UnitedWaySEM.org Website RFP FAQs


What is the interactivity needed for?

We want a more interactive experience for our users that helps both with engagement (examples include a live leaderboard showing volunteer, advocacy and even donation statistics) and assists users in finding the information they need (like a chat bot that can answer simple questions and take them to the page they need if, for example, they’re searching for utility assistance but don’t know exactly where to go). One other interactive aspect we want to explore: A simulation that will walk people through different scenarios that people regularly encounter when they struggle to meet their basic needs. For example, the user starts with a certain budget that they allocate to certain basic needs, but then encounters different scenarios (an unexpected medical bill, a car repair, a housing issue, etc.) that makes it impossible to get by.

Explain the visitor portal

We’d like to hear any ideas you have on this, but we’re hoping for something that will make visiting our site a more personalized experience for any user. Maybe it shows users their personal statistics for how much they’ve donated, volunteered or advocated this year and where this ranks among all donors, advocates and volunteers. Maybe they can join a team and compete against another team to see which team raises the most during a month. Maybe they can look back at the help they’ve received in the past and the site can steer them in that direction again, for example if they applied for tax prep assistance one year and would likely want to again. We’re looking for creative solutions here to make this portal engaging and interesting for all visitors.

Interactivity: Are you all looking for the leaderboard experience to be an automated or manually managed feature? Does this workflow already exist, or will we be designing it?

We’re open to hearing the benefits and drawbacks for both versions. This workflow does not exist. It will need to be designed.

Interactivity: Would we be designing the gamification badges? Are you all looking for a custom-built experience or a third-party integration like Credly?

Our design team would design the look of these gamification badges. We would likely lean toward a custom-built experience but are open to learning more about a third-party integration.

Are you interested in having the selected firm build a visitor portal that provides customized experiences for individual users?

Yes, we would love to explore this.

Do you have a gamification vendor in mind, or would the selected firm be required to provide suggestions?

We do not have a vendor in mind. Yes, please provide suggestions.

What aspects of the site would you most like to ensure have social sharing integration considered as a priority?

Advocacy, volunteerism and donating would be at the top in that order. It would be great to have this associated with our storytelling as well, and our What’s the Word Wednesday virtual town halls.

For your note about peer leaderboards for volunteer, donation, etc. activity, is this a tool that already exists (such as a peer to peer fundraising tool) or are you looking to create this as a custom experience?

We do not have a tool like this right now. This would need to be created as a custom experience.

Can you share more about your vision for what AI chatbots and augmented reality would look like for this site?

One possible use for the chatbots would be to guide a user – especially one seeking assistance – to the right place. For example, someone visits the site looking for utility assistance, but they’re not sure exactly what it is that they need, or they don’t know about other programs that could also be helpful. Maybe by asking the chatbot a few questions, they can find the right page or a helpful resource, freeing up capacity on our 2-1-1 helpline in the process. For augmented reality, one thought was maybe a virtual tour of our offices. We host in-person educational tours so perhaps this could be done virtually as well. But these are just ideas – we’re open to hearing about any thoughts or vision you may have for these tools.

A number of the items noted in the “interactivity” section present a very broad range of possibilities, and likely a broad range of costs/complexity to build. Do you have a sense of the items listed that are absolute musts vs. those that are nice to have if budget/timeline would allow?

We don’t have a sense of what is a must vs. a nice to have. We would like to see some of these items listed out line by line so we can learn more about the costs and decide what options we’d like to pursue.


Design Examples: Are you looking for potential mock-ups of your new site or are you requesting mock-up designs from other projects we’ve completed?

We would like to see both – a mockup of what you envision our site could look like, as well as designs you have completed for other projects.

Are there any additional domains included in this SOW other than unitedwaysem.org?

Not at this time. We do have a few other domains that exist in the current site as sub-sites (Connect4CareKids.org, GetTheTaxFacts.org and FeastProgram.org, for example), but those are already built on our site structure and/or managed by third party vendors.

Approximately what percentage of your website content will need to migrate to the new website as-is?

About how much content do you anticipate needing to migrate in this redesign (vs. what you’d like to redesign/rewrite)?

If our content strategy for the new website dictates that new copy needs to be generated, do you have the in-house resources to produce that copy, or are you looking for your partner to provide copywriting support?

For the new site, we envision mostly new content. Some things may stay similar, but this is a good time for us to revisit all of our copy and content and find new ways to make our site better. United Way’s marketing and communications team will handle new content creation.

Are you planning on reducing and/or archiving content?

We would like to but most of the core components of our work will need to be represented, so the new site will likely have a similar amount of content.

Regarding the Microsites: GetTheTaxFacts.org, FEASTprogram.org and Connect4CareKids.org. Could you clarify what you mean when you say that they “live on your site?”

Can you clarify the role that your microsites should play in the redesigned site?

Can you describe the ideal integration of the microsite with the main site, and are you looking to redesign these as part of this project or simply link off to them when user navigate to those sections?

Are there additional integration points between the microsite and the main site that are perhaps not immediately obvious upon browsing?

GetTheTaxFacts.org and Connect4CareKids.org are built on our site but with different themes, headers and footers. The vanity URLs redirect to actual pages on our site. We as a marketing team make any needed edits to the content on these pages. FEASTprogram.org is different in that the website is built on a different platform by a third party vendor and we do not directly handle any updates to that site. We anticipate that the roles of these sites will remain the same in the new site. We won’t need to redesign them and most likely will just continue to link to them. There are not any additional integration points between these microsites and the main site.

Is your goal with redesign to retain the same functionality for your volunteer portal (linked to directly), advocacy platform (embedded on the site) and donation forms?

Will you continue to use your existing portal, advocacy platform, and donation platforms on the new site?

Phone2Action: Where is this used on the site currently? Are you happy with this platform or want something of their own (not an external system) on their site? Similar question on Galaxy Digital: Are you happy with this external site being linked to, or do you want to bring it to an internal system?

We are open to hearing about other potential options for the volunteer portal and the advocacy platform, particularly because information from these tools does not tie directly into our CRM right now. We are most likely committed to our donation forms on Ignite, a tool which ties directly into our CRM, unless there is an extremely compelling reason to switch. Even in that case, we’d want to ensure that the information ties into our CRM directly. We would love to hear any suggestions you may have for any of these platforms.

You mentioned that you “often translate items in Spanish and Arabic.” Would this before select pages or the entire website, including headers, footers, images, etc.?

This would be for select pages. For example, a page about a program that is promoted in areas where many people speak Spanish or Arabic, or a donation page that will be used by a company that has branches in other countries.

Can you share more about what level of support you are looking for in developing site content? e.g., Planning, developing (writing, designing), entering in content?

United Way’s marketing and communication team will do the bulk of the planning, writing, designing and entering of content. When building the site, if it makes sense, we may offload some of the entering of content to the selected firm, depending on our team’s capacity.

Can you share more about your donation processing platform? Does it include a login capability to track donation history, save payment etc.?

We’ve recently shifted our donation processing platform over to Ignite. It does have a login capability that can track donation history, both over a lifetime and year by year.


Budget: What is the desired budget you would like to stay around for the design/development? For ongoing retainer?

What is your budget for this project? Do you have a range in mind?

What is the budget range for the UnitedWaySEM.org project?

What is the estimated budget range available for this work, not including ongoing maintenance and support?

What is the estimated budget for ongoing maintenance and support?

Can you share at least a range of the budget you’re hoping to remain within for this project?

We do not have a set budget to hold to for this project. Cost is certainly a factor. We’d like to see a line item budget that includes everything that could be done if money was no object but also indicates the essentials that would be necessary to create this new site at minimum. The end result will be somewhere in the middle but we would like to get a sense of all of our options.

Additional answer added Aug. 9 based on a follow-up question:

We know we’re asking for a lot through this RFP. We really don’t know how high our budget can go for this project for a few reasons: There are a lot of moving pieces, a lot of people involved in this process and frankly, we don’t know enough about what options are out there. If there’s a compelling interactive tool or an idea for the visitor portal that will be a drastic step up for us, it will be worth our consideration regardless of the price. Cost is only one small part of our scoring factors, and we know that the submitted proposal will not be exactly what we end up going with. We’ll most likely need to make adjustments to make it all work.

We’re sorry we can’t be more concrete here but we really don’t know, and we really don’t have a number in mind at this point. We think this will be more of a discussion during negotiations with the selected vendor, where we’ll go through the recommendations and decide what the best fit is for us budget-wise and where we might be able to cut.

Response/decision-making process

How many agencies are responding to the RFP?

We’re still receiving intent to apply responses, and these are not required so there still could be others that come in, but as of Aug. 4, there are approximately 10 firms that are prepared to submit a response.

Is there an incumbent agency responding?

Yes, but the incumbent agency’s proposal will be treated just like all the others. There will be no bias involved.

Who are the key decision-makers involved in this project?

This process is primarily driven by United Way’s Marcomms team, but will also feature input from a cross-functional team including members working in IT, finance and other areas of the organization.

Since two branches of United Way have merged, can you outline your internal stakeholder review and decision-making process?

Details about our merger, the leadership of our combined organization and the process that led to the merger can be found at UnitedWaySEM.org/merger. As it relates to this request for proposals, we have laid out our review and decision-making process in the RFP itself, including the timeline and the scoring rubric.

Can you share more about what the input and decision-making process will look like for this project?

Once all applications are in, a team of us will score the proposals via the scoring rubric. A few vendors will be selected for interviews to discuss plans further. Following those interviews, we will make a decision and enter negotiations with the selected vendor. If for any reason those negotiations fall through, we will move on to the second choice, and so on.


What kinds of data are included in the Brand Health Report?

The Brand Health Report includes results from qualitative and quantitative surveying. Results show the public’s awareness levels, familiarity, habits, knowledge level, comparisons, alignment and more.

Your RFP lists several target audiences. How would you prioritize these target audiences and why?

All of our audiences are important. Our donors are key, of course, because they help power the work we do and without them it would not be possible. Volunteers directly make a difference in our community every day, and our advocates help create long term, lasting change. As an organization, we strive toward building equitable communities where households are stable and children thrive. We want to help more families afford basic needs. Providing the information that service seekers need is also an important part of our website.

Have you done direct research with members of your target audiences? If not, should user research be part of the scope for this project?

We did some focus group testing within the past year but it was not directly focused on our website. We would love to hear more about how user research could help improve our site.

Are there certain audiences that you’re effectively engaging with the site now, and alternatively, are there audiences you need the site to reach and serve more effectively?

We don’t really have a good sense of this. We would love to gauge these things more effectively.


What is your desired timeline for completing the build?

Do you have a target date when you want to launch the new site by?

We know that a website of this size and scope will not be a quick project. We would love to have a new site up and running within 12 to 18 months.

Is there a specific milestone/event that you’re looking to have a redesigned site ready for?

No. It would be nice to have this ready by our 2024-25 Campaign Kickoff, which would take place around September 2024, but that is not a hard deadline.


Personal question(s): Why do you care about this work? Why do you do what you do?

We work for a mission, not a paycheck. Our work helps households reach stability and helps children thrive. It’s a good feeling to know that your work directly helps others every single day. Our employees are passionate about this work, and we want this website rebuild to make it as easy as possible for service seekers to find the help they need and for donors, advocates and volunteers to see the impact they make.

Are there specific metrics/goals that you’re looking for this redesign to support (fundraising, volunteering, etc.)?

We have annual fundraising and volunteerism goals. We generally announce these during our Campaign Kickoff event in the fall. Our 2022-23 campaign goals were $40 million raised and 40,000 volunteer hours. The website supports these goals but there are many other avenues that are also responsible for helping hit those goals. We also have advocacy goals each year that aren’t necessarily announced publicly but are just as important.

Your site was redesigned relatively recently. Can you share more about what aspects of the design you feel look outdated, or any examples you seek as inspiration?

There are no specific examples we have in mind. We feel like our current site is a bit blocky, sometimes some functionality is lacking and we know that the content has become a runaway train that has made it to where the mega menu is far too overwhelming for most users.

Are there other UW sites you see as the level at which you are aiming to achieve in this redesign?

United Way of Metropolitan Dallas is one of the United Ways we look to for inspiration: https://unitedwaydallas.org/ They have some things that we like, particularly the way the header separates audiences between advocates, volunteers and those seeking assistance.

It’s not entirely clear if you’re looking for a partner that is both focused on a full redesign (discrete project) or ongoing maintenance and optimizations (presumably via retainer). Can you share more about your vision and requirements for this?

We are looking for a partner for both a full redesign and ongoing maintenance and optimizations. Our thought is at the beginning, our current site would carry on while we work toward launching the new site simultaneously, so maintenance and optimization of our current site will likely be a part of this contract for at least a year, until our new site launches.