Wednesday, February 11, 2015

GlobalPittsburgh Seeks Proposals to Update Website

GlobalPittsburgh Website
February 11, 2015

1. Summary and Background

The Pittsburgh Council for International Visitors (PCIV), a non-profit organization doing business as GlobalPittsburgh, is currently accepting proposals to develop, design, launch and host a new website to replace its current website at The existing GlobalPittsburgh website was developed and launched in 2011.

CLICK HERE to download the RFP.

In an effort to elevate awareness of GlobalPittsburgh and thereby increase revenue, membership and community involvement via its website, GlobalPittsburgh has determined that a new platform and format are needed which are more user-friendly and allow for improved interaction by current followers and potential members at the individual, organizational and corporate levels.
Our current website isn’t optimized for mobile platforms and is not sufficiently functional to achieve our revenue and membership goals. With confusing layout and messages/information, it isn’t easy to find what one needs within three clicks. Also, we only converse in English. As a result, the website isn’t drawing the interest we had hoped. We need to rethink our digital strategy, starting with the web site, but also looking at all digital aspects from branding, messaging and promoting our website. Our website, ultimately, should reflect our mission statement and clear brand message.

The purpose of this Request for Proposal (RFP) is to solicit proposals from various web developers, conduct a fair and extensive evaluation based on criteria listed herein, and select the candidate which best represents the GlobalPittsburgh’s new direction.

GlobalPittsburgh brings together globally minded people in the Pittsburgh region through membership activities and hosting programs. Formed in 1959 as the Pittsburgh Council for International Visitors, we promote the concept of citizen diplomacy, which means, "the concept that every global citizen has the right, even the responsibility, to engage across cultures and create shared understanding through meaningful person-to-person interactions."

As a 54-year member of the Washington, D.C.-based Global Ties U.S. (formerly NCIV), we are the U.S. State Department’s designated regional service provider for the International Visitor Leadership Program and other government-sponsored international exchange programs. 

GlobalPittsburgh now has a network of more than 500 members (including individuals, universities and corporations), volunteers, and citizen diplomats who ensure that visiting leaders, international newcomers and globally minded residents are connected and benefit from our promise to find friends, find jobs, find customers and find students.
GlobalPittsburgh currently operates three main programs:

International Leaders Program - Hosting global delegations
Tailored professional itineraries for emerging leaders in the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitors Leadership Program, other federally funded programs, and fee-based programming for international leaders sponsored by their governments, businesses or other institutions. These itineraries are designed to promote ongoing linkages between the international participants and the Pittsburgh regional leaders with whom they meet.

GlobalPittsburghCONNECTMembership program connecting internationals and local community
Providing homestays, hospitality dinners with American families, and a year-round series of events to acculturate and welcome international students, professionals, ESL students, researchers, scholars and their families to the Greater Pittsburgh Region. Local globally minded individuals, companies and organizations may become part of the GlobalPittsburghCONNECT, which includes invitations to member activities, hosting and homestay opportunities, and a wide range of other benefits and advantages. Memberships are available at $50 per year for individuals and households, $40 for undergraduate students.

Study Pittsburgh InitiativeHelping colleges, universities & English Language programs attract international students
A consortium of colleges, universities and degree programs led by GlobalPittsburgh to promote the region as a whole to attract more international students and connect them with regional businesses, cultural assets and communities. This program will be expanded in 2015 as part of the GlobalPittsburgh International Student Talent Attraction & Retention Initiative, or I-STAR, which will require expanded interactive and mobile-friendly capabilities.

2. Proposal Guidelines

Proposals are due by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, March 16, 2015. GlobalPittsburgh intends to announce the successful contract by March 30, 2015, following a two-week period for questions and proposal clarification. An official agent or representative of the company submitting the proposal must sign all proposals.

If the organization submitting a proposal must outsource or contract any work to meet the requirements contained herein, this must be clearly stated in the proposal. Additionally, all costs included in proposals must be all-inclusive to include any outsourced or contracted work. Any proposals that call for outsourcing or contracting work must include a name and description of the organizations being contracted.

All costs must be itemized to include an explanation of all fees and costs.

Contract terms and conditions will be negotiated upon selection of the winning bidder for this RFP. All contractual terms and conditions will be subject to review by the GlobalPittsburgh Board of Directors and will include scope, budget, schedule, and other necessary items pertaining to the project.

3. Project Purpose and Description

Project Purpose:
GlobalPittsburgh’s current website was implemented in 2011, and the Board of Directors has determined that it is not totally effective in providing a thorough description of our programs and offerings in a user-friendly online environment. Additionally, the site has not been effective in attracting new members or otherwise generating revenue for the organization. GlobalPittsburgh believes that by using the latest web-based technologies and a more effective site design, we can provide our followers and potential members with more information, a user-friendlier environment, and achieve our goals of attracting new members and generating revenue.

Project Description:
GlobalPittsburgh is seeking a provider to utilize the latest web-based technology to create a website that is user-friendly, mobile responsive, simple to use, provides detailed information about our programs and offerings, and is easy to add or modify content. The site design should incorporate the latest key word search practices and maximize search ability in all current Internet search engines.

One of the main challenges that should be addressed by those submitting proposals will be the ability to guide GlobalPittsburgh in creating a website – starting with the home page and possibly using microsites – that successfully captures and conveys the varied activities of the organization to different audiences in a simple, clear and compelling fashion.
The finished website must allow GlobalPittsburgh staff to easily manipulate the layout and content in order to allow for frequent changes in the dynamic environment in which we work where programs and events constantly change. The current website uses the Drupal content management system, but bidders are not required to maintain that platform.

The website design and layout should be aesthetically pleasing, simple for users to navigate, provide descriptions of all GlobalPittsburgh programs and services, upcoming events, and contact information. The site must also be completely secure against intrusion. The site should be easily integrated with our current membership management system, Wild Apricot.

Additionally, the site should include:
·         Events calendar showing events organized by GlobalPittsburgh as well as those submitted by members and followers in an easy-to-use process
·         Password-protected members-only section for providing specialized content
·         Microsite for Study Pittsburgh Initiative including pages for member universities
·         Corporate members/sponsors page with capability to expand individual members based on membership level
·         International Community pages with interactive capability
·         Link to PayPal donation page
·         Study Pittsburgh page with list of university members
·         Ability to be translated into multiple languages in the future
·         Addition of a page showing an interactive world map indicating the home countries and cities of delegations hosted by GlobalPittsburgh

4. Project Scope

The scope of this project includes all design, development, coding, licensing, and hosting of GlobalPittsburgh’s new website. All text and copy will be provided to the selected bidder by GlobalPittsburgh’s marketing department for inclusion in the design of the new website.

The following criteria must be met to achieve a successful project:
·         Visually and aesthetically pleasing website design
·         Hub design that is agile and mobile responsive
·         User-friendly environment that is easy to navigate
·         Consistency of design across all pages/sections of the website
·         Effective tools to migrate current web content to new website: This may include, but not limited to: tool kit and training for our staff for self transfer; offering to transfer what will be retained from the old to the new…
·         New site can be easily changed/modified easily by GlobalPittsburgh staff
·         All software and licensing requirements should be included as part of this project
·         Site should be searchable with keyword searches based on site content
·         Prominent display of GlobalPittsburgh logo throughout all pages of the website
·         Site should be compatible with all current web browsing technology and easily upgradeable
·         Ability to work closely with GlobalPittsburgh staff contact on coordination of project tasks and resources
·         Create a test or draft web environment for the development of the new site, and to have a roll-back feature allowing staff and/or contractor to roll back to a prior date if changes have been made that won’t work or are not approved by GlobalPittsburgh’s staff.
·         Web analytics capability

5. Request for Proposal and Project Timeline

Request for Proposal Timeline:
All proposals in response to this RFP are due no later than 5:00 p.m. EST March 16, 2015.
Evaluation of proposals will be conducted from March 16, 2015 until March 27, 2015. If additional information or discussions are needed with any bidders during this period, the bidder(s) will be notified.

The selection decision and notification of the winning bidder will be made no later than March 30, 2015. Upon notification, contract negotiation with the winning bidder will begin immediately. Contract negotiations will be completed by April 6, 2015.

Notifications to bidders who were not selected will be completed by March 30, 2015.

Project Timeline:
Proposals should include the expected project timeline/schedule, keeping in mind that GlobalPittsburgh would like to have the updated website live as soon as possible.

6. Budget

All proposals must include proposed costs to complete the tasks described in the project scope. Costs should be stated as one-time or non-recurring costs (NRC), or monthly recurring costs (MRC). Pricing should be listed for each of the following items in accordance with the format below:

Project Initiation and Planning          NRC     MRC
Market Research                                  NRC     MRC
Site/Database Development               NRC     MRC
Site/Database Testing                         NRC     MRC
Site/Database Deployment                 NRC     MRC
Site/Database Hosting                        NRC     MRC

NOTE: All costs and fees must be clearly described in the proposal. In addition, unless specified otherwise in this tender, the proposal should encompass all graphic and wireframe design, production, testing, content management systems, and software acquisitions necessary for development and maintenance of the website, as well as a listing of any ongoing fees related to hosting, support and software upgrades.

7. Bidder Qualifications

Bidders should provide the following items as part of their proposal for consideration:
·         Description of experience in planning, building, and hosting corporate websites
·         List of how many full time, part time, and contractor staff in your organization
·         Examples of three or more corporate websites designed and implemented by your organization
·         Testimonials from past clients on website building and hosting work
·         Anticipated resources you will assign to this project (total number, role, title, experience)
·         Full testing plan
·         Timeframe for completion of the project
·         Project management methodology

8. Proposal Evaluation Criteria

GlobalPittsburgh will evaluate all proposals based on the following criteria. To ensure consideration for this Request for Proposal, your proposal should be complete and include all of the following criteria:
·         Overall proposal suitability: proposed solution(s) must meet the scope and needs included herein and be presented in a clear and organized manner
·         Organizational Experience: Bidders will be evaluated on their experience as it pertains to the scope of this project
·         Previous work: Bidders will be evaluated on examples of their work pertaining to website design and hosting as well as client testimonials and references
·         Value and cost: Bidders will be evaluated on the cost of their solution(s) based on the work to be performed in accordance with the scope of this project
·         Technical expertise and experience: Bidders must provide descriptions and documentation of staff technical expertise and experience

9. Point of Contact

Bidders may direct clarifying questions by email at any time,  or arrange telephone conversations or meetings, and submit a digital version of their proposal in PDF format by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, March 16, 2015 to:

Thomas Buell, Jr.
Director of Development & Marketing
650 Smithfield Street, Suite 1180
Pittsburgh, PA 15222 

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