Top tips for successful bid writing

Make clear the difference between a bid, a tender, an Expression of Interest and Pre-Qualification Questionnaire.

A Bid means an offer or submission received in response to a Call for bids, and includes a proposal. The term, Bidder means any legal entity that submits a bid in response to a call for bids, whereas an invitation to Tender can be defined as the formal offer to bid for work/projects. A tender document is a document that a supplier will submit in an attempt to win the work.


An EOI, Expression of Interest is sometimes asked for as the first stage in a bidding or tendering process. A Pre-Qualification Questionnaire is often a necessary pre-requisite for a tendering process and is a request to prove eligibility to tender.

In the simplest terms, a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) is a list of questions relating to the important criteria that a supplier must meet when applying for a contract. An Expression of Interest is an opportunity to present yourself or your company/ organisation in a clear, professional document.

Top Tips for Successful Bid Writing

Check out the tips of our experts Sally, Alison and Allan. Sally is the Director of Inspire, a social enterprise based in Oldham, Greater Manchester that supports women who have experienced and escaped from abusive relationships and domestic violence. Allan is also a Director and Trustee of The Enterprise Centre, a social enterprise and charity based in Bury, Greater Manchester. Alison is the Director and CEO of The Enterprise Centre, a social enterprise and charity based in Bury, Greater Manchester that supports young people who have become marginalised and our out of employment, education and training and may have additional problems that are both psychological and social. 

1. Sallys Five Top Tips

  1. Is it the right ‘fit’ for your organisation?
  2. Create your own QA (Question and Answer) bank for those FAQs– a really good idea!
  3. Feedback from the funders is really useful!
  4. Read the questions and guidance first
  5. Make sure you know what the funders are looking for.

She also emphasises the importance of providing evidence of need, impact (SIA), getting the costs right and having clear aims and goals.

2. Alisons Five Top Tips

  1. Read the guidelines carefully
  2. Do you really want it?
  3. Use the right language by knowing your audience
  4. Keep your focus
  5. Assume nothing
  6. Keep to the word count and talk to the funder

3. Allans Five Top Tips

  1. Why am I doing this?
  2. For who am I doing this?
  3. Know what you’re doing and have to do!
  4. Begin with the end in sight (same as 4)
  5. It’s Ok to fail – use the feedback and go forward
  6. Proof-read – get someone else to do it!

<Check out Sam Malik’s video sam2 00.00 – 03.29; 04.11 – 08.03> <slide 10>

Video has only 2 minutes. do you mean sam1 or 3?