Association Management

Build a Better Request for Proposal

By Association Adviser staff • March 18, 2019

Requests for Proposals (RFPs) can be a useful tool for associations wanting to discover the best options for products or services they need. You ask for bids to fulfill a need, and companies send you their specs and pricing. Easy, right?

Only if both sides communicate clearly about their goals for the project, its scope, any limiting factors, the timeline and the budget. Don’t forget about:

  • The number of people the project will reach,
  • The tools your organization already uses that any new tools must be compatible with,
  • The reporting you expect to receive,
  • The staff or board members a prospective supplier should be able to work with,
  • The rules of any venues you’ve already contracted with, and
  • The specific experiences that your association wants to improve.

Creating an RFP that will generate a workable project might not be so simple after all! However, the need to be detailed doesn’t equal a need to be painful. Help solution providers create a better proposal and pricing structure by providing specific pieces of data about your association’s needs, and ask for specific details about how a vendor’s offerings would match those needs in an RFP.

The checklist below offers guidance for associations like yours about what to consider before getting started, what information to provide potential solution vendors, and what questions to ask to ensure your association receives the specifications it needs. Help your future vendor partners clearly know what you’ll expect them to provide and what you’ll bring to the table with this Reaching for Perfection infographic. Download the full infographic here.

Want some additional guidance about how to issue an RFP vendors and consultants will want to respond to? Check out RFP Dos & Don’ts from Elizabeth Weaver Engel of Spark Consulting, LLC.

Naylor 2019 RFP Reference Sheet-1