Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit media and educational organization behind Sesame Street, the pioneering television show that has been reaching and teaching children since 1969. Today, Sesame Workshop is an innovative force for change, with a mission to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. We’re present in more than 150 countries, serving vulnerable children through a wide range of media, formal education, and philanthropically funded social impact programs, each grounded in rigorous research and tailored to the needs and cultures of the communities we serve. Ahlan Simsim (“Welcome Sesame” in Arabic) is an early childhood development (ECD) initiative serving the needs of children displaced by conflict and host communities in Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria. Launched by the MacArthur Foundation 100&Change competition grant, Ahlan Simsim combines mass media, direct services, advocacy and research. More information on the program is available at www.sesameworkshop.org/refugees.
Request for Proposal: Specifications and Evaluation Criteria
Sesame Workshop is seeking an experienced individual or firm to support in Funding Research Analysis and Business Strategy Development for the Ahlan Simsim TV series. To date, the Ahlan Simsim program is primarily funded through grants from foundations and governments. Through this Request for Proposals (RFP), Sesame Workshop seeks to understand alternative funding and investment opportunities for the media related aspects of the program, the Ahlan Simsim series, excluding foundation and government support. Since its launch in February 2020, the Ahlan Simsim series has reached 17 million children ages 2 to 8 years old across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The Ahlan Simsim series is currently distributed across three regional and eight national broadcast channels across 22 countries in the region and available globally on YouTube.
Sesame Workshop seeks to understand the following questions:
- What drives companies’ decisions around which social impact initiatives and causes to sponsor? For example, is it based on ratings, the “halo effect” of a given property, or other considerations?
- What drives companies’ decisions around how much to invest in sponsorship? Does it include factors such as broadcast footprint, ratings, size of the company or the amount of money in marketing or Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) budgets?
- How is sponsorship success defined by companies? Is return on investment defined by impressions or ratings, measured by increases in brand perception and purchase, or other factors?
- What are relevant sponsorship trends over the last five years. Has spending on sponsorship been increasing or decreasing? Within sponsorships overall, has spending on TV or other specific media platforms been increasing or decreasing, and what is forecast moving forward?
- What is included in television sponsorship packages beyond TV credits (e.g. recognition on other platforms, retail or other activations, community outreach programs)?
- What are typical funding ranges for sponsorship packages?
- Are sponsorships typically brokered by a third-party such as an agency, through a broadcaster, or through the property itself?
- What examples and cases of investment in media are relevant to Sesame Workshop?
- What are the organizations and companies that Sesame Workshop should be approaching for investment opportunities? Deliverables:
The successful applicant(s) will be responsible for the following deliverables across two phases of work. Applicants can apply for either or both phases of work depending on expertise. Please note that the successful applicant(s) will require working closely with the Sesame Workshop team based in New York, USA.
Phase 1 (1-2 months): Media Research Analysis
will include a deliverable that includes the following:
- Competitor analysis: What other television shows, not-for-profit and/or children’s media shows or other relevant entities, have interest and investment from corporate and non-governmental organizations?
- Scoping: What are the potential corporate and non-governmental organizations providing social investment? What are the varying modalities for investment and the trade-offs for each modality?
- Case Studies: Provide 3 relevant investment case studies that give insight into modalities for Sesame Workshop to consider. Phase 2 (1-2 months): Business Strategy Development
- Selection Criteria: What are the selection criteria to consider when evaluating investment opportunities for investment?
- Donor Profiles: A collection of detailed donor profiles for promising prospects that include relevant information such as: areas of investment, typical investment ranges, funding cycles
- Recommendations: Develop recommendations and tactical plan for developing funding prospect list, and delivering on pipeline conversion for investment in Ahlan Simsim media creation and distribution
- Lead Development and Introductions: Develop promising leads and make introductions for Sesame Workshop to continue conversations.
A successful firm or individual will have the following qualifications:
- Experience conducting market and funding research and analysis for media organizations in the Middle East and North Africa region, non-profit experience is a bonus.
- Proficiency and the ability to conduct professional business in both Arabic and English.
- Familiarity and experience with media, corporate sponsorship, marketing and/or corporate social responsibility
- Ability to assemble concise, clear, and thorough reporting to present key findings o Existing network and access to key contacts in the MENA region to gather information.
- Excellent communication and presentation skills
How to apply
Due date: Submissions are due by January 23, 2022, 11:59 pm Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) sent as an attachment via email to Gunnar.Wainwright@Sesame.org
Content and format of submissions:
Submissions should include a three-page (max) proposal, budget and budget narrative. Including:
- Name of the applicant, location and contact information
- The phase or phases of work that the applicant is applying for
- For each phase:
- Approach: Proposed approach for the work as well as a proposed plan for answering the questions included in the RFP plus additional questions that should be included in the scope of work.
- Timeline/Workplan: A proposed plan and timeline to complete the scope of work.
- Budget: Detailed budget with breakdown of costs.
- Past performance, relevant experience and CVs if applicable (CVs not included in page count)
- Please include two examples of previous engagement with similar organizations/and or projects
- At least two professional references
- Sesame Workshop will not compensate service providers for preparation of their response to this solicitation.
- This solicitation does not guarantee a resulting contract.
- This solicitation may result in one or more contracts for parts of activities.
- This solicitation is contingent on funding.
- Sesame Workshop may request additional rounds of responses based on more detailed instructions or requirements.
- Service providers will be vetted by Sesame Workshop.
- Sesame Workshop is under no obligation to service provider until a written contract has been signed by both parties.