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I’ve spent the bulk of my career in philanthropy. We issued countless RFPs during my tenure with two large, national, multi-affiliate organizations. And since joining Pursuant, I’ve been part of the team that’s responsible for responding to RFPs. It goes without saying that oftentimes an RFP is an organizational requirement.

Unfortunately, the RFP appears to be falling short as an evaluation tool to help many nonprofits competently ascertain potential partnerships….

Is it Time to Rethink Our Process for RFPs?

Recently, I stepped back to reflect on those collective experiences, and I found myself troubled by some of the inherent challenges that exist in the RFP process. I then began to explore the question of could we—and should we—reconsider the way we utilize RFPs in the fundraising industry?

Having issued almost as many RFPs as I’ve responded to, I’ve observed an opportunity for organizations to spend more time considering their approach and philosophy in advance of issuing an RFP.

3 Key Questions to Evaluate Your Nonprofit RFPs

For example, if your organization answers these three questions before issuing an RFP, you’ll find the outcome more beneficial to all:

  1. Are you looking for short-term gains or long-term growth?
  2. Does your organization embrace innovation, or does it want the tried-and-true?
  3. Are you structured to be nimble in responding to shifts in the market or in your results?

Are You Ready to Optimize Your RFPs for Fundraising Success?

 Answering these questions will help you clarify your approach and philosophy. It will aid you in crystallizing the criteria you’re looking for in a potential partner, and it will also allow you to more accurately assess those companies that might share your approach and philosophy — thereby positioning you for greater success.

If you want to discover key insights to guide your organization’s RFP, don’t miss our recent whitepaper, “Request for Proposal: Are You Asking the Questions That Will Help You Find the Right Partner?” Through it, you’ll find ways to refine and optimize your organization’s use of RFPs.

Do RFPs work well for your organization? Are you asking the right questions and getting responses that match your needs?