Smart Growth America (SGA) Is seeking an experienced web developer to lead a redesign of smartgrowthamerica.org, including a visual rebrand and restructuring of the overall information architecture.
We are looking to create a dynamic, highly visual, educational site that clearly communicates our North Star, programmatic priorities, programs, and importantly, our impact. As a national leader of the smart growth movement, we hope our website can be a go-to resource for a wide-ranging and diverse audience. We plan to launch the new website in September of 2023.
The deadline to submit a proposal is April 10, 2023, 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
Smart Growth America (SGA) is a leading national non-profit organization advancing equitable, sustainable development to create more livable places, healthier people, and shared prosperity. SGA empowers communities through technical assistance, advocacy, and thought leadership to advance our North Star: a country where no matter who you are, or where you live, you can enjoy living in a neighborhood that is healthy, prosperous, and resilient. Advancing racial equity, helping communities mitigate and adapt to climate change, and creating healthier communities are core outcomes we seek in all of our work.
SGA also is the umbrella organization for several additional programs, some of which are housed on the SGA Website, but accessed to using unique URLs:
- LOCUS, the leading coalition of triple-bottom-line real estate developers and investors advocating for policy change to advance smart growth and equitable, transit-oriented development; (housed on the SGA website, but redirect to the SGA website via http://locusdevelopers.org/)
- The National Complete Streets Coalition, a coalition of practitioners and local governments focused on street design for safety for all users including pedestrians and cyclists; (housed on the SGA website, but redirect to the SGA website http://completestreets.org/)
- The Form-Based Codes Institute, which advances zoning reform and innovation to empower communities to achieve their vision of livable places, healthy people, and shared prosperity; (currently has its own website, but SGA staff will bring it onto SGA’s site soon and redirect via https://formbasedcodes.org/)
- Transportation for America, a coalition of local, regional, and state leaders who envision a transportation system that safely, affordably, and conveniently connects people of all means and abilities to jobs, services, and opportunities through multiple modes of travel; (This will remain a separate website, but we would like a clearer connection to SGA on our site as part of this redesign process http://t4america.org/)
- The Arts & Culture Program uses creativity to drive change both within SGA and in the larger Smart Growth movement; (currently housed at https://smartgrowthamerica.org/program/arts-culture/, but may incorporate it directly into other program pages in the future)
- The Equity Summit is a series of virtual and in-person gatherings of thought leaders and practitioners who work to ensure that racial equity is a key priority in any smart growth approach (currently housed at smartgrowthamerica.org/equity, but would like this work to have a larger presence).
We are also the convening organization for several coalitions. This work currently resides on our website or will be on our website in the future. These coalitions include:
- The National Brownfields Coalition, which brings together public and private sector practitioners who advocate for the responsible redevelopment and reuse of environmentally contaminated land; (accessed at https://smartgrowthamerica.org/program/brownfields/about-the-coalition/)
- The Smart Growth Roundtable, which brings together the leadership of regional and metropolitan smart growth organizations across the country.
SGA has a strong track record of working with community groups around the country to provide technical assistance through our “local/national partnership” model. Under this model, SGA partners with community groups to co-design projects that will build their capacity and power. We help them develop land use, development, or advocacy strategies that reflect their priorities, and which help to deepen and accelerate the impact of their work. In these partnerships, SGA brings a national perspective on smart growth, land use policy, economic development, arts & culture, and the federal advocacy landscape as well as quantitative analytical skills, deployed to support local leadership.
SGA Website Audience
SGA’s audience is made up of politicians, practitioners, advocates, and thought leaders from across the country. The new website should be high-level and accessible to folks who are new to the space, but detailed enough that seasoned practitioners can find the information they need.
Key audience groups include:
- Values-aligned Organizations & Community Stakeholders
- Grassroots and Grasstops Advocates
- Planning and Real Estate Development practitioners in the public and private sectors
- Transportation planners
- Federal, state-level, and local elected officials
- Federal, state, and local Agency Leadership
- SGA’s funders and institutional partners
History / Current Website
SGA’s current website was built in 2016. Over time, we took on new focus areas and programs. What has resulted is a website that is sprawling, containing a ton of information useful to our audience, but is difficult to navigate, and find information. The current website is a WordPress-based site, and we would like to continue to utilize the same CMS.
- Difficult to navigate and find the information you’d like
- SGA’s focus areas include land use, transportation, and economic development and the current website doesn’t make it clear that we do all of these things.
- The website also doesn’t could do a better job of highlighting our programmatic priorities and programs, and it is extremely difficult to access information on these items in a cohesive way
- Information is siloed
- The website is rigid in terms of what can be displayed on the home page
- The website looks old and is not dynamic
- No place for our events to live
- Need to sunset many, old, out-of-use pages
- A wide range of users can use the back end of WordPress to draft articles.
- The website has a lot of flexibility, allowing us to create programs, pages, posts, forms, and navigation as we see fit.
- It has quality SEO, especially our What is Smart Growth page, Complete Streets page, Form-based Codes site, and more.
New Website Objectives
- Clearly communicate SGA’s values and North Star
- Easily share the definition of Smart Growth and demonstrate our role as a leader of the movement
- The “What is Smart Growth” Page (https://smartgrowthamerica.org/what-is-smart-growth/) is the most-visited page on the SGA site, most of which is from organic traffic. We need this page to a) articulate and visualize what Smart Growth is and b) use that as a portal to other things, like our work or impact model.
- Clearly communicate and navigate to our topic areas and programs
- Equity, Climate, Health, Land Use, Transportation, Complete Streets, Economic Development, etc.
- Improve upon the “Our Work” page (https://smartgrowthamerica.org/our-work/)
- Encourage visitors to engage, leverage our resources, and take action
- Create a presence that is appealing to potential philanthropic funders, event sponsors, and donors
- Make online giving easy and secure
- Clear and accessible system to receive membership inquiries and applications
- Be accessible to those who need to use our services or want to work with us
- Appeal to a wide range of audiences
- Demonstrates our impact and evokes emotion
- Highlights our advocacy efforts
- Inspires visitors to join the movement
We currently use Salsa Engage and CRM to manage our email lists and donor relations, but will ultimately be switching to another platform as that service sunsets at the end of 2023.
New Website Functionality Requirements
- Updated site map; the ability to organize and present info on all of our different programs in a unified way
- Pulling in content from all programs and presenting it together so that nothing is siloed.
- A homepage that is dynamic, showing multiple reports, articles, and events at the same time.
- An events hub
- Better leverage images, gifs, and video
- A place for our blog posts/articles to be highlighted on the home page, and a tagging system that will allow the articles to be shown on the pertinent program or topic pages
- An easily navigable place for our reports and resources with good search functionality
- The ability to create new, dynamic pages for information on specific topics as they arise (e.g. t4america.org/iija)
- Must have a way to share detailed data in charts (as demonstrated here on the metro-rankings tab https://smartgrowthamerica.org/dangerous-by-design/)
- Sophisticated tracking on updated google analytics.
- Password-protected pages for our memberships and coalition partners
- Strong SEO
- Email sign-up direct on the home page
- We would ideally continue to use WordPress but are open to other suggestions.
- Features such as Popup makers and form builders
- Integrated with google analytics
Fundraising and Event Details
- We currently integrate forms created through Salsa Engage for our email sign-up pages, donate page, some event forms, membership forms, etc (donate page can be seen here: https://smartgrowthamerica.org/take-action/donate/)
- We also use gravity forms and Stripe for certain events, ticket sales, and sponsorship purchases.
- We host between ten and fifteen events per year, with most being held virtually.
- We leverage zoom events for our virtual events
Important Content to Port Over and Improve
- Complete Streets Hub: https://smartgrowthamerica.org/what-are-complete-streets/
- Our Resource Hub: https://smartgrowthamerica.org/resources/
- The Equity Summit: https://smartgrowthamerica.org/equity
- Dangerous By Design: https://smartgrowthamerica.org/dangerous-by-design/
A strict budget of $75,000 USD, which must cover staff time, project completion, staff interviews, feedback and edits, images and videos, how-to manual, and any other expenses related to creating the website.
Interested applicants should submit your proposal via email to Eric Cova at [email protected] by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Monday, April 10, including:
- Agency/Company Overview
- A letter of interest that details how you will meet our objectives and confirms your availability to work on the timeline outlined
- Details about your team
- Portfolio including descriptions of recent past development projects (especially from non-profits, advocacy organizations, or other groups in the Smart Growth space)
- Scope of your work (research, design, development, post-launch errors correction, whether your firm provides ongoing maintenance, etc.)
- Explanation of your proposed platform/CMS
- Outline of your website design & development strategy
- Proposed website timeline from kickoff to launch
- Pricing with optional elements line-items
- List of references
- Any key differentiators about you?
- Terms & conditions
Send any questions to [email protected].
Broad Project Timeline Details:
Early-mid April 2023 – Finalist Interviews
Mid-April 2023 – Project Launch
April-May 2023 – Constituent Interviews
June-August 2023 – Build Website
August 2023 – Final Draft Complete, testing
September 2023 – Website Launch
Full and Open Competition Policy:
SGA strives to ensure full and open competition, guarantee the objective performance of contracts, and eliminate the possibility for unfair competitive advantages, and therefore SGA uses a competitive process for procurements that exceed $15,000.
Proposal selection shall be based on overall value to SGA considering responsiveness to the solicitation, price, quality, deadlines of delivery, warranties, accountability, fulfillment of the service, and other relevant factors. SGA will also consider other benefits associated with the procurement in the selection process including but not limited to the opportunity to use small, disadvantaged, and minority-owned firms, the opportunity to select procurements that have environmental benefits, the opportunity to support transit and walkable neighborhoods, and other factors that align with SGA’s mission.