Request for Proposals: Website Redevelopment for Sherbourne Health

Overview of Sherbourne Health

Sherbourne Health (SH) is a dynamic provider of integrated health services, community programs and capacity-building initiatives that enable people and diverse communities to achieve wellness.

At Sherbourne, our doors are open to everyone, and we prioritize those who face barriers to care: LGBT2SQ community members; newcomers to Canada; and people who are homeless and  underhoused. Our unique programs combine primary health and chronic disease services, health promotion, outreach and social supports, and mental health services, to increase access for our priority populations, influence population health outcomes, and strive for organization excellence. They include the Acute Respite Care (ARC) program, The Rotary Club of Toronto Health Bus, Supporting Our Youth, Rainbow Health Ontario, Women In Need ‘Klinik’ (WINK) and Health Access St. James Town. Accredited with Exemplary Standing by Accreditation Canada, we are funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Toronto Central LHIN, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Ministry of Children, Community, and Social Services, City of Toronto and many generous companies, groups, and individual donors.

Background: Why we need a new website

Refreshed in 2018, the current SH website  does not fully reflect the current-day needs of its users. Since that time, the pandemic has had huge impacts on how we deliver care.

We are seeking proposals that will show us how a service-driven and user-focused website approach will be reflected in how content structure and interfaces are developed on the front end for our users. We also want to see how best use will be made of CMS features to best highlight our content and to simplify website administration time, complexity, and repetition on the back end for our staff.

The available budget for this website is a maximum of $35,000 CAD. Cost-effectiveness of bids is a factor in our selection process.

SH will have internal resources dedicated to working closely with the vendor on this project throughout its life cycle. Our Communications Officer – Web & Digital Lead will be leading this project on the client side and involved in every stage of planning and development.

Other staff from Sherbourne will participate in different checkpoints and testing and planning stages as recommended by the project plan that will be outlined and approved with the client following the kickoff meeting.

At a glance: What we are looking for in a new website

We are looking for a website that is:

  • Built on a customizable WordPress template. The template should be recent, well-supported and expected to have a life span of 5+ years.
  • The website should be simple, easy to read, have plugins that are appropriately powered for the site, and maintain a clean design.
  • Bells and whistles to be kept to a minimum.
  • The clear direction here is ease: the website must be focused on a user-friendly design and be easy to update and maintain.
  • The website must achieve WCAG 2.1 level AA accessibility.

 What we’re looking for in a vendor

We are seeking an experienced web development firm to plan and build the next   SH website. Our vendor of choice must have extensive CMS experience with WordPress to recommend the best framework for the SH site.

The vendor should also have access to a full roster of web professionals to see this development through  every stage of the product life-cycle with specific expertise dedicated to each step. We expect the vendor’s to have professionals on staff or on call, at their expense:

  1. a user experience designer;
  2. an information architect;
  3. an interface designer;
  4. an interaction designer;
  5. a web designer;
  6. a content strategist;
  7. a web copywriter;
  8. an SEO expert;
  9. multiple front end and back end or full-stack developer/programmers; and
  10. a strong project manager to keep the project running to time and to be in regular communication with the client about progress, support needs and planning or issues resolution as these come

Read the amended RFP (PDF)

**Please note: based on vendor feedback, we have changed some of the parameters of the RFP, including timelines. The deadlines for proposals has been extended to January 31, 2022, and vendors who have already submitted will be contacted***

Responses to vendor questions will be posted below:

Q: Are you open to non-Canadian vendors? 

A: We will be prioritizing vendors based in Ontario, Canada, then considering other Canadian vendors.

Q: Other than SH admin accounts, will any other user types require account creation capabilities? 

A: No. We will not be requiring additional user types or employing user-generated content (including comments or blog posts)

Q: Is all content available to all site visitors? Assuming so if there are no account creation capabilities. If not, please break down access by audiences.

A: Yes, all content is available to all site visitors.

Q: Do you have imagery or are we responsible for sourcing/creating?

A: We had hoped to have photography available, but the pandemic has thrown a wrench in these plans. We’d like to use graphic elements (suggested and sourced by the vendor in collaboration with SH) that can be replaced with photography by SH in the future.

Q: What sort of ongoing website needs will you have besides hosting and standard maintenance? For example, do you have a long-term vision of more complicated functionality or website content being added to the site over time?

A: Our long-term vision for the website does not include more complicated functionality. Our long range plan is to continue to offer users an easy way to access the information they need.

Q: It seems that most content will be created by SH, although a content specialist will advise and assist as needed. Is the thought that SH will end up writing most of the content?

A: Yes. We envision working together to create content with SH leading this, and using and adjusting much of the existing content. The process of content creation/editing has already been started by SH.

Q: How many admin users will require access to the backend of the site? Do they all have the same capabilities?

A: We will need approximately 6 users accounts. Permissions could be restricted to their areas if possible, or by function (editing, contributor, designer, IT, HR/jobs posting)

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