The Ultimate Evaluation Matrix Template for RFPs & Outsourcing

Alfredo Ramirez

Our evaluation guide and matrix template help anyone in charge of an RFP or outsourcing process evaluate proposals and select the best one for your needs.

When conducting a request for proposals (RFP) process, it's essential to have a clear and structured framework for evaluating proposals. A well-designed evaluation framework helps ensure that your organization can objectively and fairly assess the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate and their proposal, helping you make an informed decision about which bid best meets your needs.

Scroll below to find our template.

An evaluation framework is a systematic process for assessing the quality and effectiveness of proposals. It typically includes criteria or standards evaluated against a set of weights or scores assigned to each measure. This helps ensure that proposals are assessed consistently and given the most weight.

Evaluation Framework Components

There are many different approaches to designing an evaluation framework, and the specific criteria and weights will depend on the needs and goals of your organization. Some standard measures that may be included in an evaluation framework for nonprofit RFPs include:

  • Alignment with mission and goals: It's essential to ensure that the proposal aligns with your organization's mission and goals. This might include the proposed program's impact on the community, the extent to which it addresses a pressing need, and how it aligns with your organization's values.
  • Feasibility and sustainability: Consider whether the proposed program is feasible and sustainable over the long term. This includes the availability of resources, the level of support from stakeholders, and the potential for future funding.
  • Quality of the proposed program: Look for proposals with clear, well-defined objectives, a well-thought-out plan for achieving those objectives, and a strong track record of success.
  • Experience and expertise of the proposing organization: Consider the knowledge and understanding of the proposing organization. This might include things like the organization's track record of delivering similar programs, the qualifications of the team members, and any relevant certifications or accreditations.
  • Cost: Of course, price is essential, but it's important to remember that the lowest cost proposal isn't necessarily the best value. Be sure to carefully review the cost breakdown and evaluate the proposal's overall weight, including the program's quality and the experience and expertise of the proposed organization.

Evaluating as a Team

All of these factors are important to consider as a hiring team. If you’re the only one in charge of selecting candidates, there’s less to discuss. All parties must understand the hiring criteria. The selection panel comprises staff committed to interviewing and selecting a person for a position. The selection panel is beneficial because it provides varied perspectives, helps to eliminate biases, and benefits the department by involving employees and customers in the hiring decision.

The panel should consist of three members representing external and internal customers, a cross-section of the department, and various positions. At least one group member should be thoroughly familiar with the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform the position's functions and the work environment.

In RFP evaluation, disagreement is expected. Scorers interpret questions differently and score them based on their understanding. As you review individual scores, watch for significant discrepancies in evaluator scores. These differences may indicate a question that needed to be clarified or understood by the vendor or evaluator. Collaborate with the scorers and develop an understanding of the reason behind the different scores

Our Evaluation Matrix Template

Now that we've covered the importance of evaluation frameworks in nonprofit RFPs, we're excited to launch a unique evaluation matrix template to help nonprofits evaluate proposals in their RFP process. This template includes a variety of customizable criteria and weights, as well as a scoring system to help organizations objectively and fairly assess the strengths and weaknesses of each proposal.

There are two components to this evaluation template:

  • The Screening Evaluation Template helps you objectively evaluate proposals.
  • The Interview Evaluation Template helps evaluate interview candidates after they’ve submitted their proposal.

The evaluation matrix template is designed to be easy to use and can be customized to meet your organization's specific needs and goals. Simply input the criteria and weights most important to your organization, and the template will automatically calculate scores for each proposal based on the responses provided.

Because both are weighted, we also wanted to offer a more straightforward, unweighted screening and interview template. We recommend the downloadable matrix template from our friends at Philanthroforce.

Overall, an evaluation framework and a tool like the evaluation matrix template can help your organization make informed, objective decisions about which proposals best fit your organization. By evaluating each proposal carefully, you can ensure that you're selecting the best partner to help you achieve your mission and goals. Furthermore, by clearly spelling out “how you will choose” from the proposals you receive, you help agencies further understand your vision of success by articulating all the factors you predict would enable a vendor to be a successful partner.

We hope this template is helpful for all your evaluation needs! If we missed something or if you disagree, let us know in the comments.


Alfredo Ramirez

Alfredo is the COO and Co-Founder of Prosal. He has over ten years of experience working in the nonprofit industry and previously founded a successful digital strategies business, winning over $2 million in RFPs throughout his career. He is an avid mountain biker and snowboarder and enjoys anything that takes him outdoors.

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