How to write an RFI and project brief


The RFI and project brief documents are crucial pieces of communications. They help you articulate your challenges and what's expected of your team and partners. Most importantly, they help you have meaningful conversations with potential partners.

RFI template

The RFI (Request for Information) is designed to:

  1. Inform potential partners about your project, and;
  2. Request initial information from those partners

We recommend the RFI is sent to 6-10 potential partners. See further guidance on how to build a shortlist and how to run a selection process.

For an example RFI, see this JRF Request for Information published in early 2023.

Screenshot of RFI template

Brief template

The brief is designed to:

  1. Provide potential partners with detailed info about your project, and;
  2. Seek full proposals from those partners

If you created an RFI, you might want to copy over and build on content from that document.

We recommend you send the brief to 3-4 potential partners. See guidance on Dovetail about how to run a selection process. We’ve included a note about how partners will be assessed. Adapt this to fit your brief and proposal requirements. See guidance on how to evaluate partners.

Screenshot of brief template

Example briefs

Get an idea of real briefs and budgets. Projects cover branding, content, web design, web development and capacity-building.

Example briefs