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Communications and Grant Writing Support


The Somerset West Community Health Centre (SWCHC) is inviting Consultants to submit a proposal for the provision of communications and grant writing services on an as-needed basis.



Leadership & Management

Established in 1978, Somerset West Community Health Centre (SWCHC) is a non-profit, community governed organization that serves over 16,000 clients annually. SWCHC is one of 74 Community Health Centres in Ontario. CHCs are the only primary health care model in Ontario that, under one roof, combines primary health care services with a wide range of other health promotion and community development services, with a focus on improving the social determinants of health.


Our Mission is to support people and communities to enjoy the best possible health and well-being. We do this by removing barriers to accessing services for people who are vulnerable because of their age, income, ability, sexual orientation or gender identity, and language or culture. We work alongside community members to make our neighbourhood and our city an even better place to live.


Somerset West is deeply connected to the communities we serve. We pay particular attention to groups experiencing systemic barriers, including people who are:

  • Experiencing mental health challenges

  • From ethnocultural, racialized or newcomer communities 

  • Homeless or precariously housed 

  • Isolated seniors, including those who do not speak English or French

  • Families and individuals living in poverty


3.1  Scope of Services and Deliverables

Consultant(s) will provide SWCHC with:

  • proposal-writing services as needed throughout the year, including capital grants, program/project-specific grants and base funding requests from a range of funders

  • copy-writing and editing support for program flyers and website as needed


3.2  Desired Skills and Experience

  • Proven experience and success in writing grant applications from a variety of funders

  • Experience and expertise in copy-writing, editing and communications, including writing program descriptions, newsletters, briefing notes and website updates that are accessible to and appropriate for a range of audiences. 

  • Knowledgeable about Somerset West Community Health Centre and its mission, mandate and programs 

  • Demonstrated experience in health equity and anti-racist and anti-oppression approaches.


3.3  Reporting and Working Relationship

The successful Consultant will report to the Manager of Quality Improvement and collaborate with other members of the leadership team as needed.

3.4  Timeline

The contract with the successful Consultant will begin in March 2023 and be completed by April 1, 2024, with the possibility of extension.


4.1  Communication after Issuance of RFP

The Client Representative is:
Sue Merrill, Manager of Quality Improvement, Planning and Evaluation

4.2  RFP Schedule

The following is a summary of the key dates in the RFP process.
   Event                                                                        .Date

  • RFP release                                                           .March 7, 2023

  • RFP closing date                                                  .March 20, 2023 at 5:00pm EST

  • Reference Checks                                                 March 22, 2023

  • Award notification and contract                       .March 23, 2023
    signing with the successful Consultant: 


Note: SWCHC intends to adhere to this timetable but realizes that delays may occur. SWCHC reserves the right to amend any of the dates set forth above.

4.3  When and Where to Submit a Proposal

Proposals are to be submitted by email to the Client Representative only. All submissions via e-mail are deemed received once the email has entered the email inbox of the Client Representative. The Client Representative shall not be responsible for any email delivery issues or technical problems with regard to the submissions.

Late proposals will not be accepted. It is the Consultant’s responsibility to ensure that proposals are submitted on or before the RFP Closing Date.

4.4  Mandatory Submission Requirements

To be eligible for consideration, Consultants must submit their proposal by email in electronic format, using Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat: 


Consultant proposals are to include the following mandatory submission requirements that are to be listed in the following order. Failure to include any of the following information may result in disqualification from the RFP process.

   A.  Cover Letter

  • The full legal name of the Consultant.

  • The business address, email address and telephone number for the Consultant.

  • A short introduction of the Consultant including a description of experience providing similar services to other clients, specifically:

    • Experience and expertise in copy-writing, editing and communications, including writing program descriptions, newsletters, briefing notes and website updates that are accessible to and appropriate for a range of audiences.

    • Knowledge and experience with the not-for profit and/or health sector.

    • Understanding of SWCHC’s model of care, mission, mandate and services.

    • Experience with anti-racist, anti-oppression and health equity approaches.                                                      

  • A clear statement that the Terms and Conditions of this RFP have been read, are understood and agreed to in their entirety and confirming that the information provided in the proposal is accurate.

  • Declaration that the Consultant does not have a conflict of interest as outlined in 4.9 below.

  • The cover letter is to be signed by an authorized representative of the Consultant.

  • A clear statement noting that the individual signing the proposal has the authority to bind the Consultant.o


   B.  Workplan Approach

A description of the Consultant’s approach to performing the services listed in Section 3, Services Required.

   C.  Fees and Expenses

A breakdown of pricing, fees and any additional expenses based on work plan approach

   D.  Consultant Resume

The Consultant resume should demonstrate the required skills, experience and ability to deliver the services required in Section 3, Services Required.

   E.  References

Three (3) references of clients with similar service requirements and include:

  • Organization name, client contact name, position, phone number and email address.

  • Brief description of the services provided and include organization type (not-for profit, private etc.).

4.5  Withdrawal or Amendment of Proposal

A Consultant may withdraw or amend its proposal any time prior to the RFP Closing Date by written notice to the Client Representative.

4.6  Proposal Irrevocable

Subject to the Consultant’s right to withdraw a proposal prior to the RFP Closing Date, proposals will be irrevocable by the Consultant and will remain in effect and open for acceptance by the SWCHC until three (3) months from the RFP closing date.

4.7  Addenda

The issuance of addenda will be the only method recognized for revisions to the RFP document. SWCHC will make its best effort to issue addenda within a reasonable period of time.

4.8  Clarification and Verification of Proposal

SWCHC reserves the right to seek clarification and supplementary information from Consultants after the submission deadline. The response received by SWCHC from a Consultant shall, if accepted by SWCHC, form an integral part of that Consultant’s submission.

SWCHC reserves the right to verify any Consultant statement or claim by whatever means SWCHC deems appropriate and may reject any Consultant statement or claim, if in the judgment of SWCHC, the statement or claim appears unwarranted or not credible.

4.9  Conflict of Interest

Each proposal must include confirmation that the Consultant does not and will not have any conflict of interest (actual or potential) in submitting its proposal, or if selected, with its contractual obligations under the Contract. Where applicable, the Consultant must disclose in its proposal, information pertaining to any situation which may be a conflict of interest in submitting a proposal or, if selected, with the contractual obligations of the Consultant under the Contract.


The proposal of any Consultant may be disqualified where that Consultant fails to provide confirmation of the foregoing or makes misrepresentations regarding any of the above. Further, SWCHC, in addition to any other remedies it may have in law or in equity, shall have the right to rescind any contract awarded to a Consultant if SWCHC in its sole discretion, determines that the Consultant made a misrepresentation regarding any of the above.

4.10  Type and Term of Contract for Product/Service

The selected Consultant will be required to enter into a service agreement with SWCHC. The RFP and the Consultant’s Proposal will become part of the Services Agreement for the selected Consultant.

4.11  No Guarantee of Volume of Work or of Exclusivity of Services

SWCHC makes no guarantee of the value or volume of work that will be available to the selected Consultant.


5.1  RFP Evaluation Process

An evaluation committee will perform the following:

   Stage 1: consists of validating that all mandatory submission requirements are included and complete according to Section 4.4.

   Stage 2: consists of evaluating the work plan approach and knowledge and experience components of the proposal.

   Stage 3: consists of evaluating the pricing information.

   Stage 4: (only in case of a tie, or if deemed necessary) consists of interviews for Consultants who have successfully completed the stages above and have been for an       

   Stage 5: consists of verifying reference information.

5.2  Evaluation Criteria

The following is a guide of the evaluation process.
   Stage                        .Evaluation Process                                                                                                     .Points                         .Minimum Score

       1                             .Mandatory Submission Requirements (Section 4.4)                                               .Pass/Fail                      .Pass                       

       2                             .Proposal Evaluation

  • Overall quality and completeness of proposal                                          .5

  • Experience and success with writing grant proposals                              .30

  • Experience with copy-writing, editing and communications                  .15

  • Knowledge and experience with the not-for profit and/or                    
    community health sector                                                                               

  • Demonstrated understanding of SWCHC’s model of care,                      .10
    mission, mandate and programs                                                                   

  • Experience with anti-racist, anti-oppression and health                          .10
    equity approaches                                                                                            

  • Consultant Resume                                                                                         .10                     

       3                             .Price Evaluation                                                                                                             .10                                 .N/A

       4                             .Interview Evaluation – if deemed necessary                                                             .10                                 .N/A

       5                             .References                                                                                                                      .Pass/Fail                      .Pass      

5.3  Selection of a Consultant

Each stage is evaluated separately and in sequential order. Eligible Consultants must achieve a score higher than the minimum score in each stage to participate in the next stage. If interviews are deemed necessary by the SWCHC, selected Consultants may be invited to participate in an interview. A maximum of three (3) eligible Consultants with the highest point scores up to Stage 3 may be invited to participate in an interview.

The proposal with the lowest price does not automatically guarantee a winning proposal. In addition, there is no guarantee that any of the submitted proposals will be accepted.


5.4  Contract Award

SWCHC will make the award to the successful Consultant that can provide the best proposal for the SWCHC. The selected Consultant’s entire proposal will be evaluated on the basis of the response to all information requested in this RFP. The successful Consultant will be invited to enter into a Services Agreement with the SWCHC. Notice of selection to the Consultant will be in writing.

5.5  Failure to Enter into Agreement

If a selected Consultant fails to execute the Services Agreement within a period of 30 days of notice of selection, SWCHC, in its sole and absolute discretion and without incurring any liability, rescind the selection of that Consultant.


6.1  Reservation of Rights of SWCHC

In addition to any other express rights or any other rights which may be implied in the circumstances, without liability, cost or penalty to SWCHC, SWCHC may at any time prior to or after the RFP Closing Date: 

  • Waive formalities and accept proposals that substantially comply with the requirements of this RFP; 

  • Waive irregularities in any Consultant’s proposal; 

  • Check references other than those provided in the proposal; 

  • Disqualify a Consultant whose proposal contains misrepresentations or any other inaccurate or misleading information; 

  • Disqualify a Consultant or the proposal of a Consultant who has engaged in conduct prohibited by this RFP; 

  • Accept or reject a proposal if only one proposal is submitted; 

  • Select any Consultant other than the Consultant whose proposal reflects the lowest pricing; 

  • Cancel this RFP process at any stage; 

  • Cancel this RFP and issue a new RFP for the same or similar services; 

  • Discuss with any Consultant different or additional terms to those contemplated in this RFP or in any Consultant’s proposal; 

  • Accept a Consultant’s Proposal as is, or negotiate with any Consultant any new requirements or terms, or changes that may be deemed necessary by SWCHC; and 

  • Reject any or all proposals in the absolute discretion of SWCHC.

Any amendment or supplement to this RFP will be communicated to interested parties in the same manner in which this RFP was issued.

Any reference to RFP in this document will mean this RFP and all addenda, amendments or supplements, if any.

6.2  Costs

The Consultant will bear all costs associated with or incurred in the preparation and presentation of its proposal. Neither the failure of the Consultant to understand the RFP, nor SWCHC’s rejection of any or all proposals, will render SWCHC and their respective affiliates liable for any costs, penalties or damages. The Consultant will not hold SWCHC and their respective affiliates liable for any error or omission in any part of this RFP. SWCHC does not guarantee or warrant that such information is accurate, comprehensive or exhaustive.

6.3  Confidentiality

All information distributed in connection with this RFP is confidential, and is to be used for the sole purpose of completing submissions and are to be used for no other purpose unless prior written consent has been provided by SWCHC. All material and information distributed will remain the property of SWCHC to be used at their discretion.

All Consultants electing not to submit a proposal will dispose of any and all confidential information in a responsible manner.

6.4  Governing Law

The RFP, the Consultant’s proposal and every document that will be required to be executed by the parties pursuant to the RFP will be governed by the laws of Ontario and the laws of Canada applicable therein, without reference to their respective conflict of laws principles.

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