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What is an RFP cover letter

A cover letter should accompany the RFP questionnaire. Why write a cover letter? Beyond being polite and presenting your project, the RFP cover letter gives you a unique opportunity to emphasize the timeline of your state-of-the-art RFP-based selection process, particularly the dates on which different documents are due. 

RFP cover letter templates and samples

The request for proposal (RFP) cover letter is part of our FREE RFP Letters Toolkit. You will find in it, amongst others, templates and samples of an RFP cover letter.

Writing a cover letter for a Request for Proposal (RFP)

Your strongest weapon is in your reader's mind.

It is highly recommended that you to read the suggestions below in order to properly and successfully use the RFP cover letter.

  1. You wouldn't send your résumé without a cover letter, would you? Use a formal letterhead and do not handwrite the RFP cover letter. Use templates and samples provided in your FREE RFP Letters Toolkit, 2014 Edition to create your own cover letter.
     
  2. First, invite the provider to submit a proposal based on the requirements defined in the RFP document you will attach to the cover letter.
     
  3. Next, present your company with a brief description of your principal business, objectives, and location, and a link to your web site. 
     
  4. Then, describe your existing systems, your project (size, budget, scope, etc.), and how you want the project to be aligned with your business objectives. 
     
  5. Present your project timeline.
    Missed due dates are the main cause of delays. The success of your process may depend on properly communicating both the critical steps of your process and the deadlines the providers should meet in order to have their proposal considered. Therefore, the more emphasis you put on deadlines, the shorter your process will be.

    Highlight the major events and the due dates for submitting information:
     

    • The pre-proposal meeting, whether or not you choose to make it mandatory 
    • Reservation of spots for the pre-proposal meeting. Decide whether or not vendors must reserve spots for the pre-proposal meeting. 
    • Questions for the pre-proposal meeting. For the sake of convenience, you may decide to publish questions and answers on your web site. Providers may also be able to submit their questions on-line. 
    • The letter of intent. A model of a letter of intent should be provided in the RFP. Decide if you want the letter of intent to be mandatory or to merely help you manage the process. 
    • The proposal itself. Specify your requirements (number of copies, structure, formats, electronic versions, etc.). 
    • The contract award of the project to the most satisfactory proposal. It is not necessary to commit to a firm date, but an estimated time frame could be provided.

    Regardless of the types of responses you receive, providing a clear, precise timeline will ensure that your selection process is on time and in budget. In fact, by making certain you get the right documents in a timely manner, you will avoid undue delays, and thus save money. 

    When giving a deadline, be aware of the non-interchangeability of the words "submit" and "receive". More often than not, RFP authors write "submit the document no later than", but expect to receive the document no later than that date, thus generating proposal disqualifications, protests, and significant delays. 

    Requesting providers to write their proposal in a consistent format will be very helpful in evaluating all responses in a faster and more precise manner. Again -it cannot be said enough-, make sure prospective providers understand which documents to submit, receive detailed and precise instructions regarding the format of these documents, and are aware of your deadlines for receiving them.
     

  6. Thank the person for their time, effort, and interest in the project related to the issued RFP. 
     
  7. Finally, close the letter formally with "sincerely" or a similar polite expression. Sign your name and title. Be sure to provide correct, complete contact and reference information for future correspondence. 
     
  8. Do not forget to send the cover letter, with the RFP document, via certified mail
     
  9. Since things sometimes get a little more complicated than usual, remember to consult a lawyer for further information before doing anything.

Tips, templates, and samples of a professional RFP cover letter

FREE RFP Letters Toolkit, 2014 EditionWANT TEMPLATES AND SAMPLES?
FOR AN RFP COVER LETTER?

Learn tips on how to write a professional, very impressive, and bullet-proof RFP cover letter in our FREE RFP Letters Toolkit, 2014 Edition.

You will find in it, amongst others, templates and samples of an RFP cover letter.

It's FREE!
 

"You wouldn't send your loan application without a cover letter, would you?"
- Pascal PERRY


RFP Disqualification Letter

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POGO Urges OSTP to Ensure that Agency Scientific Integrity Plans Include Contractors and Grantees

POGO is pleased to see that most federal departments and agencies have finally made public their draft or final scientific integrity plans in response to President Obama's March 2009 Memorandum on Scientific Integrity. However, POGO is concerned that several agencies have not included contractors or grantees in their plans. The failure to ensure the integrity of science performed outside the government but funded with taxpayer dollars is particularly troubling given that some of these departments or agencies—such as the Department of Energy (DOE)—rely heavily or nearly entirely on contractors and grantees for scientific research. .

14 Federal Agencies Fail to Fulfill the President's Directive: Billions in Taxpayer-Funded Science Not Included in Integrity Plans and Policies

The Department of Energy (DOE) and the Food and Drug Administration were two of 14 federal agencies that failed to set proper scientific standards for contract and grantee researchers, despite the fact that tens of billions of dollars in taxpayer money funds this science each year, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) said in a letter sent today to the Obama administration..

POGO Supports DoD Effort to Redefine Commercial Items

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) urges you to support the Department of Defense's (DoD) legislative proposal for the National Defense Authorization Act that will result in improved oversight of billions of dollars' worth of so-called "commercial" goods and services..

POGO Supports Proposed Defense Contractor Crime Reporting Rule

The Department of Defense (DoD) seeks input on a proposal to amend the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to expand coverage on contractor requirements and responsibilities with regard to the reporting of crimes committed by or against contractor personnel. .

POGO's Response to Professional Services Council Letter Regarding Reducing Civilian Workforce

Senators and Representatives recently received a letter from the Professional Services Council (PSC) responding to their letters to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, in they criticized the Department of Defense's (DoD) efficiency initiative, which aims to reduce costs by scaling back the civilian workforce to 2010 levels rather than compliance with mandates to reduce reliance upon contractors. We would like to offer some perspective on a number of points raised in the PSC letter..

POGO and Partners Strongly Support Passage of the DATA Act

We, the undersigned organizations, are writing in strong support of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act), H.R. 2146, which is planned for a floor vote this Wednesday. The DATA Act is an important step towards improving federal financial transparency and would empower the public to better understand how their federal dollars are being spent. .

A Test Case on Sanctions?

If there's one thing most Americans support in foreign policy, it's sanctions against Iran to halt its alleged drive for nuclear weapons. From President Obama to Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich, leading candidates all want to put the economic squeeze on Tehran and to signal their support for Israel. President Obama recently announced he will ratchet up sanctions on the country's oil exports and declared a "national emergency" to deal with the Islamic Republic. The Senate will try to iron out its differences over anti-Iran measures in coming weeks, as bus stations around Washington, DC, are studded with advertisements questioning the President's resolve on the issue..

U.S. Wasting Billions on Over-Priced Service Contracts; Government Lacks Data to Make Informed Contracting Decisions, POGO Tells Congressional Subcommittee

The federal government more than doubled its spending on service contracts over the last decade, despite having inaccurate data on the "true" cost of those contracts—largely because of the misguided notion that outsourcing is more cost effective than using federal workers, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) told a Senate subcommittee today..

POGO's Scott Amey testimony on "Contractors: How Much Are They Costing the Government?"

I want to thank Chairman McCaskill, Ranking Member Portman, and the Subcommittee for asking the Project On Government Oversight (POGO to submit written testimony about the important, but often ignored, issue of service contracting costs. Although there are many initiatives in place to cut federal agency spending and reduce the costs associated with the federal workforce, the cost of contractor services has escaped scrutiny. Such avoidance is extremely disturbing because the government annually spends more taxpayer dollars on contractor services than it spends on goods, over $320 billion and $210 billion in FY 2011, respectively. To put that level of spending in perspective, total contract spending was $205 billion in FY 2000, of which services accounted for $128 billion of the total..

Last Modified: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 9:25:11 PM



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