The City of Alameda (City) is soliciting proposals from organizations to administer and implement the City’s Guaranteed Income Pilot Program (Pilot Program).
Guaranteed Income (GI) programs provide a flat monthly cash payment to a defined population. These programs are distinct from other financial assistance programs—they are unconditional, unrestricted, and include regular payments for a period of time, often concurrently with collecting survey and participation data that helps inform larger policy and program development focused on alleviating poverty. Unlike other government assistance programs, direct cash recipients are empowered to make their own decisions on how to spend the money in ways that best meet their basic needs, which allows for dignity and self-determination.
The selected Implementing Partner will have previous experience working with low-income households in Alameda and have a demonstrated capacity to provide a range of implementation services related to the Pilot Program, including but not limited to: outreach and recruitment, applicant intake and determining eligibility, communications, media, and stakeholder management. Additionally, the Implementing Partner will provide benefits counseling to all program participants at the beginning and end of the Pilot Program. Additional program partners will likely include 1) a Financial Partner responsible for facilitating payments for Pilot Program participants and 2) a “Research Partner” responsible for completing a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the program impacts.
The City is working with the advocacy and research organization Mayors for a Guaranteed Income (MGI) a consultant on this project.
The City is a community of approximately 80,884 residents in the San Francisco Bay Area. On May 17, 2022, the Alameda City Council directed staff to develop a Guaranteed Income Pilot Program focusing on low income residents. In broad terms, the Pilot Program will provide $1,000 per month to approximately 150 households over a two-year period. The Pilot Program will be funded through the City’s allocation of funds from the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). The City anticipates working with the Implementing Partner to launch the Pilot Program in the Spring/Summer 2023.
In addition to this RFP, the City will be issuing RFPs for two other program partners:
- Funding Partner—to administer the financial aspects of the Pilot Program, including distribution of the monthly payments; and
- Research Partner—to design and conduct a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the Pilot Program’s contribution to financial stability of the recipients, determine methodology for selection of program and control group participants, and to help secure benefit waivers from state and federal agencies.
An Advisory Board composed of community and advocacy organizations, individuals with lived experience (i.e. low-income persons), and City staff will be created to help inform decision-making on key programmatic elements.
III. Program Goals
GI is an income distribution program that provides individuals with a fixed amount of money each month to cover basic living expenses. The goals of the City’s Pilot Program are threefold:
- Limit economic volatility and empower recipients to make their own decisions on spending money in a way that best meets their basic needs, allowing for dignity and self-determination.
- Inform public policy and program development designed to alleviate poverty at the local, state and federal levels.
- Contribute to a change in the narrative surrounding the larger discussion of poverty in Alameda and beyond.
IV. Scope of Work
The role of the Implementing Partner will require continued collaboration with both the City and its other program partners. The City anticipates that the awarded entity will dedicate at least one full time equivalent employee (1.0 FTE) to serve as the program administrator who will coordinate outreach to potential pilot participants and oversee the on- and off-boarding of participants at the beginning and end of the program; support the advocacy efforts of the City; and serve as a liaison between the City, pilot participants, program partners, and academic researchers.
The Implementing Partner will also provide benefits counseling to program participants at the beginning and end of the Pilot Program. The City expects that the Implementing Partner will dedicate an additional 1.0 FTE and up to 2.0 part-time staff to serve as benefits counselors.
Part A: Guaranteed Income Pilot Program
- Final Program Design and Refinement
- Organize focus groups (in collaboration with the City and community organizations) with people with lived experiences (i.e. low-income persons) to solicit comments on messaging, communication strategies, timing/date of disbursement of monthly payments, types of wrap-around services aligned with the stated needs of the targeted population, and other program topics.
- Lead collaborative effort with the City and other program partners to finalize program design, such as determining low-income eligibility requirements, selection and retention of the research control group (if applicable), and other aspects of the program.
- Organize an Advisory Board of community and advocacy organizations, and individuals with lived experiences to oversee the program’s direction, development and implementation, including making recommendations on research metrics to be used by the Research Partner.
- Based on needs discussed in the focus groups, identify and organize optional wrap-around services available for program participants.
- Lead effort to create and maintain an overall Pilot Program website and/or portal to promote the program and serve as a live public dashboard for performance metrics:
i. This website should be compatible with the City’s website so that it may be linked from the City’s website without issue;
ii. Be compatible with mobile communications devices; and
iii. Content should be made available in English, Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, and Korean.
- Work with Research Partner to ensure Pilot Program design meets all (Institutional Review Board (IRB) requirements.
 The IRB is an administrative body established to protect the rights and welfare of human research subjects recruited to participate in research activities.
2. Recruit Pilot Program participants
- Collaborate with the City to educate Alameda’s general public about the Pilot Program and publicize application’s availability.
- Partner with front-line social services, nonprofit, faith-base and other organizations, and conduct focused outreach within communities that include, but are not limited to, the following:
- People experiencing or at risk of homelessness
- Immigrant, refugee and limited English-speaking communities
- Historically disenfranchised groups including Black, Indigenous and other communities of color
- Low income families, including senior citizens
- Affordable housing tenants/renters
- People with disabilities
- Children, youth, Alameda Unified School District, and College of Alameda
- Coordinate with Research Partner to ensure minimum application target is reached.
3. Organize and facilitate application and selection process
- Support Research Partner and City staff in development of an online application (that can be accessed both through a mobile device or computer). The application may also serve as the initial survey for program participants for the research component of the Pilot Program.
- The application should be designed to be accessible to a broad audience and include translation into numerous languages.
- Work with City staff to identify physical locations where online computer access may be provided during the application period (this may include the Alameda Free Library, Mastick Senior Center and physical locations of community organizations).
- Work with the Research Partner to complete Pilot Program participant selection through a randomized lottery.
4. Organize onboarding procedure for participants following the selection lottery and off-boarding at the conclusion of the Pilot Program
- Notify Pilot Program participants of their selection.
- Conduct a series of one-on-one orientation sessions that provides a programmatic overview of the Pilot Program, generates excitement about participation in the program, and walks participants through paperwork and other elements of onboarding procedure. This may include the creation of an orientation video and/or other methods to effectively communicate information and enthusiasm for the Pilot Program.
- Assist applicants in completing any enrollment applications and other necessary documentation to be considered as a participant or to participate in the Pilot Program. This assistance may be provided in person, with appropriate COVID-19 precautions, by phone, or online through Zoom or a similar platform.
- Ensure complete and active consent of Pilot Program participants, wherein Pilot Program participants are informed and actively signal willingness to participate.
5. Administer funds to Pilot Program participants over the course of the program.
- Work with Financial Partner to ensure monthly recurring payments to Pilot Program participants and to provide case management services for resolving any issues related to payment distribution.
- To ensure that Pilot Program participants do not suffer economically from participation, in addition to/in place of applying for income exemptions for benefit programs, the City will create an approximately $50,000 “Benefit Conservation Fund” to provide compensation to recipients if they become ineligible for Federal, State, County, and/or local benefits due to receiving GI payments. The Implementation Partner will be responsible for coordinating payments from the Benefit Conservation Fund in the event that participants suffer unanticipated economic injury.
- In collaboration with City and Financial Partner, troubleshoot any issues that arise regarding participants’ payments throughout the Pilot Program.
6. Support advocacy efforts of the City
- Work with City staff to identify a cohort of Pilot Program participants who are willing to share their stories and amplify their experiences as recipients of guaranteed income.
- Work with City staff and other Pilot Program partners on communication and advocacy efforts. Tasks may include fielding inquiries from the press and general public about the Pilot Program, coordinating press directly to promote the Pilot Program.
- Lead efforts utilizing storytelling supported by photographic, and/or video documentation or other mediums aimed at garnering ‘narrative change’ about poverty and anti-poverty policies within the broader Alameda community.
- Work with City staff and the Research Partner to present and distribute research deliverables. This effort may take place as between 6 and 18 months following completion of the Pilot Program.
- Support City in broader advocacy efforts related to Guaranteed Income.
7. Serve as liaison between the City, Pilot Program participants, and other Pilot Program partners.
Part B: Benefits Counseling
- Provide benefits counseling to all Pilot Program participants at the beginning, end, and as needed over the course of the Pilot Program.
- Ensure Pilot Program participants understand how receiving GI will impact benefits they receive, including but not limited to: childcare subsidies, Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Disability Insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, food and housing assistance, and other public benefits. Potential methods for completing this task include:
- Work with the California Department of Social Services, the Alameda Housing Authority, Alameda County, and other organizations to better understand the benefits landscape specific to the City of Alameda/Alameda County.
- Work with the City to create an Alameda-specific benefits matrix that identifies what benefits may be impacted due to receiving cash payments.
- Help participants weigh costs and benefits of Pilot Program participation.
- Ensure Pilot Program participants understand who to contact if they have a problem or question about their benefits throughout the Pilot Program.
- Help participants re-enroll in benefits as necessary at the end of the Pilot Program period, and offer available “off-boarding” benefits counseling for up to three months following the conclusion of the payment period.
Other Requirements and Qualifications
- Demonstrates capacity to deliver services in languages other than English that are most spoke in Alameda, including English, Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, and Korean.
- Ability to hire and maintain consistent staffing to meet program goals.
- Demonstrated familiarity with and proficiency in navigating federal and state benefit systems.
- Demonstrated ability to build trust among program participants and the larger community, and to provide transparency.
- Experience working with local government policy makers and community-based organizations preferred.
- Meet a minimum of monthly with the City and Pilot Program partners to discuss status and to make necessary adjustments.
Please note that this list is not exhaustive. Additional activities may arise throughout the course of the Pilot Program.
V. RFP Schedule
|Dates and Times
|Monday, August 8
|Friday, August 19
||Deadline for RFP Questions
|Friday, August 26
||RFP Q&A Posted
|Wednesday, Sept. 7, 4:00p
|Week of Sept. 19
|Week of Sept. 26
||Selection of Partner
VI. Submittal Instructions
Please submit your proposal electronically to GI@alamedaca.gov by 4:00PM PST on Wednesday, September 7.
The proposal should be submitted as a single .pdf file, with the subject line: (Name of Organization) Response to RFP: City of Alameda GI Implementing Partner.
Late proposals will not be accepted.
Please email any questions regarding the RFP to GI@alamedaca.gov by 4:00PM on Friday, August 19. Answers will be posted on the RFP webpage on Friday, August 26.
VIII. Submittal Requirments
The City is requesting that submitted proposals contain the following information in the ensuing order:
- Table of Contents
- Letter of Interest: A letter expressing your interest in being considered as the Implementing Partner. Include the name, title, and contact information, including mailing address, phone number, and email address of the person whom the City should contact regarding this response. (1- page maximum)
- Project Understanding and Approach: A statement demonstrating your understanding of the proposed project and describing your approach to completing the presented scope of work in a timely and cost-efficient manner. (1-page maximum)
- Team Organization and Description: Please include an organizational chart and information about the specific relevant experience for the proposed employees and applicable staff. One employee must be designated as the principal contact and Program Administrator for the City. (1-page maximum)
- Key Staff/Team Experience: For key team members, please provide resumes, examples of experience interacting with low income households, successful coordination of low income services within the Bay Area community. (5-page maximum)
- Letters of commitment: If applying with partners, provide letters of commitment from all partner organizations (other than lead) certifying their role and responsibilities in the proposed work plan.
- Work Plan, Fee Proposal, and Schedule. Please provide a detailed work plan, task-by-task budget proposal, and implementation schedule. If proposer has additions or suggested amendments to the presented scope of work, please include them in your response.
- Comments/Questions on the City Standard Service Provider Agreement: The City’s standard service provider agreement is attached for your consideration (see Exhibit A). If the applicant has any questions/concerns related to the standard form contract, they must be submitted in writing with your response to this RFP.
- Supporting documents (optional): Provide documents, links, communications materials, etc. that provide any relevant background information about the organization and experience with similar projects.
IX. Selection Process
Based upon the submitted written responses to this RFP, City’s selection team will review and rank the proposals according to the following criteria:
- Proposed work plan supports the project's goals; and activities set out in the Scope of Work.
- Applicant demonstrates understanding of the challenges and barriers that low-income residents of Alameda face.
- Applicant demonstrates understanding of specific barriers and challenges faced by historically excluded communities in Alameda.
- Applicant clearly demonstrates how it will service the 150 participants at the beginning and end of the program when demands on resources will be elevated.
- Project activities are clearly defined and described. Applicant demonstrates ability to build trust among program participants and the larger community, and to provide transparency.
- Time commitment of staff is appropriate to the project.
Timeline & Budget Proposal
- Timeline of work is feasible.
- Budget is in alignment with the proposed activities.
- Budget and timeline demonstrate understanding of programmatic priorities.
- This will not be a low-bid contract. However, proposed contract budget, cost controls, program efficiencies, and other budget matters will be taken into consideration.
- *Note that project budget should not include cash payments to Pilot Program participants or disbursements from the Benefit Conservation Fund.
- Qualifications and relevant organization and staff experience, particularly in Alameda.
- Demonstrated commitment to serving low-income residents and historically excluded communities, particularly in Alameda.
- Experience effectively communicating a message-driven story to the press and media.
- Experience effectively communicating in languages most commonly spoken in Alameda.
Ability to meet the City’s standard contract requirements
- Through execution of the Service Provider Agreement attached as Exhibit A; written confirmation of this condition is required to be eligible to a submit proposal.
Total Eligible Points
X. Additional Terms and Conditions
- Nondiscrimination: Applicants for this RFP shall not discriminate against any interested individual, firm or applicant on the grounds of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, handicap, disability, marital status, pregnancy, sex, age, or sexual orientation.
- Permits, Licenses, and Insurance: The successful applicant for this RFP shall, at its sole expense, obtain and maintain during the term of any agreement executed pursuant to this RFP all appropriate permits, certificates, licenses, and insurance including, but not limited to, a City of Alameda Business License which may be required in connection with the performance of services hereunder.
- Signatures and Declarations: Each proposal responding to this RFP must be signed on behalf of the submitting entity by an officer authorized to bind the entity to its proposal.
- City’s Right to Waive: The City reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to waive any immaterial irregularities in a proposal responding to this RFP or in the submission of a proposal.
- City’s Right to Modify the RFP: The City reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to modify this RFP should the City deem that it is in its best interests to do so. Any changes to the RFP requirements will be made by written addendum posted on the City’s website. The failure of an applicant to read any addenda shall have no effect on the validity of such modification.
- City’s Right to Suspend or Cancel the RFP: The City reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to suspend or cancel this RFP in part or in its entirety should the City deem that it is in the City’s best interests to do so.
- City’s Right to Reject Any Proposal: The City reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to reject any proposal responding to this RFP that the City determines does not satisfy the conditions set forth in this RFP, or contains false, misleading, or materially incomplete information. The City reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to reject all applicants and not to award to any applicant should the City deem that it is in its best interests to do so.
- City’s Right to Extend RFP Deadlines: The City reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to extend any of the deadlines listed in this RFP by written addenda should the City deem that it is in its best interests to do so.
- Cost of Proposals: All costs incurred during proposal preparation or in any way associated with an applicant’s preparations, submission, presentation or oral interview (if any) shall be the sole responsibility of Applicant.
- Liability for RFP Errors: Applicants are solely responsible for all errors and omissions contained in their responses to the RFP.
- Proposals Property of City: Upon receipt, each proposal responding to this RFP that an applicant submits to the City becomes the sole property of the City and will not be returned to the applicant.
- Oral and Written Explanations: The City shall not be bound by oral explanations or instructions given at any time during the process or after the award. Oral explanations given during the review process and after award become binding only when confirmed in writing by an authorized City official. Written responses to question(s) asked by one proposer will be provided to all applicants to this RFP.
- Public Record: All proposals are subject to the Public Records Act
Exhibit A: City of Alameda Service Provider Agreement(PDF, 532KB)
Download a PDF of this RFP here(PDF, 706KB).
RFP Questions and Answers
What exact services are required for the financial partner to provide in languages other than English (ex: customer service, mobile platform/app, letters to participants etc)?
The Financial Partner should have the capacity to provide all methods or mediums of communications to program participants in other languages. For example, online banking or mobile platforms should have the capacity to be provided in languages other than English.
Do you have any caps or limits on the percentage of funds that can be used for administration?
No, we do not have any limits and this will not be a low-bid contract. However, proposed contract budget, cost controls, program efficiencies, and other budget matters will be taken into consideration.
Is there any software that the winning bidder is expected to use?
No. We leave this up to the discretion of the proposer.
Is there a blackout period?
No, there is no blackout period and vendors are not prohibited from communicating with members of the City Council during the RFP process. However, selection of the partners will be conducted by a selection committee.
Who is the selection committee and will the bid winner go to council approval?
The selection committee has not yet been confirmed. It is anticipated that the proposers’ contracts will be presented for City Council approval by November, 2022.
Are you open to multiple respondents on the same proposal?
We are open to a proposer subcontracting with another agency(ies) or organization(s) to perform certain elements of the scope of work.
Can we submit one application for both the implementation and research partner as we feel like we can do both?
No. While we are receptive to a proposer applying to perform more than one partner role, for our evaluation purposes, we will need to be able to assess each partner individually. Therefore, please submit two separate responses. The partner role of each submittal should include a clearly defined budget and approach, responding to the corresponding RFP. This response applies to all program partners.
Can the comparison group be pulled from the non-lottery winners and/or those who qualified but chose not to enroll?
We leave this up to the discretion of the proposer. The proposer should provide an explanation for its recommendation. The final program designed will be determined in collaboration with all program partners and the City.
What are the available funds for the research partner contract to conduct the scope of work outlined in this RFP?
The City Council has allocated $4.6 million in ARPA funds for the pilot program, which includes approximately $3.6 million for the monthly payments to program participants. Therefore approximately $1 million is set aside for the three Program Partners, with any remaining funds being applied to be used to expand the number of program participants. This will not be a low-bid contract. However, proposed contract budget, cost controls, program efficiencies, and other budget matters will be taken into consideration. This response applies to all program partners.
What type of contract will be awarded (i.e. Firm Fixed Price or Time and Materials)?
We have a limited budget and are therefore seeking a firm fixed price contract.
Whose responsibility will it be to convene and engage the community Advisory Board?
The City will help form and coordinate the community Advisory Board. The convening and day-to-day management will be the responsibility of the Implementation Partner.
Who is responsible for any costs associated with convening the community advisory board e.g. incentives or travel costs?
If the Advisory Board includes individuals with lived experiences, incentives or stipends for attending Advisory Board meetings would be covered by the Implementing Partner.
In the submittal requirements on page 6 of the RFP it says: “Key Staff/Team Experience: For key team members, please provide resumes and include examples of experience conducting social science research and program evaluation. (5-page maximum).” Could the city clarify whether the 5-page limit includes both an explanation of staff and contractor experience conducting social science research and program evaluation along with staff resumes? Or whether this section should cover staff and organizational experience conducting social science research and program evaluation, and full resumes can be included separately as an Appendix? If full resumes are to be included in the Appendix, how long should each resume be?
The key staff team experience should be limited to five pages. Staff resumes may be hyper-linked in the proposal if needed.
The submittal requirements do not provide a page limit for the section “Work Plan, Fee Proposal, and Schedule.” Could the City of Alameda clarify their page limit expectations for this section?
We are looking for a thoughtful and thorough response, which adequately demonstrates an understanding of the project and any potential challenges.
The RFP outlines three tasks: A. Program Design and Participant Selection; B. Research Methodology; C. Reporting. Would the city of Alameda consider an alternative task structure that included an additional task that breaks out the data collection which aligns better with the phases of the research? For example, A. Program Design and Participant Selection; B. Research Methodology; C. Data Collection; and D. Reporting.
Yes, we are open to an alternative task structure if that allows you to better explain your proposed approach.
What is the period of performance completion date for this project taking into account the timeline for ARPA funds obligation and disbursement requirements? Based on the first two pages of Exhibit B-2 attached to the RFP (sections pasted below), what is the ultimate completion date for the contractor’s work? Is it December 31, 2024 or December 31, 2026? On the first page of Exhibit B-2 it says. “Pursuant to ARPA, Eligible Uses under this non-R&D federal program must be obligated no earlier than March 3, 2021 and no later than December 31, 2024, with final disbursement of all funds no later than December 31, 2026.” And then on the following page of the same exhibit it says: “ARPA Funds. CITY agrees to provide the GRANTEE a total sum not to exceed the value of the Agreement to be Eligible Uses set forth in the Exhibit A (Scope of Work), conditioned on the requirement that such funds will be used or disbursed by GRANTEE to eligible subcontractors no later than December 31, 2024.”
The City anticipates the Pilot Program will launch in the spring or summer of 2023, which would mean the final participant payment would occur in the spring or summer of 2025. Per ARPA guidance, Program Partner invoices will need to be paid by December 31, 2026. However, the City anticipates that all invoices would be submitted by the fall of 2026 at the latest.
Will the contractor be required to get a City of Alameda business license?
In the RFP under Section X.13 Additional Terms and Conditions, will the City allow bidders or contractors to identify portions of its proposal to be exempted from public disclosure under the Public Records Act?
We are asking for clarification and will post a response shortly.