The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) is a national nonprofit working to reverse today’s extreme levels of corporate concentration and advance policies to rebuild the economic capacity of local communities. We use in-depth research, reporting, and data analysis to produce influential reports and articles. Our work illuminates the public policy decisions that have fueled concentration and shows how we can change the rules to create a more equitable and democratic future. Our analysis is frequently featured in national news media and sought out by policymakers. We work closely with a broad range of allies to move these ideas and policies.

Open Positions

  • Request for Proposals (RFP): ILSR Website Redesign

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Request for Proposals (RFP): ILSR Website Redesign (Download RFP with FAQs)

Contact: Reggie Rucker, Communications Director (
Proposal Submission Deadline: November 10, 2023


1. Introduction:

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) is seeking proposals from experienced web development agencies or professionals to redesign our organization’s website and rebuild it on the current version of WordPress. The primary goals of this project are to create a site that:

  • provides a compelling narrative and interface for our audiences, showcasing our mission and impact on issues they care about and inviting users to identify with and support our aims
  • organizes and presents ILSR’s extensive content in a way that allows users to find and engage with relevant content via a range of pathways (thematically as well as by program), and yet is streamlined and not overwhelming
  • migrates a sizable portion of the current site’s content to the rebuilt site and improves  backend functionality
  • improves accessibility
  • boosts audience signups and active engagement 


2. About ILSR

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance has a vision of thriving, diverse, equitable communities. To reach this vision, we build local power and fight corporate control. We are a national research and advocacy organization that partners with allies across the country to build an American economy driven by local priorities and accountable to people and the planet.

We believe that democracy can only thrive when economic and political power is widely dispersed. ILSR works to achieve this vision through four key initiatives that center local communities, giving citizens the authority, capacity, and responsibility to exercise power over their lives:  

  • Our Energy Democracy Initiative empowers households and communities to produce their own local, clean, and renewable energy and oppose the excessive power of monopoly utilities.
  • The Community Broadband Networks Initiative promotes locally rooted, democratically accountable broadband networks that provide fast, affordable, and reliable Internet access to all Americans.
  • Our Independent Business Initiative champions locally owned businesses, leads efforts to fight the unchecked power of corporate giants like Walmart and Amazon, and seeks to reverse the government policies that work against these small, independent businesses.
  • Our Composting for Community Initiative is advancing local composting to create jobs, enhance soils, protect the climate, and reduce waste through advocacy, training, research, demonstration sites, and coalition building.

Across all of our initiatives, we’re fighting unfettered corporate control in all its forms, from giant tech platforms to monopoly utilities, from Wall Street banks to garbage incinerators. We show how public policy currently favors bigness and perpetuates inequality, and we identify, develop, and promote policies at the local, state, and federal levels that help build healthy, sustainable communities.

We provide community members with the research and advocacy tools they need to reclaim power over local decision-making and hold corporations and government accountable. We direct our efforts to support the people most impacted when democracy is threatened, especially rural residents, diverse communities, and economically disadvantaged Americans.

Since our beginnings, ILSR has been building coalitions and working closely with allies, from entrepreneurs to city planners, retail workers to engineers, neighborhood groups to national advocacy organizations, as well as communities of color, low-income communities, and other people pushed to the margins of the existing economic and political structure. With our partners, we conduct research, run workshops, produce podcasts, and create popular education tools that support local campaigns.


3. Project Objectives:

The selected agency or professional will be responsible for achieving the following objectives:

3.1 Narrative Transformation:

Transform the website to tell a compelling story of localism’s effectiveness and its impact on broader issues, such as rural development and health, moving away from a mere repository of ILSR’s work from its initiatives.

3.2 Information Architecture:

Migrate, organize, and present ILSR’s extensive content in a way that allows users to find and engage with relevant content via a range of pathways (thematically as well as by program), and yet is streamlined and not overwhelming.

3.3 Backend Functionality and Security:

Improve the website’s backend functionality to simplify content management, reduce maintenance challenges, and eliminate security vulnerabilities.

3.4 Accessibility and User-Friendliness:

Enhance the website’s accessibility, ensure compliance with relevant accessibility standards, and improve overall user-friendliness to encourage seamless navigation and interaction.

3.5 Audience Engagement and Development:

Increase the effectiveness of audience development by optimizing sign-up, subscription, and donation processes. Implement features that encourage social sharing and engagement with ILSR’s content.


4. Scope of Work:

ILSR has the following existing assets:

  • Text, photo, and video content on the current built on WordPress that we would like presented on the redesigned
  • Briefs, fact sheets, and long-form reports
  • A logo, visual identity, and brand and style guides
  • Results of previous usability audits
  • Email campaigns managed through Mailchimp
  • Podcasts managed through Blubrry
  • Various social media channels

The project will encompass the following tasks:

4.1 Discovery Phase:

  • Collaborate with ILSR to understand the organization’s mission, values, and goals.
  • Analyze the existing website’s strengths and weaknesses to inform the redesign strategy.

4.2 Design and Development:

  • Develop a modern and visually engaging website design on the WordPress platform that aligns with ILSR’s brand identity and messaging.
  • Migrate, organize, and present ILSR’s extensive content compellingly and intuitively, using a phased approach if necessary to accommodate an earlier launch.
  • Integrate features to highlight success stories and demonstrate localism’s impact on broader issues.
  • Enhance backend security protocols to ensure data protection and user privacy.

4.3 Accessibility Enhancement:

  • Implement SEO: Meta descriptions and meta keywords
  • Conduct a thorough accessibility audit and implement necessary improvements to adhere to accessibility guidelines.

4.4 Audience Engagement Optimization:

  • Implement strategies to increase user engagement, social sharing, and interaction with content.
  • Optimize user journeys to encourage sign-ups, subscriptions, and donations.
  • Implement Google Analytics and/or other analytics tools that provide seamless tracking of content engagement, including views, downloads, sign-ups, etc.

4.5 Testing and Quality Assurance:

  • Rigorously test the website across different devices, browsers, and platforms to ensure compatibility and responsiveness.
  • Address and resolve any bugs or issues identified during testing.

4.6 Training and Documentation:

  • Provide training to ILSR’s team on how to effectively manage and update the website using the new CMS.
  • Provide comprehensive documentation outlining website maintenance procedures.


5. Proposal Submission:

Interested parties are invited to submit their proposals containing the following information:

  • Company profile and relevant experience.
  • Approach to addressing each project objective.
  • Proposed timeline with milestones and deliverables.
  • Budget breakdown including development, design, testing, and any additional costs.
  • Previous work examples that demonstrate expertise in similar WordPress projects.
  • Information on team members who will be involved in the project.
  • References from previous clients.

The prices quoted must be all-inclusive; anticipated additional costs should be itemized and called out in an exhibit or schedule. Any work that will not be completed by the agency or professional with its staff and internal resources must be specifically called out.


6. Contract Terms

ILSR will negotiate terms upon selection of the agency or professional. The project will not commence until an agreement is signed which outlines the scope of work, budget, terms, and all necessary items.


7. Timeline:

  • Proposal Submission Deadline: November 10, 2023
  • Selection of Shortlisted Candidates: November 17, 2023
  • Interviews/Discussions with Shortlisted Candidates: November 27 – December 1, 2023
  • Project Kick-off: December 11, 2023


ILSR is an Equal Opportunity Employer

ILSR is committed to providing employees with a welcoming work environment free of discrimination and harassment. ILSR is an equal-opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, or disability.