Friday, December 7, 2018

How to write a project proposal? -

A proposal is a crucial document and a marketing tool that helps to foster a professional relationship between a company or individual and a donor. It outlines how one is proposing to implement a project to solve a particular problem. Your project proposal should give details about a project, how to manage it, and what results it will deliver. So, if you ask yourself 'How do I write a proposal?' then this guide will come in handy.

How to write a project proposal


Project proposals have frameworks that formally establish ideas. This is to ensure that the donor clearly understands the project. When writing a project proposal, you need to make sure that it is clear and easy to follow. Otherwise, your ideas may not make sense. You should also use the right words in your proposal to ensure it conceptualizes an idea.

This article discusses the outline that you need to follow in order to write a project proposal. It serves as a proposal template or sample. That means you can modify it and develop your proposal. The article is divided into several sections. Each section has a few examples and tips that can help you to produce a document that is easy, accurate, and clear.

1. Section one – title page/project information

The first section of a project proposal provides a general picture of your project. It includes the name of your organization, date and project name. You must have this because it is what your donor will be seeing at a glance and get crucial details of the project.

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2. Section two – table of contents

A table of contents gives you an organized list of the parts you want to include in your research proposal. Your donor will be able to see how you have organized your manuscript. This will allow them to skip to sections that are relevant to them. For the case of this article, the table of contents will include:

  • Summary
  • Introduction
  • Problems
  • Goals
  • The scope of work or procedures
  • Timetable
  • Budget
  • Essential Personnel
  • Evaluation and Monitoring
  • Endorsements
  • Appendix

Ideally, the details above should form the general structure or format of your project proposal.

3. Section three – summary

In this section, you should include information for people who may not read the whole proposal. It should include a summary of your business proposal, covering all crucial details. While this section should appear first in your document, you should write it last.

When writing a summary, ensure it remains on an independent page and should be one page long. A good summary should have the following components:

  • A short description of your organization and the purpose it serves
  • The intention and expected results of your proposal
  • The amount and type of support needed
  • The total budget amount expected
  • Any other relevant information

Think of the project summary as the decorating pitch. It should outline your proposal in a way that it can hook the donor.

READ ALSO: How to write a concept paper for research

4. Section four – introduction

How do you start off a proposal? Simple! Start by explaining to the reader why and how your company was founded. Also, give a mission statement. It will help readers to know more about you and what you or your organization does. The introduction can include crucial information like:

  • The functions of your organization
  • A brief description of your organization’s activities
  • A brief description of target audiences
  • Evidence to show you are running a healthy company

The introduction section should also contain relevant data collected from authority sources or conducted in the initial phase of project planning.

research proposal

SOURCE:, Cytonn Photography

5. Section five – problems/needs

You should identify the problems or needs that you require to address in this section. Ensure to include any statistical or target audience information you may have. Some of the ideas to include in this case are:

  • How long the problems or needs have existed
  • Has anybody ever addressed the problems before? If yes, what was the outcome?
  • The impact the problem is causing to the target audience
  • The impact the problem is causing to the surrounding communities

It is essential to include a short explanation of the needs your target audiences are facing and which appear as an effect of the problems you have described above. Also, explain how you decided to include those needs in your proposal.

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6. Section six – goals or objectives

This is perhaps the most crucial section of your project proposal. It allows you to explain the desired goals or objectives that will address the problems or needs you have stated above. Furthermore, it includes an explanation of the benefits of reaching those goals or objectives. You should have at least four specific and measurable goals.

Note that project goals and project objectives are two different things. Project goals are general and long-term objectives of your project. Project objectives are specific, and your project can only address them alone. A project cannot achieve the goal on its own because other forces must be in play.

Consider the following two statements.

  • Building housing facilities to victims affected by the earthquake
  • Reducing the effects of earthquakes on communities living in the hilly regions

The first statement correctly describes the general objective of your project. The second describes your project goal because your organization is contributing to the main problem.

7. Section seven - scope of work or procedures

In this section, you should give detailed information about your scope of work and procedures. Include details on the activities you will be performing such as the actual work needed, recruiting, testing, and training.

8. Section eight - timetable

Every project has a timetable and this is what you should include in this section. You must provide comprehensive information on the timetable you expect for your project. It is crucial to breaking down your project into several phases. Ensure to give each phase a schedule. The table below gives a good example of what you should do.

project proposal format

Generally, you can describe your work using two main formats. You can use the simple table above or use a Gantt Chart. The chart offers a universal format for describing activities in specific timeframes. It also shows the sequences and dependences of each work or activity. Consider the table.

project proposal writing

In the timetable section of your project proposal writing, you should have a resource plan that provides enough information on the necessary ways of undertaking the project.

9. Section nine – budget

A budget represents an itemized summary of the expected expenses and income of your organization over time. You should present your budget in this section as clearly as possible and in the right format. Ensure it is in line with all the activities you have set for the project.

10. Section ten – personnel

It is essential to have a small list of key personnel that will help in completing the project. Also, include other people you will involve in the project. The key personnel can be:

  • The sponsor/donor
  • Clients
  • Project Managers
  • Consultants
  • The Team

Ensure to include their names, capacity and job experience if any.

READ ALSO: Dairy farming business plan and budget

11. Section eleven - evaluation and monitoring

When writing a project proposal, you must discuss how you will evaluate the progress of your project from the beginning to the end. To do this, you must:

  • Elaborate clear numbers or ratios for each result and objective
  • Show when and how evaluation and monitoring activities will be conducted to determine the progress and outcome of the project
  • Explain the methods you will use to evaluate and monitor the project
  • Name the people that will be responsible for carrying out the evaluation

Evaluation and monitoring allow for regular checks on the project activities and helps you to follow up the progress made after every step.

12. Section twelve – endorsements

An endorsement can help to boost the likelihood of the donor to accept your project proposal. In this section, you should list the names of companies or individuals who endorse or support the project. Also, include their addresses and their occupation in society.

13. Section thirteen – appendix

If you have any material that supports your project, you should include it in this section. The supporting material can be:

  • External tenders or quotes
  • Organization history
  • Estimates and statistics
  • Research methodologies or materials
  • Comprehensive cost/benefit information

You can also include other information in this section like graphs, charts, and reports that you mentioned in your proposal.

Many people find it difficult to write a project proposal because they do not know which project proposal format they should follow. There are many formats available because donors are different and each prefers their format. The difference, however, is that all proposals have the same basic information. Check out these project proposal templates for more inspiration.

If you want to know how to write a project proposal, you should follow the format above to get started. The proposal in this article is generic which means you can use it to write different types of proposals. Before writing a proposal, ensure you do thorough research regardless of the size of your project.

READ ALSO: How to write a term paper

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