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  • Writer's pictureS3 Solutions

Pros and Cons of Bid Writing Courses for Charities

Many companies and charities don’t think they need bid writing courses. Instead, they give it a go themselves, and try to learn from their mistakes. While this method can be beneficial - it takes up more time and means losing a lot of opportunities until they finally get it right.

Bid writing training can provide and nourish new skills. You can gain knowledge, ask questions, and instantly apply your learnings to your next tender bid.

Yet, like everything, there are both pros and cons to be aware of. In this blog, we talk you through the top advantages and disadvantages of bid writing courses.

What Is Bid Writing?

Bid writing is a skill whereby a person or team writes compelling bids in order to win contracts.

There are two different types of bids that you should know about. One is an application for funding, which requires the likes of a charity to explain why it needs the money and what difference receiving it will make.

The other is a bid to deliver a service on behalf of another company. For example: a local authority may wish to outsource a marketing company to help it achieve its goals and raise awareness. This is how many businesses grow and gain new clients.

Whatever the reason is for bidding - knowing how to write for them can help such organisations secure more prosperous futures.

Bid writing courses are specially designed for anyone involved in the bidding process. They are structured to give the skills, tools and ideas you need to write successful bids. Let’s first take a look at the pros of these courses.

bid writing courses
Bid writing courses can help unlock new potential. Image credit: Andrew Neel

The Pros

From getting first-hand insights from a professional, to learning new tips and tricks - the pros of bid writing courses are extensive:

Provides Structure

By undertaking training, this poses as a great opportunity to outline and master a robust structure for your future bids. This way, you can ensure that the whole team is adhering to the same process, which will reduce editing time at the end and make the busy process more efficient.

Improves Knowledge

While it is rare for any organisation to return a 100% success rate - with the right knowledge - your scores can be guaranteed to soar. A professional will review your current submissions, highlighting strengths, weaknesses and recommendations for improvement.

For example, it may be that you are constantly scoring lower marks on a certain type of question. By focusing on this specifically, this will ensure that pain points are identified and rectified, so you can score more marks in your next attempt.

Enhances Skills

When writing bids, you can’t afford for the smallest of errors to hold back all your hard work. This can be anything - from how you write an opening paragraph, to the grammar you use to frame it.

Tenders are heavily focused on persuading the buyer. After all - you are trying to convince them to give you a chance! That’s why training helps, as it develops your team’s current style to one that will get all information across in the right format that is easy-to-read and informed by evidence.

Compare Competitors

It is common for a charity to score well in a tender, but lose out marginally to a competitor. Bid writing courses allows you to identify:

  • Your current weaknesses

  • Your competitive advantage

  • The key differences between your outputs and your competitor’s

  • Your alignment to your tenderer’s strategic aims and objectives

Once you examine these more closely, you will be better prepared to stand out from the crowd.

Win Contracts

Most importantly, by investing in tender writing courses, you are guaranteed to win more contracts. This is because training is always delivered by an experienced bid writer who has completed and assisted with hundreds of tenders. This means they are best placed to work with you to identify barriers and further success.

The pros of bid writing courses outweigh the cons.

The Cons

With everything, it is always important to weigh up the pros and the cons. Here’s a couple of disadvantages to be aware of when it comes to bid writing courses:

High Prices

It is expected for courses of high value to be high in price. Yet, it is important to understand that you get what you pay for when courses are tailored to your needs.

Bid writing training sessions will exclusively examine your current standards, processes and situation. This is worthwhile as there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution when it comes to tender writing. Therefore, if you can afford to invest in this service, we highly recommend that you do!

Not a Quick-Fix Solution

Writing tenders can be a long, strenuous process. Often you will receive training over a full day, or multiple sessions. Once you have learned your new skills, you then have to apply these in your next bid. This can still take time to perfect - so be mindful that you may have to refer back to any notes you made or resources you were given.

After you have submitted your first bid, you can always contact your trainer again to give them an update on your new process, and how well you’ve performed. This way, you can continue to refine your skills over time.

At S3 Solutions, we are fully qualified in supporting funding proposals. We provide you with access to the latest opportunities, advice and practical support to write and submit successful bids.

In the past, we have worked with grassroots sports clubs to large national charities. Through our specialist funding support packages, we have helped clients across Ireland to secure over £120 million of funding for new capital projects, services, equipment and organisational developments. If you’re interested in these services, get in touch with the S3 Solutions team today.


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