Request for External Evaluation Contract Proposals

AmeriCorpsScope of Work Goals
The Preservation Alliance of West Virginia (PAWV) invites proposals from qualified researchers and consultants to work closely with staff to develop an outcomes-based evaluation plan, process, and tools for the Preserve WV AmeriCorps program based on the program’s theory of change, logic model, and performance measures. The timeline goal is to complete this project and have the evaluation plan and survey tools ready to implement at the start of the 2017-2018 program year, Monday, August 28, 2017

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PAWV has existing systems and tools for performance measure data collection, storage, processing, analysis, and reporting, but it is soliciting an external evaluator to improve and standardize these systems and tools, as well as create additional evaluation tools to communicate the impact of the Preserve WV AmeriCorps program with the grantor and general public.
Deadlines
By Friday, March 10, by 5:00pm EST, potential bidders should email the project coordinator with a brief, initial statement of interest in bidding. The project coordinator will then email potential bidders the full RFP containing all relevant information.
Questions from bidders must be submitted by email to project coordinator by Wednesday, March 15, by 5:00 p.m. EST. All relevant questions and responses will be compiled and emailed to all known bidders by Monday, March 20.
Proposals must be emailed to project coordinator, date- and time-stamped by 5:00 p.m. EST on Friday, March 24, 2017.
Project coordinator and point-of-contact

Danielle LaPresta, Executive Director: dlapresta@pawv.org, 304-345-6005
Preservation Alliance of West Virginia, 421 Davis Avenue, Elkins, WV 26241

Basis for Award of Contract
• Demonstrate commitment and ability to finish the project on time and on budget
• Demonstrate understanding of the project
• Demonstrate experience providing services similar to this request
• Quality of materials
• Professionalism
Award Date: Friday, April 7, 2017

Organizational Overview
Formed in 1982, the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia (PAWV) is the only statewide, grassroots, nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of the Mountain State’s cultural heritage. It administers the Preserve WV AmeriCorps program.
PAWV’s formal mission is, “With a commitment to preserve our unique cultural heritage, PAWV and its members work to save our past for the present and future, supporting and promoting historic preservation through education & outreach, advocacy, preservation tools, and heritage tourism.”
The website is www.pawv.org and blog is https://preservationallliancewv.wordpress.com/.

Preserve WV AmeriCorps Overview
The Preserve WV AmeriCorps program is funded through a State Formula Grant from Volunteer WV and the Corporation for National and Community Service. It began in 2013 to address needs related to nonprofit capacity building, community investment, blight, and underutilized historic resources. The program is designed to place an AmeriCorps member (sometimes two) at a nonprofit organization or local government agency, with placements ranging from museums and historical sites to historic landmark commissions and Main Street organizations. For the 2016-2017 program year, the Preserve WV AmeriCorps program has 29 member slots at 27 service sites statewide. The members’ projects are site-specific, based on the local community needs identified by each site.

The Preserve WV AmeriCorps program has two main goals: 1) To increase the capacity of nonprofit and local government organizations; and 2) to preserve more historic resources by increasing the use of these resources and creating more economic opportunities related to these historic resources. For the purpose of this RFP, the community needs that the Preserve WV AmeriCorps program is designed to address are outlined below. (There is one other community need, related to capacity building, that is not included in this document; that information is available upon request).

Community Need 1: Under-utilized historic resources

Community Need # 2: Community Investment

Community Need #3: Economic Opportunity

Preserve WV AmeriCorps Logic Model Overview
The Preserve WV AmeriCorps logic model focuses on how underutilized historic resources can be used for community investment and economic development. The intervention is used to determine member duties, keeping in mind the outcomes we are aiming to accomplish through this AmeriCorps program. The following information is extracted from the Preserve WV AmeriCorps logic model and will be the basis for the evaluation plan and survey tools.
Preserve WV AmeriCorps Project Problem – In West Virginia, as many as 1 in 16 properties are vacant and abandoned. Many of these historic properties are historic, meaning they are eligible for listing or are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. This historic designation opens up financial incentives to re-use them, including historic rehabilitation tax credits and historic preservation grants, as well as other cultural facilities funding. Other heritage based resources have fallen into disrepair but can be re-used for heritage tourism purposes. Preserve WV AmeriCorps member projects target the needs of sites, but all focus on historic resource redevelopment to invest in the community’s cultural heritage tourism opportunities.
Project Resources – 29 members (17 full-time and 12 half-time) deployed to 27 sites spend approximately 50% of their time on the problem intervention.
Core Project Components – The target audiences are youth, tourists, and community members. Project activities include:

– Completing state/national forms to designate blighted properties as historic;
– Identifying uses for historic resources;
– Working on museum collection management and interpretation;
– Coordinating and participating in hands-on preservation work days;
– Creating and implementing cleaning/maintenance schedules for historic resources;
– Coordinating heritage-based events; and
– Developing heritage education activities.

Evidence of Project Implementation and Participation (Outputs) – # of historic resources will be identified by AmeriCorps sponsor sites for long-term preservation projects. Members will complete # of improvement activities on # of historic resources.

Evidence of Change:

Short-term outcome: Increased opportunities for using historic resources more frequently.

Medium-term outcome: Improved historic resources; more heritage tourism opportunities.

Long-term outcome: Less blight and vacant properties, increased community investment.

Scope of Work
The scope of work will be completed closely with Preserve WV AmeriCorps program staff – Danielle LaPresta (Program Director) and Kelli Shapiro, PhD (Program Associate).
Define Evaluation Question(s)

Collect Baseline Data

Identify a comparison group or data

Define Additional Indicators of Success

Develop of Survey Tools and Evaluation Plan

Formulate return on investment factors and opportunity costs

Required Deliverables
1. Evaluation question that can be used to communicate with the general public.

2. An outline of additional indicators of success and survey tools for a minimum of two additional indicators of success.

3. An evaluation plan and implementation timeline for the performance measure “Historic Resource Improvement and Community Investment” projects. The evaluator will work closely with program staff to create survey tools that:

a. Outline historic resource “improvement activities” per program’s design and members’ service tasks.
b. Plan out a sequence of activities that is based on our logic model, includes improvement activities, and can be used for major historic resources (such as buildings, historic districts, museum collections, and oral histories). The sequence of activities will have benchmarks of success based on the program’s outcomes.
c. Assess if a historic resource has the opportunity to be, and is being, used more frequently because of a member’s service accomplishments (short-term outcome)
d. Determine whether more heritage tourism opportunities have been created and implemented because of a member’s service activities (medium-term outcome).
e. Assess if there is less blight and fewer vacant properties in the state of West Virginia because of a member’s service activities (long-term outcome).
f. Evaluate whether there is increased community investment in rural communities because of a member’s service activities (long-term outcome). This tool will define benchmarks of success for community investment.

4. A tool for record-keeping and processing data collected through the above surveys.
5. A formula or tool for calculating at least one return on investment (ROI) or opportunity costs.

Limitation
This RFP does not commit PAWV to award a contract or to pay costs incurred by bidder in the preparation of a proposal to this RFP. PAWV may accept other than the lowest bid, waive minor informalities, and award a contract based only on the written proposal without any discussions with bidder. Issuance of a contract will be subject to the approval of the PAWV Board of Directors. PAWV reserves the right to reject any or all proposals because of non-responsiveness to RFP requirements, insufficient PAWV funds, evidence of unfair bidding procedures, financial insolvency of bidder, or if, in the opinion of PAWV’s Executive Director, the best interests of the program will be served.

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