10 Proposal Template Samples
Writing a good proposal is essential for business, educational and creative projects. A proposal will help you clarify and better communicate your vision for your business or any creative endeavor. It will take you to the next stage of your project, whether you are looking for investors for your business, raising funds for a social cause, or trying to getan art grant. Many people struggle to find the right words and structure while others are intimidated by the whole process and give up. Thankfully, there are many proposal templates available to guide you in writing your proposal.
If you Google “proposal template,” you’ll get numerous result pages. Frankly, it can be overwhelming. How can you identify the best proposal template for your needs? First, you want to make sure the template comes from a credible source. Second, the template should come with good examples—even better if the examples included are from successful projects. In this article we start by giving you tips for writing a great proposal, next we guide you through what to include in a proposal. Finally, we weed out the ten best proposal template samples.
Tips for Writing a Great Proposal
The first step in writing a great proposal is to gather all the information about your project as well as research about the company or institution to which you are submitting the proposal. This research can include looking at similar projects and data to support the project’s goals. Also important, especially with a business proposal, is to have information about the “problem” your project addresses and information that supports your solution or solutions to that problem. At this stage, it is good to engage people who can provide inside information and feedback you can later incorporate into your proposal.
Know your audience. Who will read your proposal? What is the purpose of your proposal? These questions will help you come up with the right tone for your audience. You should also include all the information for your audience to get a clear understanding of what you propose.
Focus and outline the problem your proposal is addressing. You must be clear on what the issue is and be able to articulate it powerfully. To be persuasive, a proposal needs to show that the solutions offered bring measurable results to the overall project, company, or organization. The solutions should align with the organization’s mission and objectives. The proposed solutions can be defined as goals, outcomes and/or deliverables.
To successfully communicate your vision for a project, often less is more—whether you are writing a long research proposal or a short one. This means, write clearly and concisely so the parties involved can easily understand and follow your proposal. This doesn’t mean that your proposal needs to be plain. On the contrary, your proposal should engage the reader and drive him or her to take action, i.e. approve the project or provide the funds and necessary resources to kick-start the project.
What to Include in a Proposal
The structure for a proposal varies depending on the project, but there are basic sections that all good proposals include. Choose the items that best serves your purpose. A brief proposal can be as effective as a lengthy one. It all depends who you are writing the proposal for.
The title page includes all the pertinent information such as project title and contact information
Table of Contents
For larger proposals, include an outline to guide the reader through your proposal and show what to expect.
The executive summary gives the reader an overview of the project by outlining its key components. Think of the executive summary as your pitch. The information should engage and persuade the reader to consider or approve the project. The rest of the proposal should offer detailed information about the key points outlined in the summary.
This section should be included in the first few pages of the proposal and should provide the context for the solutions and opportunities your proposal offers to solve the company or organization’s problem.
Goals and Objectives
In this section, you should detail your overall vision for your project and the main objectives.
What is your project approach and deliverable to accomplish its goal? This can include a calendar of activities, timeline, deadlines, and milestones.
It is important to include a list of the resources needed to carry the project through completion.
A proposal should include an accurate projection of the project’s costs, including a rationale for major expenses or other costs that need further explanation.
Measurement and Reporting
This section includes what metrics will be used to measure the success of the project and also how often will you provide a project status to your sponsors.
Assess any potential risks associated with the execution of the project. Also, provide a solution to minimize and address the risks.
Any supporting documents attached to your proposal should be listed in the appendix.
10 Proposal Template Samples
Simple Project Proposal Template
The Simple Project Proposal Template is a straightforward table form template that includes all the basic project and contact information at the top and the rest of the proposal template is divided into sections starting with the executive summary, goals, actions, solutions, schedule, project costs, personnel, and resources. The last row is reserved for the approval signature. You can get the template in Google Docs, add or delete sections, print and share it with others through Google Drive.
One-Page Project Proposal Template
The one- page project proposal template also breakdowns the proposal in sections. Including a larger section for the timeline. It is simple and easy to use, focusing on the key points of the proposal and keeping it to just one page. This proposal template doesn’t have a section for the contact information, but you can easily add it in the header or footer of the document.
Generic Project Proposal Template Word
This proposal template is available in Word and includes 14 sections. The first page includes the title and contact information, the second page is the table of contents. This is a very detailed yet concise proposal template. It includes the project overview, needs/issues, scope of work, timeline and budget, and other sections including terms & conditions and an appendix.
Business Project Proposal Template
The Business Project Proposal Template is an extended version of the simple proposal template, including fields on top for contact information and other project details. Aside from the project overview and scope of work, it includes fields to input the stakeholders’ information. It also includes a section for risk management assessment.
Freelance Job Proposal Template
The Freelance Job Proposal Template divides the proposal into five major sections, needs, goals, measurement of success, timeline, and an itemized section for the project costs. Freelancers can use this proposal template to attract potential clients and pitch new business projects. It focuses on the client needs and goals to meet those needs.
Project Proposals by Product or Service
The following proposal templates focus on a specific product and/or services.
The IT Project Proposal
The IT Project Proposal includes all the basic sections of a project proposal plus specific IT information such as security risks, software and hardware costs, and technology requirements.
Software Project Proposal Template
This proposal template includes a project overview and a breakdown of key milestones. It also includes information on software development and testing. The Software Proposal Template is good for internal and/or external use.
Mobile App Proposal Template
This template can be used as a sales pitch to sell mobile and design services. It starts with a background section including the supplier’s vision, team, and clients, followed by a project overview. You can also include samples of work and other general proposal information like milestones and itemized costs.
Project Management Proposal Template
This proposal serves to provide information to easily manage each stage of the project development. You can include a list of actions and deliverables for each stage of development.
Engineering Project Proposal
This proposal template includes all the relevant information for engineering projects such as contractor contact information and extensive company background—outlining field experience, services, and previous work. This template is in Excel and includes formulas for automatically adding costs.
The best proposal template depends on the project, for example, foundation proposals have specific requirements you must follow to be considered. This format can differ from the general proposal templates, but regardless of the project, do your research and create your proposal to align with the organization’s needs or foundation’s goals and mission. Also, dedicate enough time to developing a powerful summary that will engage and inspire the reader to support your project. All the hard work will pay off, and a good proposal template will help you stay focused and display the information in a well-organized way.
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