Credit Where Credit Is Due

Joe Patti posted an article yesterday referencing an idea he had a solid decade ago in the form of a procurement platform focused on nonprofits so they could solicit competitive bids for goods and services.

Adaptistration People 053If the idea sounds familiar, it’s exactly what will launch in a few weeks in the form of Nonprofit Bids.

Sure enough, I dug through my emails from 2010 and found the exchange with Joe. I’m embarrassed to say I completely forgot about the conversation but I’m glad Joe has a better memory.

He’s given this topic some serious consideration and it shows in how effortlessly he writes about the benefits of a platform focused on nonprofit arts orgs.

When I wrote my original post, I was working for a state university which required everyone to use their online RFP system to solicit goods costing over a certain dollar amount. We would often use it for goods that fell below that threshold because there could be significant price differences for the same goods.  Even if the price differences are relatively small, soliciting bids online saved a lot of staff time that might have been spent calling or emailing around for competitive bids.


My hope is that Non-Profit bids will really catch on and become perceived as worthwhile to an increasing number of organizations and vendors. Since I wrote the entry 10 years ago, it has become increasingly possible for people to offer services at significantly greater distances so the potential to secure high quality services suitable to your organization and its budget is so much greater.

Finally, A Procurement Platform For Non-Profit Arts

In a nutshell, Joe “gets it.”

And in order to make sure we put our best foot forward on the launch, we’ll need all the RFPs we can get our hands on. I put together the following form arts orgs can use to submit their RFP before the site goes live. If there are any questions, we will reach out to confirm. We can also create a user account for you with the contact information provided so you can manage the listing and post new RFPs in the future.

Since announcing the site, we’ve had several providers from Canada subscribe so it’s worth mentioning RFP submission is open to orgs in the US and Canada.

  • If yes, you will receive an email notification with your login credentials and temporary password at the time the account is created.
  • pdf, doc, docx
    Accepted file types: pdf, doc, docx, Max. file size: 2 MB.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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