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Request for Proposals (RFP): Marketing/Advertising Company - Women's Shelters Canada

May 07, 2021
Across Canada

Summary: Women’s Shelters Canada (WSC) is seeking proposals from agencies with experience in marketing and advertising to develop and implement a 6-month national public awareness campaign.

1. Organizational Background

Women’s Shelters Canada (WSC) was incorporated under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act on November 9, 2012 and is a charitable organization. WSC represents a unified voice that works to make ending violence against women a priority.

Shelters support women and children fleeing violence. We support the shelters.

WSC supports the 600+ shelters across the country, along with the provincial and territorial shelter associations. We create opportunities to exchange ideas, learn from one another, and share resources. We connect knowledgeable and dedicated individuals from coast to coast to coast, so that new ideas are born, best practices are promoted and transferred and those who work in our challenging field feel more connected and more supported. All of this helps to ensure the women and children who turn to shelters and transition houses receive the most effective and compassionate support possible.

2. Focus of Work

WSC’s objective in developing a national awareness campaign is to educate the general public about domestic violence and available sources of help, particularly women’s shelters. The successful candidate will work with WSC staff as well as WSC members to build an awareness campaign that is national in scope while also being regionally specific.

WSC has currently identified three priority groups of the general public for the campaign: (1) survivors (e.g. how to get help); (2) friends, family, and bystanders (e.g. how to help); and young people (aged 18-25).

WSC is specifically looking for an agency with full-service advertising capabilities including strategy, creative, production, and implementation (including media buying services). While the campaign should have a national, cohesive feel, it must also be adaptable to allow WSC’s full member organizations (i.e. the provincial and territorial shelter associations) to tailor resources to their own context.

3. Scope of Work & Timeline

Activity 1: Consultation

WSC is envisioning an online consultation consisting of two half-days, which the candidate would facilitate. The consultation will include WSC staff, provincial/territorial shelter associations, individual shelters, and domestic violence survivors.

Key Outputs

  • Finalizing key objectives of campaign and the main audiences
  • Determining key look and feel of the campaign
  • Developing key messaging of the campaign
  • Deciding on key media to use in different contexts/regions
  • Identifying specific outputs for Activity 2

Timeline: May-June 2021

Activity 2: Development of Campaign Resources

Key Outputs:

  • Campaign videos and radio ads
  • Digital ads for social media
  • Newspaper/magazine
  • Physical ads (e.g. bus shelters, back of bathroom doors, billboards)
  • Other outputs as determined in Activity 1

These could include templates for provincial and territorial associations and/or specific designs for different geographical regions.

Timeline: June-September 2021

Activity 3: Implementation of Awareness Campaign

Key Outputs:

  • The candidate will work with WSC to implement the campaign across Canada through the following means:
    • Social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok)
    • Radio and TV ads
    • Newspaper and magazine ads
    • Subway/bus ads
    • Billboards
    • Traditional media and pitching stories to journalists
    • Other means as determined in Activity 1

Timeline: October 2021-March 2022

Activity 4: Reporting on Awareness Campaign

Key Outputs:

  • A post-campaign report that includes: campaign tactics used, performance metrics, and recommendations for future campaigns

Timeline: April-June 2022

4. Required Qualifications

Applicants should demonstrate that they meet the following required qualifications:

  • Demonstrated experience producing content and creating successful awareness campaigns for national organizations, preferably charitable organizations
  • Significant experience in mixed media campaigns including, but not limited to, digital and social media, television, radio, newspapers/magazines, and physical spaces (e.g. bus shelters, billboards, etc)
  • Demonstrated experience with media placement services and purchase
  • Strong social media experience
  • Experience developing multi-lingual and accessible campaigns for diverse audiences
  • Awareness of the differences in effective marketing across Canada (e.g. in rural settings, urban areas, Indigenous communities)
  • Experience using an intersectional feminist/social justice approach is an asset
  • Knowledge of the violence against women sector is an asset

5. RFP Submission Process

Submissions should be emailed to Kaitlin Geiger-Bardswich, Communications and Development Manager, at no later than May 7, 2021, and should include the following components:

  • Description of how the applicant will approach and accomplish the work (see Section 3), with particular attention paid to how the applicant will adapt their work to the needs of under-resourced organizations.
  • Overview of the applicant’s qualifications and experience, in relation to Section 4 above.
  • Budget aligned with the scope of work (Section 3). Please note that the budget for this work is up to $950,000, inclusive of honorariums for consultation, development of resources, media agency fees, taxes, and full implementation of the 6-month campaign.
  • References: contact information for three previous clients along with examples of work

Questions about the RFP can be directed to Kaitlin at

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