Request for Qualifications For Contracted Project Manager

The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation- Appalachia Funders Network Narrative Change Project 

Request for Qualifications

For Contracted Project Manager

Issue Date: February 13

Accepting Submissions ASAP and through March 15, 2024

Send to Megan Simpson at msimpson@tgkvf.org 

The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation (TGKVF) is seeking a contracted project manager to lead and facilitate a narrative change project, including a series of conversations among multiple stakeholders within the Foundation’s six-county region of southcentral West Virginia. The project manager will be responsible for documenting the topics, results, and decisions that emerge from stakeholder meetings as well as mapping the project trajectory, activities, and outcomes derived from such discussions. A final result of this initiative will be a narrative change project, as determined by the project manager and stakeholders involved, including recommendations for the Foundation’s approach to such work. 

Summary: In fall 2023, the Appalachia Funders Network (AFN) accepted applications from AFN member organizations to serve as leaders of a pilot project that features three communities focused on promoting narrative change within the Central Appalachian region. Each Lead organization is responsible for creating a locally-based group of experts composed of independent journalists and alternative media, cultural/humanities institutional practitioners, and community leaders who, together, will explore narrative creation and network strengthening as a means of community activation. 

The long-term goal of the project is to interweave nonfiction storytelling, journalism, cultural stewardship, and civic media practices to lift up regional narratives and build stronger regional networks. 

Background: The Appalachian region faces historic challenges including high levels of poverty and unemployment, chronic health problems, and out-migration of people, resources, and wealth from the region. These challenges have been compounded by the extended COVID-19 pandemic, which has accelerated the closure of rural hospitals and small businesses, increased food insecurity, and strained nonprofit organizations across the region.

AFN proposed and received grant funding to support a two-year pilot project to work toward building stronger regional networks, telling new stories about our people and places, and investing in the cultural, economic, and environmental vitality of Central Appalachia. Anchored by local funders serving as project Leads, the pilot program will work to harness the power of learning communities composed of independent journalists and alternative media makers, cultural and humanities institutional practitioners, and community leaders. 

The pilot project will explore the use of tools of narrative change and network strengthening as a means of community empowerment and activation. The project further seeks to enable shifts in AFN members’ cultures, operations, and funding strategies towards serving as custodians of narratives and guardians of community networks.

TGKVF will contract with a manager to lead, facilitate, and participate in the evaluation of this pilot narrative change project. The project will convene various stakeholders within the arts, cultural, humanities, journalism, media, and film sectors to develop a narrative change initiative. Project parameters and outcomes will be determined by the stakeholders and project manager. TGKVF staff will provide oversight, fiscal management, and other in-kind supports including convening power, thought partnership, software subscriptions, promotions, meeting space, and access to our varied community partners.

Vendors will be selected based on: experience, qualifications, capacity, location, and cost effectiveness. 

The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation is committed to fostering, cultivating, and preserving a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion. These values are central to our mission and to our impact. 

Services may include, but are not restricted to, the following:

  • Planning and evaluation of the project
  • Skilled meeting facilitation among diverse stakeholders
  • Promotion and outreach among diverse stakeholders
  • Periodic meetings and progress updates with TGKVF, AFN, and/or 8 Bridges Workshop
  • Assist with the development of a solidified strategy for the Foundation to employ as it relates to narrative change
  • Some regional travel to meet with TGKVF stakeholders as well as AFN cohort 
  • Provide communications support and/or content creation 
  • Engage in learning and training as necessary
  • Communicate with identified stakeholders 

Timeline:

  • RFQ submissions will be accepted and assessed on a rolling basis and no later than March 15, 2024.
  • Project Management will be ongoing throughout 2024, including regularly scheduled meetings among stakeholders, periodic updates to TGKVF, AFN, and 8 Bridges Workshop. Pending progress throughout 2024, the contract may be renewed in 2025 under similar or revised services and intended outcomes. 

Payment:

Contract size may vary depending on the depth of services; however, we have budgeted for a range of $10,000-$20,000. 

Agreements – if a vendor elects to respond to this RFQ, submission assumes acceptance of the following:

  • TGKVF reserves the right to reject any or all of the responses to the RFQ, to waive irregularities or to cancel or modify the RFQ in any way, and at any time in its sole discretion, if determined that it is in the best interest of the narrative change project.
  • TGKVF further reserves the right to make awards under this RFQ without discussion of the responses received. Responses should be submitted on the most favorable terms from a technical, qualifications, and price standpoint. TGKVF reserves the right to select vendors at its discretion.
  • TGKVF’s selection of a vendor(s) through this RFQ is not an offer or guarantee of contract and TGKVF reserves the right to continue negotiations with selected vendors until the parties reach a mutual agreement.

Please respond to this RFQ if:

  • You desire to provide project management services for a pilot narrative change project within TGKVF’s region of Boone, Clay, Fayette, Kanawha, Lincoln, and Putnam counties.  
  • You have expertise and background relevant to one or more of the following: communications, storytelling, public relations, journalism, media, and/or cultural humanities. 

RFQ responses should include (maximum length 3 pages):

  1. Cover Page: Primary Contact Name, Company Name, Address, webpage if relevant, contact information including phone and email. Also disclose any instances where you have ever been or are currently debarred, suspended, or under investigation by any federal, state, or local agency, and, if applicable, provide a detailed explanation
  2. Description of organization/independent consultant, including basic fee structure for services being requested in the RFQ
  3. Description of relevant expertise of services proposed to be provided in the pilot narrative change project. For example: journalism, media, or storytelling. 
  4. References or organizations where you have provided similar work
  5. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) practices or commitment statement, if available

Email complete submission in a single PDF file to Megan Simpson at msimpson@tgkvf.org. 

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