Royal Canadian Naval Benevolent Fund

Request For Proposal: Programming Needs Assessment & Program Development Project

Ottawa, Friday July 15, 2022


The Royal Canadian Benevolent Fund (RCNBF) is seeking proposals from qualified consultants to conduct a comprehensive needs assessment. The needs assessment will review the current suite of RCNBF programs, the emerging needs of our target audiences, and potential gaps in service, to formulate recommendations for programs that are relevant, effective, and achieve community impact.

The organization:

The RCNBF is a national registered charity headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario. It was established at the height of the Second World War to address the pressing need for financial assistance from members of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). The organization has been through several iterations and, today, promotes the well-being of its naval family, sailors, naval veterans, and their respective families. Over its long history, the RCNBF has assisted over 42,000 people and disbursed over 21 million dollars. The organization has wrapped up year one of implementing its Strategy for Renewal 2021-2024, a significant reorganization process that has touched on every aspect of governance and operations.

  • Our Vision—Supporting our naval family as our own.
  • Our Mission—Promoting the well-being of the naval community to enrich the lives of sailors, naval veterans, and their families.
  • Our Guiding Principles – engaged, inclusive, progressive & agile – amplify our mission and vision by defining the most important attributes of our desired approach to work.

See for more information about the RCNBF.

Project description:

This initiative is known as the RCNBF Programming Needs Assessment & Program Development Project. The project’s objective is to assess and understand the current suite of RCNBF programs, the emerging needs of our target audiences, and potential gaps in service, and formulate recommendations for programs that are relevant, effective, and achieve community impact.

Target audiences for this project include our traditional client base. The latter may be expanded to include serving sailors and naval veterans and their families affected by diversity issues (gender, sex, equity) and intersecting social issues such as homelessness, etc. This project will reach out to service organizations, clients, and researchentities, recognizing the need to do so collaboratively and working closely with a range of actual and potential partners in the military support space.

The project involves a major reshaping of how the RCNBF provides financial support that is both effective andachieves community impact in our broader naval family. In addition, it will re-direct our language and approaches while lowering barriers to access and raising trust.

As a charitable organization, the RCNBF has focused its efforts on those needing financial assistance, most often referred to us by partner organizations once all other avenues of financial support or relief are exhausted. TheRCNBF has, therefore, generally been a ‘supporter of last-resort.’ Requests often fall outside the parameters of more traditional support mechanisms. They may be attended by a range of underlying issues requiring the intervention of referral services, follow-up, and specialized skills for dealing with clients. While the financial assistance we provide is an essential immediate remedy for our clients, the RCNBF wishes to offer support that more broadly promotes the well-being of its clients and enriches their lives and those of their families.

To address these broader aspirations, the RCNBF has committed through its Renewal Strategy 2021- 2024 to planand act strategically and deliver a range of activities and services relevant to current needs and interests, measured for impact, and adapted to changing requirements and conditions.

At the end-state, this project will result in recommendations that:

  • identify potential services and programs as well as delivery mechanisms better attuned to our naval family’s actual and evolving needs, including those not currently addressed by the military support community

  • suggest strategies that mitigate barriers to program access

  • identify opportunities for collaboration to achieve a more significant and more lasting community impact

  • suggest ways to extend the RCNBF’s reach for the purposes of programming

The knowledge assembled  over the course of the project will help the RCNBF in preparing its cadre of volunteers andstaff to better support the  naval family’s needs, both actual and emerging and increase the RCNBF’s visibility while enhancing trust within both the partner and client community.


The consultant(s) will adhere to all guidelines, timelines and requests specified in this RFP.

The expected key deliverables and timing for the project for the year ending March 31, 2023:




INITIATION: confirmation of scope & outputs, identify tasks, refine performance measures & timetable, develop communications plan

September 2022

Project charter Work plan Performance

management framework Communications plan

RESEARCH & DISCOVERY: Review existing research and documentation; examine current services and identify gaps; reach out to target groups in both official languages; fact-find with actual and potential partner organizations, including those representing equity groups and those addressing intersecting issues. Note, as an example interactions may include: ~ 10 interviews., 8+ virtual consultation sessions or focus groups,  25+ surveys, etc.)

October – December 2022

Literature review Consultation plan Surveys & focus groups content in both official languages.

ANALYSIS: Assemble / consolidate knowledge gained during the research & discovery phase into higher-level categories, or ‘program lines’, aligned to desired outcomes;

January March 2023

Report on findings Project scope and work plan adjusted; Draft program lines

RECOMMENDATIONS: Propose programming along with process, procedure, and timelines forintegration into the RCNBF’s larger performance management system and complete the final project report.

April 2023

Final high-level report/recommendation on program types, content and recommended


 RFP submission timeline:

This RFP aims to culminate by fiscal year-end (March 31, 2023) but proposals may extend beyond the timeline by up to three months if the proponent can demonstrate/justify the requirements.

The expected key dates for the bidding process:


Key Dates/Timing

RFP issuance

July 14, 2022

Deadline for submitting questions

August 3, 2022

Proposal submission deadline

August 15, 2022

Analysis and selection

August 16-24, 2022

Process completion: Appointment, winning bid advised

August 26, 2022

Start date

September 6, 2022


The budget allocation for this project is between $50,000 to $60,000. Proponents may propose value-added methodology and ideas but additional costs must be clearly specified.


Key contact for the RCNBF:

Gay Hamilton, Executive Director

613-519-7741, ext. 202,


All information provided to the RFP proponents and their responses ar confidential.


  • Must address all the requirements outlined in the RFP in addition to any perceived or anticipated requirements determined by the proponent
  • Must be submitted electronically to the attention of the Executive Director at, no later than 5 pm on August 15, 2022
  • Inclusions:
  1. Executive Summary (optional)
  2. Technical Proposal

a)     Introduction to the consultant or consulting firm and team (history, experience, qualifications to fulfill the role, preferably non-profit experience)

b)     Statement regarding conflict-of-interest (none or any real or perceived)

c)     Demonstration of understanding of the scope and complexity of the required work

d)     Ability/commitment to meet the timelines

e)     Description of the proponent’s proposed needs assessment strategy, processes, and deliverables

f)      List of expected contributions by RCNBF team (Note: the RCNBF Program Coordinator is assigned to support this project)

g)     Minimum of two (2) client references (names, phone numbers and email addresses) who may be contacted to confirm the satisfactory delivery of similar assignments by proponent key team member(s)

3.   Financial proposal

a)     Details of fees and expenses associated with meeting all deliverables. Proponents may suggest value-added work in relation to the project but should specify and cost separately

b)       Method and schedule of payment

4.     Contact information

5.     Statement of authorization to submit a proposal signed by a principal of the proponent firm.

Questions and Answers

Each proponent is responsible for ensuring that they have all the information necessary to prepare a proposal and for independently verifying and being informed as to any terms or conditions that may affect a proposal. All inquiries related to the RFP shall be directed to the contact listed above within the specified timeframe for Q&A.

Acceptance of proposal/Decisions

The RCNBF reserves the right to determine, in its sole discretion, whether any proposal meets the requirements, to reject any or all proposals or to accept the proposal(s) deemed most favourable to the RCNBF.  In addition, it reserves the right to negotiate with any or all proponents, including those that have submitted a proposal that does not fully comply, either in material or non-material ways, with the RFP requirements.

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