Request for Proposals (RFP)

The University of Illinois Foundation is advertising a Request for Proposals (RFP). The RFP outlines the specifications for the products or services requested.

Banking and Brokerage RFP


Questions & Answers

Question 1: What is the Foundation’s current and expected strategy for its level of bank account balances?

Answer 1: The Foundation currently has arrangements in place that leave a $100,000 balance in its primary account; collected balances above that amount are swept to an overnight repurchase agreement. The repurchase/sweep vehicle may not be what UIF uses going forward. Looking ahead, the Foundation will evaluate the benefits of leaving balances from which earnings credit would cover service fees in their entirety. The Foundation may also leave additional balances in the depository/concentration account for hard dollar interest earnings if this is an option. If the Foundation elects to leave excess balances in the account, it is not expected to exceed $5 million. The strategy the Foundation chooses will depend greatly on whether the ECR and hard dollar interest rate with its associated service fee structure is competitive with other available short-term investment strategies. Bidders should clearly define if their per item and/or overall pricing is different depending on whether UIF maintains minimal balances or opts to leave higher balances. In all scenarios, account balances above FDIC coverage either need to be collateralized or completely covered by a FHLB LOC.

Question 2: Wholesale Lockbox; the RFP states in Section 4.0 that a small number of credit/debit card transactions will need to be handled as part of this service. Can you provide more information on the process?

Answer 2: The University of Illinois’ colleges, units and departments that mail the remittance cards to prospective donors have been asked to remove the option of paying by credit or debit card. All should have complied by this time but occasionally a donor will write their payment card information on the remit card anyway. The Foundation is steering all credit and debit card payments to our online giving site ( The Foundation wants the wholesale lockbox operation to process the payment card transaction and redact the card information before scanning the remit card. The card volume to the wholesale lockbox should approach zero in the very near future.

Question 3: The RFP states that there are infrequent coin and currency deposits. Do all Foundation locations have coin and currency deposits or just the Champaign location? Can you provide the addresses for all Foundation offices?

Answer 3: All three locations will have occasional coin and currency deposits. The addresses for the gift processing offices are:

University of Illinois Foundation
1305 W. Green Street, Room 414
Urbana, IL 61801

University of Illinois at Chicago- OVCA
SCE 750 S. Halsted St. Room 550
Chicago, IL 60607

University of Illinois at Springfield, Business and Stewardship
One University Plaza
Springfield, IL 62703

Question 4: What is the required format for the image file? What information/indexes need to be provided?

Answer 4: The required format for wholesale lockbox images is TIFF 300dpi. Images should be numbered sequentially to assist in payment application to donor records.

Question 5: Please provide the required remittance data that will be captured/keyed from the remittance card.

Answer 5: At this time the Foundation does not require capture or keying of any data from the remittance cards. We are working toward a standardized format and will pursue enhancements to our lockbox services at that time.

Question 6: Please advise how the Foundation would like the supplemental pricing (for service items not listed in the Price Form) provided?  Should we add additional lines with projected volumes below the existing Service Descriptions provided?

Answer 6: Yes, add additional lines with the AFP Service Code for each new line.

Question 7: Please confirm if the volumes for both accounts for the Blackbaud Merchant Services are included in the Price Forms (i.e. do the pricing forms reflect the special events registration account?)

Answer 7: This was an oversight in the RFP document and should have been more fully explained. For ease of reconciliation, we have two separate ZBA accounts for the Blackbaud and Braintree payment card deposits. Blackbaud currently settles only once a week but they will be changing to daily settlement in the near future.  You should expect daily settlements in both accounts with daily ZBA credits to the Foundation’s concentration/depository account.  You may add service charges associated with this in the price form under the concentration/depository account.

Question 8: Please provide estimated size and frequency of occasional large dollar amount ACH files.

Answer 8: Perhaps five times per year the Foundation will have a file of ACH credits totaling between $5 million and $10 million. The entry that causes this large dollar amount is almost always a transfer of funds from the Foundation to the University of Illinois.

Question 9: By what method will you be depositing these checks or drafts drawn in foreign currencies?

Answer 9: Most of these checks or drafts drawn in foreign currencies will be directed to the wholesale lockbox but some will be brought in-person one of the Foundation’s three gift processing offices by the colleges, departments or units that received them.  Since these cannot be processed via remote deposit, we will need a solution for handling these (e.g., forward them to the lockbox, etc.)

Question 10: As an alternative to responding directly within the University of Illinois Foundation questionnaire, are we able to provide our response in our own format, as long as we keep the all the questions and numbering as is?

Answer 10: Yes, of course.  As long as the evaluation committee can easily track your answers in the same order the questions were asked in the RFP document, this is fine.

Question 11: Per items F1.0, F1.1 and F1.2 of the RFP, the term of the agreement is approximately 5 years with the provision for a 5% increase each year and options to renew annually.  Can this be explained more clearly?

Answer 11: The Foundation typically opens up its banking and brokerage business to competitive bids on an approximately 10 year cycle.  Our intent is to have a five year commitment with the service providers we select from this RFP process, with possible annual renewals for an additional five years.  We are limiting the total annual service fee increases to no more than 5% per year.