Request for Proposal for Environmental Justice Practitioners Network Web Portal


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Request for Proposal

Environmental Justice Practitioners Network Web Portal

Nov 27, 2017

Issued By:

Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth (UUMFE)

UUMFE Representative:

Irene Keim

(mobile) 352-777-4708

  1. Introduction & Background

UUMFE, a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization serving Unitarian Universalists working towards ecological, climate, and environmental justice across North America, is in need of a web application for individuals and organizations to share news, network, and organize in groups, and is accepting proposals in response to this Request for Proposal (this “RFP,” or this “Request for Proposal”) in order to find a qualified source to provide a web portal for individuals and organizations to share news, network, and organize in groups. Our goal with a web portal for individuals and organizations to share news, network, and organize in groups is to:


  1. Catalyze community connections and collective action towards ecological, climate, and environmental justice

  2. Catalyze news and resource sharing to empower learning and transformation towards ecological, climate, and environmental justice

  3. Increase our networks’ capacity and impact towards ecological, climate and environmental justice

The objective of this Request for Proposal is to locate a source that will provide the best overall value to UUMFE. While price is a significant factor, other criteria will form the basis of our award decision, as more fully described in the Evaluation Factors section of this Request for Proposal below.

2.    Submission Guidelines & Requirements

The following submission guidelines & requirements apply to this Request for Proposal:

  1. First and foremost, only qualified individuals or firms with prior experience on projects such as this should submit proposals in response to this Request for Proposal.

  2. Bidders intent on submitting a proposal should so notify the representative identified on the cover page no later than December 13, 2017.

  3. Bidders must list at least one project that is substantially similar to this project as part of their response, including references for each. Examples of work should be provided as well.

  4. A technical proposal must be provided. This technical proposal must provide an overview of the proposed solution as well as resumes of all key personnel performing the work. In addition, the technical proposal should provide a proposed schedule and milestones, as applicable.

  5. A price proposal must be provided. This price proposal should indicate the overall fixed price for the project as well as hourly rates and an estimated total number of hours, should UUMFE decide to award a contract on an hourly rate basis, and an assessment of total maintenance cost of ownership.

  6. Proposals must be signed by a representative who is authorized to commit bidder’s company.

  7. If you have a standard set of terms and conditions, please submit them with your proposal. All terms and conditions will be subject to negotiation.

  8. Proposals must be received prior to December 18, 2017, 12:01 PM Pacific Time to be considered.

  9. Proposals must remain valid for a period of 30 days.

  10. UUMFE anticipates selecting one or two individuals or firms to have more in-depth discussions with, and will make an award to one of these “down-selected” individuals or firms.

3.    Project Description

The purpose of this project is as follows: UUMFE wants to create a platform that catalyzes news and resource sharing, community connections, and collective action towards ecological, climate, and environmental justice ---- eliminating current communications bottlenecks by creating avenues for more direct communication and resource sharing between individuals. UUMFE wants a product that is more dynamic and effective at catalyzing community building and community organizing than email listserves and Facebook platforms that our member base is currently using for networking, resource sharing, and organizing.

The description of the project is as follows: a website with a member sign-up and login component; a dashboard home page featuring a news feed, events listings, and overview of member activity in the group pages; an opt-in searchable member directory; dynamic group pages that feature overview descriptions, leadership listings, member directories (private to members), conversation forums (private to members), events listings (public or private to members), ability for users to upload and share files (public or private to members), ability to create sub-groups that have the same basic features, and ability for group admin/moderators to approve join requests and edit content in the group pages; and simple, static group pages that feature basic overview descriptions, leadership listings, and external links (for groups that do not want or need the features of the dynamic group pages); auto-generated email notifications to users and admins related to new activity on the portal.


4.    Project Scope

The scope of the project entails:

  • Account creation:
    • Secure collection and storage of personal information: Name, Address (optional), City, State/Province/Territory, Zip+4, Country, Phone (optional), Email, Faith Community / Congregation
    • Option to add a profile photo
    • Option to name a portal user or group who invited you to join the portal (assists in account verification process)
    • Option to select how much personal information is viewable to other portal members (encourage sharing Name, Photo, Email, Faith Community, City, State, Zip+4 as default standard)
    • Option to select groups you would like to join from a list of all public dynamic groups that are accepting new members (requires group admin/moderator review and approval to join)
    • Option to select personal interest areas that link to the tags used as filters for the News Feed feature and tags to label groups by their focus areas
    • Option to be a regular or one-time donor to sustain the portal
    • Requirement to read and agree to the portal community standards
    • “Verified” and “Unverified” feature --- Label new accounts as “unverified” on their public profile until a user’s real existence and connection to the faith community or groups they claim in their account creation are verified, and their status is updated to “verified” by a site admin. Unverified accounts have a button or link on their public profile to a simple form where another portal user can “vouch for” the unverified person, which creates a record to support their verification and sends a notification to the site admins. When a new user creates an account, they are notified that their account is classified as “unverified” until their identity can be confirmed and they are encouraged to ask other real-life contacts of theirs on the portal to vouch for them.
  • Home page dashboard:
    • Features news feed, events activity, and groups activity
    • Features the logo of UUMFE and other portal partners and financial sponsors

  • Navigation bars features:
    • User profile icon leading to account information and settings
    • Links to landing pages:
      • About - leading to more detail about portal sponsors/admins, guiding information about how to use the portal, information about  site purpose and guiding principles, community standards, legal statements, etc
      • Members
      • Groups
      • News & Alerts
      • Events
      • Resources

  • News feed:
    • All users are able to make posts to the news feed
    • All posts must be tagged using a select set of provided tags
    • Info button pop-up next to tagging function providing detail of what each tag means/encompasses
    • News feed can be filtered between “All News”, “My interests” (based upon tags that members select as their interest areas when making an account), and “Action Alerts” (all posts marked with “Take Action” tag)
    • News feed will auto-pull blog posts on the UUMFE website (tags will be mirrored on both sites; portal will be a stand alone site)
    • News feed will allow auto-pulling from Twitter accounts, set up and managed by site administrators (regular users will not have this feature option)
    • Site administrators will be able to edit or delete posts that do not meet the community standards of the site
    • Users will be able to flag a post that they believe does not meet the community standards of the site

  • Events listings:
    • Events main page shows featured events (determined by admin) and all public events on the portal. Listing has a search bar feature and list filters for ordering alphabetically, chronologically, by geographic proximity, by interest tag (pre-defined list of tags to filter and label content by type and focus area)
    • Events feature on the dashboard shows promoted events, events for the groups a user is part of, and events a user has RSVP’d for
    • Events have basic RSVP feature that auto-fills user information into a list for the event creator; no payment integration -- option to link to external payment or registration platform
    • Group admin/moderators and site admins users create events through the events main page or through a group’s event page; site admins have the ability to edit or delete any events that do not meet community standards
    • Events will have interest tags

  • Resource listings:
    • Resources main page shows featured resources (determined by admin) and all public resources on the portal. Listing has a search bar feature and list filters for ordering alphabetically, by date added, and by interest tag
    • Group members can share resource files in their groups, viewable to other group members
    • Group moderators and site admins can post resources that are public to the entire site on the main resource page
    • Resources will have interest tags

  • Groups listings:
    • Group page where portal users can search for groups, see featured groups, and apply to create groups
    • Group listing has search bar and can be sorted alphabetically, by geographic proximity, by group type, by interest tags  
    • Types of groups: Organization, Coalition, Congregation, Learning Community (long-term open group or short-term course), Covenant Group (small, closed group)
    • Group listings lead to basic public info page with application to join (where applicable) or to group home page if a user is already a member of that group

  • Static group pages:
    • Feature group overview, group logo, leadership profiles, primary contact information, and links to external pages where a portal user can connect and find more information
    • Have interest tags
  • Dynamic group pages:
    • Group page featuring group overview, group logo, leadership profiles, primary contact information, and external links
    • Have interest tags
    • Have the following pages:
      • Conversation page where group members can make posts and reply to posts, linked with an email notification feature, ideally with some variety of user choice about frequency and type of notification -- ex: notifications or digests of all activity, or notifications of responses to their own activity
      • Members directory page, showing basic profile and (opt-in) contact information of all group members
      • Events page, where group members can create events and view a listing of the group’s events (meetings, webinars, conference calls, special events, etc) chronologically; event creation function includes the ability to make the event public (viewable to portal users outside of the group on the main Events page and dashboard, listing the group as the event organizer) or private to just group members.
      • Resources page where group members can upload resources or find quick-link to a group’s external site cloud storage; resource upload function includes the ability to make the resource public (viewable to portal users outside of the group on the main Resources page, attributed to the group and the user who uploaded it as source), or private to just group members
      • Sub-group pages with the same main page, member directory, events, and resources features; ability to make sub-groups public (viewable for requests to join to portal users outside of the main group on the main Groups page) or private to being visible for requests to join only by members of the main group
    • Requests to join managed by group admin/moderators; Group admin/moderators must be identified with the creation of a group, and new admin/moderators can be added by existing group admin/moderators or by site admins.
    • Group creation and deletion: all portal users can endeavor to create a group by filling out a standard form accessed as a button on the “Groups” main page; Site admins will review submissions for new groups and approve or decline new group applications based upon whether a group already exists on the site to fill the stated purpose of a new group application and whether a group’s stated purpose and function upholds the community standards of the site. Group admin/moderators can endeavor to delete a group if it is no longer deemed needed; deleting a group will require site admin review and approval.
    • Sub-group creation: Group admin/moderators can create sub-groups within existing groups without any site admin review and approval. Group admin/moderators can also delete sub-group pages after they have served their purpose without any site admin review and approval.
    • Invitations and requests to join: a group admin/moderator can send email invitations to join a group; only people with user accounts in the portal can join a group; people who click on an invite and do not have accounts will be directed to the sign-up feature.

  • Admin:
    • Ability to edit, add, and delete site content
    • Ability to easily review new sign-ups and manage account verification
    • Ability to freeze or delete accounts
    • Ability to export user information to CSV files

  • Beta testing: UUMFE will beta test the site with approximately 50 people before doing a public launch --- assessing feedback and requesting design modifications as necessary to make the site satisfactory to our target member base.

  • Security: both the client and server sides of the application should employ all best industry standard development practices in regards to security

  • Mobile responsive design to ensure good user experience on both mobile phones and tablets

  • Contact form where users can request help and / or report issues with the site

The criteria set forth below should be met to achieve successful completion of the project:

  1. Development of a staging website that fulfills the details laid out in the project scope (as finalized during contract negotiation)

  2. Technical support for successful launch of beta test with approximately 50 portal users

  3. Analysis of beta test results and plan for design modification as needed, and as agreed upon with UUMFE

  4. UUMFE review and approval of any design modification

  5. Technical support for site admins for successful public launch of website

5.    RFP & Project Timelines

The Request for Proposal timeline is as follows:

Request for Proposal Issuance

November 27, 2017, 12:00 PM Pacific Time

Deadline to Submit Notification of Intent to Submit to

December 13, 2017

Deadline for Proposal Submission

December 18, 2017, 12:00 PM Pacific Time

Selection of Top Bidders / Notification to Unsuccessful Bidders

December 22, 2017

Start of Negotiation

December 22, 2017

Contract Award / Notification to Unsuccessful Bidders

By January 15, 2017

The need-date for project completion is April 30, 2018 (April 22nd public launch date). Bidders may propose a date earlier or later, and will be evaluated accordingly.

6.    Budget

UUMFE’s budget for the project is $10,000

7.    Evaluation Factors

UUMFE will rate proposals based on the following factors, with cost being the most important factor:

  1. Responsiveness to the requirements set forth in this Request for Proposal

  2. Relevant past performance/experience

  3. Samples of work

  4. Cost, including an assessment of total maintenance cost of ownership

  5. Technical expertise/experience of bidder and bidder’s staff

UUMFE reserves the right to award to the bidder that presents the best value to UUMFE as determined solely by UUMFE in its absolute discretion.

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