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IMPACT INVESTMENT REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS FUNDING CYCLE 2013–2016

Applications to be Submitted Online No Later Than: Wednesday, October 17, 2012—5:00 p.m. MDT

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MHUW RFP 2013–16 – Section I – RFP Overview


Who We Are Mile High United Way lives at the intersection of the private, public, philanthropic, and nonprofit sectors. We are community builders, leaders, unifiers and champions. We are connectors, and information and resource brokers. We inspire philanthropic investments.

Our Mission: Uniting people, ideas, and resources to advance the common good. Our Vision: A community united to create better opportunities for all.

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MHUW RFP 2013–16 – Section I – RFP Overview


Background and Overview For 125 years, Mile High United Way has been a local philanthropic leader and at the forefront of human services work in the Denver metropolitan area. Since 1999, Mile High United Way has transformed from solely being a “funding” organization to a “community impact” organization. The traditional United Way model measured success by dollars raised that were allocated to a set group of nonprofit member organizations. Now, as a community impact organization, we focus on community-level strategies to achieve lasting change in focus areas determined by the community. In line with this change in direction, in 2006 Mile High United Way embarked on a five-year Impact Plan to achieve measurable results in three initiative areas: School Readiness, Youth Success, and Adult SelfSufficiency. This Impact Plan specifically focused on building and strengthening community collaborations. Emphasis was also placed on specific populations and geographic areas targeted to address issues that aligned with Mile High United Way’s three initiatives. In 2009, Mile High United Way convened a community-based planning task force to evaluate the progress of the plan. It found that the three initiatives continued to align with community need, and recommended that Mile High United Way retain its focus on School Readiness, Youth Success, and Adult Self-Sufficiency. Further, the task force recommended that the work encompass clarity of intended results, selectivity of our partners, and accountability to the community, thereby inspiring confidence in how the work is accomplished. To address these recommendations, Mile High United Way conducted a series of community conversations, the results of which informed an open and competitive Request for Proposals (RFP) process in the fall of 2009. The Impact Investment partners selected through this RFP process were funded for a three-year cycle and were asked to define and report upon desired outcomes for those who participated in their programs. We experienced great individual results, convened partners around pertinent topics, built stronger relationships, and brought a new level of clarity to what we were all trying to accomplish. Even with these positive results in the lives of individuals and families, we know that the number of families living in poverty continues to increase. We know that coming from a family in poverty is the greatest risk factor to a student’s academic success. We know that if a child is not reading at grade level by third grade, his or her likelihood of graduating from high school is greatly diminished. We know that graduation rates across the metro area are still unacceptable. In 2012, we understand better than ever that it takes multiple organizations and varied resources to solve the complex challenges facing our community. While the work of each and every program is important, no single organization can achieve the community-level impact required to ensure that metro Denver’s children and families have the supports necessary for success. For this reason, this 2012 RFP places a priority on strengthening our collective impact (see pp. 8–9) via collaboration and is based on an agreed-upon set of community outcomes and strategies that were developed during a six-month dialogue with over 100 stakeholders. These community outcomes and strategies are outlined in the “Mile High United Way Initiatives” section below. 3

MHUW RFP 2013–16 – Section I – RFP Overview


Purpose and Available Funding The goal of this Request for Proposals (RFP) process is to invest in partners that advance the collective impact of Mile High United Way’s initiatives for a three-year funding cycle beginning July 1, 2013, and ending June 30, 2016. We anticipate investing approximately $8 million per year through the Impact Investment Fund, to be allocated via this competitive application and review process. Actual funding commitments will be for one year, with subsequent years’ funding dependent upon progress toward results and availability of funds. Mile High United Way is proud to welcome tax-exempt organizations working within the initiative areas of School Readiness, Youth Success and Adult Self-Sufficiency to apply for funding. Eligible organizations must deliver services in our five-county metro Denver service area: Adams, Arapahoe, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson Counties. This is an open and competitive RFP process.

Mile High United Way Initiatives To be considered for funding, proposals must: (1) align with the goal of at least one Mile High United Way Initiative, (2) positively influence at least one Community Outcome, and (3) utilize at least one Key Strategy.

Initiative: School Readiness Goal: Children enter school ready to succeed and are reading at or above grade level by the end of third grade. Community Outcomes: All children are ready for school Third-grade students are reading proficiently Key Strategies: Early Learning and Literacy Parent and Family Engagement Early Childhood Systems Support Advocacy Early Learning and Literacy: We will support organizations and programs that address the need to raise and sustain quality in early care and education programs, while prioritizing improved access to highquality programs for all children. In addition, we welcome applications from organizations demonstrating the ability to improve early learning results—particularly with regard to literacy—for children, from birth through third grade. Parent and Family Engagement: Applications under this strategy should ensure that parents and families have the knowledge and skills to support their children’s early education and development. We 4

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are interested in supporting family, friend, and neighbor providers who care for children in informal settings, and in developing and strengthening the network of services and supports for vulnerable and immigrant children. The Center for the Study of Social Policy’s Strengthening Families Protective Factors Framework is a useful guide to frame work in parent and family engagement. Applications emphasizing Parent and Family Engagement should be able to describe their work in the context of this framework. Early Childhood Systems Support: We will support organizations that work at the systems level to improve the infrastructure for early childhood supports in metro Denver. Applicants may provide a variety of services to improve quality and accessibility in the early childhood sector (e.g., technical assistance, quality improvement, professional development). We will support programs that engage business leaders and community members to take action to improve educational opportunities and outcomes. Advocacy: Organizations working collaboratively to effect systems-level and/or policy changes pertaining to the above outcomes are encouraged to apply.

Initiative: Youth Success Goal: Youth graduate from high school and are ready to enter the workforce or to transition to college or advanced training. Community Outcomes: Students attend quality schools Fifth-grade students are proficient in reading and math Eighth-grade students are proficient in reading and math Students graduate from high school or complete high school equivalency, and are postsecondary- and workforce-ready Youth complete post-secondary education Youth are employed Key Strategies: Positive Youth Development Educational Support Parent and Family Engagement Out-of-School Time Workforce Development Post-Secondary Learning Opportunities Advocacy Positive Youth Development: We will support organizations that help youth to feel connected, valued, guided, and engaged in the community. Activities offered should promote self-understanding, self-worth, 5

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a sense of belonging, and resiliency, and should take place in environments that support the physical, social-emotional, cognitive, and developmental needs of youth. Organizations that emphasize leadership development, civic engagement, healthy relationships, and connections with positive adult role models/mentors are encouraged to apply. Educational Support: Under this strategy, we will partner with organizations that ensure that all youth are afforded high-quality, rigorous, and relevant educational opportunities delivered in supportive and engaging learning environments with multiple pathways to achievement to meet the diverse educational needs of youth. This may include educational mentoring, dropout prevention, dropout re-engagement, and post-secondary readiness. Applications that emphasize and strengthen coordination between school systems and youth-serving organizations are of particular interest. Parent and Family Engagement: When schools and families work together in support of learning, youth tend to succeed in school and in life. Therefore, we encourage proposals that support this student success strategy. We will invest in interventions that include school- and/or community-based strategies for parent and family engagement that support children’s learning and ensure that all parents and families have the knowledge and leadership skills necessary to support the academic success and socialemotional development of their children. Applications providing support for organizations to effectively serve or build capacity to serve and engage diverse families, including immigrant youth and families, are encouraged. Out-of-School Time: The identified Community Outcomes require that learning and enrichment take place all day, in a variety of contexts—not just when youth are at school. We will support programs that can demonstrate improvements in the indicated outcomes by engaging youth in activities that take place outside of the traditional school day. It is likely, but not necessary, that applications submitted under this strategy will select another Youth Success strategy in addition (e.g. Educational Support, Positive Youth Development). Just because services are delivered outside of the school day does not mean that programs should not be engaging with schools; collaboration is, as always, encouraged. Workforce Development: With changes in the economy and the affordability of post-secondary education, the transition to adulthood has become longer and more complex, increasing the need for well-designed structures that support young people in their efforts to learn and become self-sufficient. Youth workforce development organizations help youth transition successfully from their academic careers into the workforce; accordingly, we will support youth workforce development opportunities that provide young people with the skills they need to access meaningful work and successful careers. Post-Secondary Learning Opportunities: In an increasingly competitive global economy, high school/GED completion is necessary, but not sufficient, for a successful transition to adulthood. Under this strategy, we will support organizations that help youth to identify, qualify for, access, and complete a wide variety of post-secondary options, including career and technical education and certification programs, in addition to two- and four-year degree programs.

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Advocacy: Organizations working collaboratively to effect systems-level and/or policy changes that support the academic success of youth within the above outcomes are encouraged to apply.

Initiative: Adult Self-Sufficiency Goal: Individuals and families are afforded the opportunity to move toward economic selfsufficiency. Community Outcomes: Individuals and families have their basic needs met Adults are literate Individuals complete post-secondary education Individuals and families are economically stable Individuals and families are permanently housed Key Strategies: Integrated Services for Family Financial Stability (PRIORITY) Financial Asset-Building Workforce Development Basic Needs Advocacy Integrated Services for Family Financial Stability: Through this RFP, Mile High United Way seeks to build/strengthen collaborations among multiple organizations who are interested in bundling financial asset-building and workforce development services at one location, with one organization serving as a host/lead site. Within Adult-Self-Sufficiency, applications demonstrating Integrated Services for Family Financial Stability will be given highest priority. The end goal is that struggling adults and families will improve their economic status. If you are interested in submitting a proposal for Integrated Services for Family Financial Stability, please refer to the information sheet available for download in the Document Library. Please be aware that there is a separate set of questions that replaces the standard narrative attachment for applicants applying under this strategy. These questions can be found in the Integrated Services for Family Financial Stability information sheet. Financial Asset-Building: Financial asset-building focuses on connecting people to banking and related financial services and on providing opportunities that encourage savings and asset-building, such as home ownership, financial education, and small business development. Workforce Development: We will support focused interventions that ensure that the human assets required for achieving self-sufficiency are developed and strengthened. Programs that aim to improve employment market participation/outcomes for traditionally marginalized people, through on the job training, internships, and social entrepreneurship are encouraged to apply. We are also interested in organizations that would help improve post-secondary completion rates, including vocational and 7

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technical programs. Strategies that would help strengthen the network of supportive services are also of interest. Basic Needs: Under this strategy, we will support organizations and collaboratives that are aimed at ensuring that people’s basic needs are met, that they have access to safe and secure shelter and stable housing, and that eligible individuals and families are able to access various public benefits and income support programs that are crucial to so many families living in, or on the edge of, poverty. Programs that provide for basic needs while facilitating access to critical social support systems and connecting people in poverty with the larger community through networking/volunteerism/civic engagement are of particular interest. Advocacy: Organizations working collaboratively to effect systems-level and/or policy changes pertaining to the above outcomes are encouraged to apply.

Types of Proposals That Will Be Considered Based on the parameters listed above, Mile High United Way would welcome the following types of proposals:     

Direct services from a single organization or collaboration that addresses specific individual, family or community outcomes within an initiative Direct services from a single organization or collaboration that addresses specific individual, family or community outcomes across multiple initiatives Integrated Services for Family Financial Stability that include lead organizations and other agencies that provide services in the areas of Asset-Building and Workforce Development in a co-located and coordinated environment Advocacy or policy work that has a direct impact on the initiative goals and community outcomes and/or provides advocacy or policy work that addresses specific individual, family or community outcomes within an initiative Capacity-building and /or program quality improvement that assists organizations to more effectively impact the initiative goals and community outcomes

Organizations may apply for funding once on behalf of their own program(s) and also as part of one or more collaborative proposals, provided the funding is used for distinct purposes.

Who Should Respond We welcome applications from organizations that have 1) an IRS 501(c)(3) or other IRS status that qualifies them to receive charitable funds and 2) the capacity to advance the initiatives of Mile High United Way as described in this RFP are invited to complete proposals. Services must be delivered within the Mile High United Way service area. This includes Adams, Arapahoe, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson counties.

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Collective Impact Mile High United Way values the ability and willingness of community partners to work with other organizations and across sectors in order to achieve positive, lasting change in our community. We strongly believe that collective impact creates stronger communities than does the isolated impact of individual organizations alone. As such, all applicants should be able to define and demonstrate how they work together with other organizations to achieve better results. This could be through networks, partnerships, coordination of services, cooperative strategic planning, shared resources and data, or a formal collaboration. For more information on collective impact, please see John Kania and Mark Kramer’s “Collective Impact” from the Stanford Social Innovation Review. This document is available for download in the Document Library.

Collaboration Formal collaborative proposals are encouraged to apply and will be given priority in this RFP process. Mile High United Way defines formal collaboration as a structured, mutually beneficial relationship between two or more organizations that work toward a common goal by sharing resources, responsibility, authority, and accountability for achieving results. It is more than agencies cooperating, responding to requests or referring clients. Collaborations demonstrate a jointly developed structure and process for shared decision-making, problem solving, communication, planning, allocation of resources, monitoring and evaluating outcomes and deliverables of the project. A collaborative proposal may relate to a single initiative or to more than one initiative. Collaborative proposals should address issues in creative ways that provide results that may not have been possible without the collaboration. One organization should submit the proposal as the fiscal sponsor on behalf of the collaboration.

Proposal Submission Proposals must be received by Mile High United Way on or before October 17, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. MDT. Complete applications, including all relevant attachments, should be submitted electronically at www.unitedwaydenver.org/RFP.

Proposal Selection Throughout the selection process, Mile High United Way’s goal is to be inclusive and to engage stakeholders and volunteers that reflect the community’s broad ethnic, racial, socio-economic, gender, age, geographic, and ideological diversity. Engaging a variety of voices and perspectives from across metro Denver will ensure that this process moves toward stronger collective impact.

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Proposal selection is a four-step process: Step One: All proposals undergo an initial screening and review by Mile High United Way staff. This screening is based on completeness, eligibility and verification that proposals meet Mile High United Way’s minimum standards regarding organizational capacity and alignment with Initiatives, Strategies, and Community Outcomes. Step Two: Proposals that pass the initial screen and review are scored by review panels composed of a diverse set of Mile High United Way board members, community volunteers, subject matter experts, and Mile High United Way staff. Review panels then comparatively rank the proposals within their focus areas and present recommendations to the Mile High United Way Impact Investment Committee. We anticipate that site visits, follow-up questions and/or interviews will be utilized as part of this process as the review panels deem necessary. Step Three: The Impact Investment Committee, comprised of members of Mile High United Way Board of Trustees, will make overall funding recommendations based on review panel recommendations, geographic representation, populations served, and/or other criteria deemed important to the Committee in order to invest in the most impactful portfolio of work within each initiative and across all the initiatives. Funding recommendations will be made to the Board of Trustees of Mile High United Way for review and final approval. Step Four: Decisions to award funding will be made by the Board of Trustees of Mile High United Way at its sole discretion. All decisions are final. Mile High United Way reserves the right to award funds based on funding availability and other variables at its discretion.

Site Visits Site visits may be requested by the review panels as they deem necessary to assist in making funding recommendations. These site visits are scheduled at the discretion of the review panels and staff and should not be construed to indicate the likelihood that any particular project will receive funding or not. Since Mile High United Way anticipates coordinating numerous site visits, we are setting aside the month of February 2013 to conduct site visits. We ask that you be as flexible as possible to assist us in what will likely be a full schedule of visits. Site visits will last approximately one hour. The visit should be seen as an opportunity to showcase your actual work; it is not about making a presentation that mirrors your proposal. However, it would be beneficial that representative staff be available to answer the variety of clarifying questions that may come from the panel and volunteers.

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MHUW RFP 2013–16 – Section I – RFP Overview


Timeline     

 

August 20, 2012 August 29 & 30, 2012 September 5, 6, 7 & 10, 2012 October 17, 2012 November 2012–April 2013  November 2012  December 2012 –January 2013  February 2013  March 2013  April 2013 April 2013 July 1, 2013- June 30, 2014

RFP available at www.unitedwaydenver.org/RFP Required RFP Information and Training Sessions Application Workshops Proposals due by 5:00 p.m. MDT Proposal review process Initial screening by staff Review panels Site visits Impact Investment Committee Final decisions by Board of Trustees Announcement of funding Annual funding cycle

RFP Training Sessions Mile High United Way will hold RFP training sessions at the dates and times listed below. Attendance at one session is required for each organization that intends to submit a proposal, or serves as the fiscal sponsor. The purpose of the session is to review proposal criteria, answer questions, and encourage collaboration. All training sessions will be held at Mile High United Way: 2505 18th Street, Denver, CO 80211. Wednesday, August 29: Wednesday, August 29: Thursday, August 30: Thursday, August 30:

9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. * 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. * 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. * 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. *

*Space is limited for each session, so please register for one of the sessions at www.unitedwaydenver.org/RFP.

Application Workshops Technical Assistance (TA) workshops will be available for applicants in need of assistance with outcome measurement, evaluation, logic model development, and other questions as needed. Wednesday, September 5: Thursday, September 6: Friday, September 7: Monday, September 10:

9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

In addition there will be one workshop for organizations that are interested in the Integrated Services for Family Financial Stability strategy under Adult Self-Sufficiency:

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Thursday, September 6:

9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

All workshops will be held at: Mile High United Way 2505 18th Street Denver, CO 80211

Contact Information We welcome the opportunity to speak with you to provide clarification and guidance during this process. To contact Mile High United Way about this Request for Proposals, please call our dedicated RFP line, 303.561.2338, or email RFP@unitedwaydenver.org .

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Mile High United Way Request For Proposal