Agency of Record (AOR) – Request for Proposal

Primary Contacts

Shannon Boeckner, Director of Development – Community & Donor Relations 416-819-6978 [email protected]
Tatiana Buba, Head of Strategic Communications 778-995-1648 [email protected]

Overview of Opportunity

In every corner of the world, women, girls, and trans people are full of power. The power to create. The power to reveal and reinvent. At the Equality Fund, we’re building a power base of our own: the most ambitious, self-sustaining fund for gender equality in history, inspired by feminists, managed by feminists, in collaboration with and in service of feminist movements worldwide.

After more than a year of dedicated work to uncover our core essence and story, an entirely revamped and reimagined Equality Fund brand has been revealed to the world. Rooted in a powerful narrative and new visual identity, our new brand illuminates the radical ambition, feminist vision, and dynamic invitation that have always been at the heart of our mission. When we move together, we move the world. 

Now it is time to bring that brand to life. Equipped with the core tools, we are ready to activate, making our brand real and accessible through multiple touchpoints so our audiences can gain awareness of the Equality Fund in multiple ways, see themselves in our story, engage with it, and build an enduring connection. At its core, our brand is an invitation—to move together—and this is our moment to extend that invitation far beyond our current partners and allies.

To aid us in our mission, we are thrilled to share this invitation for proposals towards an exciting new opportunity to lift up gender equality on a national scale. This bold new initiative will be designed to draw new stakeholders, partners, and donors to the Equality Fund, with the ultimate goal of launching a national campaign to bring the Equality Fund forward into the Canadian consciousness and philanthropic arena. 

To help us accomplish our goal, we are seeking a new agency of record (AOR) to help us research, identify, uncover, and engage new audiences across Canada. 

Our ideal agency partner will have experience launching end-to-end national and/or regional campaigns, as well as a rich knowledge of the Canadian fundraising landscape. They will also be well positioned to perform key market and demographic research to uncover and connect the Equality Fund to new audiences across Canada. 

After the initial research and analysis stage of this partnership, we will work towards designing and launching a national campaign that lifts up gender equality and builds awareness and support for the Equality Fund’s model and mission. This campaign will have several phases, and will eventually bring an opportunity for every Canadian to contribute to  the Equality Fund’s support for gender equality movements across the globe. 

We are seeking a cutting-edge, dynamic, and values-aligned agency of record who inherently understands the power and possibility of our brand; pushes our understanding of what is possible through its creative expression and engagement; and guides its inaugural activation through a focused and strategic fundraising campaign. 

The campaign must advance our two core objectives:

1) Build brand awareness; and
2) Cultivate and recruit new and future donor partners.

While we are open to creative thinking, we expect that the campaign will take a digital-first approach and will produce creative assets that can be used in multiple ways by our staff and partners across our audience engagements, beyond the campaign itself.

The Equality Fund – Background

When we move together, we move the world. 

In June 2019, we stood on stage in British Columbia to announce, alongside Canada’s Minister for International Development and Women and Gender Equality, that the Equality Fund would receive $300 million CAD to build the world’s largest feminist institution. Not only did this mark the largest single investment in global feminist movements by any government, it was a powerful endorsement of a new model to get more money into the hands of women, girls, and trans people around the globe.

At the Equality Fund, our core purpose is to unlock new capital in order to unleash the full power of feminist movements worldwide. By challenging and transforming traditional approaches to development, philanthropy, and investment simultaneously, we are creating a new model for sustainable investment in gender equality organizations for lifetimes to come. 

The more audiences who understand our model, the more support and momentum we will bring to feminist movements everywhere. In every moment, but especially in this one, it is imperative that we reach far beyond familiar allies, language, and networks to reach new audiences who are interested in supporting global women’s rights but need a compelling and comprehensible entry point to  join us. It is time to translate the inherent promise—and complexity—of our model into a simple yet powerful invitation that meets other funders and influencers where they are.

Phase one

Discovery and strategy development

  • Design and oversee focused market research and landscape analysis to establish a baseline assessment of Equality Fund brand awareness among our priority audiences. 
  • Lead a consultative process to develop a brand activation campaign strategy, with clear target audiences, goals, and calls to action. The strategy should include but is not limited to fundraising, and should be embedded in accountability and collaboration every step of the way. 
  • Develop and finalize a core creative concept to ground and direct the campaign. The creative concept should reflect the best of our brand, and be focused on the specific goals and audiences outlined in the strategy. 

Phase One Goals

  1. Comprehensive market research and analysis will tell us where gender equality is showing up in Canada, along with what gender equality campaigns have looked like in the recent past, and what the results were. 
  2. The results of this discovery phase will uncover actionable, strategic insights about the current philanthropic state-of-play in our post-COVID Canadian landscape. 
  3. The creative concept should build brand awareness and encourage giving among new, non-expert audiences who are generally interested in gender equality, but are new to the Equality Fund.

Priority Audience 1*

  • Living in Canada
  • Identify as cis woman, trans, non-binary, across the gender spectrum
  • Politically engaged voter
  • Socially conscious, following the news
  • Age 18-65 

*We expect to narrow this further, based on experience and strategic recommendations.

Priority Audience 2 

  • Thought leaders, influencers, and donors in the following spaces: philanthropy, global development, gender equality, policy, finance and investment.

Phase 2

Building and execution

  • Harness market research and consultations to design and execute a national fundraising and brand awareness campaign—with a keen eye towards donor acquisition and retention.
  • Lead the launch of the campaign across key channels and platforms, as determined by the strategy.

Phase Two Goals

  1. Finalize the campaign plan and associated critical paths, and oversee production of all campaign assets, products, and deliverables. 
  2. Uncover opportunities to connect and collaborate with key constituencies, particularly 2SLGBTQQIA, Indigenous, and racialized communities in Canada. 
  3. Launch the fundraising and brand awareness campaign. 

Phase three

Measurement and active learning

  • Measurement and analysis. 
  • Immediate course corrections and modifications based on active learning.
  • Produce a comprehensive report illuminating key learnings/challenges/successes.

Phase Three Goals

  1. Key metrics harnessed, captured, and reported back to our stakeholders. 
  2. Learning opportunities captured and clear adjustments made during the course of the campaign based on experiences in real-time and feedback from target audiences. 
  3. A final learning report that highlights impact, lessons learned, areas of opportunity for future campaigns, as well as key analytics/KPMs (number of new donors acquired, digital analysis, etc).

Project Schedule

Our team will be available to answer any questions from Monday, August 15 until Tuesday, September 13, 2022. Please direct any questions to Shannon Boeckner, Director of Development, at [email protected]

We will be accepting proposals until Tuesday, September 27, 2022, with the goal of awarding the contract by mid-October, 2022. 

Proposal Guidelines and Evaluation Criteria

All proposals will be evaluated against the following criteria. In your response, please be specific about how you meet or do not meet the line items below.  

  • Detailed proposal of the proposed solutions to challenges presented above. What would you do to help us accomplish our ultimate goal of launching a philanthropically successful, equity-focused, and deeply feminist brand awareness and fundraising campaign? (One-page maximum)
  • We want to land on a strongly feminist creative concept that ends in a powerful invitation for Canadians to join our campaign for global gender equality. With that in mind, please provide us with a high-level outline of the creative approach your team would take for this campaign. Please also attach a budget. (Two-page maximum)
  • Who from your team will be directly involved with this partnership? Who will be our day-to-day contact? 
  • All proposals must include a project workback schedule that includes timelines, key windows, milestones, and delivery dates. (One-page maximum)
  • Identify areas of unique expertise that will help your team stand out and explain why your organization is the right for the Equality Fund. (One-page maximum)
  • Please share three creative examples from prior work to help illustrate how your organization aligns with our feminist values and goals. 
  • Our budget for the first year of this partnership is approximately $200,000 CAD, inclusive of agency, production, and media purchase. 

Please note: The engagement contract will not necessarily be awarded to the lowest bidder.

References

All proposals will be brought to our senior leadership team for review. Help us get to know you better:

  • Agency overview: Please include your number of full-time employees, number of contract employees, office location(s), and date founded. 
  • Primary markets, areas of expertise, and clients served.
  • The Equality Fund is a feminist institution. Please share how feminist values show up in your organizational leadership and culture. 
  • Number of current clients. 
  • Services you offer as an agency. 
  • Services that you currently subcontract. 
  • Awards won over the past 10 years (if applicable). 
  • Please attach short bios of the main contacts for this project.

Terms and Conditions

This is an invitation for proposal only.  

The Equality Fund shall not be obligated to any agency until a written agreement has been executed. The Equality Fund shall not be liable for any costs associated with the preparation of presentation or proposal materials. 

While subcontracting any phase of the work may be considered, the agency submitting the proposal must assume full responsibility of the end-to-end process.  The agency must disclose if they are using subcontracted services as part of the proposal. 

Any and all verbal discussions and responses are not binding on either party. 

Thank you again for your consideration of the Equality Fund. We look forward to hearing from you. 

Please direct any questions to:

Shannon Boeckner, Director of Development – Community & Donor Relations

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