The American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) seeks a partner to help us redesign our website (www.literarytranslators.org) and associated properties. This RFP provides background information, a content overview, technical requirements, and proposal criteria to help potential vendors generate competitive proposals in alignment with the organization’s strategic goals for this initiative.
The American Literary Translators Association is the only organization in the United States dedicated exclusively to literary translation. A nonprofit arts membership association, ALTA provides resources, community, and professional affiliation to its members: individual translators, academic institutions, presses, and others who work in or appreciate literary translation.
ALTA is seeking a website redesign that boosts the engagement from members and non-members alike, improves user experience, and effectively conveys ALTA’s mission and values, including its commitments to equity, community, professional development, and recognition of excellence and artistry in the field of literary translation. Questions should be directed to ALTA’s Membership & Digital Projects Coordinator, Sophia Marisa Lucas (email@example.com).
More About ALTA
The American Literary Translators Association is a 501c3 membership association that was founded by Rainer Schulte and A. Leslie Willson in 1978 at the University of Texas at Dallas to bridge cultural communication and understanding among countries and languages through the art and craft of literary translation. In 2013 ALTA began transitioning from its former home at the University of Texas at Dallas to become an independently run non-profit arts association. In January 2019, ALTA moved to Tucson and became affiliated with the College of Humanities at The University of Arizona.
The mission of ALTA is to support the work of literary translators, advance the art of literary translation, and serve translators, and the students, teachers, publishers, and readers of literature in translation. Our keystone offering is the annual ALTA conference. The largest gathering of literary translators in the United States, and the only one of its kind, the conference is structured around the creation of high-quality art. Held in a different location each year, the conference brings together nearly 500 translators, writers, and editors for an intimate, intense, three-day conversation through panels, workshops, roundtables, and on- and off-site bilingual readings. In 2020, ALTA moved its conference programming online due to the COVID-19 pandemic and now continues to offer virtual programming as a way to reach broader audiences in addition to resuming an in-person conference format.
ALTA also administers awards to recognize excellence in translation and provides fellowships and mentorships to support emerging translators. Six major prizes are awarded at the annual conference. Travel Fellowships, including the Peter K. Jansen Memorial Travel Fellowship for an emerging translator of color or a translator working from an underrepresented diaspora or stateless language, cover attendance at the conference. ALTA's Emerging Translator Mentorship Program allows an emerging translator to begin a career as a literary translator with a more seasoned translator by their side.
This website redesign project seeks to use smart, compelling, and easy-to-navigate design and content to achieve the following:
Visibility and Outreach: Increase ALTA’s visibility and awareness among all of our audiences by effectively communicating ALTA’s mission and values, unique role, expertise, services, and impact, and attracting more website traffic. Continue to expand and diversify membership.
Metrics: Increase pageviews, increase unique users
Education and Access: Position ALTA as a resource that appeals to and serves a broad public of writers, readers, translation artists, academics, and publishers through its archival resources and ongoing programs and content streams.
Metrics: Increase pageviews, increase unique users
Thought leadership and community: The website should hold space for the organization to forefront critical cultural and professional conversations while also containing an archive that traces ALTA’s history and reflects on the evolution of the field of literary translation.
Metrics: Increase in repeat users, increase mailing list subscribers, increase repeat program participants, increased social sharing of our pages.
Sustainability: The website should function as an effective tool that supports the programmatic, financial, and operational sustainability of the organization.
Metrics: Donor conversion rate for giving pages, the role of the website (or information from the website) in securing funding; increasing memberships, engagement with programs or other monetized offerings for the general public; and providing more streamlined workflows for staff, with less redundant work and fewer applications or programs required.
Goals and Stakeholders
The website should:
- Feature visual and information design that is clean, and contemporary, and presents a more streamlined user experience, while preserving ALTA’s core branding identity.
- Be structured with less reliance on nested menus and blocks, favoring more dynamic navigation, unfolding content, and/or well-considered typography that offers a less dense appearance.
- Have a strong emphasis on membership growth, member needs, and building community among a diverse membership.
- Offer appealing and informative access points to nonmembers and visitors to the site who are unaffiliated with ALTA (including translators, academics, publishers, editors, students, and readers in the general public), or even unfamiliar with the field of literary translation.
- Provide more opportunities for users to find and receive relevant information, and in turn, increase the usefulness of the website.
- Better reflect the balance among ALTA’s conference, membership, and other offerings.
- Support changes in the structure of ALTA’s offerings, which must remain accessible and affordable, while supporting financial health as ALTA evolves.
- Help the association promote ALTA’s mission, values, and history.
- Showcase the talent among our current and historical members.
- Create space on the website for sharing ideas and issues relevant to the field, ranging from news, social channels, and our membership listserv.
- Provide a searchable archival system(s) and/or embedded content areas for a range of content and media, including PDFs, webpages, photos, videos, and existing resources in our CRM and other distributed records.
- Offer streamlined workflows through smart integrations for membership, programming, fundraising, and communications.
- Retain our ability to edit the site in-house, by all staff regardless of web/coding skills.
- Be fully optimized to maximize traffic, engagement, and accessibility, based on best practices and user feedback and data.
- Follow best practices, voluntary standards, and guidelines developed by the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI).
ALTA has started an initial discovery of this project in advance of generating this RFP. The following documents will be provided during the vendor discovery phase. The approach should revolve around analyzing the provided documents, CMS and CRM functionalities, and best practices to inform the final website.
- 2023-2027 Strategic Plan
- 2023 Google Analysis Report
- 2023 Website Redesign Survey (This was conducted among ALTA’s mailing list recipients in Summer 2023)
- Staff & Board Website Preferences and Sample Websites
- Brand Style Requirements and Digital Assets
- Proposed Site Map (In late Fall 2023, some changes will be implemented to reflect the desired organization within the existing website, but this will not be fully reflective of the final structure we seek.)
ALTA will continue to support the discovery phase alongside the chosen vendor. ALTA staff will also support project management, content migration, and user testing and quality assurance, as well as dedicate time to the design thinking process throughout the conceptualization and implementation processes. If necessary, ALTA can also identify and manage additional contractors to contribute to aspects of the scope of work below that might fall outside of the vendor’s capacities.
- Leverage and expand upon initial discovery findings conducted by ALTA to assess brand strategy and articulate user personas
- Collaborate on a content audit already initiated by ALTA to establish a new information architecture that supports the goals of the organization with an optimal user experience
- Build wireframes for the entire site
- Share 3 design options for the homepage, select landing pages, and a conference microsite
- Integrate ALTA’s core branding identity into the proposed visual design scheme of the website (Note: ALTA is open to adopting changes to its current branding should the proposal make a compelling case for it, and if such changes can be accomplished within the time and budgetary constraints for this project.)
- Provide CMS recommendations(s) [the current site is built on Drupal] taking into account integration of Neon CRM, which is a main source for the organization’s operations and record-keeping, including memberships, program registration, donations, and more. The system should also meet standards for extensibility and integration, system stability, ease-of-use for content editors and site administrators, advanced security management, advanced workflow and approval process, support for mobile devices, training services, integrations with current software and platforms in use, particularly Neon CRM- link to API. (Note: ALTA is open to considering a migration to another CRM platform should the proposal make a compelling case for it, and if such changes can be accomplished within the time and budgetary constraints for this project.)
- Improve upon the user experience and backend functionality for the integration of the website with Neon CRM (or another CRM if deemed critically necessary and significantly advantageous, as noted above), through which membership records, donations, conference registration, and more are handled. (In addition to establishing a new interface for members within the site, the new website x CRM integration should be configured to streamline as much as possible by filtering additional operations through Neon and generating corresponding public-facing interfaces for that database on the website where appropriate.)
- Assess the advantages of creating other integrations with or consolidating ALTA’s existing platforms including the organization’s social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram), listserv (Groups.io), blog (WordPress), newsletter (Mailchimp), and submission forms (Google forms), etc.
- Provide incorporated templates into the content management system, manageable by both technical and non-technical staff. (Note: pages must accommodate embedded images, and videos, GIFs.)
- Support the creation of a seamlessly embedded video archive, with options to restrict some components of this archive to members
- Include a comprehensive search feature
- Create a template for additional content from our CRM to be public-facing as a way to consolidate and create ease of use of the resources available
- Create a template and architecture to host microsites for the annual ALTA conference
- Establish a more prominent donation feature that allows for the customization of annual campaigns
- Accommodate comprehensive accessibility needs, including provisions and considerations for vision, hearing, and cognitive impairments.
- Offer Google Analytics and SEO-optimization
- Ensure GDPR compliance
- Feature optimized social media sharing
- Offer design solutions that harmonize with ALTA’s existing branding
- Build the site: front-end coding (HTML/CSS, animations), back-end coding (CMS, 3rd party APIs), and complete mobile responsivity
- Support user testing as part of QA
- Handle technical aspects of website launch
- Support staff training
- Provide recommendations for ongoing development/technical support
We are open to proposals from vendors who lack the internal capacity to address the entire scope outlined above. In their proposals vendors should specify where additional support is needed (for example, vendors offering information design but not visual design), and whether or not they would like to identify those resources and/or collaborators or wish for ALTA to do so. Submitted budgets should also reflect these needs.
Project Timeline and Process
The desired timeline for this is as follows:
- Proposal submission: October 16, 2023 - December 15, 2023
- Interviews: January 3-17, 2024
- Selection: January 31, 2024
- Finalized scope of work and contract: February 12, 2024
- Discovery, redesign, and migration: March-August 2024
- Soft launch, training, and user testing: August-October 2024
- Final launch: October 24, 2024
ALTA would like to spend around $60,000 for the redesign, but we are willing to consider a higher price for the right proposal.
Proposals should be formatted as a single PDF and should not exceed 30 pages in length, and include the following:
- Statement of interest, qualifications, and capacities, including your company’s philosophy
- Describe your expertise with web design for non-profit organizations with a focus on user experience and member engagement or similar projects
- If any aspect(s) of the scope of work falls outside of your capacity, please describe your collaboration approach for working with an additional contractor appointed by ALTA
- Please describe your comfort with working with existing branding guidelines and assets, and/or your reasoning for making changes to ALTA’s existing identity.
- Outline of the proposed solution, including the features, benefits, and uniqueness of your solution
- Elaborate on your experience with the platforms and software programs ALTA currently uses
- If you recommend changes to ALTA’s current software suite, please provide a clear explanation of the value of each alternative
- Describe your expertise with any additional products your company has recommended
- Proposed timeline of activities and description of services and deliverables based on your understanding of our goals
- If a change to the CRM is proposed please include an estimate of the added time that will require
- Identify staff who will be working on the project, including any subcontractors or proposed partners
- Include information about the type of training you will provide to staff
- Budget (can be a reasonable range).
- Please itemize the cost of software licenses and other expenses that need a separate budget if they are not currently in use at ALTA.
- Include standard hourly rates for the scope detailed above
- Include standard hourly rates for additional programming if required in the future
- Three references and examples of active sites
Please submit to Sophia Marisa Lucas, Membership and Digital Projects Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org by December 15, 2024.
ALTA leadership for this project will make themselves available to answer questions via email or a 30-minute Zoom meeting. Please send questions or a meeting request to Sophia Marisa Lucas, Membership and Digital Projects Coordinator at email@example.com by December 11, 2023.