Ask these questions before you begin the RFP process to properly prepare.
1. What is the Project Scope?
Before drafting your RFP, gather project details so vendors have all the information needed to evaluate scope. This includes:
- Annual grant revenue, number of users, current number of active grants.
- Organization name and contact information.
- Project goals and business value you would like to see achieved.
2. What Functionality Is Required?
The grant management process is unique to each organization, as each has different levels of staffing, sub-recipients and funding. Before purchasing a solution, outline the features your organization will need to remain compliant with regulations and receive necessary functionality for internal processes.
When evaluating capabilities, consider grouping them into buckets:
- These features would be those required for selecting a grant recipient, distributing funds and tracking performance.
- Grantee. This list would include those functionalities necessary to manage a grant through its entire lifecycle.
- Security and infrastructure. Provide specifications for hosting, server management, data backup and encryption.
- Configurability and workflows. Determine if the solution can be customized to match your organization’s internal approvals and workflows.
- Gain an overview of general software details, such as programming language used, API availability and browser access.
In addition to inquiring about specific features, also consider if they natively exist, or need to be custom-built.
3. What Level of Support Is Needed?
Support is likely needed during and after implementation. Understand how much support your organization needs.
Some areas that could affect the level of support needed, include:
- Training requirements. Consider how many individuals need onboarded, their familiarity with grant software and the resources available.
- Integration with other systems. Determine if the solution is compatible with other systems (i.e. accounting systems) and whether tech support is needed for a cohesive integration.
- Support availability. Define ideal service level agreements (SLAs). Should the system go down or questions arise, how quickly do you need a response? How long is it acceptable for the system to be unavailable?
- Custom development. Understand costs related to building functionality your organization requires, but that is not apart of the core product.
4. What is Our Budget?
Cost, in some cases, can be a deal breaker when it comes to your grant management software. Even if a system meets your needs, you may have to pass if it’s out of your price range. Determine a baseline budget with the following questions:
- What is our annual budget for technology?
- Based on our budget, what is our expected ROI?
- How much time and money could we save by streamlining our processes?
- How much money could be realized if lost grant drawdown is captured?
Be open and honest with vendors on expectations and price flexibility, so they can customize a solution that meets both your needs and budget.
What questions do you have when it comes to RFP creation? Share with us in the comments below.
Interested in creating a strategic RFP? Download our free template.
Image Source: qimono