Request for Proposal

Community Needs Assessment of

Aroostook County Maine

June, 2020



About-Aroostook County Action Program

Aroostook County Action Program, Inc. (ACAP), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, was founded in 1972. For nearly five decades ACAP has provided a vast array of social services that address poverty in a comprehensive way. ACAP provides services to approximately 14,000 clients per year in southern, central and northern Aroostook County. ACAP has four major program areas to meet emerging human needs:  Early Care and Education, Energy and Housing, Economic Development, and Prevention and Wellness.  Funding for ACAP comes from various local, state and federal sources, as well as from various private organizations and foundations.

ACAP provides programs and services to low-income Aroostook County residents which include:

  • Adolescent Services
  • Adult Job Services
  • Affordable Care Act Navigator Program
  • Breast Pump Loaner Program
  • Breastfeeding Support
  • Central Heating Improvement Program
  • Child Care
  • Child Care Food Program
  • Coaching
  • Drug Free Aroostook
  • Early Intervention Services
  • Energy Crisis Intervention
  • Energy, Moisture & Infiltration Audit Inspection
  • Family Development Accounts
  • Head Start and Early Head Start
  • Home Energy Assistance Program
  • Home Repair Network Program
  • Homeownership Support Counseling
  • Hope and Prosperity Resource Center
  • Improving Outcomes for Youth
  • Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative
  • Kids Integrated Dental Services
  • Lead Paint Inspection Program
  • Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0
  • Oral Health
  • Preschool Partnerships
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Supplemental Food for Women, Infant and Children
  • Tobacco Use Prevention
  • Weatherization
  • Youth Job Services Program



Aroostook County Action Program, Inc. (ACAP) invites interested parties to submit a proposal to conduct and author a comprehensive Community Needs Assessment of Aroostook County.  The selected party will conduct focus groups, integrate primary and secondary data, match causes and conditions of needs and trends, assess community services gaps, comment on intersection of demographic characteristics and poverty in Aroostook County, and complete a comprehensive report that details these findings, including key recommendations on focus areas to improve conditions in the community. The final document will be used both internally and externally by others in the community we serve.


The Community Needs Assessment will assist the Agency in strategic planning and programming decisions in relation to:  relevancy of programming, service delivery and design, resource allocation, and geographic distribution of services.



Release of RFP:                                Monday, June 15, 2020

Deadline for Submission:                  Friday, July 10, 2020

Notice of Award:                               Monday, July 20, 2020


Questions regarding this RFP are to be submitted by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with “Community Assessment” in the subject line.



Proposals must be submitted to Aroostook County Action Program (ACAP) via email with “Community Assessment Proposal” in the subject line by 4:00 PM on Friday, July 10, 2020.  Proposals received after the deadline will not be considered. The proposal offer acknowledges the right of the partners to accept or reject any or all proposals and to waive any informality in any proposal received.

Deadline:        By 4:00 PM on Friday, July 10, 2020
                       NO LATE PROPOSALS ACCEPTED

E-Mail to:        Sherry Locke, Development and Communication Manager ACAP, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Subject:          Community Assessment Proposal

All Proposals must be submitted on the forms provided, properly executed and with all items filled out in typed format.  Do not change or add words to the forms. Unauthorized conditions, limitations, or provisions on or attached to the forms may be cause for rejection of the Proposal.



Bidder’s response must include the following information in the same order and format sequence:

  • Cover Sheet
  • References
  • Cost sheet of estimated costs with estimated completion time
  • Vendor Disclosure Form
  • Written description of the anticipated process approach of the project based on Description of Services
  • Prior experience and qualifications
  • A work sample(s) or a web-link of a related piece(s)


The selected Bidder must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Experience in providing a comprehensive Community Needs Assessment
  • Familiarity with the demographics of Aroostook County
  • Expertise in statistically valid qualitative and quantitative data gathering, interpretation, analysis, and communication of findings


A contract will be awarded to the responsive bidder whose proposal represents the combination of merit and most cost advantageous. Bidders are advised that awards may be made to a bidder(s) other than the lowest cost bidder. We reserve the right to determine which proposal demonstrates the requisite competence and offers the greatest value.

The following criteria will be considered to evaluate each Bidder’s proposal:

  • Organizational experience with respect to the requested services (20%)
  • Adequacy of the proposed methodology (15%)
  • Ability and commitment to meeting timeline (15%)
  • Cost (15%)
  • Merit, risk, and value to partners (15%)
  • Completeness of RFP response per instructions (10%)
  • Past performance (10%)



Should any such changes be made to the within RFP, an addendum will be issued on the ACAP website at It is the responsibility of each Bidder to check the ACAP website and verify that he/she has received all addenda prior to submitting a proposal.

All addenda issued prior to date of receipt of Proposals shall become a part of these specifications, and all Proposals are to include the work therein described.


Bidder shall not be allowed to take advantage of errors, omissions, and/or discrepancies found in these specifications.


ACAP reserve the right to reject any or all Proposals, in whole or in part, and to waive any informality therein, or accept any proposal it may deem in the best interest of the parties.

A Proposal being withdrawn may be re-submitted up to submission deadline.  Negligence or error on the part of the Bidder in preparing his/her proposal confers no right for withdrawal of the Proposal after it has been received by ACAP.


Proposals will remain firm for a period of Ninety (90) days upon receipt by ACAP.  This RFP and Bidder’s response will become part of the Service Agreement. The intent of this RFP document is to include all items necessary for proper execution and completion of the work described in the within RFP.


ACAP reserve the right to consider proposals based on their relative merit, risk, and value to the organization, and reserves the right to negotiate with all service providers. Contracted service offers will be based upon the Bidder’s responsiveness to the RFP and total price quoted for all items covered by the RFP. The successful Bidder may be asked to participate in negotiations and may be asked to make revisions to their proposals based on negotiations. In submitting a Proposal, each Bidder acknowledges they have read and understand these requirements.


The term of contract will begin August 3, 2020 and end November 30, 2020.


Aroostook County Action Program is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit agency and is exempt from sales and federal excise taxes. 


The Community Needs Assessment will be used as a tool to develop a strategic plan and shape the work that is being done in Aroostook County.  The selected Bidder will work closely with ACAP’s Development and Communications Manager to discuss the project and the strategies to obtain the necessary information. An electronic and paper survey questionnaire has been distributed and data collected will be provided to the selected Bidder to analyze and include in the completed report.


Part 1 – Project Introduction

Meet with ACAP to: define the broader framework of community needs, discuss organization of data, and process for compiling this information.

Part 2 – Community Profile

Develop community profile of Aroostook County residents with an emphasis on the causes and conditions of poverty impacting low-income individuals and families. Profile shall encompass the following:

1)   In-depth explanation on the conditions and underlying causes of poverty and its effect on the residents.

2)   An analysis of demographic data across race/ethnicity, age, gender, economic trends and its effect on the residents, shall include, but not limited to:

  • Poverty analysis
  • Basic needs trends (i.e. housing, food, child care, health costs, and transportation)
  • Access to health (including pre-natal care, health insurance, immunizations, oral health, etc.)
  • Household composition
  • Aging trends
  • Educational attainment and literacy levels
  • Labor force/employment/unemployment trends/job opportunities/sector trend and forecasts
  • Nutrition trends
  • Unmet social service needs
  • Saturation of social services and gap areas in geographic areas
  • Foreclosure/Tax default
  • Financial products
  • Legal needs
  • Transportation
  • Foster care populations
  • Digital access and literacy
  • Crime/Safety
  • Veteran population data
  • LGBTQ population data
  • Homelessness –youth and adult
  • Child development and child care programs
  • Disabilities

o Children and adult

o Type of disabilities

o Service providers

  • Housing data: Rental vs. ownership and affordable housing availability; age and condition of housing stock
  • Identify emerging populations who may be in need of our services

3)  Include the impact Covid-19 has had on individuals, families and the community as a whole. The profile will include data and observations at the current time and a forecast as to the impact into the future. The profile shall encompass the following components:

  • Basic needs
  • Healthcare
  • Childcare
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Housing
  • Financial Stability


Part 3 – Community and Client Input

Convene one (1) to two (2) focus groups/community forums with key community stakeholders. (ACAP will provide templates for focus groups/community forums and data/results from paper/online surveys.)

1)  Convene focus groups with low income participants, Regional Advisory Council members, funders, community partners, other service providers, local government, law enforcement, health care providers and other interested citizens in communities served by each partner.

2)  Compile and present feedback from focus groups.

3)  Summarize key findings to develop recommendations that can be implemented through a strategic planning process.

4)  Presentation and refinement of summarized finding, discuss potential changes, and refine the product based on the feedback received from agency.


Part 4 – Final document delivery

Provide full draft of document, followed by internal review and editing within designated timeline.  After the final edits have been submitted by partners, the final version of the document will be submitted by agreed upon completion date and time.  The final document will be presented to the ACAP Board of Directors on the designated date and time.

The draft and final documents shall include:

1)  Executive Summary

2)  Key findings

3)  Strategic Recommendations

4)  Customer, staff and community input of the impact of poverty (including an in-depth explanation of how the causes and conditions of poverty impact), needs within the communities and recommendations for further addressing those needs.

5)  An analysis of demographic, data and economic trends in each region

6)  Process approach

7)  Conclusions

8)  Additional sections as agreed upon by individual partners

ACAP will:

  • Secure adequately sized meeting rooms.
  • Recruit customers for project participation.
  • Be responsible for providing meeting locations, supplies, and materials.
  • Provide statistical data except as detailed above/indicated in Bidder contract.
  • Provide data/results from the community assessment questionnaire (Partners will create, disseminate and collect survey results).
  • Provide template for questions to be used in focus groups/community forums.
  • Provide data/results from community assessment questionnaire.
  • Provide examples of other community assessment reports that offer the layout, formatting, etc. that partners would like to follow.
  • Provide stock and/or other photos for use in the report.

The Bidder will be required to:

  • Meet with ACAP administrators prior to the project’s start.
  • Complete all work on time as outlined in vendor contract.
  • Submit a project outline with timelines to the project manager.
  • Participate in regular project update meetings.
  • Analyze, interpret and summarize data from community assessment questionnaire.
  • Facilitate focus groups/community forums.
  • Analyze, interpret and summarize data from focus groups/community forums.
  • Submit ongoing drafts of work sections and the final document.
  • Submit the document in its entirety on or before the due date by means of an electronic copy and one (1) professional hard copy.
  • Share the process, content and conclusions of the final CommunityNeeds Assessment document in a presentation to leadership at times to be determined.



  • Proposal deadline: Friday, July 10 2020, 4:00 PM
  • Notice of award: Monday, July 20, 2020
  • Contract start date: Monday, August 3, 2020
  • Preliminary meeting with Administrative staff: August, 2020
  • Regular meetings with Project Manager: TBD
  • Initial draft document submitted by: Friday, September 18, 2020
  • Final document submitted electronically and in hard copy by: Friday, October 9, 2020
  • Agency Board of Directors presentation: November 24, 2020