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Archived Requests for Funding Opportunities

Request for Proposals: Changing IM/IT Funding Practices in the Voluntary Sector

The current reality for voluntary sector organizations is that technological capacity is increasingly essential for these organizations to achieve their mission. Voluntary sector organizations are no different from organizations in any other sector. They must effectively and efficiently communicate, administer their finances, manage their assets, secure resources, manage their service delivery, recruit talent, etc.

As with any organization using Information Management / Information Technology (IM/IT), there are many challenges - the diversity of interests and needs in the sector, the often limited familiarity and expertise with technology, and most critically, the challenge of finding funding for IM/IT. To address this concern, the IM/IT Joint Table of the Voluntary Sector Initiative recommended a five component strategy to address the technological needs of the sector, one of which will be addressed through this RFP.

Through this Request For Proposal (RFP), the IM/IT Secretariat of the Voluntary Sector Initiative is seeking the services of an organization (Implementation Team) to implement one of the IM/IT Joint Table's recommendation which states: Increase the funding available to voluntary organizations for investing in technology by establishing a dialogue with funders of the sector in order to change their funding policies and practice to include technology investments.

The objective is to change current funding policies and practices of funding agencies that either directly or indirectly preclude, complicate or undervalue the importance of providing funding to voluntary organizations for technology such as hardware, software, internet connections, upgrades and training.

The Implementation Team will organize and provide support for an awareness campaign to change the policies of funding agencies through use of the Code of Good Practice on Funding as well as the business cases created by the IM/IT Joint Table. In that context, the Implementation Team will work with the business cases developed as tools to assist in any dialogues with funding bodies:

  1. a business case that demonstrates the value to funding agencies of investing in the technological capacity of voluntary sector organizations;

  2. a business case that voluntary organizations can use to support their applications for funding for investments in technology.

An Implementation Team is a Canadian voluntary sector organization whose credibility is highly regarded in the sector and has a very good knowledge of the Canadian funding community.

It must be able to provide services in both official languages.

The approved proposal will result in a contribution agreement between Industry Canada and the chosen party. The Implementation Team will be expected to work with the IM/IT Secretariat to coordinate activities and ensure oversight of the project.

Appendix 1 provides further background information about the VSI and the IM/IT Joint Table.

Project Definition:

The mission of this project is to increase the funding available to voluntary organizations for investing in technology by establishing a dialogue with funders of the sector in order to change their funding policies and practice to include technology investments.

Scope: Funders to include:

  • Minimum of 50 funding agencies to be approached

Timing: Maximum of 18 months

Preliminary project thinking should be as developed by the IM/IT Joint Table, but it is open to a revised plan from bidders:

  • finalize preparation of business cases for discussions with funders
  • research top 50+funders to be approached whose policies need to be addressed
  • identify key person(s) at each of these organizations
  • identify leaders from the voluntary sector who can be recruited to call on these key people
  • make calls, conduct discussions, follow up to determine whether changes have been made
  • organize a forum of key stakeholders or arrange for presentations at workshops, annual meetings etc…to communicate the goals of objectives of changing IM/IT funding practices
  • disseminate the business case for voluntary organizations for their use with Boards of Directors, senior staff and volunteers
  • encourage voluntary organizations to integrate their IM/IT requirements in their requests for funding
  • promote the electronic clearinghouse of good practices and support materials to funders and voluntary organizations.

Towards meeting the mission of this project, the following deliverables are expected. The IM/IT Joint Table has provided some preliminary project planning to outline some of the expectations of the work bidders are to undertake. Bidders are strongly encouraged to revise or detail this project planning further and to add input and ideas that would contribute to meeting the mission of this RFP.

  1. Review of current documents on the subject as identified by the IM/IT Secretariat.

  2. Meet with the IM/IT Secretariat staff and the IM/IT Advisory Group Co-Chair representing the voluntary sector, to gain a full understanding of the needs, and liaise as necessary with the Secretariat throughout the project.

  3. Provide a communications strategy and support materials for approaching funders.
    • Finalize the business case that demonstrates the value to funding agencies of investing in the technological capacity of voluntary organizations; integrate case studies already completed by IM/IT as examples;
    • Finalize the business case that voluntary organizations can use to support their application for funding for investments in technology; integrate case studies already completed by IM/IT as examples;
    • Prior to full implementation, test both business cases with key funding agencies, sector leaders and some voluntary organizations to ensure they address issues relevant to them;
    • Finalize a short background paper developed to support both business cases;
    • Present a marketing plan and oversee the design and production of marketing kits which will include the above listed materials for funding agencies and presenters;
    • Final versions of Business Cases must be provided in Word format and in MS PowerPoint format;
    • Provide to IM/IT Secretariat electronic version of materials to post on the VSI website;
    • Ensure dissemination of kits to targeted funding agencies and presenters.

  4. Identify and Liaise with Key Stakeholders and Presenters.
    • Identify and prepare a list for the IM/IT Secretariat of the key funding stakeholders that do not currently fund IM/IT in their current policies (minimum 50 funders from a mix of organizations across the country). Include a key contacts list;
    • Make contact with identified key funding stakeholders to organize meetings and develop background materials for meetings as required;
    • Identify, recruit and orient voluntary sector leaders who will lead the campaign to change funders' funding policies;
    • Coordinate with other VSI work (i.e. Working Group on Financing, Voluntary Sector Forum Secretariat) to ensure a strong IM/IT funding statement is integrated in other work being undertaken;
    • Follow up with funders to determine if funding practices were changed or to address further concerns.

  5. Organize a forum of key stakeholders in 2003 or arrange for presentations at workshops, annual meetings.
    • A Forum of key stakeholders could be organized to communicate the goals and objectives of Changing IM/IT Funding Practices in the context of the Code of Good Practice on Funding, or arrange for presentations at workshops, annual meetings, conferences, etc., to emphasize the need to encourage support;
    • Establish goals, background materials, and discussion papers for the Forum or various presentations;
    • Prepare reports presenting feedback from various venues utilized.

  6. Promotion to Voluntary Sector Organizations.
    • Disseminate the business case for voluntary organizations for their use with Boards of Directors, senior staff and volunteers.
    • Encourage voluntary organizations to integrate their IM/IT requirements in their requests for funding describing the strategic importance in their delivery of service.
    • Promote the electronic clearinghouse of good practices and support materials to funders and voluntary organizations through the VSI website and electronic mailing lists.

Mandatory Requirements

  • Make travel arrangements, according to Treasury Board Travel Policy, for selected voluntary sector leaders as required and ensure reimbursement of expenses.
  • All documents prepared for this work must be translated into French.
  • Quarterly status reports and a final report are required.

The RFP will provide Industry Canada with a list of organizations that are willing to act as an Implementation Team as defined above. All Proposals will be evaluated by the IM/IT Advisory Group for recommendation and approved by Industry Canada.

Industry Canada will enter into a contribution agreement with the chosen organization. The contribution agreement will describe the deliverables, time lines and payment schedule for the work to be done.

Only voluntary sector organizations with a good knowledge of the sector and of the funding community, who has credibility within the sector, will be considered.

The following groups are not eligible:

  • political parties and organizations involved in partisan political activity;
  • places of worship (as opposed to religious charities);
  • individuals and industry and trade associations (including professional associations).


The IM/IT Advisory Group will evaluate each proposal based on the information provided below, study the quality of the response to each criteria and make recommendations to Industry Canada as to which proposal should be accepted.

No proposal will be accepted if the information required below is incomplete or if the proposal was received after the deadline.

All the information required is mandatory. All fields must be complete otherwise the proposal will not be evaluated.

Proposals must include the following:

  1. Descriptive information about the organization.
  2. A document that addresses on a point-by-point basis all of the rated requirements.
  3. The proposed work plan and methodology to be used to accomplish this task.

Information can be provided on separate sheets but bidders are requested to follow the order of information as provided.



ADDRESSES (street and/or mailing address)





URL (if available)

DESCRIPTION OF THE MISSION OF ORGANIZATION (append brochures or related material if required.)

INCORPORATION OR CHARITY NUMBER (Proof of a legal entity that has been in operation for at least 2 years must be provided. Copy of incorporation papers must be attached to proposal).


FINANCIAL INFORMATION (Organization must provide proof of financial solvency. Organization must demonstrate it can receive, manage and account for public funds in a responsible manner, and have the capacity to deliver the project. Please attach appropriate financial documentation.)


The following information must be provided by the organization. All information is required and should be clearly addressed in the Proposal in the order below.

Rated Requirements Points Ind. Final
1. Demonstrate knowledge and experience in working with the voluntary sector and the funding community across Canada. 20    
2. Provide a description of your organization's skills and expertise in marketing and communications, and in the production of communications products. 10    
3. Describe previous comparable projects your organization has managed or administered. 10    
4. Describe your proposed strategy (business plan) to implement and deliver this project. Provide milestones and schedule for delivery. (Please note that the proposed time line for this project is up to 18 months). 20    
5. Provide a short description of partnerships developed with other organizations or businesses (if any), including an explanation of their contributions to the delivery of this project. 10    
6. Describe your experience and capability in organizing travel and logistics for meetings. 10    
7. Describe how you plan to provide services and communications products in both official languages. 10    
8. Provide an estimate of costs to deliver this project as per the supplied budget template. 10    
TOTAL 100    


  Estimated Total Cost Implementation Team Contribution IM/IT Program Contribution
    $ In-Kind  
Salaries and Benefits
- Project Management
- Support
Overhead (specify)        
Travel (specify) as per Treasury Board guidelines        
Communications and Marketing        
Equipment (specify)        
Other (specify)        
Total Cost of Project        

Industry Canada could finance up to 100 percent of the total cost of the project. All payments are made to the organization through a Contribution Agreement. Payment will be made on the basis of documented claims for reasonable eligible costs incurred, to be submitted by the recipient not more frequently than monthly. Recipients must retain all invoices, bills and receipts incurred in performing the work covered by this contract, for a period of five years, organized by month and will make these available to an auditor as may be appointed by the federal government.

Each claim is to be accompanied by all costs being claimed, a brief report of the work completed in support of these costs, and be substantiated by such documents satisfactory to the Minister. Claims shall be certified by an officer of the recipient or by such other person satisfactory to the Minister.

The Minister may make advance payments on account of contributions in cases where it is critical for the success of the project. Such advances will be made in accordance with the Treasury Board Guidelines.


Industry Canada is the Department responsible for the IM/IT Program for the Voluntary Sector Initiative and will administer the Contribution Agreement (CA) with the Implementation Team. The agreement must meet the federal government laws and regulations including but not restricted to the Financial Administration Act.

The Implementation Team has the option to subcontract with marketing/communications teams as required. Industry Canada will have the CA only with the Implementation Team and will hold that organization responsible for any activities it has subcontracted to other parties.


All personal information provided in an applicant's Proposal for a Contribution Agreement is protected under the provisions of the federal Privacy Act. Organizations successful in the competition should be aware that the data on the number of staff, the objectives and activities of the organization and financial data are not protected under the Privacy Act and might be made accessible to anyone who would request them through the Access to Information Act.


The recipient must be willing to share intellectual property for the project with Industry Canada (i.e. the contractor would be the owner of the copyright but the Government of Canada would have a license to reproduce and distribute the product. Industry Canada would retain full, complete and perpetual access, but not exclusive use, of the product. Further, the contractor would not be able to modify the orientation and objectives of the product or sell it without authorization of Industry Canada).


Proposals will be accepted up to April 25, 2003.
E-mail Proposals must be received no later than April 25, 2003 at midnight.
Proposals received by mail or courier must be post stamped no later than April 25, 2003.


Hard copies of proposals (with all attachments, i.e. financial statement, registration/incorporation copies, other handouts) must be submitted to:

Contact: Bernard Chabot, Manager
Industry Canada, IM/IT Secretariat
365 Laurier Avenue West, 2nd Floor, Ottawa ON K1A 0C8

Electronic versions of proposals, Sections A & B are also required. Paper attachments (i.e. registration or incorporation copies) are not required in electronic form but must be supplied in the above. Electronic versions must be submitted either in PDF, Microsoft Word or WordPerfect format to:

Should you have any questions, please call (613) 990-7233.


The Voluntary Sector Initiative (VSI) is a joint undertaking between the voluntary sector and the Government of Canada. It is a unique opportunity to focus on the voluntary sector as one of the three pillars of Canadian society, equal in importance to the public and private sectors.

The long-term objective of the VSI is to strengthen the voluntary sector's capacity to meet the challenges of the future, and to enhance the relationship between the sector and the federal government and their ability to serve Canadians.

In June 2002, the IM/IT Joint Table completed its work on identifying ways of building the capacity of the voluntary sector through the application of Information Management/Information Technology. The Joint Table submitted its report with program recommendations to the Minister of Industry and to the VSI Joint Coordinating Committee. The IM/IT Secretariat at Industry Canada is tasked with project management of this program with actual implementation being shared with the sector.

The IM/IT Joint Table strategy involves five main recommendations:

  1. Campaign targeting funders: Encouraging funders to change their policies and procedures to permit IM/IT investments.

  2. Access to IT planning, hardware and software, training and technical support: Giving sector organizations ongoing access to IT planning, expert advice, current hardware and software, training and technical support.

  3. Voluntary sector website/portal: An on-line location for the exchange of information and best practices for voluntary sector organizations and funders.

  4. Funding exchange: A web-based interactive funding service for both funders and organizations seeking funding.

  5. Technology awareness campaign: A campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of adopting and using technology effectively.

This RFP addresses recommendation # 1.

The IM/IT Joint Table Report identified that one of the needs of the voluntary sector is as follows:

    Increase the funding available to voluntary organizations for investing in technology by establishing a dialogue with funders of the sector in order to change their funding policies and practices to include technology investments..

To answer this recommendation, Industry Canada is seeking an Implementation Team to implement and deliver the strategy on Changing IM/IT Funding Practices in the voluntary sector.

The Table's strategy is designed to help voluntary organizations use technology to develop more effective ways for carrying out activities essential to their mission. It also supports the sector as a whole to develop a greater capacity to play its role as one of the pillars of Canadian society alongside the public and private sectors. Additional information is available on the VSI website at:  

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Last Updated: 2006-01-12