To encourage more design and construction firms to respond to requests for proposals and/or qualifications (RFPs/RFQs), the Design-Build Institute of America recommends paying shortlisted proposers a stipend.

The payment for companies that aren't awarded the contract depends on project complexity and challenges, but usually ranges from 0.01% to 0.25% of the project's budget. Whatever the amount, the stipend doesn't give the owner the right to own proposal documents or use a rejected proposal's ideas unless stipulated in the RFP or RFQ.

If purchasing requirements preclude a public owner from paying a stipend, the institute suggests referring to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget Circular No. A-11 (2006) governing federal agency procurement.