Request for Proposals: Communications Strategy and Plan - Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants

Jun 16, 2024
Various Locations, Ontario

OCASI was formed in 1978 to act as a collective voice for immigrant serving agencies and to coordinate responses to shared needs and concerns. OCASI now has more than 240 member agencies across the province. Member agencies are autonomous, community-based non-profit organizations based in Ontario. OCASI champions equity and human rights for im/migrants and refugees through advocacy, collective action, collaborative planning, research, capacity-building, and information and knowledge transfer.

OCASI’s activities, collaborations and communications practices have grown and evolved, particularly over the last ten years. A new strategic communications strategy is necessary to strengthen the organization’s communication practices and identify areas for improvement and growth. The implementation plan that will accompany the strategy will improve and strengthen OCASI’s communications with our member agencies (primary audience), collaborators, decision-makers, those interested in the immigrant and refugee-serving sector, and the general public.

OCASI’s current strategic plan has identified strengthening our communications as a core need.

A Communications Strategy and Plan will support OCASI to:
  • Strengthen visibility and impact through targeted and effective communications to different audiences including:
    • OCASI member agencies – leadership and staff
    • Im/migrants and refugees
    • Partners, allies, collaborators, interest-holders and potential new members
    • All orders of government
    • Media organizations
    • General public
  • Strengthen our advocacy voice, brand, social media presence, and earned media opportunities to reach more people in meaningful ways;
  • Support and strengthen promotion and outreach for all organizational activities including (but not limited to) funded projects, resources developed, events organized and more;
  • Expand knowledge mobilization activities and improving engagement with the immigrant and refugee serving sector to strengthen their service and advocacy capacity
OCASI’s work is carried out within an anti-colonial, anti-racism and anti-oppression framework. The framework will be central to the communication strategy and implementation plan.

Scope of Work & Deliverables
This project intends to develop a five-year communications work plan that articulates the organization's communication strategies and a work plan to guide the efforts of the different Functional Teams.

The scope of work includes, but is not limited to, the following tasks:
  • Perform a communications audit to review OCASI’s existing communication services, engagement practices, needs, and tools.
  • Facilitate the development of a five-year Communications Strategy based on the information gathered through the audit and amongst comparable organizations' best practices to guide OCASI’s internal and external communications, including public awareness and educational campaigns, advertising, media relations, membership and community engagement, digital and online communications, and employee engagement.
Key deliverables will include:

1- Communications Audit
Scan and Analysis of OCASI’s internal strengths, liabilities, and gaps in communication, including a review of existing practices, communication vehicles (e.g. websites, e-lists, e-newsletters, social media), frequency, strategic messaging, audience identification, analytics, follow-up, and compliance with legislative requirements (e.g. AODA, Privacy Act);
  • Conduct an environmental scan of communication strategies and promising practices amongst comparable organizations;
  • Consult with OCASI staff and Board, OCASI member agencies, partners, key informants and employees to identify expectations, good practices, and areas for improvement, including by holding focus group discussions
2 – Development of a Five-Year Communications Strategy

Based on the information gathered through the audit, recommendations, and best practices, the communications strategy will include:
  • Goals, objectives, identifying target audiences
  • Work plan with prioritized initiatives, timelines, budget, and resources required.
  • Draft policies and procedures for staff and board regarding communications and media relations.
  • Recommendations for OCASI’s branding/visual identity standards, digital assets, and photography management.
  • Recommendations for public engagement processes
  • Key performance measures to ensure that recommended communication tools are accessible for those with disabilities.
 3 - Presentation of the completed project to the Board and the Leadership Team 
• Incorporate feedback and prepare a final document.

4 - Develop and deliver orientation/training sessions on new materials/resources for OCASI (staff and board).
Qualifications required
  • Experience in Non-Profit Sector: The consultant should have a demonstrated track record of working with non-profit organizations, preferably in the realm of immigrant and refugee services or related sectors.
  • Relevant educational experience: Completed coursework in public relations, media studies, journalism, and strategic communication or a related field
  • Understanding of Equity and Social Justice Frameworks: The consultant should demonstrate a deep understanding of and commitment to anti-racism, anti-oppression, and anti-colonial principles, as these frameworks are central to OCASI's work and will inform the communication strategy.
  • Knowledge of Accessibility Standards: Familiarity with accessibility standards and the ability to ensure that communication tools and strategies are accessible to all individuals, including those with disabilities, is crucial.
  • References and Past Experience: The proposal should include at least two references related to past similar work, with complete and current contact information, demonstrating the consultant's ability to deliver high-quality services in line with the requirements of the RFP.
  • Presentation and Training Skills: Strong presentation skills are necessary for presenting the completed project to the Board and Leadership Team. Additionally, the consultant should be capable of delivering orientation/training sessions on new materials/resources to OCASI staff and board members.
Reporting Relationship
  • The consultant will report to the Executive Director
  • The consultant will collaborate with an internal staff teams and an advisory committee.
  • The project must be completed by September 30, 2024
The entire project's cost shall not exceed $20,000 CDN, including HST.

Proposal Submission Deadline & Process
  • Proposals are due by May 15, 2024
The proposal must include the following:
  • The consultant’s experience, in particular demonstrated experience in doing similar work in the non-profit sector;
  • Outline of how the work will be carried out
  • How the consultant will apply an anti-racism, anti-oppression and anti-colonial framework
  • Timelines
  • Estimated costs
  • At least two references related to past, similar work, with complete and current contact information.
Evaluation Criteria

OCASI will evaluate proposals based upon, but not limited to, the following criteria:
  • Methodology and Approach:35
  • The project team and relevant expertise: 25
  • Proposal clarity and layout:10
  • Demonstrated ability to provide the Services within the proposed project schedule: 20
  • Reference checks from similar projects:10
This job is from CharityVillage
How to Apply