But, finding the perfect system that fulfills all your needs can be tricky. Without a detailed and well-researched request for proposal (RFP), you risk purchasing a system that doesn’t meet your needs.
Prior to sending your grant management software RFP, follow the three steps below.
1. Outline Grant Processes and Project Scope
First, audit your existing grant management processes. Write out the current steps taken, from pre-award through audit, noting any weaknesses, redundancies or inefficiencies. Document key parties involved (both internal and external) and technologies already in use.
Use this information to define your desired future state and RFP project scope. Consider questions, such as:
- What are our technology goals and expected outcomes?
- What is our current annual grant revenue and number of active grants?
- How many users will need access to the technology?
- What budget is available for the project?
- What external systems will need integrated with the grant software?
- How many grants do we distribute and how many sub-recipients do we manage?
- What level of access will each need to the grant software selected?
2. Research and Document Desired Functionality
With project details in place, next determine desired software functionality. Use your process audit and future goals as a starting point to list the technology features required for your project.
Consider the following categories: grantor and grantee, infrastructure and hosting, configurability and workflows, and general software capabilities.
For a list of recommended features by category, download our sample RFP. Federal guidelines are also helpful to review to ensure your new software meets Uniform Grant Guidance and DATA Act reporting requirements.
3. Research Software Vendors
It’s common to publicly post your RFP for vendors to respond on your website. That said, we’d also recommend that you send it directly to the vendors you think would be a good fit. This requires a bit of research to pre-vet providers. To identify candidates:
- Ask organizations of comparable size and complexity what software they use for grant management. If you don’t have any contacts you can tap into for referrals, look for online case studies to find potential providers.
- Reach out to trade associations or other professional networking groups for a list of recommended technology partners.
- Review online software review websites, such as Capterra, for company overviews and user feedback.
- Visit provider booths at industry trade shows.
What steps do you recommend before sending an RFP? Share in the comments below.
Are you ready to create your customized grant software RFP? If so, download our free template!
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