what is rfp in grant writing

What is an RFP in grant writing?

RFP is one of the most common grant writing acronyms. What is an RFP in grant writing? It stands for “request for proposal.” Grantmakers, whether a foundation or a government entity, release RFPs ahead of a grant submission deadline.


What is an RFP in grant writing?


The RFP contains everything you need to know as an applicant, from the submission guidelines and deadline to a grantmaker’s priorities and contact information. There might also be details about budget specifications, required attachments, response timeline, and more.


You may also see the acronyms RFA (Request for Application) and NOFA (Notice of Funding Availability). These are essentially the same as an RFP, though you’re more likely to see the NOFA acronym associated with government funding opportunities.


How to find RFPs


Most foundations do not release an RFP in grant writing. Instead, they simply list their open opportunities on their websites, along with their guidelines. You may be able to find some open RFPs through the RFP Bulletin from Philanthropy News Digest. Their system allows searches by subject, location, and keyword. The RFPs include application deadlines, links to full RFPs, and more information about the application.


When there is no RFP


Not all foundation grantmakers release RFPs in grant writing even though they’re currently issuing grant awards. They just don’t have a formal RFP release; their guidelines might be found on their websites. There are also several grants databases that list grant opportunities, including Instrumentl and Candid. Foundations are more likely to release RFPs to announce one-time funding opportunities or new deadlines. If you have questions about a grantmaker’s application or guidelines, we encourage you to call or email the foundation. That’s also a great way to get to know a grantmaker, and introduce your nonprofit’s work. Unless, of course, they specifically state that they do not want to be contacted.


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