Request for Proposals: The Big Response Project




Many children in Canada are facing adversities in their daily lives such as poverty, family violence, school disengagement or identity challenges. These circumstances have nothing to do with the value of who they are or who they can become, but because of these adversities, Canadian children and youth are at risk of not reaching their full potential.

With the guidance and support of a mentor, these risks can be reduced or even avoided, and youth are encouraged to realize their full potential. This is the work of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada: enabling life-changing mentoring relationships that ignite the power and potential of young people.

For over 100 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been matching mentors and mentees in 1-to-1 and group mentoring programs. Our 100 agency membership run a variety of mentoring programs in 1,100 communities across Canada. Every year, together with more than 21,000 volunteer mentors who log over 1.7 million volunteer hours, we intentionally invest in the lives of 42,000 Canadian youth, the lives of their families, and the communities in which they live.

The Opportunity

The pandemic of 2020 and rise of the anti-racism movement has shone a spotlight on innovation needs within the BBBS network. Accordingly, we are entering a stage of critical response and modernization.

The Big Response Project will explore the emerging needs of our BIG 3; the family, the agency, and the mentor. An understanding of these needs will inform how we approach volunteer recruitment, enrollment, training, and matching into the future. We will strive to ultimately answer the question: What new strategies do we need to recruit, enroll, and retain the ‘Volunteer of Tomorrow’? By answering this question, we will be prepared to respond to evolving service delivery needs and demands.

Furthermore, this project will include a marketing and public awareness phase. We hope to raise public awareness of mentorship as an essential part of the post-pandemic recovery efforts across Canada, while recruiting new volunteers and supporters to sustain our operations and continue to meet the growing demand.

The Project Phases

There are 4 Phases with key deliverables within each:

  1. Research & Findings: consultation with network stakeholders, review ofexisting developments in the network & review of the literature.

  2. Big Response & Recovery Kit: creation of an internal BBBS organizational response tool-kit (innovative mediums acceptable) that merges best practice from the literature and the BBBS network findings.

  3. Public Awareness Campaign: driven by the Research & Findings, the creation of marketing creatives with data- informed messages for volunteer recruitment & mentoring awareness.

  4. Marketing Execution: creation of a recruitment and awareness campaign via new and innovative social media assets for 3 months.

Working with BBBSC

  • The scope of this project is over 7 months. Sept-Dec for Phases 1, 2 & 3 and Jan-March for Phase 4 with a budget within 30-32K.
  • Work with BBBSC’s Director of Program Innovation, Research & Evaluation while gathering insights and fulfilling project deliverables
  • Produce a Critical Path that plots the delivery and strategy for each of the 4 elements of the project (see project overview below)
  • Monthly update meetings with project coordinator
  • Work remotely with access to the required tools to complete the project Sign Terms of Agreement that includes Client Confidentiality
  • Adhere to BBBSC Communication Policy & Protect BBBSC Intellectual Property

Skills & Experience

  • Experience with social impact marketing and graphic design.
  • Experience consolidating promising practices to inform strategy and marketing assets. Experience leading projects grounded in principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion. Ideal candidate and/or firm will be Canadian based and have strong connections to diverse communities and both official language communities across Canada.
  • Experience leading projects pertaining to youth development, mentoring, volunteer recruitment & retention (or related field).

Submission Guidelines

All submissions should include: Brief Cover Letter, Contact Information, Information about Consultant and/or Company, Relevant Project Example (if available) and Project Cost Estimate (no travel required).

Proposals must be received no later than 5:00 pm on August 31st 2020 and should be sent via email to Megan Vella, National Director of Program Innovation, Research & Evaluation at