When you think about tender writing for your organisation does it fill you with dread? We've run numerous cafes on tender writing and the comments which we get time and time again are
Tender writing in small charities often brings with it a lot of stress and responsibility. The thought of not winning the tenders often means job loses and the end of a service which you believe in - being a part of a smaller organisation this also means that you know the people and issues personally - so the pressure can feel over whelming.
Within small charities tender writing is a skill that's used fairly regularly - of the charities we've talked to they apply to 1-3 a year this means that it's often not a daily task for the fundraiser / director / trustee but that it comes round regularly enough that people feel they ought to be better at what they doing.
Useful on the ground tips we've got from our cafes included:
1. Have an impact folder - when ever you hear something / get something in which talks about your impact then it needs to go into your folder - it may not be relevant at that moment but it will turn into a great asset
2. Have someone else read what you are submitting - what makes perfect sense to you could be full of jargon that you've become so accustomed to hearing you don't even know it's there.
3. You can't do it alone - you need to have buy in across your organisation, if you think it's a great idea and no one else does it is going to be an uphill struggle that is going to require huge amounts of effort and energy.
So what other support is there?
Take a look at this free download from Tender Coaches - it's written by Sophy Hallam (from the Third Sector Cafe) and Helen Oxberry both experienced Tender writers full of useful advice.
If you're in the process of writing a tender response then maybe you are in need of something to help you with the pressure - Headspace offer mindfulness downloads - you can get a free 10 day trial.
Unsure where to start with a tender then take a look at this article from Bradford District on writing public procurement tender responses.