I have my RFP, now what do I do?

This is one of the most common questions I answer

I have my RFP, now what do I do_

I have my RFP, now what do I do?

My beginning students LOVE this idea and every successful grantwriter I’ve ever met does this.  So, if it’s new to you, implement it as soon as you can.  You’ll see these benefits:

You’ll know exactly what the funder wants you to write about.

You’ll know exactly how much of the proposal you have completed, and what is left to do.

You’ll be able to assign proposal writing tasks to others on your team with a great deal of specificity and follow up quickly.

You’ll be able to schedule completion of the proposal to a much greater extent than before.

What is this wonderful technique?

It’s to take every part of the RFP that must be included in your proposal, and put it into one document—creating an outline that shows every detail that must be turned in.

If you put this into a Google Doc or other shareable document platform, your ability to coordinate a coherent proposal is enhanced considerably.

[Grants.gov has a new service called Workspace that does this process within its environment, but you can work together before using Workspace.]

Here’s a quick example:  The Office on Violence Against Women issued a request for proposals in January 2017 called “Restorative Justice Response to Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, and Dating Violence on Campus Demonstration Initiative Application Guidelines” that runs for 50 pages.

While it’s vital to read the entire RFP thoroughly, this tip says to take it apart to make the actual writing easier.  Here’s one example of the actual text:

Who Will Implement the Project (25 Points)

The application must identify the key individuals and organizations involved in the proposed project. This section must demonstrate that the individuals and organizations identified have the capacity to address the stated need and can successfully implement the proposed project activities.

This section must:

  • Identify the organizations and key personnel who will implement the project and describe the role of each. Provide the percentage of time each individual will devote to the project, and the specific activities in which each individual will participate;

 

If you break this out, it looks like this:

Who Will Implement the Project (25 Points)

The application must identify the key individuals and organizations involved in the proposed project. This section must demonstrate that the individuals and organizations identified have the capacity to address the stated need and can successfully implement the proposed project activities.

  • Identify the organizations and key personnel who will implement the project and describe the role of each.
  • Provide the percentage of time each individual will devote to the project,
  • and the specific activities in which each individual will participate;

 

 In this case, you might start off with a table you fill in:

 

Organization or Key Person Role in Implementation % of time devoted Specific Activities
       
       
       

 

Once the table is set up, it’s easy to fill in because it is specific in what is needed, and it helps get the proposal completed because it comes straight from the RFP.  This table also can be used when you review the proposal for completeness.  Is EVERYONE represented?  Is their role described clearly?  Is the percent of time devoted included?  Are specific activities listed?

 

To sum up, breaking out the RFP in a shareable file into the bits and chunks that need to included in the proposal will allow you to more easily finish the proposal without leaving anything out.

Keep up the good work!

Dr. Richard Hoefer

If you’re not subscribed to my YouTube channel, DrRickHoefer, I invite you to do so.  You’ll be able to see my new videos as soon as they come out.

What’s the #1 Biggest Timewaster for Learning to Write Grants?

How to go straight to the winning column instead!

What is the #1 Time Waster for Learning to Write Grants?

What is the #1 Time Waster for Learning to Write Grants?

The first and second times I wrote a grant were hard (see my #1 best-selling on Amazon book Funded! Successful Grantwriting for Your Nonprofit for the full story).  Plus they were unsuccessful, so it wasted my time and the tie of the people who reviewed them.

It’s embarrassing to admit, but since I was a brand-new intern, as well as a neophyte grantwriter, it shouldn’t be too surprising. But those three words haunt me to this day, and led me to want to assist aspiring grantwriters in the future, if I ever got good at the task.

The three words I’m referring to are…

Trial and Error.

Some things are good for trial and error.  Learning to walk, for example.  Learning to write a bicycle, or skateboard.  It’s an ok approach with magic tricks (except the one with sawing the person in half—that’s not so good for trial and error!).

But grantwriting?

Not so much.

Writing grants is much more of a high wire, no-net sort of activity.  If the funds don’t come in, programs can be cut, jobs lost, and clients left without services.  So, if the bet you can do to learn is trial and error, you’re endangering a lot of important elements of a nonprofit.

Can you learn a lot by trial and error?  Of course!  But it is a slow and inefficient approach to learning.

What can you do instead?

I’ve got a solution to the problem of losing a lot of grant proposals by depending on trial and error.

It’s called the Funded! Successful Grantwriting for Your Nonprofit online grantwriting course.  It’s based on my #1 book of the same name, and is the exact same material that students in my graduate level grantwriting course get.

This is not some one or two day workshop—leaving you on your own to continue the time and money-wasting “trial and error” mistake.  This is the same as a three hour graduate course that leads you from never having written a grant to being able to submit it successfully.

Stop wasting time—get Funded! By checking out the material here.

Stop wasting time!  Go get Funded!