Explaining the Request for Proposal Format

A Request for Proposal (RFP) is a fairly simple document, but it does require a specific format so that those who will read it, and perhaps submit a bid, will have all the information they need to do so. It's easy to forget some important piece of information, which is why it's important to have a guide to follow. By following this example, you can get a good start in writing your RFP.


The RFP should start with an overview of you or your organization. The text here should be a single paragraph describing yourself without going in details. For example, if you're writing the RFP of a large organization looking for suppliers of computer equipment, it's important to say so, this way your document will be taken seriously.

Scope of work

Next you need to write the detailed description of what it is you're looking for. You need to explain what the contract is, and who you expect to submit a proposal for it. For example, if you need to hire a contractor to build an extension for your house, say so here, and describe what kind of contractor you want, and what the work expected will be like.

Required Deliverables

Here you should list every items or services you need delivered as part of the contract. You must be very exhaustive in this list, because that's what the potential clients will base themselves on, and if it's a long term contract, specify the timeline for each item. This also includes anything that is virtual, such as online newsletters. For example, if your RFP is to find a company to promote an event for you, then perhaps you need them to create a certain amount of printed fliers, an email invitation of a certain length, and so on.

Submission information

You should end the document with details on where to submit proposals. This could be a web site, an email address or a physical mailing address. Also, make sure you put a time limit so people know when they need to do this. Lastly, it's a good idea to specify how the selection process will be done, such as the lowest bid will be chosen, or a board will look at every proposal. By following the above format, you should have all the information you need to get for a successful Request for Proposal. Make sure to end the document with a signature and a way to contact you, should people have questions. Once that's done, you can publish the document in the typical way. If you work in a particular industry, then you probably have an industrial board, newsletter or magazine where you can publish these RFPs.

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