Public Relations RFP Issued By Deaconess Foundation

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Deaconess Foundation (“Deaconess” or “Foundation”) is seeking a full-service communications and public relations agency/firm to assist the Foundation in the development and implementation of a strategic and sustainable multi-year communications plan aligned with the Foundation’s power-building strategy to advance child well-being through racial equity and public policy. The communications plan will include strategies to announce the hire of a new chief executive leader, promote philanthropic and advocacy efforts and garner earned media.


Deaconess Foundation is a grant making organization building power for child well-being through philanthropy, advocacy and organizing for racial equity and public policy change. A ministry of the United Church of Christ, Deaconess has invested more than $85 million to improve the health of the St. Louis community since 1998. The Foundation’s advocacy and grantmaking footprint includes St. Louis City, St. Louis, Jefferson, St. Charles and Franklin Counties in Missouri and Madison, St. Clair and Monroe Counties in Illinois. More information can be found at Deaconess Center for Child Well-Being is a community action tank established by Deaconess Foundation. Its mission is to build power to advance child well-being in the St. Louis region by strengthening alliances for child-friendly public policy, increasing citizen contact with policy makers, positioning youth and organizers to move systems and engaging faith communities in child advocacy. Since opening in 2018, Deaconess Center has hosted nearly 12,000 child advocates, civic leaders and community organizers in more than 600 convenings aligned with Deaconess’ policy agenda. More information can be found at

Scope of Work:

Overview: The scope includes, but is not limited to, reinforcing Deaconess Foundation’s brand externally through multiple communications and media campaigns; reinforcing the brand internally by refining the brand standards and messaging; engaging audiences through social media activity; development of videos and printed media; and other projects as requested.

A. Agency/Firm will obtain an understanding of new and ongoing strategic initiatives, organizational goals and branding assets.

B. Agency/Firm will assess and evaluate existing communication—both internal and external—through a comprehensive communications audit.

C. Agency/Firm will establish a unified communication strategy that:

1. builds public and policymakers’ willingness and capability to take actions aligned with Deaconess’ Policy Agenda,

2. accumulates and deploys influence in the philanthropic sector in order to drive increased grantmaking practice and giving aligned with Deaconess’ Theory of Change, and

3. evangelize and equip faith leaders and communities within the United Church of Christ and historic Black Church traditions to integrate child advocacy into their faith-inspired activism. The strategy will be integrated with continuity across mediums. 

D. Agency/Firm will recommend campaign strategies from conception through design, development, production and evaluation as needed. Strategies will be targeted to key audiences:

1. Regional (St. Louis metropolitan statistical area) nonprofits advocating for children, building power for their families and seeking funding or partnership opportunities,

2. Community members interested in advocacy related to the needs of children,

3. National and regional movement leaders, organizers and child well-being advocates,

4. United Church of Christ and historically Black church affiliated organizations and advocates,

5. National and regional leaders and organizations from the faith, philanthropic and civic sectors, and

6. Regional public policymakers.

E. Agency/Firm will lead outreach to garner earned media placements and conduct placement monitoring.

F. Agency/Firm will provide graphic design, photography and videography as needed. G. Agency/Firm will provide metrics and monitoring of implementation effectiveness, including recommendations for redirection of resources as needed.

III. OTHER RELEVANT INFORMATION A. The selected agency/firm will have access to the Foundation’s current library of photography and video assets. B. The selected agency/firm will have access to the Foundation’s current communications plan and media metrics to refine institutional messaging and positioning.

C. Deaconess will retain all ownership rights of any creative developed for media campaigns. It is expected that once a comprehensive campaign is developed, the Foundation will be able to use the templates for the development of additional collateral material. 

D. Deaconess will approve deliverables created prior to publication.

E. Deaconess expects the personnel assigned to its account management team will serve diligently throughout the term of the contract.

F. All creative development including copy (taglines, themes, etc.) imagery, photography, graphic design, artwork and audio-visual representations will become the sole property of Deaconess.

Due Date:

March 29, 2021


Constance Rush Director of Advocacy & Freedom Schools 314.332.9484

Relevant agencies to consider here include Alison Brod PR and Prosek Partners.

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