Advice on Preparing a Request for Proposal (RFP)
Developing an RFP that will attract just the kind of management your organization needs is critical to accomplishing your organizations strategic goals. Half the battle is knowing what you want. The other half is communicating it.
Who prepares the RFP?
The best way to begin is to form a small task force or search committee of involved members who are knowledgeable about the work of the association. Often, when work is divided among a number of volunteers and committees, or is delegated to staff, it may be difficult to define exactly what’s involved in the management of the association on a day-to-day basis. Ask people who have been recently involved to participate in the task force as well as past and future leaders.
What does the RFP include?
First, association management companies will want a profile of the organization. You may want to develop a form with the following information:
- The name of your Association
- Detailed location of community
Type of community (i.e., Condominium, single family, townhomes, master, commercial, multi, etc.)
- Provide information on Board composition
- Details on committees
- Current Association Manager (Company/On-Site/Self)
- How many members do you have? What are the categories of membership?
- Provide copy of current year budget/current financial statement
- Present collection process
- How often does your Board of Directors meet?
- Does your organization have a strategic plan? Goals?
- What are your most urgent problems or concerns?
- What are the most significant accomplishments you wish to achieve through a management transition and what do you feel is a reasonable time frame in which you would expect them to be achieved?
- Other profile information that will describe the scope of the association’s activities and programs.
- Provide due date for proposals and provide information on committee or board meetings the potential management firm will need to attend during the selection process.
Be realistic. Avoid “wish lists.” Rather, describe the essential services your organization requires, areas where volunteer time and talent are not being contributed, and areas where the expertise of a professional in association management is needed.
Be specific. If you ask for a proposal to include “publishing of quarterly newsletter” IPS will require a great deal of additional information, such as is the newsletter going to be mailed, hand-delivered, e-mail blasted through website, etc.
Include samples, whenever possible, of your newsletter, operating/reserve budget, etc.. Remember, you can’t provide too much information.
How will the selection be made?
Often the search committee will select two or three final candidates to be interviewed by the full board. Give the date of the final interviews, the date the decision will be made, and when prospects will be notified. Include the name of the individual who will respond to questions.