RFP for New Website Development, Maintenance & Support for HELPAGE INDIA Domains: (www.helpageindia.org, https://www.af-hi.org/, https://donateonpagef2f.org/)


Overview of our Business: HelpAge India (HI) is a leading, secular, national level NGO with a mission “to work for the cause and care of disadvantaged aged persons and to improve their quality of life”. Our non-profit is currently lead through the vision and mission as aligned by our CEO Mr. Rohit Prasad.

Registered in 1978 under the Societies’ Registration Act of 1860, for over 42 years, HelpAge India has focussed on the issues of the elders, and helped millions of India’s elderly – particularly the destitute. Our focus over the years has moved from Welfare to Development, to protect the rights of India’s elderly and provide relief to them through nationwide interventions, so as to enable them to live better and healthier and more dignified lives.

HelpAge provides support and assistance to elderly through various age-care interventions and multiple projects across 24 states in 175 districts, covering 1906 villages in India and impacts the lives of over 2 million Indian elders who face financial, health, and emotional deprivation through focused interventions. Former Presidents of India, R. Venkataraman and K. R. Narayanan, have been Patrons of HelpAge India. For more details please check www.helpageindia.org

Our Partner & United States focussed entity, American Friends of HelpAge India (AFHI), was established as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization in 2019 to help India’s disadvantaged and vulnerable elderly population lead healthy, active and dignified lives, free from poverty, suffering and abuse. AFHI raises funds and awareness in the United States in support of HelpAge India, India’s longest standing and reputed non-profit organization serving the disadvantaged elderly. AFHI harnesses the power of the Indian American diaspora and well-wishers of India to support HelpAge India’s programs and on-ground initiatives geared towards at-risk elders. For more details please check www.af-hi.org

HelpAge India, became the first Indian non-profit to be honoured with the ‘United Nations Population Award 2020’, for its exemplary work working in the field of ageing for disadvantaged elderly in India, work during the Covid 19 pandemic and recognition of the organization’s outstanding contribution to population issues and efforts in the realization of older people rights in India since 1978.
Key Objectives: Given the rapid growth in digital/online payments, the convenience it offers and the preference among younger generations for online/digital payments, HelpAge India would like to focus its efforts, so as to grow online fundraising exponentially through aggressive online and social media efforts. HelpAge seeks an agency to:

  • Provide a platform for interaction, driving donations and information sharing among all those interested in charity giving and social causes of HelpAge India.
  • Promote high quality intellectual, ethical and professional standards.
  • Promote the development, adoption and good practices within the non-profit/charity industry.
  • Increase the profile of HelpAge India in the non-profit/charity industry landscape at national and international level.
  • Help build understanding of international developments and trends.
  • Be a resource on elder care in the non-profit/charity industry at national and international level.
  • Increasing conversion ratios from website, enhancing interlinking of various pages and one that is equipped to engage the users i.e. increase engagement rates. Keeping in view that new donor acquisition is top priority.

Current status of Website, related setup, maintenance and hosting:

HelpAge India has an existing Online Donation set up and has been doing online fundraising since 6+years. Presently almost 50% of the fulfilment/conversion of retail/individual fund raising by HelpAge is through Online channel’s. HelpAge offers all convenient forms of online/ digital payment/ gateway options. Instant Thank You & Tax Exemption certificates are auto-generated for online donors. Google Analytics for HelpAge India is setup and mostly tracks donations efficiently. Hotjar further helps us understand a bird’s eye view on donor journey across the website. Our websites are currently hosted on AWS via multiple instances. Hosting accounts are owned by HelpAge India but operated by the agencies.
Challenges/Pain points: (i) High Page Load time (ii) Regular crashes (iii) Old wordpress & PHP version (iv) Missing CPANEL (v) Unable to update plugins (vi) Inconsistency on website to make successful donations/page load (vii) Custom coding directly within wordpress code (viii) multiple errors and java script issues on the website and non-availability of latest industry/digital features like chatbot, ticketing system, etc. are a few challenges being faced currently.
Overall SCOPE OF WORK: The scope of work includes following main areas of work:

  • New Website development for helpageindia.org
  • Upgrading af-hi.org to latest technology versions and new theme in sync with the one on helpageindia.org.
  • org to be made live on latest technology versions and theme upgrade in sync with helpageindia.
  • Backend Admin panel (separate from CMS) to be created separately for all 3 website for donation data, form fills, etc. Reporting dashboard to be made available for the admin panel.
  • Continuing maintenance of all 3 sites, which would include but not limited to applying security patches, clearing out log files, enlarging disk space before it runs out, sorting out security certificates, fixing bugs in the code, vulnerability test, etc. Refer for more details in the Website Maintenance specs below.
  • One-off development work to implement new features.
  • Improve the overall website appearance, performance, and user-friendliness.
  • The web site should be based on the following latest technologies:
    – PHP
    – MySQL
    – Apache server
    – Server space used by web site: to be individually recommended for each website
    – Content Management System

Scope of work for Website development:

  • Mobile first focus and responsiveness for both Android and iOS
  • Cross-Browser Compatibility (Chrome, Firefox, MS Edge, Safari)
  • Search Engine Optimization friendly (speed check, sitemap, etc).
  • Compatibility & Integration with well-known analytics tools, google webmaster, with UTM and 30-day cookie tracking functionality.
  • Secure the existing site during the transition to the new platform; preservation of all current website content and functionality.
  • Incrementally migrate the web site to a standard CMS (e.g. WordPress, Drupal or Joomla) and implement new features that add value.
  • Use simple, cost-effective techniques to test designs with representative users before implementation of major features such as restructuring the main navigation menu.
  • Optimize the site for low bandwidth users.
  • Implement a basic “blog” function with integrated twitter and facebook posting.
  • Create a registration module that can be managed via the user/donor.
  • Add a comprehensive search functionality to the web site with multilingual functionality for users.
  • Additional tasks would include: upgrade the rich text editor control used in the web site backend to the latest version (CKEditor) and move it out of the “iframes” to stop multiple downloads of the control; improve search options on the web site and databases; and others.
  • Apart from the above, for more detailed scope for new website development for HelpAge India, can be found here: https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/1kDdU4Oo6WFlk862sdOLvgbzSmnSkNzez
  • Planning and Information Architecture Development.
  • Newsletter signup forms and related backend reporting to be built.
  • Social Media Icons & Integrations across the website and also on thank you pages to increase engagement and support social media growth).
  • Promotional Image Rotator: This image slider will use a slider plugin. Promotional image rotator will include on each image (1) Photo or image, (2) Next/Back buttons, (3) Description (4) Call to action buttons. On the right and left sides of this area, there will be next and back buttons in the shape of arrows that navigate through the slides. Images will transition from one to another by having one fade in while the other fades out. No other animation will be done. The slides with pictures and text provided by the client will be turned into slides. Once the slider has been completed, the client may use the CMS to edit the images, titles, text, and call to action button as needed. Mobile Responsive Item: Promotional Rotator may be modified or removed in some situations.
  • State level pages connected with map on the home page to display program and state level strengths/projects (refer map on https://casa-india.org/our-reach). Theme of state level pages could be similar to https://cbmindia.org/.
  • Chatbot – integrated with ticketing system
  • Collapsable FAQ section to be integrated across all website pages (maybe above the footer).
  • Staff & Board Member Profile pages for key stakeholders. This can be a page or lightbox. Each member page or lightbox will have (1) First and last names (2) Title (3) Large image (4) Bio – just text
  • Google Map integration for contact page and state level pages. A large map on the page with the location marked as a pin on the map.

Website Security Expectation from the partner agency to be managed: Following but not limited to:

  • Cross-site request forgery (CSRF): forces the user to execute unwanted actions in a trusted web application.
  • Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack: incapacitates online services by flooding them with unwanted connections, thus rendering a site inaccessible.
  • Authentication bypass: gives hackers access to your website’s resources without verifying their authenticity.
  • SQL injection (SQLi): forces the system to execute malicious SQL queries and manipulate data within the database.
  • Cross-site scripting (XSS): injects malicious code that turns the site into a transporter of malware.
  • Local file inclusion (LFI): forces the site into processing malicious files placed on the web server.
  • Some best practices to Improve Website Security: Update WordPress Version Regularly
    – Use Secure WP-Admin Login Credentials
    – Use Trusted WordPress Themes
    – Use Trusted WordPress Themes
    – Install SSL Certificate
    – Remove Unused WordPress Plugins and Themes
    – The next method to improve WordPress security is by using WordPress plugins:
    – Enable Two-Factor Authentication for WP-Admin
    – Back Up WordPress Regularly
    – Limit Login Attempts
    – Change the WordPress Login Page URL

Website Speed & performance: Following but not limited to: Reduce unused JavaScript, Reduce unused CSS, Optimize Image Sizes, Enable Text, Compression, Remove render-blocking Resources, Avoid Enormous Network Payloads, Choose the Right Hosting Service Plan, Reduce initial server response time, Reduce the Number of Plugins, Reduce the impact of third-party code, Use Website Caching, Enable GZIP Compression, Reduce JavaScript execution time, Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN), Use a Well-Optimized WordPress Theme, Put CSS at the Top and JavaScript at the Bottom
Testing Standards: Following but not limited to

  • Before launch and during development, website testing will be handled.
  • User Acceptance Testing (UAT)
  • In some cases, functional testing involves working with the end-users or stakeholders to ensure that the website meets their expectations. This can help uncover usability and functionality issues that might not have been apparent during earlier testing phases.
  • Cross-Browser and Cross-Device Testing
  • Verify that the website functions correctly on various web browsers (e.g., Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge) and different devices (e.g., desktop, mobile, tablets).
  • Security Testing
  • Although primarily part of security testing, functional testing should include checks for common security issues, such as testing against common web vulnerabilities like cross-site scripting (XSS), cross-site request forgery (CSRF), and SQL injection.
  • Usability Testing
  • Evaluate the overall user experience to ensure that the website is easy to navigate and use.
  • Performance Evaluation Report
  • We make sure each of our services undergoes rigorous testing so that it becomes 100% free of bugs. All the standard methods of white and black box testing are in place to achieve this feat. We Prepare the test cases based on design and functionality.
  • Ensure a cosmetic bug test before delivery.
  • Test the embedded links exhaustively to make sure no errors are there.
  • Implementing CSS media queries to make sure that every page is responsive.

SCOPE OF MAINTENANCE: The following services to be included in our proposed website maintenance package:

Secure Backups: Partner Agency will maintain weekly full backup of the web site through the duration of the contract. The backup, code and source files will be delivered in full to client on closing of the contract. The contracted web development company will verify regularly that the site is up and running, and will revert to the back up whenever necessary.

Content Updates: As HelpAge India creates new content for its web pages and blogs, partner agency will publish them appropriately on HelpAge India’s site.

Performance Optimization: Website performance is a critical factor in user satisfaction and SEO rankings. It would be the responsibility of the partner agency to prioritizing performance optimization techniques such as but not limited to image compression, minification of CSS or JavaScript files, and leveraging caching mechanisms to improve page load times and overall responsiveness. Maintain & Monitor the server logs to see most popular pages and downloads and generate regular reports.

Security Measures: Data security is of utmost importance, especially when handling sensitive user information and transactional data. It will be the responsibility of the partner agency to implement robust security measures, including HTTPS encryption, regular security audits, and protection against common vulnerabilities such as but not limited to SQL injection and cross-site scripting (XSS).

SEO Optimization: Implement on-page SEO best practices to enhance search engine visibility. A few details but not limited to Meta Tags, URL Structure, Image Optimisation, Mobile Responsiveness, Sitemap & Robots.txt, Secure Connection (HTTPS), Social Media Integration, Testing Validation, Regular indexing of web pages in SERPs.

Design: The partner agency should suggest templates for existing/new landing pages/ content posting to ensure high conversion and reduce load time.

Integration: Implement any necessary integrations with third-party tools or platforms (like, Analytics, CRM, bulk emailing tools, whatsapp, etc.). Seamless integration with analytics tools is vital for tracking and analysing user behaviour and engagement metrics. This would help us minimising the manual work and will also remove a lot of dependencies. Partner Agency should ensure that website is configured to integrate with our preferred analytics platform effectively, allowing us to gather actionable insights to inform our digital marketing strategies.

Mobile Responsiveness: With the increasing prevalence of mobile devices, optimizing the website for mobile responsiveness is non-negotiable. Partner Agency will prioritize a mobile-first approach to design and development, ensuring that the website offers a seamless experience across devices and screen sizes.

Script/Program Updates: Partner Agency will add or edit scripts, programs, and software at HelpAge India’s request, and when necessary to maintain site performance and security.

CPANEL: Configuration & Setup of CPANEL for all 3 instances. Currently does not exist.

Website Related Upgrades & Integrations: It will be the responsibility of partner agency to take care of all upgrades and integrations related but not limited to website platform, payment gateways, plugins, database,

24/7 Website Monitoring: Partner Agency will monitor HelpAge India site for security breaches and outages 24/7. Partner agency to further provide instant support would be required during specialised HelpAge India Campaigns/Events.

Bug Fixing: If any issue will occur, then partner agency will resolve it as quickly as possible basis SLA mutually agreed.

CMS Training: Partner Agency will provide HelpAge India team with CMS trainings when required for being self-sufficient in case of emergency. One person each from Communications and Resource Mobilisation will be trained initially and rest as required.

Ticketing tool: Partner Agency team will have a ticketing tool in place for HelpAge India, ready to roll, at contract closure, for raising complaints and efficient tracking. For any tech issues IT Team of HelpAge team to be looped in across any communication.

SLA’s: The contracted web development company will follow the terms of the standard SLA provided in the proposal. This contract offers a service level agreement (SLA) with guaranteed server uptime and response time to queries. The company should have an automated issue management ticket system for customer requests and allow clients to access tickets via the web at any time, including the correspondence log. The SLA will include financial penalty clauses should the company break the terms of the agreement.

AWS access and configuration: AWS instance access will be managed by partner agency.

Vulnerability Testing: Partner Agency will be doing Vulnerability testing for the website every 2 months while fixing issues and bugs under website maintenance. They are also expected to have automated testing system that checks for broken hyperlinks on the site.

SSL Renewal: Partner Agency to renew and install SSL certificate basis recommendations from HelpAge India.

New Pages Creation: Partner Agency will create 10 pages per month basis existing theme/custom templates of pages already created on HelpAge India website.
Specific responsibilities during the transition phase:

There will be a transition phase during which the current maintenance company and the new company will be working in tandem. During that period, the newly contracted web development company will be responsible for (1) Getting familiar with the code, structure and functionality of the web site. (2) Work with HelpAge India to suggest any high-priority technical tasks for the current web development company during the transition period to ensure a smooth hand-over. (3) Migrating and setting-up and running the web site.

  • Non-profit Crowdfunding: GiveIndia, Donatekart, Ketto, ImpactGuru
  • Age Care/Elder Care: Agewell Foundation, Iskcon, Care India
  • Non-profit sector – Oxfam, Smile Foundation, CRY, Save the Children, Akshaypatra, SightSavers

What is HelpAge’s value proposition against competitors? – Our cause i.e. support for the disadvantaged elderly. A niche in itself in the non-profit sector and being the oldest in the sector. We have a reach across India and community approach is our focus keeping the elderly at the centre.

Tentative Budget: This RFP is for new website development, maintenance & support for all 3 instances mentioned above. Regarding budget, we are open to discuss, however being a non-profit we do not carry huge corporate budgets at all.

Selection Criteria:

The company should have:

  • Proven experience of web design and support in the international development sector.
  • Strong experience in developing in well-known and widely used open source platforms, such as Drupal, Joomla, WordPress, etc.
  • Understanding of End Users needs to match with adequate technical solutions.
  • Strong track record in web site design; security and administration; Google analytics; Search Engine Optimization.
  • Proactive verification by the contractor as a client, is satisfied with the service provided.

Selection Process:

The proposal should:

  • Clearly establish an understanding of the services required and separate out activities according to the areas of work;
  • Describe how the company engages with its clients: what processes they follow and requirements they have regarding timelines, rates, requests, sign-off and payments
  • Provide a standard SLA; and
  • Include CV of the team of (programmers and designers) assigned to the work, the timetable, and the financial proposal. The budget should be broken down by activities.
  • Interested agencies may apply within 10 days with a detailed proposal and cost breakdown.
  • We expect the partner agency to give suggestion across various points in the RFP. Presentations on credentials with case studies and approaches for us need to be done visavi sectoral benchmarks with focus on constant support. Shortlisted agencies may be requested for a detailed presentation.

The proposals received will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  1. Profile and experience of the company 30%
  2. Professional capacity and experience of professionals assigned 40%
  3. Accessibility and proximity of the support team 10%
  4. Pricing 20%

Note: We would be happy to fill questionnaire/requests to understand current architecture if need be, only after signing a full Non-Disclosure Agreement.

Contact Information: Our Address: HelpAge India, C-14, Qutab Institutional Area, New Delhi – 110016. Or email details to Anuj.Kumar@helpageindia.org, and cc to Vishnu.Sharma@helpageindia.org, Kanchan.Sen@helpageindia.org. For any clarifications on the RFP, please feel free to reach out to Anuj Mohan Kumar (Director Digital) on 9810554083.