposed budget for equipment purchase in the proposal. NFWF anticipates awarding two contracts under this RFQ, not to exceed the simplified acquisition threshold. Weight: 15%
ELIGIBLE OFFERORS & CONFLICT OF INTEREST STATEMENT
Eligible applicants include institutions of higher education, other nonprofits, commercial organizations, international organizations, individuals, and local, state and Indian tribal governments.
By submitting a proposal in response to this solicitation, the offeror warrants and represents that it does not currently have any apparent or actual conflict of interest, as described herein. In the event an offeror currently has, will have during the life of the contemplated contract, or becomes aware of an apparent or actual conflict of interest, in the event an award is made, the offeror must notify NFWF in writing in the Proposal, or in subsequent correspondence (if the issue becomes known after the submission of the Proposal) of such apparent or actual conflicts of interest, including organizational conflicts of interest. 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.
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 instructions can be found here: https://www.fws.gov/northeast/refuges/agreements/Documents/SAM_Exclusions_how_do_i_search_exclusions.pdf
Proposals must be submitted under the same cover at the same time, in three distinctly labeled and separate documents: 1) Technical Proposal, 2) Budget, and 3) Evidence of Financial Stability. Interested parties should submit proposals electronically to NFWF (Kaity Goldsmith, firstname.lastname@example.org) using the requirements below:
- Technical Proposal
- Format: Proposals must be provided in Word format or searchable PDF with a font size no smaller than 11 pt.
- Contact information: Primary contact person, company name, address, phone, email, website, DUNS number, and EIN/Taxpayer ID#.
- Narrative: Concise description of the understanding of the scope of work, technical approach, and a summary of the applicant’s expertise and experience. List recent (last 2-5 years) accomplishments and previous services related to the technical expertise offered.
- Biographies: Resumes and/or Vitae of key staff and their role in the proposed work area.
- References: List three clients who have received services from the applicant that is similar in nature to the proposed work; include names, phone numbers, and email address.
- Budget: The budget proposal must be submitted using the NFWF budget template.
- Evidence of Financial Stability: The applicant 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 applicant’s capability to meet the requirements of this RFP.
A panel of NFWF staff will review the full proposals. Offerors may be asked to modify objectives, work plans, or budgets prior to final approval of the award. Up to two contracts may be made for this project. If multiple institutions are involved in one application, they should be handled through sub-awards and sub-contracts.
|July 23, 2020||
Deadline for questions about the solicitation to NFWF.
|July 31, 2020||
NFWF response to questions about the solicitation.
|August 21, 2020||
Deadline for receipt by NFWF of proposals.
Interviews with selected finalists
|End September 2020||
Contract awarded to selected offeror