Introduction and Executive Summary
Meals on Wheels Foundation of Northern Illinois (MOWF) is looking for a direct response marketing firm that can best meet our needs with competitive pricing. We are currently seeking a firm that can provide solutions for some or all of the area of needs listed below to drive unrestricted revenue. A firm may bid on digital services only, mail services only or both.
Overall Direct Marketing Strategy: file growth, revenue growth, retention, increased ROI, annual to monthly donor conversion, testing plans, budgeting, analytics
Direct Mail: Acquisition, appeals, cultivations, and events
Email Marketing: Welcome series, appeals, cultivations, e-newsletters, emergency alerts, retention communications, events, emergency donor conversions
Digital fundraising and engagement: Website donor conversion strategies, lead generation, social media integration, AdWords management, and testing, SEO, multi-channel campaigns
Other: Mobile Fundraising and Engagement, Peer-to-Peer and Crowdfunding, Multimedia
Request for Proposal Timeline and Protocol
Open Tender Published - February 22, 2019
RFP Questions Due - February 28, 2019
MOWF Response to Questions - March 5, 2019
RFP Response Due - March 22, 2019"
MWOF to Complete Shortlisted Vendor Selection - March 29, 2019
Projected Award Date - April 5, 2019
Questions in Response to MOWF RFP
Question: What led you to RFP this work? Is there a strategic initiative internally, a change in agency needed, specific timing for launch of program?
Answer: We’re seeking a more multi-channel, retention focused approach. We’re also looking for more creative and individualized strategy.
Question: What keeps you up at night when thinking about fundraising for MOWF? What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced over the last year, 3 years, 5 years in your fundraising program?
Answer: Our fundraising program has relied heavily on acquisition and we’re seeing a decrease in both retention and ROI.
Question: You cite a $250K maximum spend including agency fees, and that the digital only total is $50K. Is that in addition to the $250K
Answer: No, it is inclusive.
Question: Are you looking to add the new initiatives you cite (digital lead generation, paid search, text-to-give and peer-to-peer campaigns) in FY2019 within the existing budget which is already capped – or in the next year?
Answer: In the year starting October, 2019.
Question: You cite an aggressive goal to reach $950K in revenue. Are you planning to increase your investment in the program in order to reach that goal? If not, how are you planning to achieve that growth?
Answer: We are planning to reach that through additional channels and advanced strategies.
Question: When do you wish to have achieved your growth goal of $950K? What are your expectations regarding file growth, conversion rates, and other goals?
Answer: This is only a 6% increase and we’re hoping to work with a firm that can successfully strategize how we can achieve that growth year over year.
Question: May we receive copies of all your digital communications?
Answer: The firm we select will be helping us draft these communications. If you’d like to see copies of previous newsletters, we can share those.
Question: What is the size of your digital team internally?
Answer: This role is currently shared across multiple roles, at least 4 staff have digital responsibilities.
Question: How many emails do you have? How many for donors? Prospects?
Answer: We have 800 confirmed emails in Raiser’s Edge, 700 non-donor emails, and did an acquisition in the fall that resulted in approximately 5,000 more.
Question: You cite the desire to “speak to our audiences where they are, with tailored messaging that is personalized for them.” Can you elaborate on this?
Answer: We would like to incorporate more custom elements in our direct mail program. This is also part of the multi-channel approach – social media, email, etc.
Question: Who is currently managing your digital work – do you have a dedicated team internally to manage e-communications, paid search and social media? What is the budget for this?
Answer: Our current digital work is limited, and the team is again the 3-4 internal staff people mentioned earlier. We do not have a current budget, but have allocated $50,000 towards this effort. We are looking to enhance what we already do.
Question: Under the “Guidelines for Work in Bid – Direct Mail” – do you want costs for those specific packages? Or should we give you costs for what we would suggest mailing. If you want costs for these specific packages please confirm:
On the monthly mailings you want prices for printing ONLY for 37,500 and 45,000.
On the monthly mailings, in addition to the above you want individual prices for print/mail for 12,500, 15,000 and 17,500. It wasn’t clear if the larger print quantities were going to be used for the smaller drops. If we should only bid the mail shop portion on the smaller quantities please let us know.
On the Acquisition, you indicate an 8 ½ x 3 ½ response device but that would be too much float in a 6 x 9 Window OE (if it’s flying the package) – we will quote a response device that’s 8 ½ x 5 ½. Is this okay?
A #9 reply envelope is a tight fit in a 6 x 9 OE – we would quote a 6 x 9.5 OE. Is this okay?
Answer: Yes, these assumptions are fine.
Question: What do you see as your biggest challenge?
Answer: Return on Investment, deceasing retention, need for an innovative approach.
Question: It’s very helpful that you cite your evaluation criteria for your proposal review. You indicate technical expertise as the biggest factor at 40%. But can you in your own words describe what you see as the successful partnership you are seeking? What is the single biggest thing you are looking for in your partner?
Answer: Strategy is our biggest need. We need an innovative and timely approach to our fundraising, and the ability to pivot based on previous results. Proactive, forward looking account management.
Question: How many agencies are you inviting to submit a proposal? Will you share which agencies you are inviting?
Answer: The RFP is publicly posted and available for any direct mail provider to bid.
Question: I also just noticed you are only quoting the 6x9 closed face option for monthly. This is your most expensive of the four presented. Would you like us to quote all four options? Same with the Acquisition, only one option listed in the RFP, should we quote all four?
Answer: Yes, please quote all four options.
Question: I do not see anything related to list management for your acquisition Programs. Is that something we should provide a proposal or will that come from a separate budget stream?
Answer: This should be included in the proposal.
Question: We know postage must be deducted from the $250,000. As we discussed postage will reduce the budget on DM/Digital by $75,000-$90,000 depending on how much you mail, leaving budget for services $160,000+, confirm that is accurate.
Answer: That is correct.
Question: The RFP seem very specific about the package formats and quantities. We’ve found that mixing up the formats and using a #10 often works well.
Answer: We would welcome new approaches once we select a partner, but to compare costs evenly, we would like everyone to bid on the same format.