Searching for the perfect grant management solution can be tricky, but with a well-written request for proposal (RFP), it doesn’t have to be.
A solid RFP can help you properly document specific information, such as:
- Program goals.
- Functionality and service requirements.
- Scoring criteria.
- Implementation details.
Below are pointers to help you organize your RFP for success.
Prior to Start
Before starting your RFP, ensure you have a solid understanding of your organization’s current grant management process, ideal future state, key stakeholders, ancillary systems, fixed points, timelines and budget. This information will help you determine the features and services required for your grant software implementation, and will inform the direction of your RFP.
Draft Your RFP
Your RFP should be comprised of several key sections. The first few sections should provide the vendor with information about your organization, project and the RFP process:
- Organization background. Provide a brief history of your organization, the purpose of the RFP and the business value that you would like to see achieved.
- Project overview. Outline high-level project details, such as current annual grant revenue, current number of active grants, desired number of software users, number and scope of sub-recipients managed, and the number and complexity of integrations with other systems necessary.
- Important dates. Share the timeline that will be followed for RFP collection and evaluation, and system implementation.
- Instructions for responding and scoring. Detail the process for vendors to reply to the RFP and how the winning provider will be selected.
The second half of the RFP should outline the information you would like vendors to provide. This information will be used to assess offerings available against your needs, timeline and budget, and can assist in vendor comparison.
- Vendor information. Collect basic details on the company’s services, markets, organizational structure and financial stability.
- Functional requirements. Uncover which required software features are built into the product and which need to be configured or built. List desired grantor, grantee, infrastructure and hosting, configurability and workflows, and general capabilities in your RFP for vendor response.
- Determine the scope of support provided by the vendor.
- Collect customer contact information for reference checks.
- Project plan. Ask the vendor to detail how they will meet project requirements and timelines as outlined in your RFP.
- Cost proposal. Have vendors explain their pricing models and anticipated costs. .
Publish Your RFP
Getting your RFP into the right hands can help you find the perfect solution for your organization. A few ways to promote your RFP include:
- Host the document on your website.
- Research top vendors that could be a good fit, and send them the RFP for consideration.
- Post your RFP on BidSync (if relevant) or send a notice via your organization’s e-procurement system.
Remember that where and how you publish your RFP will determine who will see it. Make sure your publishing process is strategic, so your RFP is seen by the right vendors!
How do you ensure your RFP is well-written? Share with us in the comments below.
Interested in creating a strategic RFP? Download our free template.