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RFP For A CNVC Online Partnership Community
January 18, 2006


The Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC), an international non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, has a network of people around the world who are interested in Nonviolent Communication. Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is sometimes referred to as compassionate communication. Its purpose is to strengthen our ability to inspire compassion from others and to respond compassionately to others and to ourselves.

We want to overhaul our website and create an online community to support the CNVC network and facilitate connection and collaboration between people interested in NVC. CNVC operates in a partnership paradigm. We want a website that creates community and fosters partnership. Drupal appears to have much of the functionality we are looking for. I have a preference for staying as close as possible to the vanilla installation of Drupal for ease in upgrading. However, we may be asking for functionality that requires custom coding.

We have a worldwide audience with a wide variety of browsers in use. Our statistics average around 61% for IE 6, 29 other browser/versions, some really old (Netscape 2, for example) and 15% undetermined. And we have a significant Mac audience. I want a design that uses CSS, is not dependent on graphics for navigation (which does not mean it can’t use graphics), degrades gracefully to older browsers, and will work on slow speed modems.

Estimates & Information about You

I would like the following estimates/information:
What it would cost to install Drupal with the following functionality Please separate the estimate into four parts:

  1. Phase I, the vanilla installation and the customized development
  2. Phase II, the vanilla installation and the customized development
  3. Please lay out a tentative schedule with dates
  4. What it would cost to add another language beyond the first four we have identified?

Please note which of the following functions are not handled by Drupal and would require custom development. Please highlight the functionality that needs custom development and send the document back to me.

I realize that these specifications are quite general, but am hoping you can give us general estimates and an indication of what we need to do to make this work. Please feel free to ask me any questions that come up as you are working on the bid.

I would also like some information about you and your company. For example, how many online community developing Drupal sites have you installed? How long have you worked with Drupal? And what references can you give us?

Phase I Functionality

  • We have selected 4 languages to start with: English, French, German and Spanish.
  • A centralized repository for contact information: names, addresses (ability to handle international addresses—currently 7 lines of text), multiple telephone numbers, more than one website address, email address, languages spoken, sex, and other information for individuals in relationship with CNVC that would be used across the entire organization anytime contact information is needed for a person. Only one place to update when it changes.

This means the system needs to feed online contact changes to Quick Books.

In addition, the database needs to support fundraising (see below).

  • Contact information currently resides in 4 sources: Quick books, Excel spreadsheets that are used to manage IITs (International Intensive Trainings), an Access database in the office that has the current mailing list on it, and the Access database on the present website which has contact information for certified trainers, local NVC supporters, and other people in the CNVC network. We would need staged conversion.
  1. The office Access database (mailing list?)
  2. Quick Books contact information can be converted as soon as the new system can update Quick Books with changes. (I’m open to other ideas for the exchange.)
  3. The present website Access database can be converted as soon as the new website is up (after March 1 so that the past year trainer reports are all posted) and has replaced all the programmed functionality in the current website (contact information updates, adding/updating/deleting trainings, finding people in the network, posting trainer reports, displaying trainers, local NVC supporters, local groups/websites in regional areas, and the ability to create a text file extract of the contact information for specific permission group(s), like certified trainers, (including name, functions, address, phone numbers, email address)

Note: we have a handful of trainers without email addresses.

  1. The IIT spreadsheets can convert as soon as the system can schedule/manage IITs

The trainers want to add a field to their contact information for “other disciplines.” They want to be able to select people using those disciplines. For example, find trainers who use Transcendental Meditation.

There is a Drupal module that stops mining efforts or certain kinds of robots (I’m not remembering how it was worded). I want our information as protected as possible.

  • Ability for the office to add a new user (member); we have people who ask to be on our mailing list and do not provide an email address and may not have internet access.
  • Ability of users to add themselves with certain general permissions
  • Ability to assign different levels of permissions and multiple permissions to the same person
  • Users access to their own profile information and update their contact information
  • User access to only that information and processes that they have permissions for. We are visualizing a variety of groups within the website, and each group would have public and private data of its own. In addition, there will be general public information.
  • Enable people with certain permissions (such as trainers) to be associated with multiple countries/regions so that they can be “found” by people in multiple countries/regions
  • Viewers can find people throughout the network, by country (or proximity), by function (trainers, local NVC supporters, board members, etc.) and then view contact information for them.

There are two parts to this:

  1. we would like the public website (accessible without membership) to display trainers, local NVC supporters and board members by region along with contact information designated as public by the trainer/supporter (only name, city or area, country, phones, website address, the ability to email them); and
  2. having certain permissions would allow the viewer to see full contact information (for example, trainers and staff could see full contact information on anyone including their email address).
  • Donation management, reporting and tracking
  • Contact logging
  • Tickler system (an action management system: next calls, notes, meetings and action steps, auto notification of tasks, etc.)
  • Records of contributions, dates, amounts, how the individual got asked to give, what campaign
  • Event management (venue relationships, event contracts, correspondence, event registration)
  • Event calendars (the public finding events)
  • Reporting (donor frequency, lapse, top donors, contact and thank yous)

need to be locale-centric: e.g., Sweden does not have a donor culture

  • Relationship trees
  • Manage volunteers
  • Merged mailings
  • A system for tracking interactions individuals have with the CNVC offices in any location
  • Emailing individual members by members and by the general public (non-members)
  • Emailing segments of users, possibly defined by their permissions
  • Affiliation groups (public and private data to the group)

These groups can be language groups (e.g., Francophiles) or interest groups (e.g., restorative justice, social change); we will want to be able to add new groups as the need arises

  • Ability of members to add/edit content within the group based on permissions
  • Ability to create documents in a shared environment with
  1. Moderated documents
  2. Revision control
  3. Ability to collaboratively work on shared documents
  • Ability to store documents, with access based on permissions
  • Ability to access users based on profile characteristics
  • Ability to have unique roles/permissions for groups
  • Ability to add/edit content: some content will be “official” documents (not to be modified, like board minutes); some will be from people with permission to post.
  • We will also have content in different languages that we will want available to the general public. Sometimes the same document will be translated into several languages. How can people using different languages find documents in their language? Say they don’t speak/read much English.
  • Event scheduling and management: addition, editing, viewing, venue relationships, event contracts, correspondence, event registration and payment, across time zones with multiple event types, including scheduling trainings, conferences, NVC negotiation/mediation, and consulting services for Marshall (our founder) and other trainers
  • Need to be able to assign multiple trainers to events (as teachers)
  • Need to be able to assign multiple contact people to events
  • IITs need special functionality: venue management, registration, room assignments (this requires knowing the sex of the registrant), and probably other things I’m not aware of right now.
  • Events calendars (different calendars for different types of events, e.g., trainings, donation events, meetings, conferences, etc.)
  • Find trainings/events by date, topic, location/proximity, trainer, difficulty level
  • Document storage/exchange (including revision control and classification)
  • Can store press releases, press kits, and marketing materials. Also need to manage multi-media documents. Online newsletters, journals, magazines. Trainer reports.
  • Individual and group listserves (by topic, by person, by permissions) meaning that a trainer or affiliation group can have his/her/their own listserve that people can sign up for, and there will also be group listserves, such as Friends of NVC, and the Trainers’ Newsletter.

Note: Friends of NVC and the Trainers’ Newsletter are currently Yahoo Groups; some thought needs to be given to whether or not we want to bring them in-house considering current email issues and the occasional inability to get a cnvc.org email to the recipient

  • Instant messaging (I’m private, visible to friends, or visible to everyone)
  • Collaborative work spaces

Phase II Functionality

  • Web casts: we currently use a service that broadcasts a PowerPoint presentation along with voices from speakers who call in by phone. The PPT presentation is not viewable by people using Macs unless they download a pdf of the presentation. We would like a different way to do web casts that works for Macs and PCs.
  • Forums/chat rooms: want for varied topics. For example, empathy rooms (to give/receive empathy), discussion topics; empathy may have a donation associated with it
  • Audio/video storage and viewing/listening
  • Online meeting/conference rooms and scheduling them
  • Content syndication (RSS feeds—in and out)
  • Online store fronts that can deliver either services or goods
  • Polls and surveys
  • Scholarships (need to handle for trainings, system usage, e-learning and web TV usage [which is currently being developed by someone else]); in other words, the ability to assign a scholarship to someone and have it applied to the cost of an event they want to attend, leaving either none or partial cost for the person to pay
  • Travel and scheduling

Phase III Functionality

  • Individual and group calendars
  • E-learning: training classes, live or text based
  • Video conferencing
  • Project management software/tools
  • Blogging with comments


This is a first take on the different kinds of permissions. A person can have multiple permissions. New permissions will be developed along the way as needs arise.

  • Guest Members
  • General Members
  • Trainer Candidates
  • CNVC-Certified Trainers
  • Local NVC Supporters
  • Project Coordinators
  • Organizer
  • Executive director of the Center
  • Director of educational services
  • International project coordinator
  • IIT administration
  • Scheduler
  • Webmaster
  • Affiliation groups (language, region, themes/collaborative interests—social change, professions/avocations—nursing); there would be a separate permission for each group
  • Sociocracy Trainers
  • Trainers of Trainers
  • CNVC Staff
  • CNVC Office Manager
  • CNVC Board

Current Programming on cnvc.org

I’m including this information so you can see where we are right now. The functionality does not necessarily transfer over to the new system. For example, maintaining country names was done to allow the native spelling(s) for a country to show next to the English name to make it easier for people in other countries. If the French language module in Drupal, for example, includes country names in French, then this function is unneeded.

The current Center for Nonviolent Communication website is partially database driven. Updates to the database are done in a private part of the website called “insidecnvc.” A data dictionary of the current database begins on the next page. Functionality that currently exists there includes several areas:

Maintaining contact data for people in the CNVC network, including full contact information that is available to CNVC and staff members and certain people in the network, plus separate contact information (a smaller amount—no mailing address) for people who are listed on the public website (trainers, local NVC supporters, board members).

Everyone who has access to “insidecnvc” has a function within the organization, sometimes several functions. These functions determine access and also where each person shows up.

CNVC-certified trainers post their trainings; multiple trainers can be assigned to each training, we want multiple contact people to be able to be assigned to a training

CNVC-certified trainers post their trainer reports each year (these are available only in “insidecnvc”

For CNVC and staff members and certain people in the network there is a function to look other people up and see their contact information

  • Maintaining the list of countries (affects drop-down lists)
  • Maintaining a list of topics for the trainings (affects drop-down lists)
  • A report of all people with contact information in “insidecnvc” is produced on demand
  • There are other pages available in “insidecnvc,” but they are maintained manually

The pages that are database-generated on the public cnvc.org website:

This link will take you to Austria. It is a representative country (it has all 3 parts of the page).