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Golden LEAF Website Grants Search Database - Request for Proposals

Description, Purpose and Objectives of Golden LEAF Website Grants Search Database
The Golden LEAF Foundation seeks a vendor to create a user-friendly, searchable database so the public can search and view descriptions of the grants it awards to 501(c)(3) and governmental entities across the state. The Foundation currently has a Grants Search Database, accessible by clicking here. The Foundation's searchable database currently hosts over 1,100 grants, which increases by about 120 grants a year. Currently there are 11 fields, of which 9 are searchable.

The database will need to have several searchable fields that are a mix of numerical and text data and text fields of varying lengths. The current database is a good example of how the Foundation expects the new database to function with many of the fields that the new database will incorporate. The database needs to be both easy to upload new information to and update by a nontechnical Foundation staff.

The distinguishing factor between all entries will be based solely on a reference number. This number will distinguish between similar entries because some grants awarded have the same title and project name.

The Foundation expects to have the database in a working order that does not require any modifications to make the data appear correctly. Therefore, this project will help the Foundation to fix problems in the current system and add and change fields and expand beyond certain search functions.

The database is one of the tools the Golden LEAF Foundation uses to help with its commitment to being open and transparent to the public. This database is currently in MySQL (open source relational database management system) and is accessed by a PHP script. Training nontechnical staff to use the database will be a component of this proposal.

About Golden LEAF
In 1999, the North Carolina legislature created the Golden LEAF Foundation to administer one-half of North Carolina's share of the Master Settlement Agreement with cigarette manufacturers in accordance with the court consent decree between North Carolina and the manufacturers. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization devoted to the economic well-being of North Carolinians, Golden LEAF endeavors to strengthen the state's economy through diverse grantsmaking.

From its inception, Golden LEAF has been committed to using the funds entrusted to it for projects with the most potential for bolstering North Carolina's long-term economy, especially in tobacco-dependent, economically distressed, and/or rural communities. Golden LEAF's grantsmaking priority areas include agriculture, job creation and retention, and workforce preparedness. The foundation also supports projects that provide educational opportunities and increase economic vitality. To fulfill our purpose, Golden LEAF makes grants to government entities, educational institutions, economic development organizations and nonprofits. Currently Golden LEAF has funded 1,133 grants, totaling more than $498 million.

The Foundation has a 15 member professional staff and a 15 member volunteer Board of Directors chosen by the North Carolina Governor, President Pro Tem of the Senate, and Speaker of the House. Access our website by clicking here.

We are looking for the best product for the best price. Include a justification for the proposed budget. We will review for both quality and price. You may want to provide levels of database functionality to accomplish these goals.

Terms and Conditions
a. Golden LEAF must own, have full access to and have the right to customize site code.
b. Terms for proposal:

  • Relevant Dates/ Proposed Timeline
    • 11/8/12 - RFP issued
    • 12/14/12 - Bidders conference
    • 12/31/12 -RFP submission deadline 5 p.m.
    • Week of 1/14/13 - Interviews with top candidates
    • 1/22/13 - Vendor will be selected
    • 1/24/13 - Vendor work to commence
    • 1/28/13 - Initial meeting and finalizing of plans
    • 2/4/13 - 3/4/13 - Weekly check-in and updates
    • Week of 3/11/13 - Beta Testing/ Review/ Finalize
    • 3/14/13 - Staff Training
    • Week of 3/18/13 - Proposed Launch
  • Deadline: All proposals should be delivered by email to Patricia Cabe at by 5 p.m. on December 31, 2012
  • All proposals must include a statement of authorization to bid signed by a principal of the responding company
  • All proposals must use the proposal format outlined in this RFP
  • Parties submitting separate proposals may not discuss pricing information or they will be ineligible to bid on the project
  • Bidder status: bidder must disclose any relevant conflicts of interest and/or pending lawsuits.

The entire Golden LEAF website is accessible to the general public. Those most interested parties in accessing the website and the Grants Search Database are the following:

  • Golden LEAF Board and Staff
  • North Carolina-based 501(c)(3) nonprofits and governmental entities
  • NC elected officials
  • Stakeholders interested in economic development in North Carolina

Tools and Functionalities
The database will have three levels of functionality. The first level will be a search level with defined fields provided as well as a keyword search. The second level will show a sortable list of results. The third level will have grant detail. Please review the current set-up of the grants database by clicking here to get an understanding of the set-up of the current grants search php.

Staff will need to be able to log-in to the database, which will not be accessible to the public, for updating. The php site should not be accessible to anyone but staff authorized to update, upon the final launching of the database.

Site Specifications

The Grants Search Database will be connected to our current website which is uploaded through Dreamweaver to our Linux webserver. The database is currently in MySQL (open source relational database management system) and is accessed by a PHP script.

Available Technology Resources/ Integration Issues
Golden LEAF will not ask the vendor to transfer the current data in the Golden LEAF Grants Search Database. Instead, we will provide the data that the vendor will need to load on the database from a database management program called GIFTS. The Foundation can provide this information in a format that best works with data conversion for the vendor: CSV, Access file, Excel, etc.

We will be moving our website host from our current provider to a new provider in conjunction with the new Website Grants Search Database and request a recommendation of hosts and justifications and pricing for those hosts.

Staff Resources
Your point of contact will be Patricia Cabe, Vice President of Programs/Community Assistance & Outreach, at 888-684-8404 or by email at for any questions. We have a team of staff members who will be reviewing proposals and possibly a contractor.

Bidder's Conference
Contact Patricia Cabe by email at before noon on December 3rd to sign up for the Bidder's Conference. Please use as your subject line: Website Bidder's Conference. Further information for the conference will be sent to applicants by December 7th. The Conference is scheduled tentatively for December 14th.

Format for Proposals

1. Executive Summary

2. Technical Volume

a. Website database development process: explain the process you will follow to build the Golden LEAF Website Grants Search Database, including major milestones and evaluation tools
b. Address usability standards and testing
c. Address any important technology information and specifications used in your solution (languages, platform, etc.)

3. Management Volume

a. Organizational structure: communication process; including lines of reporting and any special tools used.
b. Schedule of deliverables; include major milestones and testing proposal.

4. Budget Volume

a. Break down cost by production hours, tools and functionalities
b. Maintenance and support: ID any costs that should be assumed as part of the site and ongoing costs for maintenance and support we need in the future. This should not be a proprietary system. Open source technologies and languages must be used. Any technical vendor should be able to access this database and make changes to language, platform, etc.
c. License fees: ID the costs we will need to pay to develop or host the site.
d. Hosting: The Foundation will chose a new website hosting company. We are asking for three recommendations on website hosting with justifications for those hosts and pricing.
e. Training and Style Guide: ID costs to train our staff to use site tools and provide a style guide.
f. Other charge areas: Please ID whether there will be other expenses, consulting fees, future work, etc. to complete this project.

5. Attachments

a. Qualifications and Experience: relevant case histories with information on accessing online demos or examples
b. Biographies of all who will work on account
c. Professional references
d. Provide similar projects your staff has worked on. Provide links to webpages of similar projects.

The Public Records Act
Information submitted to Golden LEAF is subject to the North Carolina Public Records Act and thus subject to inspection by the public. For information on limited exceptions to the Public Records Act, please contact Golden LEAF staff.


RFP Deadline

Proposals due December 31, 2012 at 5 p.m.

**See Relevant Dates and Proposed Timeline below



The Golden LEAF Foundation   301 N. Winstead Avenue   Rocky Mount, NC 27804
Phone 252-442-7474   Toll-free 888-684-8404   Fax 252-442-7404   Email

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