How to Write a Marketing RFP that Gets the Best Consultant or Firm to Deliver Everything You Need – On Time and on Budget

How to Write a Marketing RFP that Gets the Best Consultant or Firm to Deliver Everything You Need – On Time and on BudgetAs the head of a long-time marketing firm serving nonprofits and foundations, I've probably reviewed over 500 RFPs in my time, all from nonprofits and foundations seeking marketing services. And I can tell you, no more than 50 of them are effectively designed to motivate responses that are comprehensive and accurate.

Accuracy of course is key. Because if your RFP doesn't cover everything you're looking for – in the way you want it – delivered, budget and time frame are bound to be off. Trash in, trash out as they say. So put some time and effort into your RFP.

Here are some quick tips for writing a marketing services RFP that'll get high-quality service providers to respond eagerly, thoroughly and accurately.

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Nancy Schwartz on June 12, 2007 in Nonprofit Communications, People, Strategy | 2 comments
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  • Hi Nancy: This article on RFPs is worth its weight in gold. Preparing an RFP is not something most nonprofits do every day, so how else can get such advice?
    I think the questions you indicate should be right in the RFP, i.e. the budget, the decision-maker, how many they are sending out, etc. so that folks like you and me can evaluate them.
    Because of what you said — the fact that many RFPs are poorly done — I pass up a lot of them.
    I also sit on some nonprofit boards, and have seen how an RFP gets created. They need this information! Thanks for sharing this excellent “tutorial”!
    — Steve Cebalt

  • Don’t forget one of the other crucial steps to getting good proposals from your RFP: getting lots of competitive bids!
    Check out the RFP Database (http://www.rfpdb.com) as a good (and free) place to publish your RFP or find RFPs to bid on.

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