Does the NEI team have a rough estimate on how many stories they are expecting the team to capture?

NEI does not have a specific quantity of stories in mind for this campaign. We expect proposals to suggest a volume of activity commensurate with the campaign’s 18-month time frame.

NEI has a deep bench of creative partners – do you expect that they will be a part of the creative process at any point?

NEI has many partners, including grantee organizations and consultants. These partners may be asked to contribute ideas for story subjects throughout the creative process; however, their interactions with campaign partners will only happen through NEI.

From a success metrics are there established goals in place from a measurement standpoint?

What are your metrics of success for this campaign?

Will bidding firms/teams be provided any measurable objectives, key performance indicators, definition of success, etc.?

NEI expects campaign partners to suggest metrics for measuring the plan they put forward in their proposal.

Please refer to section “9.0 Desired Outcomes” in the campaign RFP deck for more information on NEI’s plans to measure campaign efficacy through a survey that will be administered in partnership with the University of Michigan’s DMACS team. NEI will share survey questions with campaign finalists, as well as the results of the survey when they are available in early 2019.

Are you taking meetings in the RFP submission period, prior to selecting the finalists, to get to know the teams you might be working with?

NEI is not taking meetings during the RFP submission period.

Are you open to hiring production (including video, photography, graphic design) and media buying / community outreach as separate contracts? Or would you prefer one pre-assembled team to handle all aspects of your campaign? We do see that “teams of multiple firms are encouraged” and “NEI reserves the right to engage with / select multiple campaign partners.” But we would just like to clarify your expectations and specific needs in tailoring our proposal of ideas.

NEI’s preference is to engage in a single contract with the lead firm of a pre-assembled team; however, NEI is open to scenarios in which separate contracts with multiple firms are required.

Are there production vendors the selected consultant will be directed to work with? Should/can the consultant use its own production vendors for campaign needs?

The campaign partner is encouraged to propose its own vendors for campaign needs, though NEI may suggest other partners.

Will media buy and production be paid directly by NEI? Would the consultant be able to leverage existing NEI/funders marketing relationships? Will NEI pay the consultant, who will then pay the vendors? Will there be a gross or net media buy?

The campaign partner will buy media, pay production fees, and pay vendors.

Will the new campaign materials need to reflect the existing NEIdeas visual brand/feel?

No, this is neither a requirement nor an expectation.

Should the “look” of the RFP response more or less match the look of your existing website and assets? Or are you looking for a completely new look?

See answer above.

What is the call to action for the campaign? Why that call to action? How does the CTA fit into NEI’s overall strategy?

Please refer to section “7.0 Call to Action” in the RFP deck.

Since 2007, NEI has been working to build an inclusive network of support for people looking to start and grow businesses in southeast Michigan. But more is needed to make the concept of entrepreneurship accessible to everyone in our region, particularly people living in underserved and underrepresented communities. This campaign ought to provide inspiration for action and paths to channel that inspiration.

Tell us about your expectations for the consultant/s to deliver a campaign versus a campaign plus “infrastructure” (e.g. resources and materials)

On page 9 of the RFP it states, “Selected campaign partners will work with NEI to identify and develop these resources.” Is there a vision for what you expect to see? Do you expect to evolve existing resources or create new resources?

What existing startup business resource guide or online resource directory exists and/or is planned by NEI in the coming months? Do the teams participating in the RFP need to demonstrate how they will produce a new destination landing page/resource guide as part of the RFP? (Related: Is respondent responsible for any and all web development and custom web design to support the storytelling campaign, or is that handled by NEI/other partners?)

How will the storytelling campaign align with opportunities and resources from NEI (or other initiatives?) for potential future entrepreneurs who are inspired by the campaign?

Are the resources you mention in the RFP essentially contained within the Biz Grid and Is that resource active and up to date? Are there other resources?

In addition to delivering the campaign, NEI expects campaign partners to develop a public-facing resource, for example a website, where campaign content will be collected. Our expectation is that this resource will point to external resources–existing and yet-to-be-created–that can help those inspired by campaign stories to pursue and develop their own ideas and/or support local businesses.

NEI is currently exploring how it might develop a resource to help would-be and existing entrepreneurs navigate the ecosystem of resources currently available in southeast Michigan, building upon previous projects like the BizGrid. This may become one of the external resources that the campaign points to.

The BizGrid is active, but not up-to-date.

Are there efforts to expand reach and engagement by partnering with additional funders to enlarge the scope of the campaign?

Not at this time.

Is there any “give” in terms of the media mix? For example, would a recommendation for an alternative creative/media mix platform (instead of television and billboard) be considered?

Absolutely. We are open to your creative ideas for this campaign. Please refer to the slide titled “6.0 Campaign Media” in the RFP deck.

Can prospective bidders have access to the raw data from the survey completed by Gyro? If not, will the winning bidder have access to the results?

The winning bidder will have access to the raw data from the survey completed by Gyro.

Can you provide examples of campaigns or creative work that you find inspiring?

In an effort not to steer the creativity of RFP respondents, NEI will not be sharing inspirational examples of campaigns and creative work. We encourage RFP respondents to share work they find inspiring if they believe it will help elucidate the ideas put forward in their proposal.

Are there other businesses, nonprofits, foundations or other entities that you are not currently partnering with that you feel like you are sharing space/competing with?

NEI is guided by a spirit of partnership and is always open to making new connections to further its mission of growing an inclusive culture of entrepreneurship in southeast Michigan. While NEI believes itself to be well networked in the nonprofit and foundation world, it is interested in building stronger relationships with the corporate sector in support of inclusive entrepreneurship.

In the 2017 annual report, NEI alluded to securing contractors & partners in 2018 to complete the following:

Identifying and documenting:
– All public & philanthropy-funded service providers supporting entrepreneurship & business growth in southeast MI.
– Long-term funding needs of NEI’s active grantees and their programs
– Roles and responsibilities of organizations promoting an inclusive culture of entrepreneurial support in the region.
Did this work get completed and will the winning bidder gain access to the results?

Yes, this work will be completed in 2018. The campaign partners selected through this RFP process will have access to the results.

Can you provide any analytics for any existing NEI-sponsored websites that may help inform a proposal? Similarly, can you provide any demographic/attendee data from events that you’ve sponsored in the past?

We will not be sharing analytics to NEI-sponsored websites at this time, though this information will be made available to those selected as campaign partners.

For demographic information about the people served by NEI grantees, please refer to pages 10-12 of NEI’s 2017 annual report, which is available here:

What do you think is missing from your current websites/resources?

NEI has worked with partners in the past to develop tools to help southeast Michigan entrepreneurs navigate the variety of resources available to them, most notably through the process that created the BizGrid. The shortcomings of these resources is that they have fallen out-of-date. NEI is interested in creating a resource that helps would-be and existing entrepreneurs navigate the ecosystem of resources available to them in southeast Michigan–one that stays current through widespread participation from across that ecosystem.

Can you share the grading tool you will use for evaluating proposals?

What are the benchmarks and criteria for evaluation? What will the bidding firm/team be graded on? Any weighting?

Each proposal will be evaluated on its own merits. Here is an overview of the process NEI will use to select partners:

After proposals are received on Nov. 16, a team of NEI partners and stakeholders will review each proposal and supplemental materials, ranking their favorites.

Based on those rankings, 4-5 finalists will be invited to present their proposals to another team of NEI partners and stakeholders, this one including representatives of NEI grantee organizations and local entrepreneurs, on Monday, December 17 (date tentative), at a location in downtown Detroit.

Following internal deliberations, campaign partners will be selected. NEI and selected partners will work to develop a contractual agreement that will commence in January 2019.

Do you utilize NetPromoter Score or similar reporting tools?

NEI does not use NetPromoter Score or similar reporting tools.

How much influence will being a Detroit-based business, minority-owned, and/or woman-owned business have in the selection process?

NEI will consider several factors in the selection of campaign partners, including the strength and feasibility of ideas put forward, cost, and diversity of respondent teams.

Please describe the scope and depth of your existing assets/inventory that could be relevant for the storytelling campaign. What does NEI have that can be re-purposed? Content and images? Video? And would the selected agency group have access to existing creative assets and inventory, content, images, etc.?

NEI has significant photo assets, primarily from the last five years of its NEIdeas small business challenge, that can be repurposed for this campaign. Those photos can be viewed here: (Photos of the 2018 winners of the NEIdeas challenge will be available after November 8.)

NEI has also produced several videos over the years. Those can be viewed here:

Selected partners will have access to all of these assets.

The campaign will include dissemination of business development and business startup educational content. Will that educational content be provided by NEI, or will respondent be responsible for developing that information in addition to the entrepreneurial storytelling?

The campaign partner will not be responsible for developing business development and business startup educational content, per se. The partner will, however, work with NEI to identify such materials that campaign resources and content might point to.

Is it intended that all stories developed also will reside on the existing NEI website or should they reside on a separate web entity?

Does NEI wish that internet traffic be directed to NEI’s website, or is there a desire for a stand-alone website for this campaign?

We ask that campaign partners create a stand-alone resource to house campaign content, though NEI will also feature content from the campaign on its website and social media accounts.

What about translation services/reaching non-English speaking audience members? Do respondents need to demonstrate a resource plan for various versions of content and/or captioning services or does NEI have a separate plan for non-English audience members? If so, can you specific which languages content will be translated to?

As the primary audience and campaign should include ethnically diverse residents, should translation and language services be part of the campaign budget and implementation?

NEI encourages respondents to think of ways to engage non-English speaking communities in Detroit and southeast Michigan.

The UM-DMACS questions…will they also be posted on your website and/or emailed to RFP participants prior to Nov. 16? (Or are they still being approved?)

DMACS survey questions are not yet finalized, but they should be available before November 16. If possible, we will share them during the finalist stage of the RFP process.


You describe the audience as general public in SE Michigan. What defines SE Michigan for you?

Southeast Michigan, for the purposes of this campaign, is Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, and Washtenaw counties.

Both “Detroit” and “southeast Michigan” are used in the document. Does Detroit always reference the region?

Should activity be focused on activity/residents within the City proper, or include Metro Detroit?

Our primary audience for this campaign lives in the city of Detroit (we include Hamtramck and Highland Park when we say “Detroit”). Our secondary audience is in southeast Michigan, as defined above.

While our the geography of our primary audience is specific, we recognize that stories of entrepreneurs from other parts of southeast Michigan can be relevant to Detroiters.

You talk about identifying entrepreneurs to feature in the campaign. During the 2 years of the campaign, will these entrepreneurs be supported by resources, services, etc. that NEI has access to?

It is NEI’s hope that campaign partners work with NEI and its grantees to identify entrepreneurs to feature in the campaign, therefore it is likely that many will already be supported by resources and services in our network. Regardless, NEI is interested in connecting entrepreneurs featured in the campaign to additional resources wherever possible.

How will “underserved and underrepresented communities” be identified? Based on what metrics, and what partner organizations? Especially those underserved and underrepresented communities outside of the City proper? (Assuming that we have a better idea of who is underserved and underrepresented within the communities. Has NEI done any work around helping people with legal status or employment status? Immigrants may be some of the underserved/underrepresented communities, but may not have the legal status to become entrepreneurs?

“Underserved and underrepresented communities” refers to populations historically disconnected from resources: people of color, immigrants, and women.

NEI has supported numerous grantee organizations that work with underserved and underrepresented communities, including immigrant communities. These organizations will be resources to campaign partners in their attempts to reach the intended campaign audiences.

Seemingly, campaign deliverables could include PR, editorial, social media, online, advertising, marketing and outreach. Any parameters on how the $500,000-$750,000 budget should cover consultant fees, and how much should be allotted for production costs, media buy and campaign expenses? Any prioritization on the deliverables? How should the bidding firm/team scope these accurately? Must hourly rates be provided?

NEI is asking campaign respondents to put forward their ideas for how resources should be allocated. Hourly rates may be provided to add clarity to the budget section of the proposal, though they are not required.

Will the campaign budget be allocated throughout the campaign? Or frontloaded for media buying?

NEI is open to either possibility.


Any estimates of the volume of calls and regular meetings the consultant should expect to manage? Scheduled meetings with funders? Do you expect the selected firm/team to co-locate during the campaign? Should the firm/team plan to have a resource onsite regularly?

Campaign partners are expected to maintain regular communication with NEI throughout the duration of the campaign. This will likely be more intensive at the outset of the relationship. Partners will be expected to attend monthly meetings throughout the campaign and answer periodic check-in calls and emails as needed. Campaign partners will not meet with NEI funders. Co-location is not expected.

Will all 13 of NEI’s funders contribute to this campaign? Will they have expectations/involvement in campaign implementation?


Can NEI or CFSEM board members/steering committee/trustees be references?


How many campaign partners are anticipated to be sourced? Is there a way for bidding firms/teams to know who’s bidding on the RFP?

NEI will ultimately determine the number of campaign partners based on the proposals received. It may be the case that a single partner/team of firms is selected, while it could also be the case that multiple partners are asked to collaborate.

NEI will inform finalists of whom they are competing with.

In addition to the 15-20 page limit, is there guidance on paper size, doublespacing, font size, double-sided, etc.? Is a cover sheet included in the page limit?

We ask simply that proposal documents be legible. Please use your best judgment in selecting fonts, spacing, and paper size, noting that reviewers will most likely read your proposal on a computer screen. We will not include your cover sheet in the page count.

Are there Federal, State, City forms required for submission with our proposal? Anything requiring notarization?


Should the firm/team be prepared to provide company financials? Sign Affidavit confirming no conflict of interest or non-collusion? Any exclusivity requirements?

Not at this time. Confidentiality terms will be discussed when it comes time for selected partners to enter into a contract with the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, NEI’s parent organization.

Are appendices allowed (providing further details on the team, bios/resumes, case study background, other attachments)? Is there a limit on the number of attachments that can accompany the proposal?

Yes, appendices are allowed, though NEI cautions respondents to consider reviewers’ time and refrain from adding significant length their proposals.

Can the bidding firm/team submit electronic media such as video examples of past work via flash drive?

Flash drives will not be accepted, but links to cloud-based folders (e.g. Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.) containing past work samples will.

Are mockups and other plan support expected for the RFP submission? Any new branding and visual identity development involved in the campaign?

NEI welcomes mockups and branding and visual identity development if the respondent sees them as important to their proposal.

Are sub-consultants required to submit anything for the proposal?

No, though we are curious to know who will be on your team, as specified in section “11.0 Submission Elements” of the RFP deck.

Any insurances and liability coverage required?

Not at this time.

Is “What If” the expected campaign? Are you open to other campaign themes / ideas?

Does the “What if?” language need to be explicitly used in the messaging? Or is it more of a strategic framework?

The “What if” language is more of a strategic framework than a directive. NEI is open to other campaign themes/ideas that align with that framework.

Are you comfortable targeting early-stage entrepreneurs as well as those closer to a path to success? (Related) Is the primary audience people who may not know they’re entrepreneurs or is the primary audience those who already self-identify as such, ie people who already have an idea and are looking to bring it to life?

NEI is interested in sharing stories of a wide spectrum of entrepreneurs.

The primary audience for this campaign includes people who may not know they are entrepreneurs.

How concerned are you with the digital divide and how have you successfully reached Detroit communities that do not have internet access?

NEI is interested in reaching across the digital divide with this campaign. NEI has experience reaching Detroit communities that do not have internet access, primarily through outreach activities for the NEIdeas small business challenge, which have included advertising on buses, billboards, and urban radio, as well as utilizing a street team to circulate print materials.

What resources has NEI successfully used to to connect with Detroit communities? Public libraries? Churches? Public Schools? Does NEI have a list of community spaces with pre-existing NEI relationships?

NEI has developed and used a network of ambassador organizations–churches, neighborhood nonprofits, public libraries, and other community groups–to spread the word onprograms like its NEIdeas small business challenge to Detroit communities. A list of those organizations can be found here: