What are program reports, tenders, grants, open opportunities?

Many members new to development funding ask what these reports are, and what the difference is between them. Here is a summary of the main differences.

A donor releases a program report before the tendering process begins. The report shares project details like background, components, total budget and possible sectors of engagement. These reports share insights on possible procurement opportunities that may arise in the future, though not all development projects require procurement procedures to be implemented. They don't get into the same level of detail that tenders do. A program report does not request proposals, and is not an opportunity that you can bid on, it aims to share the goals and scale of a project.

Tenders are then released under the umbrella of this program report, there may be a number of separate tenders released calling for proposals for particular segments of the project, or just one for the entire project. These notices invite prospective bidders and applicants to submit proposals or expressions of interest and are the means by which your organization can participate in competitive selection processes. Tenders related to a particular program can be released at different times. While part of a larger project may have been tendered for and is now nearing completion, another part may remain in the early pre-planing stage.

The notices are classified as either tenders, grants or open opportunities depending on the nature of the contract to be awarded and the method of solicitation. Tenders refer to opportunities that allow your organization to profit from the contract implementation. These involve the purchase of goods, works and construction services. Grants are nonprofit funding opportunities that provide financial assistance toward the achievement of specific project objectives. Meanwhile, open opportunities are grants with open-ended or cyclical deadlines. They can remain open for extended periods, usually until a grantee has been selected, or in cases of cyclical deadlines, they may be reopened after the deadline has elapsed if deemed necessary by the funding agency.