Ford C3 RFP


REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS

FORD COLLEGE COMMUNITY CHALLENGE

Ford Motor Company Fund
Dearborn, Michigan
March 10, 2014


INTRODUCTION


Ford Motor Company Fund is reaching out to students, colleges and universities to request proposals for a seventh round of an innovative grant-making initiative: The Ford College Community Challenge. This program is designed to empower student-led projects at higher education organizations to catalyze community-building projects that address pressing local needs.

The overarching theme of the Ford College Community Challenge is “Building Sustainable Communities.” At Ford, we understand that to be a truly sustainable organization, we must play an active role in the larger community, helping address a wide range of vital issues from education to safety to mobility.

Winning proposals must address, in some creative way, a tangible, unmet community need that addresses the issue of building a sustainable community. Participants are urged to think broadly and explore a variety of potential topics including infrastructure and workforce needs, education pipeline issues, design issues, new approaches to student volunteerism, etc.

Through Ford C3, Ford Motor Company Fund hopes to support colleges and universities as they work with students to design and develop programs and initiatives that address critical community needs in new ways, with a focus on helping the community become a more sustainable place to work and live. It is our hope that participating students will find their creativity and resourcefulness engaged in meaningful and unexpected ways.

Up to 10 winning proposals will be selected to receive $25,000 each from Ford Motor Company Fund to support implementation of the proposed projects. Winning proposals must, at a minimum:

  1. Describe an Innovative Approach to “Building Sustainable Communities”;
  2. Involve Students in a Leadership Role;
  3. Seek to Address an Urgent and Unmet Community Need in a Tangible Way;
  4. Involve a Community-Based Organization as a Partner;
  5. Involve the School of Business, Engineering, or Design in Some Way.

Each of these areas will be expanded in the RFP. Respondents interested in submitting a proposal in partnership with another organization are welcome to do so.

All respondents to this RFP must be Section 501(c)(3) organizations which are classified as public charities under Section 509(a)(1) or (2) of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) or political subdivisions. This RFP does not commit Ford Motor Company Fund, or Ford Motor Company, to accept proposals or contracts for service or pay the cost incurred in the preparation of a response to this RFP.

Students and student organizations responding to this RFP must work with their college or university to gain their agreement to apply for, and serve as, the fiduciary organization for this grant. The college’s or university’s fiscal officer must be notified of the submission. Responding colleges and universities must meet the IRS requirements listed above.

 


FORD COLLEGE COMMUNITY CHALLENGE:

PROGRAM SUMMARY


PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
  • Objectives. Ford C3 is a special initiative of Ford Motor Company Fund. Its purpose is to challenge colleges and universities to partner with their local communities to design innovative, student-led projects that address critical community needs which are consistent with charitable purposes as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Code.

PROGRAM SPECIFICS
  • Summary. Participating schools and student-led teams will work with their local communities to put together innovative proposals that utilize the school's resources and capacity to address a need in the community. Proposals must address the theme of the challenge—Building Sustainable Communities—in some unique way. Up to 10 winning proposals will be selected to receive a one-time, $25,000 grant from Ford Motor Company Fund to implement their proposals.
  • Ford C3 Theme: Building Sustainable Communities. Successful proposals will take an innovative approach to defining what building a sustainable community means in their local community. In this challenge, the term Sustainable Communities is not meant to be restricted to environmental concerns. Instead, Ford C3 uses the term to describe healthy, livable communities that are poised to thrive in a global economy, encompassing a wide range of issues from education to safety to mobility. Proposals should incorporate a fresh and unique approach to this theme.
  • Note: The Project Must be Consistent with Charitable Purposes as Described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Code. Given that this initiative is being supported by Ford Motor Company Fund (foundation) dollars, any proposed project must be consistent with a charitable purpose described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Code. These purposes include, but are not limited to, combating community deterioration and juvenile delinquency; lessening neighborhood tensions; reducing unemployment and underemployment; engaging in related activities in relief of the poor, the distressed or the underprivileged; or any other charitable purpose.
  • Criteria. In order to be considered, project proposals must meet the following criteria:
    1. The Project Must Describe an Innovative Approach to "Building Sustainable Communities." As described above, Ford C3 uses the term Sustainable Communities in a very broad way. Ford Motor Company Fund is looking for partner schools and student organizations to create interesting, unique, and ingenious approaches to defining this term, the more creative the better. Potential areas of focus could include (but are not limited to):
      1. Education and Training. In an increasingly global economy, human capital is perhaps the most important ingredient to a community’s ability to survive and thrive.
      2. Safety. What do we mean when we refer to "safe communities?" How has this definition changed with the advent of the internet and other technologies?
      3. Sustainable Mobility. How can we design and implement affordable, clean, and safe transportation systems for the 21st Century?
      4. Environmental Sustainability. Clean water and air are critical to the overall health and well being of a community. How can members of a community (both individuals and organizations) learn to become more environmentally conscious and sustainable?
      5. Sustainable Urban Design.
      6. Creative approaches to the conservation, or use, of water.
      7. Student volunteer programs that partner with local non profits in new ways.

      This list of issues is meant to help stimulate ideas—proposals need not be limited to these issues.

    2. The Project Must Involve Students in a Leadership Role. University students must be involved in a leadership role in the project, and in all aspects of the project from design to implementation. Successful proposals will demonstrate this involvement in some detail.

    3. The Project Must Seek to Address an Urgent and Unmet Community Need in a Tangible Way. Ford C3 is not looking for research studies or reports. Successful proposals will describe a project that touches the community in meaningful ways, and that make a difference on a topic of real importance to the local community. While research/study can and should be a part of any project, some kind of meaningful and demonstrable action is required.

    4. The Project Must Involve a Community-Based Organization as a Partner. Winning proposals will demonstrate an active and meaningful partnership with a local community-based organization. The term "community-based organization" is not used as a legal term here, but rather to describe any organization that plays a role in the life of the local community (e.g. schools, social service agencies, businesses, government entities).

    5. The Project Must Involve the School of Engineering, Business, and/or Design in Some Way. Throughout its history interacting with higher education, Ford Motor Company Fund has concentrated much of its attention on schools of Business, Engineering, and Design. Similarly, winning Ford C3 proposals will involve students from one or more of these three schools in some way.

  • Extra Credit. Additional consideration will be given to proposals that are able to:
    1. Leverage additional community resources, monetary or human, to support the proposed project;
    2. Use Ford Motor Company Fund dollars efficiently to extend the life of the project;
    3. Create initiatives that can be sustained after Ford Motor Company Fund money has been incorporated into the project.

  • Communication and Publicity. Proposals should include a brief section that addresses how the university will communicate and/or publicize the project through various outlets (e.g. press release, web, local television and print, etc).

BUDGET

For budgeting purposes, proposals should assume a one-time grant of $25,000 from Ford Motor Company Fund (up to 10 winning proposals will receive this grant amount). Additional financial resources brought to the project should be clearly identified and described.


ROLLOUT
  • The process of soliciting proposals from participating schools will be a standard "Request for Proposal” (RFP) process. This RFP lays out all of the requirements of the Challenge, and specifies the proposal format and issues to be addressed.
  • For the first round competition, representatives from Ford Motor Company Fund and the Ford C3 management team will review all proposals and select 20 proposals to move forward to the second round. Selection will be based on how well proposals meet the five criteria outlined in this RFP.
  • For the second round of the competition, Ford Motor Company Fund will put together a Proposal Review Team made up of Ford Motor Company Fund and Ford Motor Company representatives, who will score the proposals based on a prepared RFP scoring sheet. The Review Team will return their scored proposals to Ford Motor Company Fund, who will then rank the proposals according to their overall average scores. The Review Team will come together to discuss the rankings and make recommendations to Ford Motor Company Fund’s Board of Directors which will select a final list of winners. The decision of the Board of Directors will be final.
  • Winning schools will be presented with their awards from Ford Motor Company Fund and will then have a set amount of time within which to implement their projects, to be negotiated with Ford Motor Company Fund.

TIMELINE
March 10: RFP distributed; template and online form available
May 2: First round proposals due
May 27: Top 20 proposals selected and posted on Ford Blue Oval Scholars site
Mid-June: Winners selected
June — Spring 2015 Projects implemented

The exact timing of the announcement events and project implementation period will be negotiated with Ford Motor Company Fund on an individual project basis.


PROPOSAL SPECIFICS


The 2014 Ford C3 competition will run in two rounds:

Round One: Open Competition

During the first round of the competition, short proposals will be accepted from all qualified applicants (as described in this RFP). These initial proposals should utilize the templates provided on the Ford Blue Oval Scholars site, http://www.fordscholars.org/ford-c3. Proposals should address the following areas:

  1. Introduction and Project Summary
  2. Description of How Project Meets Each of the Ford C3 Criteria
    1. The Project Must Describe an Innovative Approach to "Building Sustainable Communities"
    2. The Project Must Involve Students in a Leadership Role
    3. The Project Must Seek to Address an Urgent and Unmet Community Need in a Tangible Way
    4. The Project Must Involve a Community-Based Organization as a Partner
    5. The Project Must Involve the School of Engineering, Business, and/or Design in Some Way
  3. Extra Credit Areas
    1. Will the project be sustainable after Ford Motor Company Fund monies are completed?
    2. Can additional resources be identified and leveraged?
    3. Are there any strategies for extending the life of the initiative?
  4. Budget
  5. Timeline

Please visit http://www.fordscholars.org/ford-c3 to download the template that should be used to create proposals for this first round of the competition.

Round Two: Top 20

Twenty proposals from the first round will be selected to advance to the second round of the competition. These proposals will be asked to provide an additional “elevator speech” description of their projects, delivered via video, that we can post on our website. You may view the Video Submission Guidelines for more information. Up to 10 proposals will be selected as 2014 winners of the Ford College Community Challenge.


AWARD STRUCTURE AND ROLLOUT


AWARD PROCESS
  • Ford C3 is an initiative of the Ford Motor Company Fund, and will be managed by Ford Motor Company Fund as a competitive challenge grant program. Proposal entries will be judged by the criteria listed in this RFP, and up to ten winning proposals will be funded.
  • Ford Motor Company Fund will enter into a standard Grant Agreement with the winning schools. Winning schools must apply for funding through Ford’s online grant system. Funds will be made available to 4-6 weeks after the application is completed.

TIMELINE
March 10: RFP distributed; template and online form available
May 2: First round proposals due
May 27: Top 20 proposals selected and posted on Ford Blue Oval Scholars site
Mid-June: Winners selected
June — Spring 2015 Projects implemented

The exact timing of the announcement events and project implementation period will be negotiated with Ford Motor Company Fund on an individual project basis.

PARTICIPANTS' PERSONAL INFORMATION

Participants’ Personal Information collected is subject to the Privacy Statement located on www.fordscholars.org. By participating in the Ford College Community Challenge, you expressly agree to the terms of the Privacy Statement.

Q&A CONFERENCE CALL

Participating schools will have the ability to ask specific questions about the proposal in a conference call scheduled for April 1, 2014 at 2:00 pm EST. In the interest of fairness, other than factual questions, no additional information will be given out about the program outside of this scheduled call.

Please contact Mallory Sharpe at misenber@ford.com or 313-337-1942 to sign up for the call and get call-in information.

After this call, additional factual questions about the proposal process should be addressed via e-mail to Mallory, who will route them to the appropriate source for a timely reply.


PROPOSAL SUBMISSION PROCEDURES


For your convenience, a downloadable proposal template is available at the Ford Blue Oval Scholars site, at http://www.fordscholars.org/ford-c3. Please submit all proposals to the Ford Blue Oval Scholars site.

Proposals must be received on or before the close of business on Friday, May 2, 2014. Proposals received after the deadline will not be considered.