Request for Proposal: START Website Redesign


START International, Inc., a small, global nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., is seeking proposals for the design and development of a new website. The work is divided into two distinct Phases:

Phase One: Redesign of the home page, including recommendations on the contemporizing of its logo, and the redesign of a digital newsletter housed on the site, with an eye to Phase Two.

Phase Two: Development of a complete, new website, utilizing design work of Phase One.

This RFP encompasses both Phases, with the explicit understanding that Phase One will occur in the first half of 2017. The overall website redesign (Phase Two) is to begin in late 2017, depending on completion of START’s strategic planning, budget priorities, and the performance of its web vendor.


START’s central mission is to increase opportunities for research, education and training that strengthen scientific capacities in developing countries to understand, communicate and motivate action on critical global change challenges. START achieves its mission through promoting research-driven capacity building, an approach that emphasizes experiential learning by doing, particularly by early-career scientists, in which targeted skill building and networking opportunities are infused within the research experience.

START works predominately in Africa and Asia, where its work is carried out by a system of partners, regional centers, and affiliated institutions, in collaboration with the International START Secretariat, based in Washington, DC.


START’s website is its single, most accessible public identity and positioning tool. The website’s goal is to convey START’s unique role in building scientific communities through capacity building and knowledge exchange for a broad, global, scientifically – literate audience. And thus, the most important objective is to increase engagement and interest in working with START on its programming, and other offerings. More specifically, START seeks to:
In the short-term

– Attract and increase new and repeat visitors/customers, especially younger career scientists
– Better showcase its impact and offerings
– Encourage engagement through highly share-able content and visual representations of its programming.
And in the longer-term

– Create and build a community of START alum and senior scientists with whom they engage regularly for education and information sharing
– Increase donor interest and support
– Develop an online application process through its website for its small grant and fellowship opportunities
Additional considerations

START CMS is WordPress and we expect the new design to utilize this open source tool while offering a design that will help streamline processes to reduce support and maintenance costs. START shares it content directly via its quarterly e-newsletter, PDFs, and for multimedia content it utilizes Vimeo and YouTube.

START may wish to expand its content offerings to include livestreaming, slideshows, photo galleries, infographics, digital magazines, blogging and site-hosted webinars.


The website’s primary audiences in order of priority are: 1. professionals and scholars in academia, government, business, industry, policy, and research, with early career scientists and university-level students following. 2. Public policy and leaders.

In addition, the organization offers announcements of upcoming conferences and publications geared toward a scientifically- literate public. These additional audiences may include educators, donors and potential donors, non-governmental organizations and the media.


Proposal should be submitted via email to by January 22, 2017.
Proposals must include the following:

  • Brief overview and background of firm, including organizational capacity to meet both Phase One and Phase Two requirements. Previous work supporting nonprofit and/or scientific projects should be noted. (Please note: If you will engage subcontracts, we expect these to be identified in your proposal.)
  • URLs for at least three (3) websites you have produced that best reflect your work and relevancy to this project.
  • Proposed timelines and cost estimates for Phase One and Phase Two. (If it is anticipated that there will additional and/or out of pocket fees, please provide an overview of these additional fees.)
  • Reference information for three (3) former or current clients.
  • Brief description of your requirements around the information gathering process.
  • Information and estimates required for automatic migration of content from old website to new.
  • Standard support and maintenance package, and information and support fees associated with upgrades, bug fixes, troubleshooting, maintenance, backups, and design/development enhancements.
  • Any additional costs or requirements for necessary hardware, software, databases,training, or web server licenses.
  • Costs and procedures for disaster recovery.
  • If you offer website hosting* as a service, describe:

– Frequency of backups and upgrades.
– Technical support and security.
– Where website will reside and what data redundancies are in place.
– Support and maintenance hours/availability.
– All pricing, terms, and conditions, including disk space limitations, site traffic limitations, ongoing server and technical support costs, and other extra costs.

  • If you do not offer website hosting, describe how you would assist START in choosing a hosting provider.

*Please note that START International may be in need of website hosting for its current site as well as the proposed new one.


Questions about this RFP should be directed to Margaret Chapman at


This RFP does not commit START International to award a contract, to pay any costs incurred in preparation of a proposal/quote, or to procure or contract for any services. We reserve the right to cancel in part or in its entirety this RFP, to accept or to reject any or all quotes/proposals submitted, to request additional information from any or all proposers, or to negotiate with any or all proposers.
Download the RFP