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Matthew Von Hendy on Searching For Request For Proposals (US Government Contracting Opportunities): A Few Practical Tips and Strategies

Hello! I’m Matthew Von Hendy, owner of Green Heron Information Services, which provides research and information services to evaluation professionals.  I love helping connect people with information they need to solve problems or make decisions.

A lot of time and effort goes into responding to Requests for Proposals (RFPs) so ideally you shouldn’t be spending precious hours just googling for RFPs opportunities.

If you are searching for RFPs opportunities using Google make use of some tips and filters to make your searching as efficient as possible. Use double quotations for phrase searching. Employ the site filter (site:gov) to limit your searches to government websites since that is where you will find the majority of RFPs.

Rad Resource: FedBizOpps is the central place to search for all government RFPs worth more than $25,000. It is a very complicated database; my suggestion is to use the advanced search function to get best results.

The sheer number of state, county, tribal and other local government agencies makes tracking RFPs from these entities a truly daunting task. (Some estimates are there are approximately 70,000+ state and local government bodies in the US). While some of these agencies make their RFPs easy to find and search, many don’t. For this reason, paying a commercial RFP finding service may not be a bad idea depending on your needs.

The commercial RFP finding service area is a crowded market place. You can find a lot of companies offering a range of services at differing price points. Some of the more well-known names in this area include Find RFP, The RFP Database, Bidsync, Government Bids.com, Bidnet, Onvia, Government Navigator, and Public Purchase. Each of the services have their strengths and drawbacks so it is worthwhile to explore which one might work best for your needs.

Many government agencies have specific webpages where they post their RFPs. If you have a limited number of organizations that you are tracking for RFPs, software can help you save time by letting you know when any content is changed on a that page.

Rad Resource: Change Detection is a free resource which can let you know when any content has been changed on a webpage.

Organize the RFP notifications that you think might be good possibilities.   The organizational system could be a file or a folder whatever works for you. Just remember to look through it regularly as RFPs are time-sensitive. Citation managers that handle web documents and images can be good tools for this purpose as well. Zotero (https://www.zotero.org) is an excellent resource—easy to use and free.

If you are interested in this topic, I will be offering my webinar on this topic twice again this year (late summer and December).

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

2 comments

  • NAPC · April 5, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    Thanks for mentioning Oniva and Zotero. Forgot about those!

    Reply

  • Lyndon Dacuan · July 15, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    Great article Matt!

    Just wanted to say thanks for the mention on behalf of Onvia. Please feel free to reach out if you are looking for any assistance on future government contracting articles/research.

    -Lyndon

    Reply

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