In my Bid Writing Workshops, I am often asked for bid writing examples, showing real bids. This is problematic for two reasons: the first is that client confidentiality prevents me from sharing bids – After all, who wants to give away their best kept secrets? The second reason is that every funder’s application form is completely different – So seeing the answers to one set of questions will not necessarily help you when you come to look at another funder’s form.
Having said all this, I do understand why people ask and it is sometimes easier to start to see how bid writing works when you have an actual example in front of you. Therefore, in this article, I share an example of a real bid I reviewed on behalf of a client – a school for students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). I have kindly been given permission to share it.
It is a small bid; the type where funders do not provide a structured application form. Instead, they typically ask for your proposal on no more than two sides of A4 plus your last set of audited accounts.
The bid writing example below shows the proposal. It does not include any additional documentation, such as accounts. The proposal has been modified for data protection and illustration purposes.
The ‘before’ and ‘after’ versions are given, that is, the initial draft from the client, followed by the second version after the professional review.
Part 1 – Before:
Download and read through the ‘Before’ version and ask yourself how you would improve it.
Put yourself in the shoes of the funder:
- Can you understand the proposal?
- What do you like about it?
- What don’t you like about it?
- If you were the funder, would you give them the money?
- What else would you want to know?
Part 2 – After:
Then download and read the ‘After’ version and compare the two versions of the bid:
- What is different?
If you were the funder and you had received both these proposals from different organisations but you could only give the money to one organisation, which one would you give it to… and why?