Request for Proposal for Website / Technical / Software Services

Date of Issue:  March 4, 2022
Due Date for Proposals:  On or before, Monday, March 28, 2022 by 5:00 p.m.

Contact:  Brooke Stewart, Director of Communications
Email to:

If you have questions, please submit them in writing no later than Friday, March 11, 2022 to Brooke at  If you choose not to participate, please let Brooke know so she can remove you from consideration.

 I.         IFOB Mission and Background:
The Institute for Family-Owned Business (IFOB) is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization committed to supporting, strengthening and empowering family-owned businesses throughout the state of Maine. Since 1994, the Institute has served family business owners, executives and employees through a wide range of continuing education programs, networking opportunities and consulting services. The Institute is a comprehensive resource for family-owned business.

Each year, the IFOB recognizes family-owned, Maine-based businesses through its Maine Family Business Awards (MFBA).   The gala attracts family businesses large and small with an audience of over 300 in-person (and more virtually) in 2021, hosted Erin Ovalle, founder of MaineLife Media. The MFBA, presented in partnership with MEMIC is a celebration that pays more than just recognition; it serves as a vehicle for networking and opening up all shades of possibilities for families seeking to grow their business. The 22nd awards gala will be on Wednesday, October 12, 2022.

 II.      Project Needs & Goals:
The IFOB is looking for a creative website designer to work closely with the executive director of the IFOB, the director of communications, marketing & sales coordinator and intern. Our overall goal is to have a website that is modern, user friendly, secure, inviting and helps to increase our awareness and membership. Along with making editing, automating and maintaining the website and other daily tasks quicker, easier and more efficient for IFOB staff.  The website should also allow to show all the IFOB events as well as accepting payments for fundraising and other member dues, both on desktop and mobile devices.

 1.       Marketing and Communication Plan

  1. Target a broader demographic of potential new members
  2. Provide value to our target audience
  3. Platform strategy
  4. Marketing & Communication calendar
  5. Provide recommendations regarding website redesign
  6. Possible texting option to members
  7. Possible connection with member-connecting software


  1. Redesign the IFOB website (  
    1. Evaluate current member management system and platform and recommend improvements or changes within new customized platform
    2. Easily updated for new events and announcements, as well as showcase selected events
    3. Easily updated to refresh graphics and content
    4. Provide a built in Blog for members to use but available for all to read, with a way for contributors to add their own content and IFOB coordinator to review and approve prior to posting
    5. Provide for storage and download of useful materials for our members
    6. The website should be open to the public but also contain a ‘members only’ area
    7. Event registrations, payments and ability to share on social platforms, in a secure way
    8. Identify required ongoing maintenance and security
    9. Streamline functions to reduce repetitive work including streamlining with and Quickbooks or similar products
    10. Highlight members on our website with three directories:  family business, associate partner and a service directory that includes all
    11. Provide a CRM for us to manage and track our members as part of this website – have an option to segment our members by their company and then by employees and their roles as it relates to us i.e., someone for overall administrator for the IFOB membership, someone for billing, someone for sponsorships, someone for marketing and the like.
    12. Other features should be discussed or suggested

 III.     Audience
This site’s primary audience is current IFOB members. The secondary audience includes “future members” or non-members who could become potential members.  The tertiary audience is people who would like to learn more about the IFOB, the importance of family businesses and how they affect our local economy and communities.

The number one goal for the primary audience is that they take an action online and that the interaction with the website is quick, easy and intuitive.  Our current website has many resources that are buried in menus that are not user friendly. The number one goal for the secondary audience is that they become IFOB members. The number one goal for the tertiary audience is that they stay on the site long enough to gain valuable information about the IFOB and our mission.

 IV.    Desired Outcomes & Key Deliverables
We have been using the WildApricot/Personify association website platform for the last 10 years.  We feel that the software is not user friendly for our members or for us as the administrators.  For example, if we post an event online, a person can sign up for the event and pay be credit card but in the back end, we then need to go to to see the transaction and then enter it in Quickbooks manually.  While the software claims in can integrate with Quickbooks it does not do it easily or provide us with detailed accounting reports that we need to run our business.  Similarly, if we have a member who sends us a program to put in our e-newsletter the “Kindred Connector” we have to take their information and manually put it in Constant Contact.  

 We have a small staff and we would like to streamline our technology processes.  Through the website re-design, we have an opportunity to look at our current processes and see where we can use technology to maximize our efficiency and our time.  We are looking for recommendations and solutions to manage these processes. We also want an excellent user experience for our members when they are interacting with us online to join us for membership and/or for events and programs. 

 The text content, images and video will be provided by the IFOB. Some of the text will be repurposed from the current site and some will be brand new. Overall, there will be significantly less text on the new site and a user-friendly experience. We are looking for your expertise to guide us as we redesign this site.

Content will fall into one of the following categories (each of these categories will likely be an option in the navigation bar):

 1.                   Home (includes a compelling image that keeps users on site with introductory information about our purpose, our introduction video, and our upcoming events)

 2.                   Donations (option for donors to send money to our organization) and/or a Tribute page to past IFOB founders and supporters to honor their memory as they forged our Institute (i.e. Tim Hussey, Hussey Seating Company and Harry Fraser, The Fraser Group)

3.                   Maine Family Business Awards (all necessary information regarding our awards, its itinerary, incentives to attend, its history, etc.) – this will need to tie to our Award Force software platform that manages our awards program.
4.                   Membership/membership packet (includes membership tiers, testimonials from members, needed forms, and possibly combine it with the information from the “join us” tab
5.                   Archives (could be renamed to history, programs, whatever word can encompass all the content this tab includes)
6.                   Join Us (TBD)
7.                   About Us - Staff, board, advisory board, etc.
8.                   Contact (our direct contact information as well as a contact button for us to gather information and answer any questions)
9.                   Possible community connectivity through the website so members can connect with each other

Many navigation layers of this website can be cleaned up or combined to eliminate some of the “information overload” …the variety of clickable options should not overwhelm users and what information can be found should be very apparent for the majority of our demographic.

Currently, our hamburger menu to the right of the nav bar does not function in the same way that standard hamburger menus do, it is not clear whether the sections in it are all subcategories under “About Us” or are their own separate entities that expand the width of the navigation bar.

Additionally, the mobile site only has a centered hamburger menu, potentially confusing users and forcing them to click at least once before they see their options. We need a more simplified format to organize our content and we are open to new concepts and ideas.  We have been confined by the WildApricot / Personify software platform we have been using since we first used this site in September 2012. We will need to capture this historical data before we leave this platform as it serves as our archive and history of past programs and our CRM for our members.

Additionally, the site will include a search bar for users to locate layered information more easily. It should also have a clickable IFOB logo, (ideally in the upper right-hand corner) that leads users back to our homepage. The main pages will be updated several times a year as changes in our events and board members or sponsors take place.


·         Member only sign in
o   Special member events highlighted when they sign in
o   The ability for members to submit, member programs, news, podcasts, Job postings, etc. for us to share in our newsletter and on social all within their member portal or on our website to the public – This must also include an ability for us to approve or “curate” the material and not have to recreate it for our e-newsletter.
o   Easy renewal and payment system that’s user friendly for members and automated for IFOB staff (connects with QuickBooks system)
o   Create “tags” to help assign, search and email a marketing contact, billing contact, sponsorship contact, etc. under each member company profile
·         Calendar - Events page
o   Easy sign-up for members and future (non) members
o   Automated email confirmation with Google and Outlook email calendar invite
o   Ability to share on social so others may know they are going if they want to share this information
·         Maine Family Business Awards – we’re currently using a software called Award Force award software too. It’s not completely customizable – we’d like to be able to collect all of this through our site within a sperate area – if it makes sense (we bring this up as this would probably be a separate RFP for handling just the awards, however, if we’re looking at the whole website, we should bring this up too).
o   Integrate look IFOB and MFBA – may change logo colors for both
o   Collect all of our nominations and applications information including text, images and video
o   Conduct the judging, etc.

Dashboard shows number of members easily (including number of companies by sizes / category)

 Current URL’s the IFOB is holding that could also be utilized in this project.

Place for video tutorial within member portal to ‘show them around’ so they can learn and maximize their use within the portal (note for IFOB end – add a handbook for present to them when joining – add the video link to make an easy user experience)

Need to think about revenue streams:  memberships, sponsorships, donations, events, etc. that could be featured on the website

Analytics - Track a baseline with our current Google analytics and all social media sites before we switch to see the growth trajectory.  Explore other metrics to gauge how a new website is driving our awareness, membership and sponsorship opportunities.


o   Sync with website so we are not billing on website and entering in QuickBooks twice.


·Newsletter: Member access zone where members are able to submit events, news, podcasts, etc. and we can pull that information and add to newsletters, social media, etc. without having to copy and paste too all the various platforms.

 V.      Examples of Sites We Like - Other websites that are inspiring:

 VI.    Software / tools we are currently using

  • ·         WildApricot / Personify
  • ·
  • ·         QuickBooks
  • ·         Constant Contact
  • ·         JotForms
  • ·         Award Force

 VII.  Envisioned Role of Consultant and Proposal Instructions


  • 1.       Plan a custom website redesign plan that will automate and create efficiency for the IFOB team
  • 2.       Work with the IFOB team to collect website content
  • 3.       Follow the timeline for deliverables on or before the due date
  • 4.       Attend meetings as needed to complete the project
  • 5.       Consult and assist with maintenance after website redesign

 General Timetable:
We want to launch/debut our new website at the Maine Family Business Awards on Wednesday, October 12, 2022.  The website should be tested and fully functional at least two weeks prior to this reveal.

 Proposal & Pricing Instructions:
Your proposal should include responses for each item above, a timeline, the cost for the project, and any projected ongoing costs once the project is complete.

Please prepare a written proposal, with the below, on or before, Friday, March 11, 2022 by 5 p.m. and the staff and select Board members will make the selection of the service provider.

 Please include the below within your proposal:

  • ·         Cover letter
  • ·         Resume
  • ·         Three references
  • ·         Budget estimate
  • ·         Details on approach and technology
  • ·         Timeline
  • ·         Why you would like to redesign our website and your working style
  • ·         Examples of websites you’ve done with associations / membership company

 Please submit work samples and/or links that demonstrate your experience with similar websites plus any new ideas you would like us to consider.  Thank you in advance for your consideration.  We look forward to continuing our discussion.

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