Request for Proposal for Evaluation of Potomac Health Foundation

Request for Proposal (RFP) for Evaluation of Potomac Health Foundation

 The mission of Potomac Health Foundation is to improve the health of the community by increasing access to primary health care for the medically underserved, reducing the incidence of preventable diseases, and supporting innovation around emerging health needs.


This evaluation is being commissioned by Potomac Health Foundation (PHF). Potomac Health Foundation is a private foundation located in Woodbridge, Virginia that was established in 2009 and has been making grants to organizations to improve the health of the community since 2011.

The primary purpose of this evaluation is to assess whether the Foundation has been meeting its mission of improving the health of the community. The secondary purpose of the evaluation is to inform the strategic planning process for PHF and its Board of Directors. The expected deliverables for the evaluation are a report detailing methodology and findings from the assessment and a set of recommendations for PHF based on these findings.

The main audience for this evaluation will be the PHF Board of Directors and staff. This RFP is to provide the necessary information for potential vendors to submit a proposal and the criteria against which proposals will be reviewed.


PHF was established in December 2009 as a result of the merger between Potomac Community Hospital and Sentara Healthcare. In 2015, the Foundation’s investment portfolio was approximately $100 million. The Foundation’s mission is to improve the health of the community in eastern Prince William County, Virginia and adjacent communities in southeast Fairfax and north Stafford Counties. The community served by the Foundation is delineated by 13 zip codes.

The Foundation has endeavored to fill this mission by making grants to not-for-profit entities that serve the geographic target area, mainly in the areas of increasing access to primary health care for the medically underserved, reducing the incidence of preventable diseases, and supporting innovation around emerging health needs.

The Foundation conducted a community health needs assessment in 2010. Themes that emerged from the assessment were: the Foundation’s service area of more than 340,000 people is younger, wealthier, and more diverse than Virginia as a whole. The region compares well to the state on most measures of health status, in part because of its relatively young population. Within the region there is significant unmet need and substantial room for improvement in health-related lifestyles, health status, and access to health services.

Since inception, the Foundation has made $23 million in grants for 192 proposals. Grant making for 2015 was approximately $5 million. There are three support windows through which the Foundation makes grants.

Howard L. Greenhouse Large Grant Program:  The large majority of the Foundation’s grant making is done through the Howard L. Greenhouse Large Grant Program. This program makes three-year projectbased grants on an annual basis through an open Request for Proposals (RFP) process. The inaugural Large Grants were made in 2011 and finished their three year cycle in 2014. The average size of an annual Large Grant since inception is $129,000. For 2015, $3.8 million was awarded in Large Grants.

Health Safety Net (HSN): The next largest support window is the Health Safety Net which was started in 2014. Through this window, the Foundation grants awards by invitation only to agencies making up the health safety net for the medically underserved. This includes access to primary, dental, medication, mental health, vision or other health programs designed to increase access. These grants are made on an annual basis and there is no limit to number of years funded. The size of the average annual grant since the inception of this window is $124,000. In 2015, close to $1.1 million was awarded in HSN support.

Management Assistance Program (MAP): MAP grants are one year capacity-building grants to agencies that currently have a Large Grant award by invitation only. The first MAP grants were made in 2014. This strategy was created to ensure that PHF investments in large grant programs could be sustained by grantees. The goal of MAP is to help grantees deliver the same or higher levels of care after graduating from PHF large grant funding by promoting agency and program sustainability. These grants are up to $25,000. In 2015, $165,000 was awarded in MAP grants.

PHF is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors comprised of civic leaders and health specialists from the community.  The Board is guided by a set of bylaws and grant making guidelines. The Foundation is staffed by three full-time staff members and a part time contracted bookkeeper.


 It is important to keep in context that information and data from the evaluation will be used to inform the development and implementation of a strategic plan for the Foundation.

The overall evaluation question is:  To what extent is the Foundation improving the health of the community?  There are a number of sub-questions that the evaluator should consider in addressing the overall evaluation question.

Grant Programs:

  • How well have the Large Grant Programs performed against their stated objectives?
  • To what extent have the Large Grant Programs and Health Safety Net grants addressed the focus areas of access, prevention, and innovation?
  • To what extent have the Large Grant Programs and Health Safety Net grants improved the health of the community?
  • To what extent have MAP grants assisted organizations in sustaining their programs and furthering PHF investments?

Overall Foundation Mission:

  • Should the Foundation be more focused or more broad in its grant making?
  • What kind of standing does the Foundation have in the community and to what extent does this affect its ability to meet its mission?
  • To what extent is the Foundation addressing the programmatic areas that will most impact the health of the community?
  • How well is the Foundation serving the individuals and populations most in-need of services?
  • How should the Foundation measure its success?


  • Is the Foundation making grants to the most appropriate agencies in order to meet its mission? 
  • Are the grant making processes and procedures effectively and efficiently implemented?
  • Is the Foundation using the best fit-for-purpose policies and procedures in order to meet its mission?
  • To what extent is the Board successfully governing the Foundation?


The decision to award any contract as a result of this RFP process will be based on Vendors’ responses to this RFP and any subsequent negotiations or discussions. The decision making process will consider the ability of each Vendor to fulfill the requirements as outlined within this RFP and cost of the review. Proposals will be evaluated as appropriate against the following criteria:

Technical criteria

  • Evaluation framework and design
  • Demonstrated understanding and operationalization of the evaluation questions
  • Appropriate methods proposed for undertaking the work
  • Ability of the bidder to carry out scope of work (based on qualifications of the team, including CVs of key experts)
  • Bidder’s knowledge of Foundation service area and health issues in the community
  • Ability of the bidder to maintain objectivity and independence

Financial criteria                

  • Overall cost
  • Realistic costing of the proposal

The vendor should demonstrate qualification, experience and competencies in the following areas:  

  • professional background and competency in complex analyses and public health;
  • experience conducting evaluations, including extensive experience with appropriate evaluation design and methods
  • extensive knowledge of the Foundation geographic service area 
  • ability to meet deadlines with quality products


Proposals must be no longer than five pages (single spaced, not including attachments) and must provide the following information:

Organization information

  • Organization history and mission.
  • Background, current programs and activities.
  • Relevant work experience, including:
    1. Examples to similar previous work products (attachment)
    2. References that we may contact for whom you have provided similar services (attachment)

 Work Plan and Deliverables

  • evaluation framework and design
  • detailed description of the evaluation methods
  • detailed work plan, budget and timeline
  • team composition and bios (attachment)
  • statement of potential conflict of interest (attachment)

Budget Proposal 

The financial proposal should be a standalone document (using excel). This should:

  1. Provide full details of your financial offer. This should include fixed costs and any variable costs.
  2. Indicate the components of your financial offer.

Vendors are invited to submit proposals electronically to Susie Lee, Executive Director, at  For questions about this RFP, the Foundation may be reached at 703-523-0621.


Below are the required deliverables and the proposed timeline for the evaluation.


Deliverable Date
Proposals due to Foundation August 12, 2015
Phone or in person interviews with finalists August 19 – September 1, 2015
Selection of vendor September 4, 2015
Submission of draft report (should include detailed methodology, initial findings of assessment, and recommendations) October 23, 2015
Submission of final report and recommendations November 20, 2015
Presentation at Board meeting December 2, 2015
About the Author
The Potomac Health Foundation is an independent, private foundation organized exclusively for charitable purposes. The Foundation seeks to improve health and wellness for the people residing in the Foundation’s service area.