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  • Writer's pictureWhitney Kippes

Community > Competition

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Why did you get started in international development?

Dollars to donuts I'm willing to bet that your motivation wasn't about money or prestige or power - it was probably more about doing good work in the world.

That doesn't feel like there is unsettling when we make the move into global development and realize how competitive and secretive some organizations have become.

We're all here to do good work, right?

Except we don't share successes or lessons learned when it comes to designing programs for competitive funding!

It's such a bizarre double standard, and it's central to one of our core values at Bid Boss: community over competition.

We see significantly more importance in building a strong community around business development and place the importance of those long-term relationships way over the importance of winning any given competitive bid process.


The reality is that on any given proposal in any given country, international organizations may be competitors. But on another bid we may be collaborators, partners, or peers!

As we help organizations navigate into their first (or 1000th) USAID proposal, we always emphasize that being a good human to other humans is the most important part.

It goes back to the golden rule and treating others the way that you would like to be treated if roles were reversed. For us, this includes:

  • Giving your partners the information they need to support a bid

  • Communicating as transparently as possible - including sharing when you can't be transparent and why

  • Treating your peers as whole humans - this includes not asking that they respond to emails with superhuman speed and apologizing if you can't provide an extended deadline

  • Including your peers in your celebrations and sharing lessons learned or feedback

  • Getting to know your peers outside of work, when appropriate (including through the Clubhouse )

  • Facilitating connections between peer organizations

Becoming a good competi-peer is about every decision you make along the way to a win or a loss and we all benefit from working towards a community that supports each other.


Want to feel more connected? Consider joining one of our Boss-to-Boss cohorts. These peer networks are designed to foster community in our inherently competitive world.

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