One of the hallmarks of corporate procurement departments is their ability to wade through vendors with a brick of paperwork to be completed called a “Request for Proposal” or RFP. I rarely see these outside of large companies or government contracts. However, I do sense that some of the people who are familiar with this process in their professional lives are bringing it into the way they approach buying decisions in their church.
Just so you know where I stand...I have absolutely no problem with formal evaluation processes. In fact, I love them. CCB consistently does very well when systematically evaluated against other available options.
If there is one objection I have, it is this: RFPs overlook the value of the relationship. I know a lot of companies talk about the relationship they want to build with their clients. I realize that this is often nothing more than bologna. But when it comes to a ChMS, one important part of the process is making sure the personality of the organization and the personality of the church is a good fit.
It’s more than just features, buttons, and functionality. It’s knowing you can trust an organization to have your best interest in mind as they support you in your ministry and continue to incorporate your feedback into our product and system development cycles.
When it’s time to make a purchasing decision in your church, do you default to an RFP? Why or why not?