CBT is overdue for a new website!

Website Redesign & Development

Request for Proposal


This RFP is for design and development services for a new website for the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust. Click here to download a PDF Version of this RFP

RFP Sent: February 7, 2019

Responses Due: March 4, 2019

Send any questions on the RFP to: Communications Coordinator, Colin Robinson (colin@clayoquotbiosphere.org) and Executive Director, Rebecca Hurwitz (rebecca@clayoquotbiosphere.org)

Send proposals to: Communications Coordinator, Colin Robinson (colin@clayoquotbiosphere.org)

Budget for new website: $8,000-10,000

Goal for new website launch: June 2019


Clayoquot Biosphere Trust Overview

Based in Tofino, BC, the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust (CBT) is a registered charity that enhances community and ecosystem vitality in Clayoquot Sound, in the traditional territory of the Hesquiaht First Nation, Tla-o-quiaht First Nations, Toquaht Nation, Ahousaht, and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ Government on the central west coast of Vancouver Island.

The organization was founded in 2000, when Clayoquot Sound was designated by the UNESCO as a Biosphere Region, with the goal of seeking sustainable ways for human societies to thrive in balance with our natural environments. To mark this designation, the federal government entrusted a $12 million grant to Clayoquot Sound communities; the CBT manages this endowment fund and carries out research, education, and program delivery to uphold the spirit and intent of the biosphere region designation.

In 2011, the CBT became a Community Foundation and joined the Community Foundations of Canada, a network of community-based non-profit investment funds that provide grants, expertise, leadership, and other investments towards local social priorities. To the best of our knowledge, we are the only organization with the world that is a UNESCO Biosphere and community foundation. As such, we are continually creating opportunities to support healthy communities and ecosystems.

With a team of 6 full-time employees, the CBT offers a number of annual grant and scholarship programs, as well as a number of branded programs with different relationships to the CBT.

Our Audience

Our primary audience is residents of the Clayoquot Biosphere Region (~5000 people). This audience is diverse in age, sex, income, and online habits but is connected by the sense of place created by the region’s social fabric, history, and natural environment. Our communities are rural and remote. Within the local population, our audience can be further defined as engaged community members. They may identify as long-term residents, who may be involved in community volunteerism, may have families, and who describe themselves as “invested in the region.” They care about the health of the environment and communities in the region. They are interested in the CBT because they see it as an organization that helps improve quality of life for themselves, their families, and their neighbors. These people engage with CBT in a number of ways – as engaged residents, as well as through their professional roles and volunteer commitments. They access the CBT website to learn about our granting programs, projects, and research.

Nuu-chah-nulth residents make up an important audience within the general population.

Our secondary audience is the philanthropic community of donors and prospective donors to the CBT. They may be local businesses, individuals, or organizations looking to establish a fund for a specific social or environmental goal. Regardless of whether a gift is to be made now or later, donors are frequently attracted to the idea of a permanent endowment, enabling their influence and generosity to be extended far into the future. However, they also need assurance that their funds will be safe, well managed and used appropriately. The CBT is uniquely designed not only to fulfil those requirements but also to offer much more in the area of donor services.

Our tertiary audience resides outside of the region but is united by their interest in the area and/or in the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust as an organization. They could be university researchers or students with study-based interests in our unique ecological systems, with interests in research or education partnerships. They may be affiliates of other community foundations, UNESCO biospheres or other social/environmental non-profit organizations.

New Website Objectives

Our website’s number one objective is to inform and engage our audiences. Our ability to deliver on our mandates depends on people’s understanding of our organization and what we seek to do. Our organization is multi-faceted and it can be difficult at times to explain concisely what we do. We need a website that can capture the audiences’ interest and succinctly explain who we are, and what part of our work might be relevant to different portions of the audience (not all audience members are going to be uniformly interested in all parts of our organization).

The second objective is to inspire action (and provide resources relevant to the given action) among audience members. One such action is applying for our grants; the website must communicate our granting areas, make it easy for audience members to access our online granting system (SaaS hosted by Foundant Inc). Another action is donating to the CBT; the website must be compelling to potential donors, explaining the positive impact contributions can have, and provide an easy to navigate pathway for donors to contribute.

Current Website

Our current website (www.clayoquotbiosphere.org) is nearly 10 years old and does not serve us well anymore. The design doesn’t reflect our brand and the navigation is clunky and not at all intuitive. Our organization has grown in size and complexity since the creation of the current website, and through these changes, it was managed and developed in a piecemeal approach by numerous employees (none of whom are technical/web developers) and external web developers. Employees in our own organization have a hard time finding things on the website. Overall, the website is difficult to navigate and does not clearly communicate who we are or what we do. The site is largely text-based and does not allow for modern visuals (images can only be added as embedded within text pages).

Updating the information is possible, but the design is dated and we have outgrown the site architecture. The back end is a jumble of outdated WordPress plug-ins and subscribed services from a number of different (and in some cases, competing) companies (e.g. hosting, domain registration, security, SSL certificates) that don’t integrate well and that staff do not understand. We are being billed for services that are not functional due to poor integration. It is highly unclear what staff can do to enhance SEO.

New Website Requirements

Our new website will need:

  • An easy-to-use content management system (CMS)
  • Intuitive navigation
  • Modern design with rich imagery
  • Approximately 30 pages
  • Current content can be modified as needed.
  • Space for an explanation of the CBT’s other branded programs (with links to separately branded sites)
  • Optimized with SEO best practices
  • Clear path to engagement (grant application, donation, or reaching out to staff)
  • Embedded videos
  • A blog
  • Social media integration (share buttons, follow buttons, embedding of CBT social media feeds)
  • Email update sign-up form
  • Clear integration of back-end services (hosting, security, etc.)
  • Integration of CanadaHelps donation page
  • Integration of Online Granting System, Donor Portal, and Site Skin
  • Inclusion our 2015 brand standards and visual identity
  • Archive of funded projects

Aspirations and Inspirations

We would love to integrate a few other concepts/ideas into our new website, depending on how these elements would impact timeline and/or budget.

  • How can we integrate the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in the new design (they are related to all aspects of our operations)?
  • How can we make our resource library (currently a list of hyperlinked text) more user-friendly and visually pleasing?

E-commerce Details

We currently receive donations online via an external organization, Canada Helps. Additionally, we are hoping to begin accepting donations via the SaaS from Foundant Inc. that we use as our online granting system. Foundant Inc has designed this software to integrate easily (inexpensively) into websites like ours, and we hope to explore options for this integration with the creation of a Site Skin.


We hope to convey the information housed in our current site in a more concise and intuitive way. While this will entail redesigning the information layout, we do not imagine a radical departure from the current site.

Proposal Requirements

Please include the following in your proposal response:

  • Overview of your company
  • Overview of how you will meet our objectives
  • Explanation of your proposed platform/CMS
  • Outline of your website design & development strategy
  • Proposed project timeline from kickoff to launch
  • Details about your team
  • Experience working with similar clients
  • At least 3 design & development examples from the past 2 years
  • References
  • Pricing with optional elements line-itemed
  • Terms & conditions

RFP & Project Timeline Details

RFP Sent: February 7, 2019

Responses Due: March 4, 2019 (11:59pm)

Finalists Selected & Contacted (if required): March 6, 2019

Winner Selected & Contacted: March 8, 2019

Project Kick-off: March 2019

New Website Launch Target Date: June 2019

Thank you for your interest in responding to this RFP with a proposal for our new website. We look forward to your response.

If you have any questions, please contact Colin at colin@clayoquotbiosphere.org or 250-725-2219.