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Requesting Proposals for Organizational Rebranding

The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR) was established in 1975 with a mission to end sexual violence and advocate for the rights and needs of victims of sexual harassment, abuse and assault and their loved ones.  PCAR is a complex nonprofit organization with multiple “hubs,” (described in the next section) that provide leadership and resources at the state and national levels.

PCAR supports a network of 47 rape crisis centers providing services at the local level throughout Pennsylvania.  PCAR also provides prevention education and training to the general public both on the state and national level as part of a larger national network.  While all of the rape crisis centers provide services to victims of sexual violence, over half of them also provide services to victims of domestic violence and/or other crimes.   Funding provided to centers for sexual violence programming and staff support is in the form of various state and federal grants to the organization.  As such there are also specific deliverables and restrictions contingent on this public grant funding.  This includes how PCAR is able to budget for activities such as marketing and public awareness as a non-profit organization.

To further our goal of ending sexual violence, our organization has a detailed 6-part strategic plan for us to accomplish in the next four years:

  • Ensure survivors, families, and communities have access to high quality services and prevention;
  • Ensure partners and the communities they serve throughout the country have access to high quality resources to prevent and respond to sexual violence;
  • Address issues of identity and branding to ensure PCAR’s long-term success;
  • Build capacity for business development function;
  • Ensure that PCAR has sufficient financial and human resources to grow and thrive; and
  • Become an anti-racist and inclusive organization.

In terms of branding our organization, it is important to recognize that we embrace issues of social justice, in particular becoming an anti-racist organization as racism is one of many tools of oppression that leads to sexual violence.  We also are positioning ourselves as a leader for training and consulting needs for businesses in sexual harassment prevention and cultural inclusivity through our “Respect at Work” program.

PCAR currently has 56 employees, 22 Board members, and 10 NSVRC Advisory Council members. This team was successful in July of 2020 in receiving the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations’ Seal of Excellence after successfully completing its rigorous Standards of Excellence ® accreditation program.


State Coalition (operating as Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape):   

PCAR partners with a network of rape crisis programs throughout Pennsylvania’s 67 counties to bring help, hope, and healing around issues of sexual violence.  PCAR assures that communities have access to quality victim services and prevention education by providing funding, training, materials, and assistance to the centers. PCAR also provides resources and training to allied professionals, promotes victim-centered public policies, and works with media to increase public awareness and access to accurate information. The Coalition provides online tools and training-of-trainers to address and prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. PCAR also co-sponsors the annual National Sexual Assault Conference with the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA), our west coast equivalent state coalition.  PCAR hosts the conference on the East Coast every other year.

The audience for PCAR is our network of rape crisis centers in Pennsylvania, media outlets, policy makers at all levels of government, national and comparable state domestic/sexual violence organizations, social justice programs, funding partners such as PA Departments of Human Services and Health, and the general public. This also includes segments such as employers interested in inclusion training with our “Respect at Work” program, trusted adults to learn how to discuss consent/boundaries with children with our “Safe Secure Kids” program, and survivors or their loved ones to be connected to services at rape crisis centers. See our

website –

National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC):

NSVRC is active nationally and, while  based in Harrisburg, is a provider of resources and training to national organizations, state sexual assault coalitions, departments of health, community-based programs, and others working to address and prevent sexual violence throughout the nation.  It coordinates the annual national Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) prevention campaign each April, and maintains the world’s largest resource library specializing in the topic of sexual violence, with many resources also available in Spanish.  It also works extensively with media including interviews, surveys, and research, and works with advocates to become more effective with prevention messaging.   

The audience for NSVRC is all media outlets (national and smaller market), state and national sexual/domestic violence programs, social justice programs, food and economic insecurity programs, funding partners such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the general public for education and training purposes.

Website –

Actions taken to date in our re-branding process:

  • In 2019, PCAR issued an RFP to conduct a brand audit on the organization which concluded in 2020. This process included in-person presentations and initial qualitative data gathering with staff, leadership and board members at our annual 2019 meeting; survey of external partners, staff and board, and partner organizations in 2020; and ongoing market analysis.  The consultant finalized its report in 2020.  This report and supporting documentation will be shared with the selected candidate as background information to help guide the process of the current RFP.
  • Initial recommendations are to identify a new umbrella name for the organization; retain the acronym PCAR for the state coalition work, but change what it stands for; retain NSVRC for the national work; and develop clear messages about the overall mission and scope of work of the organization.
  • An ad hoc group of board members and staff convened discussions based on this report to make a recommendation to the board that PCAR pursue the second RFP and the scope of work herein.   

Problems identified with the current organizational name:

  • We currently use the term “PCAR” to refer both to the entire organization (PCAR and NSVRC) and to the state coalition (PCAR) hub of our work. This causes confusion.
  • We have received feedback from external partners (legislators, media, prospective donors and companies for collaborative opportunities) that the word “rape” in our name is a deterrent to working with us.
  • Similarly, the word “rape” obscures the scope of our work for some people. We have been told people are surprised we are engaged in public education for prevention and intervention initiatives related to child sexual abuse, sexual assault of men, sexual harassment, sexual assault across the life span, human trafficking, and other related issues, which may or may not involve criminally defined acts.
  • Some large national corporations feel limited by the word “Pennsylvania” in our name and would prefer a national affiliation.
  • The organization’s 501(c) 3 is filed under the name “Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape” – receipts for all donations must come from this name. Thus, it can create confusion for donors who are giving to support our national center, or a particular campaign that was intentionally designed to omit “PA” from the marketing.
  • Some spam filters and credit cards block our emails, including marketing emails due to the word “rape” in the name.
  • Confusion over a national entity (NSVRC) being under the umbrella of a state organization. 
  • Some donors are turned off by the word “Against” and prefer to support causes that stand FOR something.  
  • “PCAR” as state coalition has excellent equity as a well-respected resource and established public persona with our website ( and associated communications.  It is noted that several of our audiences already commonly refer to the coalition as PCAR.    


For this phase of our branding initiative, we are seeking a consultant to help implement the recommendations made to date - restructuring the organization to have an umbrella organization housing our state coalition and NSVRC.  This includes recommendations on potential names for 1) the umbrella organization and 2) the state coalition acronym (PCAR), which may be altering what the acronym represents or the inclusion of a tag line or phrase that conveys the identity of the state coalition without it corresponding to the letters PCAR.  This is to be done in collaboration with the Board and staff.   This phase will end when decisions are made about which changes and names will be pursued.


  • The focus of this RFP process is not to develop the logo, color schemes, visual aesthetics, etc. that come with re-branding.  This phase is intended to develop potential name and structure for the organization. It also includes help testing audience reactions to potential name change suggestions as part of the evaluation process.
  • Provide guidance on how to roll out the announcement to the public when a decision is made and any phase-in that will be required for the organization.
  • Provide guidance on how to position the umbrella organization’s digital persona with existing websites and social media for the state coalition and NSVRC.
  • Develop a “brand map” to help people understand the structure of our organization, the issues it addresses, the services it provides, and the audiences it serves.


  • Spring 2021 – Select consultant; introduction and evaluation of additional data that may be needed
  • Summer 2021 – Identify potential names and establish availability in public domain
  • Fall-Winter 2021 – Work with ad hoc committee to prioritize names; testing of potential names with key audiences and public 
  • Winter- Spring 2022 – presentations to  staff and Board; recommendations and decisions and/or next steps
  • Spring 2022 – Board selects options and will direct the next and final phase of the re-branding initiative


We are looking for a consultant who has prior successful experience consulting with nonprofit organizations with complex structures and/or social justice issues.

We want a process that involves participation of Board members and staff.


Proposals should include the following information:

  1. Qualifications and relevant experience
  2. Contact information
  3. A description of your process 
  4. A description of the final products that would be developed
  5. Timeline
  6. Budget and break down of associated costs for non-profit clients
  7. Provision of 3-past client references


Proposals can be submitted to Jim Willshier, Chief Public Affairs Officer:

Electronically at with the subject line “Re-branding Proposal”


Or by mail:

2101 N. Front St.

Governor’s Plaza North Bldg. # 2

Harrisburg, PA 17110

Questions may be directed to or call (717) 712-8815


Proposals must be received on or before February 26, 2021