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Request for Proposals for Wave Hill Website Design and Development (PID: 251)
Posted On :2012-01-09    
Category: General Positions | Budget: Not Sure
Company: Wave Hill
Project Details:

SUMMARY
Wave Hill, a public garden and cultural center located in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, is soliciting proposals to design and develop the organizationâ??s website. This will be a concept-to-completion production. The purpose of this RFP is to provide a fair evaluation for all candidates. Wave Hillâ??s existing website, www.wavehill.org, was originally designed and produced in 2004 and slightly modified in 2009 and 2010, utilizing a custom-designed content management system. The site is maintained with in-house resources. Wave Hill would like the new site to be built on an open-source platform, preferably WordPress, but will consider other open-source options.

ABOUT WAVE HILL
Wave Hill is a 28-acre public garden and cultural center overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades in the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx. An independent, non-profit cultural institution, Wave Hill is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. The buildings and grounds are owned by the City of New York. Wave Hill is a stunningly beautiful landscape that satisfies many sensibilities, particularly, thanks to our gallery, the artistic.
Mission
Wave Hillâ??s mission is to celebrate the artistry and legacy of its gardens and landscapes, to preserve its magnificent views, and to explore human connections to the natural world through programs in horticulture, education and the arts.
Horticulture
The Horticulture Program develops and maintains gardens and horticultural collections that encompass a wide range of hardy plants outdoors, a representative group of tender plants in the main greenhouses and rock garden plants in the T.H. Everett Alpine House. The horticultural collections contain 1,100 genera and 3,200 species of plants. Wave Hillâ??s horticultural emphasis is on plantsmanship and the aesthetics of gardening. We seek to serve avid gardeners as a living encyclopedia and source of inspiration and to introduce the general public to the fascination of plants. Within a modest amount of acreage, a broad range of species is presented in diverse environments. This gives Wave Hill a special character, one that capitalizes on intimacy of scale to produce a vivid sense of horticultural richness and beauty.
Education
Wave Hill draws on its natural resources to provide programs for children, teenagers, teachers and families. The School Partnerships Program serves teachers and students, problem solving, observation, experimentation and outdoor exploration offering experiences that support the efforts of our partner schools, including preparation for standardized testing. Introducing city teachers to new methodologies and ideas improves the overall quality of education in city classrooms. The Forest Project Summer Collaborative offers a progressive ladder of four internship opportunities that integrate skill-building fieldwork, literacy and science enrichment, community participation and personal development, all setting the stage for valuable peer mentoring. The Kerlin Summer Science Institute for Teachers is an intensive five-day course for K-8 teachers, enabling them to practice inquiry methods in Wave Hill’s gardens and woodland. Educators gain the confidence to effectively teach science in the classroom and outdoors.
The Arts
Providing visitors with nature-inspired programs is a hallmark of Wave Hill. Wave Hillâ??s Family Art Project hosts children and caregivers in free, naturally creative weekend workshops. Adults are equally served through workshops, often led by exhibiting artists, as well as by weekly Tai Chi Chuan and yoga classes. Dynamic performing arts programming brings music, film and spoken arts to Wave Hill. The visual arts program employs Wave Hillâ??s landscape, its location in the Bronx and vibrant programming as conceptual resources. Primary exhibitions take place in spring, summer and fall. Most summers, generated@wavehill brings an artist onsite to create a temporal project on the
grounds. The Sunroom Project Space offers an opportunity for emerging artists to expand their oeuvre.

PROJECT SCOPE
Goals
As a major New York City cultural institution, Wave Hill requires its website to be
the main source of information to the public. This includes information on exhibitions, public programs, horticulture, education, fundraising and membership. Wave Hill wishes for the new site to incorporate social networking features in order to engage the public and build long-term relationships with its audience. The website should encourage visitation, program participation, membership and giving. Wave Hillâ??s audience includes garden enthusiasts, art enthusiasts, families looking for activities, tourists, potential donors, media and press, among others.
Visually, the site should reflect Wave Hillâ??s stunning vistas, gardens, and year-round, multi-seasonal beauty. Ideally, the site will capitalize on our extensive and every-growing database of photos, videos, audio and interpretive tools. It needs to be easy and intuitive to navigate, without an overwhelming number of technical â??bells and whistles.â?? We are looking for solutions that help us engage, and interact with, the visitor through video, podcasts or other educational and interpretive tools.
Site Structure and Content
As currently structured, the calendar section of the site is built on a custom database of event information that gets served up automatically. All other sections of the site are managed through Adobe Contribute. The database and Contribute enable us to get content posted to the site quickly and efficiently, but severely limit our capacity to respond to build out the site to capture, or respond to, visitor interest. Thus, the basic architecture of the site is written in stone, preventing us from adding sections; even something as simple as adding meaningful photos to an event description is not possible. On the one hand, we need a much more flexible blueprint. On the other, we need a site that we can manage internally without a great deal of technical expertise. Typically, two or three staff are tasked with working on the site. None have deep knowledge of HTML or other sophisticated web skills. An open-source solution therefore seems to make the most sense. Preliminary research and recommendations have led us to choose WordPress as the desired solution, though we will consider other options.
Graphic Design
Wave Hill has an existing logo, color palette and fonts that help ensure its brand identity. Although we understand that our design protocol may need to be altered to accommodate technology specifications, the look and feel of the new website must be consistent with our other marketing materials. We have an extensive library of photographs, including images of the gardens in all seasons and visitors participating in a wide array of programs. We do not have a professional graphic designer on staff, but we do have source files (EPS, etc.) for most logos and images. These can be repurposed or resized as needed.
High Level Functionality
This is not a comprehensive list of all functionality that the site will have, but it represents what we are looking to do:
-We currently utilize Googleâ??s free search tool, which has proven inadequate. We are looking for a better search function.
-We currently utilize a third-party ecommerce solution for selling memberships, collecting donations and reserving spots for programs and workshops. We will continue to use this solution, though the provider may change in the future. Visitors need to be able to move seamlessly between the website and this application, purchasing physical goods, tickets and auction items, and so on. application.
-We do not have strong tools for website analysis. We prefer that the new site utilize Google Analytics, but will consider other options.
-The site should incorporate SEO best practices.
-Wave Hill has channels on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr and You Tube. The new website must integrate access to these channels, pull content from these channels, and push content to these channels.
-The new website must be optimized for mobile communication devices such as smart phones and tablets.
-Facilitate A/B testing so we can test for the most effective copy, layout, link labeling, etc.

Budget
Our total budget for this project is $30,000, and funding has already been secured. We expect this project to include several phases, such as the following (provided for example only â?? your process may be different):
1. Discovery
2. Design
3. Development
4. Testing
5. Training
6. Deployment
7. Bug fixing and support for an agreed-upon period

Vendor Selection Criteria
When selecting a vendor for this project, we will evaluate candidates based on the following criteria: -Experience working with nonprofit organizations
-Experience building flexible WordPress websites that can be easily managed by nontechnical users
-Solid information-architecture skills for organizing content in ways that are intuitive to the site visitor
-Excels at creating an imaginative, creative collaboration with the client
-Experience creating sites that build communities and have social networking features (blogs, discussion forums, etc.)
-Vendor location in the New York City metropolitan area

Proposed Timeline
We would like to begin this project in February 2012. The live date for the new site is June 30, 2012, the end of Wave Hillâ??s fiscal year.

Contact Information
Please direct all responses to this RFP and/or any questions to:
Mary Weitzman
Director of Marketing & Communications
Wave Hill
675 W 252nd Street
Bronx, NY 10968
maryw@wavehill.org

Interested vendors should notify us by January 15, 2012, of their intent to submit a proposal. Proposals are due no later than January 31, 2012. A vendor will be chosen by February 15, 2012.

 
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