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Requesting proposals for answering/call center services for 24-hour crisis hotline

The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR) works to end sexual violence and advocates for the rights and needs of sexual assault victims. In addition to Pennsylvania-specific work, PCAR operates the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) and is a partner in Raliance. PCAR partners with a network of rape crisis programs to bring help, hope, and healing around issues of sexual violence to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. PCAR assures that communities have access to quality victim services and prevention education by providing funding, training, materials, and assistance to a network of rape crisis centers that serve all of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. PCAR provides resources and training on sexual assault-related issues to professionals across the Commonwealth.

Expectations: PCAR is seeking to partner with an organization that can provide 24-hour answering/call center services for PCAR’s statewide toll-free hotline supporting survivors of sexual harassment, abuse, and assault.  The service will field incoming calls, determine the caller’s geographic area or where they are seeking services, and connect the caller to the local rape crisis center serving the caller’s geographic area. The service will not provide crisis intervention and will only link the caller with the appropriate local rape crisis center.


  • Respond to call volume of approximately 400 minutes of call time per month
  • Answer calls within one minute, without placing caller on hold
  • Ability to patch calls through to local rape crisis center and wait until the connection has been made with the victim advocate at the center
  • Connect caller with local rape crisis center within 3-5 minutes per the schedule provided by PCAR
  • Ability to update PCAR-provided schedule in an immediate/timely manner as required, and updates to the schedule are accessible by all operators
  • Priority on customer service skills, phone etiquette, and respect for privacy
  • Bilingual staff or detailed process for effectively using interpretation services on all shifts
  • Dedicated contact person for communication and troubleshooting
  • Quiet call center environment with limited background noise
  • Willingness to participate in annual training provided by PCAR or local rape crisis center, and ability to train staff on all shifts
  • Other training required – Two hours per year regarding HIPAA compliance, crisis intervention, using interpretation services, etc.
  • Provide PCAR with a daily log of incoming and outgoing calls associated with the hotline number

Proposals should include the following:

  1. Applicant agency name and contact information.
  2. Describe relevant expertise and experience related to requirements listed above.
  3. List specific work being conducted with a similar focus and provide contact information for two other similar organizations currently using the answering service (e.g., rape crisis centers, domestic violence shelter, etc.).
  4. Describe the proposed process for responding to calls for local rape crisis centers.
  5. Describe your familiarity with 508 compliance and accessibility.
  6. If answering service records incoming calls, provide a description of the process including how long recordings are kept and who has access to the recordings.
  7. Outline the time frame needed to set up a process for responding to calls and the estimated cost to provide the service including start-up costs and monthly fees for service.

The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR)/ National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).  One of our strategic goals is to become and antiracist organization.  Included in this commitment is an interest in supporting, and developing partnerships with, minority-owned businesses or businesses that demonstrate measurable outcomes related to their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

We define diversity broadly to encompass the full spectrum of humanity, taking into account demographics such as race/ethnicity; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) status; gender identity; and disabilities, among others.

Equity is promoting justice, impartiality and fairness within procedures, processes, and distribution of resources by institutions or systems.  Addressing equity issues requires an understanding of the underlying or root causes of outcome disparities within our society.

Inclusion is the degree to which diverse individuals are able to participate fully in the decision making processes within an organization or group.

As such, please respond to the following questions:

  1. Describe your existing programs and procedures designed to encourage and foster diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  2. If your agency is a Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC)-owned, woman-owned, or LGBTA-owned business, please indicate so and provide information on your agency’s certification and certifying agency.
  3. Please provide the percentage of your agency’s total employees by race and gender.
  4. Please describe if/how your agency use BIPOC-owned, woman-owned, or LGBTQ-owned business in the proposed relationship. 

Please be as specific as possible.

Selection Process:

Answering Service/Call Center applicants will be considered based on a variety of factors including:

  • Demonstration of agency’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion;
  • Prior relevant experience with organizations of similar size and complexity;
  • Knowledge and expertise of individuals that will be responsible for the service;
  • A proven track record of providing quality work on time;
  • Ability to provide work within the scope on budget; and
  • Response of references.

For further reference please see our organizational statement on our commitment to racial justice:

Send To:

Proposals are to be submitted electronically to the following: Contact Lou Ann Williams,