Requests for Proposals (RFPs) are structured methods for organizations to receive competitive bids for needed products and services, and can be an invaluable source of new business opportunities for your company as long as you know what they are, where to find them, and how to make strategic decisions regarding them.
We have organized this page around the following sections:
- What is a RFP (overview)
- Where can I find RFPs
- Are RFPs relevant today
What is a RFP?Quite simply:
The actual formatting for how to write a RFP can vary widely, and RFP quality and completeness is often a topic of heated discussion, but considering the total value of projects chosen by this method, as a vendor it is virtually impossible to ignore them as some have chosen to do.
Requests for Proposals are often issued by for-profit companies and non-profit organizations, but are required to be issued by governments and government agencies as a fair and transparent way of soliciting competitive bids for their taxpayers/constituents.
There are a number of variations on Requests for Proposals (RFPs), namely:
- Request for Quotations (RFQ)
- Request for Qualifications (RFQ)
- Request for Information (RFI)
- Request for Tender (RFT)
Where can I find RFPs?
This doesn't typically apply for private companies or non-profit organizations, who are under less restrictions and might not publicly post their RFPs to their website. In many cases you need to contact (or be contacted by) the company to get placed on their "approved vendors" list and be notified of procurement opportunities.
The RFP Database is the only site that has a variety of government RFPs, non-profit RFPs, and even RFPs from for-profit companies, but does not charge a subscription fee.
Are RFPs relevant today?
To compete in this market one must continually strive to create better proposals, along with making strategic decisions regarding which RFPs to pursue. Remember, not all RFPs are worth a proposal! You can also learn more about the different types of issued RFPs and your probability of winning a RFP.