How to Write a Proposal

To write a proposal, you must understand what your reader wants and use the proposal to propose an action to be performed by your company to meet the recipients needs. Proposals can be internal or external.

Internal proposals must state a problem or need succinctly to motivate readers to correct the problem in the way you recommend. You must show that the problem is important enough that it merits your organization spending money to solve it. You must also show that the way you propose to fix the problem is logical, cost-effective, and beneficial to the company.

Structure this document like a report (see “How to Write a Report” on this site). Proposal sections should include a purpose statement, executive summary, body, background section, action steps, and appendices as appropriate. The background section in the proposal details your attempts to research the cause of the problem you are trying to fix. Include documentation that supports what you are proposing to do.

External proposals are usually written to obtain business for another company or government agency. Some of these organizations issue proposal guidelines and deadlines. To write an effective proposal for these organizations, you must pay strict attention to what they require and how and when they require it In addition, follow the guidelines for clear writing outlined above.