REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL: Website Design & Development

REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL:

Website Re-Design & Development

This Request for Proposal (RFP) is for design and development services for a new Wyoming Humanities website.  

RFP Sent: June 9, 2023, Responses Due: July 28, 2023

Send RFP proposals and questions to: Michele Carter, Director of Operations, michele@thinkwy.org.

The goal for the new website launch by early 2024.

Wyoming Humanities is under no legal obligation to accept any proposal. Wyoming Humanities reserves the right to amend the scope of work and requirements at any time.  

Wyoming Humanities Overview

Our Mission: Strengthening Wyoming’s democracy by creating an environment of understanding, inspiration, creativity, wisdom, and idea-sharing.  

Our Vision: Enhancing the Wyoming narrative to promote engaged communities, improves our quality of life and enhances our economy.

Our Purpose: A five-decade affiliation with the National Endowment for the Humanities enables us to improve the quality of life in Wyoming through public programs in the humanities.

Wyoming Humanities is the state’s affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and an independent 501(c)3 non-profit governed by a board of private citizens who believe the humanities can help us better understand the issues of our times. Founded in 1970, we are one of 56 state and jurisdictional humanities councils. Wyoming was one of the first states to implement this independent nonprofit model to provide public humanities programs for our citizens. Our goal is to use the humanities to strengthen our democracy, enhance the Wyoming narrative, and promote engaged communities. We bring together public and private funding to accomplish our goals and are a statewide organization that strives to serve all 23 counties and 99 communities of Wyoming. Our partnerships span the State of Wyoming and focus on literature, culture, heritage, education, conversations, and local humanities ideas. Visit our current website for more detailed information about us: thinkwy.org.  

We offer numerous humanities-based programs throughout the state of Wyoming, either by granting funds to organizations or by creating and coordinating our own programming for the state. These programs are currently organized under various initiatives, including Wyoming Center for the Book, Native Narratives, Democracy and Civics, and Wyoming C

rossroads. While some of these are long-term, we expect that these initiatives will change often and we need the flexibility to add new ones and archive older content.

Wyoming Humanities – Current Web Audiences

Several audiences visit the Wyoming Humanities website for different reasons and use cases.  

Primary:  

Grant Applicants: Grant applicants represent not-for-profit organizations or individuals seeking grant funds for humanities-based projects. We offer various types of grants, and qualifying projects included, but are not limited to, documentary films, cultural and storytelling festivals, oral history projects, and youth programs tied to the humanities. In the past three years, Wyoming Humanities has provided hundreds of thousands in grants to organizations that reach every county in Wyoming. Grant applicants use our site to access grant applications and related documents.  

Program Partners: Program partners are organizations with whom we collaborate to create and offer humanities-related events throughout Wyoming. Our program partners include but are not limited to, libraries, museums, cultural organizations, community centers, universities, and religious institutions. Our partners use our site for access to applications, reporting requirements, and additional program-related documents on an as-needed basis. Program partners may also use our site for basic information and our event calendar (which is currently non-operational).  

Secondary:  

Board Members: The Board of Directors is a volunteer decision-making body that provides our governance and oversight. Board members may use our site to become acquainted with our organization and to access a secure Board-only authorized area of the website to view a directory and download Board-relevant materials, such as grant review packets and Board meeting documents.  

Donors: Our donors include current and potential donors or external granting organizations may look to our website for a broad view of our organization as well as specific information about our programming and grants, as well as providing individuals the chance to donate. From the donor perspective, the website may be a wonderful opportunity for due diligence and to share our mission and work. A priority is to decrease the friction between donative intent and completed donations.  

Policymakers: Wyoming policymakers may look to our website for a broad view of our organization as well as specific information about our grants and programs. The policy-relevant information presented on our website should be in an easily accessible format.    

General Public: Members of the public may discover and learn more about our programming, donation opportunities, and upcoming events. For example, access to a calendar of upcoming events. Through some analytics, we realize that the access currently is primarily toward an older, white, educated audience.

Media: Members of the press can get more information about our various programs as well as a broad view of our organization and the humanities.  

Desired Audiences:

In a prior audit of our website, we found three areas where we feel we are lacking with our web audiences, areas we’d like to improve:

  • Younger audiences (18-35)
  • Rural communities
  • Minority populations, such as those on the Wind River Reservation and Latinx communities
  • Teachers and students, for educational purposes

Current Website Analysis

Our current website, thinkwy.org, is several years old and – while well intended – was created with less convenience for the user experience than what internal organizational needs/wants may have been. The website was created with WebFlow, which is difficult to use and understood by few professionals with whom we’ve worked. We are seeking a new platform to properly develop and maintain a truly dynamic, impactful website that fully represents the breadth and depth of our work. Currently, we maintain and update parts of the website internally with more significant design, technical assistance, and maintenance outsources to a Wyoming company. Our consultant is helpful, but we are unable to create a dynamic, full-bodied, and comprehensive website on WebFlow and with the current design. We seek a new solution that more fully and immediately represents our needs as well as being a proper resource for our partners, our grant applicants, or any of our other audiences to meet our current organizational needs.  

Examples of inadequacies of our current website include but are not limited to:  

  • Difficulty to maintain or make regular updates
  • No proper events calendar – let alone one that is robust and visually appealing
  • Confusing navigation and access – particularly with our initiatives
  • Few access points or vital ways to reach or engage new audiences
  • Home page has no engagement and slider is difficult to maintain
  • Needs more robust content, but nowhere for it to live
  • While we’d like the site to also serve as a “warehouse” for humanities info for the state, no content and nowhere for it to live
  • Our most visited and most successful page – Grants – needs better organization
  • Not always a responsive design when used on phones
  • Needs more photo/video
  • Better donation page
  • Need to ensure integration with our workflow, such as SalesForce and Foundant
  • The CMS should feature a user-friendly interface for us to conveniently maintain our site regularly with great ease and efficiency. A site map and our current maintenance processes are available, if necessary.
  • Social media integration

New Website Objectives

  • Our website needs to help us tell our story and make the humanities better understood by any visitor. For example, our home page should instantly convey who we are and why our work is relevant. This message should be crystal-clear and presented in a way that is visually beautiful, emotionally impactful, and easily understandable. For reference, a website that appears to meet this transparency and immediacy of message objective is the elegant Indiana Humanities website: https://indianahumanities.org/  
  • Our website needs a rich feature set that allows for effective automation, offering forms, calendaring, and presenting and archiving our statewide work.  
  • Our website needs easy-to-use backend website management functionality via a powerful CMS platform, such as WordPress.  
  • The website needs to be designed and created following Search Engine Optimization (SEO) web design best practices so that it is optimized for search engines and analytics
  • Connection to our email marketing software and email sign-up forms.  
  • A well-coded website that is innately accessible and that includes accessibility features as needed.  
  • A user-friendly, visually appealing events calendar that allows for automatic updating, preferably that can also handle images.  
  • A responsive website developed for mobile viewing. Optimized for quick loading time  
  • A robust way to document and showcase our digital humanities work
  • A portal for board members/staff, preferably with password-protected access

Optional Objectives

  • Wyoming Humanities would like to serve as a warehouse or encyclopedia for the state (not unlike https://encyclopediavirginia.org/). We understand that this may not necessarily fit within the current RFP, but it is a goal for the organization.

Proposal Requirements Please include the following in your proposal response:  

  1. Overview of your company  
  1. Overview of how you plan to meet our objectives  
  1. Explanation of your proposed platform/CMS  
  1. Outline of your website design strategy
  1. Proposed website timeline from kickoff to launch  
  1. Details about your team, including any key differentiators  
  1. Recent design & development examples  
  1. References  
  1. Pricing with optional elements as separate line items, including web hosting  
  1. Description of ongoing technical and development support options  

RFP & Project Timeline Details

  • RFP Sent: June 9, 2023
  • Responses Due: July 28, 2023
  • Finalists Selected & Contacted: August 11, 2023
  • Winner Selected & Contacted: September 1, 2023  
  • New Website Launch Target Date: Early 2024

Thank you for your interest in responding to this RFP with a proposal for our new website. We look forward to your response. For process questions about this RFP, please contact Michele Carter at michele@thinkwy.org; for questions related to the website, please contact Troy Rumpf at troy@thinkwy.org.