Request for Proposals: 2019 Abortion Restrictions in Virginia Documentary Project

Proposal Due Date: April 19, 2019

Project Period: May 2019-December 2019

Project Purpose:

Progress Virginia Education Fund (PVEF), in cooperation with partners NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia Foundation, Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, and NLIRH’s Virginia Latina Advocacy Network (the partners), seek qualified firms to submit proposals to plan and film a 20-30 minute documentary featuring stories from people across Virginia sharing what it is really like to seek an abortion in Virginia. The documentary will feature several personal stories from people who have sought abortion care in Virginia. It will include not only the perspective of the person who had the abortion, but also that person’s partner, family, doctor, faith leader, and other people who factored into the decision to have an abortion.

In addition to the 20 minute documentary, we will create 5 4-minute mini-episodes to be released as an online web series. We will also create versions both the full length documentary and the mini-episodes with Spanish language subtitles.

The partners will use the documentary for activist education, both in-person and online, advocacy campaigns, and digital advertisements. We are looking to complete this project in a budget range of $60,000-$70,000.


Founded in 2011, PVEF is Virginia’s progressive communications hub. We combine cutting edge online strategies with rapid and hard-hitting earned media strategies. We provide a strong, credible voice to advance progressive solutions to critical community problems. But we don’t do that alone, we work as a communications team for the entire progressive community.

The partners came together in 2013 to conceive and execute a long-term strategy to build infrastructure to advance reproductive rights in Virginia, reduce abortion stigma, and protect and increase access to abortion. Partners advance these goals through integrated strategies that include public education, proactive policy advancement, communications and earned media strategies, and creative coalition partnerships.

In partnership with PerryUndem, the partners engaged in extensive public opinion research to identify effective messages to educate Virginians around abortion access and motivate

audiences to take action. Interviews and focus groups revealed a significant portion of Virginians, even those who self-identify as pro-choice and informed, don’t know that conservatives have proposed 108 restrictions on access to abortion and birth control since 2008. Articulating this “restrictions narrative” moves key audiences to action to advance abortion rights.

Additional research conducted in 2017 by PVEF showed that storytelling is a powerful medium for driving people to take action. If the viewer can see themselves or their loved ones in the stories, they are much more likely to take action. That’s why we believe so strongly in storytelling and featuring people from a variety of backgrounds who have had a wide range of experiences when seeking an abortion in Virginia.

Project Scope:

The firm will be responsible for creative direction, storyboarding, filming, producing, and editing a 20 minute documentary and 5 4-minute episodes for online release. The chosen firm will:

  • Meet with partners to understand the scope of the project and set a specific timeline and work plan for the project, subject to partner approval
  • Work with the partners to identify the types of stories we want to feature and who would be best suited to tell those stories. (The partners will identify and recruit the storytellers within these parameters.)
  • Create storyboard for documentary and episodes in consultation with the partners
  • Film a variety of people to show the full picture of what accessing abortion is like in Virginia
  • Produce and edit a 20-minute documentary and a 5 4-minute episodes for online release that feature a variety of people who have had abortions in Virginia, the perspectives of their doctors, faith leaders, partners, and families, and highlights the restrictions and barriers to access people in Virginia face when they have decided to have an abortion. The episodes may feature similar content but in order to fit in an online release, digital format and make sense, they may need to be edited differently or feature slightly different content than the full documentary.
  • Edit draft versions of documentary and mini-episodes based on feedback from the partners
  • Eventually, we would like to include Spanish language subtitles for both the documentary and the mini-episodes, so please let us know if this is something you are capable of including or if we need to seek a separate vendor for this. Proposals that do not include this aspect will not be penalized.

Project Deliverables:

This project will consist of several phases leading up to the final deadline including storyboarding and planning, filming, and editing.

The storyboarding and planning phase should be complete by May 31, 2019. The deliverables for phase one of the project are:

  • Meeting with the partners during the week of May 13, 2019 to discuss the details of the project scope and the timeline moving forward (with meetings as needed moving forward)
  • Complete storyboard and plan for the direction of the documentary
  • Schedule for filming

The second phase, filming, should be complete by September 30, 2019. The deliverables for the second phase are:

  • Raw footage from all filming for the project  
  • Draft version of 20 minute documentary
  • Draft version of 5 mini-episodes

The third and final phase of the project is editing and final delivery. This phase should be complete by December 20, 2019. The deliverables for this phase are:

  • Final 20 minute documentary
  • Final 5 4-minute mini-episodes
  • Spanish language versions of both the full length documentary and mini-episodes

Budget Details:

As listed in the summary,  our budget for this project is between $60,000.00 and $70,000.00. While we prefer the most cost effective solution, all proposals that fall reasonably within this range will be considered and weighed based on their merits.

Proposal Instructions:

In order to be considered, proposals must include the following information:

  • Company information including name, address, telephone, and URL. Include a brief description and corporate capabilities of your firm
  • Name and contact information for the firm’s primary contact for the project and list of staff involved in the project
  • Summary of experience of key staff
  • Project management and technical approach, including style and process, deliverables, and timeline
  • A list describing completed projects that are similar in scope
  • Any relevant experience with bilingual projects
  • Terms and Conditions
  • Any key differentiators about you
  • Budget broken down into line items by category
  • State-based references for your firm
  • Details of your experience working on sensitive topics with diverse populations


  • Estimated cost for work related to tasks and deliverables. Include labor categories with hourly rates and estimated number of hours to complete tasks and deliverables.

RFP and Project Timeline Details:

RFP Sent: April 8, 2019

Responses Due: April 19, 2019

Finalists Selected and Contacted: April 26, 2019

Winner Selected and Contacted: May 3, 2019

Project Kickoff:  May 13, 2019

Project End Date: December 20, 2019

Proposal Submission:

Direct all questions regarding this proposal and submit final proposal to:

Ashleigh Crocker, Program Director at Progress Virginia Education Fund


All proposals must be submitted by 5pm on Friday, April 19th.