The RFP Decision Matrix

by Cynthia M. Adams, CEO,

Big picture thinking, organizing your approach, and creating templates all help you save time when writing a grant proposal. But the biggest time-saver of all? Only writing grant proposals that truly fit the funding needs of your organization.

Chasing money is just about the biggest black hole there is in the nonprofit world, and many executive directors risk falling in. Say someone with whom you work – board or staff – suggests it's important to apply for a specific opportunity. They think the RFP was “written for you.” Your organization “should” be able to secure these funds.

It's difficult to say “no” (or yes, for that matter) unless you have established some basic criteria for judging these opportunities. It's equally important that the leadership of the organization acknowledges and accepts these criteria. If you take the time to develop a set of criteria, each of which are weighted according to their importance, then you can rate any opportunity that comes your way. This is all subjective, of course, but less so than you might think if you give considered thought to the...

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