Kindergarten Readiness RFP

Request for Proposal for Parent Engagement & Public Information Effort

Project Overview
United Way of Cowlitz & Wahkiakum Counties is seeking proposals from nonprofits, businesses or other organizations to assist with the development, coordination and implementation of an effort to educate and engage parents to: 

•    Inform parents about the importance of preparing children for kindergarten.
•    Provide information about how to engage and support children so that they are prepared for kindergarten.
•    Connect families and children to services available in our community.

United Way will be a part of the planning, messaging and strategy of the project. The goal of this project is to help engage parents so that they are more aware and more connected to services so that their children are ready for kindergarten.

We welcome applications from organizations from a variety of backgrounds. We understand that this is an open-ended effort and are interested in hearing responses from different types of organizations or from organizations that partner and complement each other. We welcome conversations and would be happy to talk with you about your ideas before you apply. 

United Way of Cowlitz & Wahkiakum Counties is committed to ensuring that by 2032, at least 80% of local children are prepared for kindergarten. Our goal is to build partnerships, systems and solutions so that every child has access to a quality education and the resources they need to succeed. Studies show that when children show up to kindergarten with social-emotional and academic skills, they are more likely to be successful in kindergarten and beyond.

Today, many children throughout Cowlitz & Wahkiakum Counties are facing barriers to accessing services and acquiring skills they need. This is especially true for children who come from low-income households, BIPCOC families, or children who have disabilities, language barriers or who are experiencing homelessness. United Way’s goal is to remove barriers and fill gaps so that children have the support they need and the strong start in life that they deserve.

Our community has many local services and organizations that serve families, and yet many families may not be aware of these services or may not have the ability to connect with these services. Many families are facing significant strain, especially as we come out of the pandemic. Engaging parents and connecting families and children to the network of support services is a necessary step so that parents can support their children and ensure they have access to available resources.

Objective & Scope of Project:
We are seeking proposals from nonprofits, organizations or consulting firms equipped to assist in and drive forward a community engagement and public information effort.

In coordination with United Way, the organization will:
•    Develop an implementation plan for engaging with parents through direct communication, peer-to-peer networking, organizational communication, community leader engagement and online communication.
•    Create an outreach list and contact information for organizations and community leaders.
•    Work with United Way to create localized, United Way-branded communication materials to support and engage parents, including flyer, social media and digital ads, radio spots, newsletter content, etc.
•    Conduct outreach to organizations, parents and leaders to engage and provide information, in coordination with United Way team, which may include initial outreach to organizations.
•    Solicit and track feedback from parents, service providers, community leaders and community organizations. 
•    Meet with United Way team on a regular basis to discuss strategy, implementation and progress.
•    Track and measure outcomes of the effort, including but not limited to the number of parents and community leaders engaged.
•    Develop best practices or systems that can be replicated to help expand the number of parents who are engaged throughout the community.

Project Budget & Timing:
Once an organization is selected, United Way will meet with the organization to develop a detailed timeline and approach. Project timeline should be approximately 6 – 8 months.

The budget for this project is not to exceed $50,000 including outreach materials, digital advertising, online engagement and staff time. 

Proposal Questions:
In your proposal, please provide information about your organization, including answers to the following questions: 
•    Why is your organization a good fit and qualified for this project?
•    What is your approach to engaging the community and parents specifically? How would you approach reaching parents who may not be connected with existing networks or organizations?
•    How would you recommend utilizing the budget for this effort? Please provide an itemized budget and timeline
•    If you are a nonprofit or other organization, how would this outreach align with or complement the work that you do?
•    What are challenges or obstacles that you foresee in the implementation of this project?
•    Do you have partnerships with any agency or community connections that may help support your work in this area?

Questions? Please feel free to reach out with any questions or if you would like to discuss your ideas before applying.
You can also join our Live Q&A Zoom Call on Friday, June 2nd, from 1 PM to 2 PM. If you would like to join, please reach out to Sabrina Kochprapha for the link.

Proposal Deadline: Please email your proposal to Sabrina Kochprapha, Executive Director at by June 23.

Organizations are free to ask questions or discuss proposals in advance of submitting them. Qualifying organizations will be interviewed in July with an expected start date in August.