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Proposal Letter Examples with Writing Tips
Developing a proposal is overwhelming, and creating a compelling proposal letter requires a lot of planning and strategy. It’s easy to think that your letter is simply a formality, but smart companies use the proposal letter as a way to position their solution against the competition. Read on for tips on how to create a proposal letter (with examples!).
Why Include a Cover Letter in Your Proposal
Many RFPs require a cover letter, but even if it isn’t required, it’s a good idea to include a letter anyway (unless explicitly asked not to). The cover letter is the first real section of text the reader will see in your proposal, and this is the perfect opportunity to set the tone for the rest of your proposal. You can use the cover letter to showcase key wins, client stories, or key features that make your company stand out. Make the letter function as the opening to the story you highlight throughout your proposal and inspire the reader to learn more.
Key Content to Include in a Proposal Letter
Oftentimes, companies include a short proposal letter with simple content. An example of a simple letter that can be improved is below.
Don’t do this.
Dear John Doe,
Thank you for the opportunity to provide our proposal for this project. We have included information on our proposed solution throughout this proposal.
We look forward to working with you and appreciate this opportunity.
While this is a perfectly acceptable cover letter, it definitely reads as a formality and misses the chance to form a more real connection with the reader. Instead of following a template like this, make sure you include the following information.
Overview of Benefits
Use the cover letter to hook the reader by highlighting what benefits they will receive from your solution. Make it really easy to read by listing these out in bullets with a short description for each.
If you’ve been doing this for 20 years or have helped customers save millions of dollars, include this in your cover letter. This is the perfect opportunity to “wow” them and make them want to read your proposal.
Value Added Benefits
Also consider including any value added benefits in your cover letter. You don’t have to go into detail, but you can use the cover letter as a place to introduce the idea and spark interest.
When to Write the Proposal Letter
While it’s tempting to write the proposal letter first, you’ll actually find it much easier if you wait to write it last. Create your entire proposal with all of the details, and then once you have a deep understanding of what exactly you’re offering, write that into the cover letter.
Example Proposal Letters
Here are a few example proposal letters to inspire you as you create your own.
Note: These letters have been amended to remove any company-specific solutions and information. In your letter, make sure to replace the generic language (i.e. “experience in your industry”) with specific information (i.e. “experience in the healthcare industry”).
The Client LLC (Client) seeks to establish a competitively awarded annual contract with a high-performance vendor to satisfy the needs of your end users. With extensive experience managing contracts of similar complexity and size, Company LLC (Company) has the skills and knowledge needed to successfully manage this contract for Client. In fact, Company currently manages over 300 related contracts.
We offer Client highly-qualified, tenured implementation engineers and project managers to fulfill the wide range of project lifecycle requirements for Client. These resources include the over 50 coworkers based at Company’s two local offices located 2.3 miles from Client’s main offices. The close proximity means we are always a 5 minute drive away to help you with any problem, no matter how big or small.
The combination of our experience managing similar contracts and knowledgeable project team allows us to offer Client a best valued, all-encompassing solution for Client’s full lifecycle. Growing our relationship to better support your business is our top priority. Should you have questions regarding our proposal, please contact me at (555) 555-5555 or [email protected] We look forward to developing our long-term business partnership.
Client LLC (Client) seeks a company to transform your administrative services. Having supported prior projects with Client on operational, technology, and financial initiatives, Company LLC (Company) has thought seriously about Client’s current situation, and we applaud this initiative to help Client improve its administrative effectiveness and efficiency to better support your mission.
As demonstrated in our proposal, we possess the full spectrum of attributes to support your efforts – including an extremely seasoned team with extensive experience in all aspects of the functions included in this assessment, a track record of developing collegial working relationships at all levels of your organization, and proven approaches to facilitating successful implementation. Our business is your business, and we are passionate about the opportunities to help similar organizations succeed in transformations to achieve greater service levels and efficiencies.
There are a few key benefits that make Company uniquely qualified to partner with the Client on this important initiative.
Our industry experience , including our work with more than 85 similar organizations in the United States as well as previous projects with Client. We are proud of the successes our clients have achieved with our assistance and we encourage you to reach out to them.
The vast experience of our team . The team of project leaders and senior staff that we will bring to this engagement have more than 150 years of collective experience dedicated to serving similar organizations across all functional areas.
Our methodology and approach. The initial focus of our approach is to identify fact-based opportunities to solve your most pressing issues, but our process prioritizes the development of sustainable solutions that are grounded in the realities of your operating environment. This approach to project delivery is what will make the Client-Company partnership successful.
Our many successful partnerships with you . As a result of working with Client on a variety of engagements across various business functions, we understand how to work in your environment, the need to engage directly with your personnel, and the best means to achieve sustainable, meaningful change.
The combination of these benefits will allow Client’s project to achieve success with limited roadblocks. Our industry experience and experience with your environment means we can begin this project immediately and make real progress without having to overcome any differences in working styles. We look forward to continuing our partnership together. Should you have any questions regarding this proposal, please contact me at (555) 555-5555 or [email protected]
Company LLC (Company) is pleased to respond to Client LLC’s (Client) Request for Proposal (RFP) for advanced data analytics for operational systems. We understand the importance of this project to Client and your customers. While this represents a significant opportunity for Client to achieve real and significant cost savings, it is also an opportunity to assess other policies, operations, organization and technology to maximize benefits and sustain long term value for your customers.
Our resources have extensive experience in all areas of data and analytics. We are dedicated to developing insights from data in your industry, and Company has worked with more than 64 clients on over 200 related projects. Our long track record of helping clients achieve substantial cost savings through advanced analysis allows us to provide immediate savings and other benefits, as well as to position you for ongoing sustainable savings results.
Throughout many years of serving numerous clients on related projects, we are always very flexible to align our scope and level of involvement with client needs and budgets, and we welcome the opportunity to engage in direct conversation with your strategic advisors to define a solution to help you maximize the success of this important initiative.
While our focus is primarily in your industry, which enables us to provide realistic, sustainable solutions in this environment, our perspective on best practices and the experience of our team members includes experience across several other industries, including healthcare, education, finance, and government.
Should you have any questions or require additional clarification on any part of our proposal, please feel free to contact me at the phone number or email address below. We look forward to next steps as we work with you to maximize the value from this initiative.
Client LLC (Client) aims to implement a comprehensive system that improves the customer experience for your customers. Having worked with hundreds of clients in the past 5 years on similar projects, Company LLC (Company) is uniquely positioned to support this project.
Company differentiates our offering through our commitment to flawless project execution and we are known for conducting projects within the structure and rigor of our proprietary methodologies. Working with Company on this project significantly increases the likelihood of an on-time, high quality, in-budget implementation with consistent, dependable outcomes and measurable results.
At Company, we approach every client project with a flexible and adaptable mindset. We focus on our client’s needs, emphasize teamwork, and develop a solution that will achieve your specific business goals. We have relevant integrations within your state, including at Madison, just two towns over. In addition, we have relevant large-scale credentials in the commercial and federal space. This experience includes work across health care segments, such as government health, payer, provider, and provider networks, and the development of complex, interagency systems similar in size and scope that is required by Client.
Once again, Company has a long and successful track record of delivering projects for public and private sector clients that meet or exceed expectations, and we are happy to do the same for Client. Please contact me at (555) 555-5555 should you have any questions regarding this submission or require additional information. We look forward to the opportunity to work with you.
Proposal Letter Template
Now that you have a few examples of proposal letters, it’s time to write your own! If you’re not sure where to start or need a little bit more guidance, download our proposal letter template, which walks you through the steps to write your letter.
Download the Proposal Cover Letter Template
5 Books to Help You Write Better Proposals
Proposal Executive Summary Examples
RFP Process: A Seller’s Guide
Four Ways to Create a Proposal Story
How to Read an RFP
Proposal Writing: Everything You Need to Know
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How to Write a Proposal Letter
Last Updated: June 24, 2022 References
This article was co-authored by Dave Labowitz and by wikiHow staff writer, Christopher M. Osborne, PhD . Dave Labowitz is a Business Coach who helps pre-entrepreneurs, solopreneurs/entrepreneurs, and team leaders start, scale, and lead their businesses and teams. Before beginning his coaching career, Dave was a startup executive who spent over a decade building high-growth companies. Dave’s “path less traveled” life includes adventures such as dropping out of high school, co-authoring a book in the Smithsonian Institute, and getting his MBA at Pepperdine’s Graziadio Business School. There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 119,874 times.
A proposal letter is a professional letter that states, in an abbreviated form, why an organization, institution, or company should support a professional venture of yours. You may write a proposal letter for a number of reasons—in particular, you may be requesting a grant, requesting a business loan, or requesting that a publisher accepts your book idea.  X Research source There are general formats and specific arguments you should make in each instance. Here's what you should include.
Formatting the Letter
- You do not need to include your name or title in the return address.
- Do not type out the return address at the top of the letter if you are using paper with a formal letterhead that already includes the address.
- The date should appear in the upper left corner of the letter.
- If you are not using a return address, the date should be the first piece of information on the letter.
- The personal title and name appears on one line, the street address on the next, and the rest of the address follows on the last line. The entire block should be left-aligned and single-spaced.
- It is always best to write to a specific individual at a company by name instead of writing a general letter to anyone who may read it.
- If you do not know the recipient's gender, skip the personal title and use the recipient's full name.  X Research source
- Follow the salutation with a colon.
- Single-space and left-justify each paragraph.
- Leave a blank line in between paragraphs.
- Do not indent the first line of your paragraph.
- Sign your name above the typed version on your letter and below the closing.
- Best regards
- You also have the option of listing each document you are enclosing below the "Enclosures" label.
- Do not include typist initials if the person signing the letter is the same person who wrote it.
Writing a Grant Proposal Letter===
- Instead of dedicating an entire paragraph to explaining how you meet each requirement, weave this information into the body of your letter.
- For instance, if the organization has certain requirements concerning the types of projects the money can be used for and separate requirements about how that money will be allotted, describe these issues in separate paragraphs instead of trying to cram all the information into one.
- State the name of your organization, what it does, why it does it, and who benefits from your organization's work.
- If you have had previous contact with the grant agency or organization, mention any changes or developments your organization has made since you were last in contact.
- You should also explain why your research, charitable effort, or venture is important and what sort of outcome you are expecting to have.
- State when the project will begin and how long you expect it to run.
- Some grants are location-specific. If this is true of the grant you apply for, you will need to indicate where your organization is based, the geographic area that will be studied during your project, or the geographic area that will benefit from the project.
- If you are applying for a grant without a pre-determined funding amount, you should write how much money you are requesting.
- Include a cost-benefit analysis within your application.
- Additional documents may include financial budgets, past financial records, and past records indicating the success of similar projects performed by your organization in the past.
Writing a Business Financing Proposal Letter
- If you interacted with a specific contact at the company, men`ton that individual by name.
- Include your mission statement and a short description of the products or services your company provides.  X Research source
- To make your case more convincing, you should also include the number of customers served, the number of employees, and information about any administrative boards.
- Mention what, specifically, the funding will be used for.
- You may need to include brief budget data that spells out how funds have been used in the past and projections on how the funds will be used this time around. This additional data may need to be included as a separate attachment or in the body of the letter.
- Regardless of how much information you include in the body of the letter itself, you should always state the total cost of the project and how much of that cost will be covered by the funder's support.
- This should only be a summary. With a full-scale proposal, this information can take pages. This information should take no more than a half page when writing a shorter proposal letter, however.
- You can also offer to meet with the funder personally or via the telephone.
- Possible documentation includes a list of board members, copies of your tax documents, financial documents, and resumes of key staff members.
Writing a Book Proposal Letter
- Submission guidelines outline the types of books a publisher or agent will accept, as well as the format the proposal letter should be in when submitted.
- Write a brief but intriguing summary of your book in the first paragraph. In the case of fiction or creative non-fiction, outline the your narrative and describe your main characters.  X Research source
- Write a second paragraph describing the essentials of the book. This includes the genre, word count, and the market the book should be pitched to. Also note any images that accompany the book.
- Thoroughly describe the demographic your book is aimed at and make sure that your statistics address that demographic in specific, rather than general, terms.
- Perform a competitive analysis.  X Research source Every book has competitors. List a few main competitors to your book and explain how well these competitors do in the market as well as why your book will offer something its competitors do not offer.
- Mention any writing experience and publishing experience you have.
- Also mention any experience you have with the subject matter your book deals with. For instance, if you write a book about fashion and had experience as a fashion designer, include that in your letter.
- Be specific, not general. Do not state what you are willing to do but what you will do.
- Possible forms of marketing include professional blogs, book signings, and professional conferences.
- Provide a full summary of the entire plot and purpose of your book. Include all details about the plot and significant sub-plots.
- Write the synopsis in third-person.
- If you do not have a table of contents, you may need to provide a brief summary of each chapter.
- Regardless, the extract should be an example of your strongest writing.
You Might Also Like
- ↑ https://www.bidsketch.com/blog/client-proposals/write-proposal-letter/
- ↑ http://www.mit.edu/course/21/21.guide/letters.htm
- ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/grant-proposals-or-give-me-the-money/
- ↑ http://jlc.london/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Guidelines-for-writing-a-good-proposal-letter.pdf
- ↑ https://nybookeditors.com/2015/12/how-to-write-a-darn-good-query-letter/
- ↑ http://janefriedman.com/2012/11/09/start-here-how-to-write-a-book-proposal/
About This Article
If you need to write a grant proposal letter, open the letter by introducing your organization, including what it does and who benefits from your work. Explain what your organization will do with the grant and why this work is important, as well as a basic timeline for your project, how much the project will cost, and how much grant money you are requesting. You should also review all of the eligibility guidelines involved with the grant, and explain in the letter how you meet those requirements. To write a business financing proposal letter, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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5 Simple Steps to Writing a Better Proposal Cover Letter
From getting the prospect’s attention to showing you have the right solution, your proposal’s cover letter has a big job to do. I’m breaking down 15 examples to show you how to create your most persuasive cover letter ever, one that makes prospects excited to read on and sign on the dotted line.
11 min. read
Proposal cover letters.
Does that phrase strike fear in your heart? Or at least give you some anxiety?
From job applications to business proposals, writing a good cover letter, executive summary, or some other introduction isn’t easy.
So, this post will give you an easy-to-follow five-step process to create a killer CUSTOMIZED cover letter for every proposal you send out.
A proposal cover letter is important. It’s your proposal’s first impression with your prospect. It sets the tone, for better or for worse. And writing it can sometimes provide clarity on what should or shouldn’t be included in your proposal.
It shouldn’t be something you slap together before moving on to the ‘meat’ of the proposal or a dull fill-in-the-blank exercise that ends up sounding more canned than Campbell’s.
No more chunky and clunky cover letters.
But, at the same time, you can’t spend hours upon hours crafting a bespoke one. You have a deal waiting on that proposal to get done.
So, what you need is a good writing formula.
I’m borrowing from the outline that my colleague Jennifer set out in her proposal executive summary post . She knows what’s up, having written dozens of cover letters/executive summaries during her time in the digital agency world.
If you’re looking for the why and when, plus some dos and don’ts, of writing one of these bad boys, be sure to check out her post.
Now, let’s dive into the who, what, where, and how here, including some examples.
Executive summary vs. cover letter
What do these phrases actually mean?
It’s tricky because the terms ‘executive summary’ and ‘cover letter’ are sometimes used interchangeably in the world of proposals.
I mean, I just used both in the intro to this very post.
Me taking a photo of the culprit.
You might also hear other terms, like overview or introduction, being tossed around for this piece of proposal writing. But rest assured we’re all talking about the same thing.
Technically, there is some nuance to how each of these sections function in a B2B proposal.
First, a proposal cover letter and an executive summary have some things in common:
- They should appear at the beginning of your proposal.
- They should be one page long, maximum.
- They should be prospect-focused.
- They should NOT be overly sales-y or pitchy.
- They should NOT be a detailed rehash of the entire proposal.
- They should get the recipient excited to read on.
Now, here’s where they differ.
What is a proposal cover letter?
A proposal cover letter:
- Is more conversational.
- Is formatted as a letter with salutation and sign-off.
- Doesn’t contain strategy or execution.
- Can be more persuasive (like how a cover letter for a job mentions why you’re the best person for it).
What is a proposal executive summary?
A proposal executive summary:
- May be formatted as a statement.
- Tells the story of how you provide solutions for your clients and the impact (evidence) of your solutions.
- Stays quite high-level.
Sometimes a prospect will specify that your proposal should include one or the other or both, like when you’re responding to an RFP . However, if there are no client specifications it’s up to you which one you include, how you write and structure it, and what you want to label that section in your proposal document.
Okay, now let’s get writing—with some examples to help you visualize the steps and tips.
How to write a cover letter for your proposal in 5 simple steps
One of the hardest aspects of writing a cover letter is including all the information you want to convey while keeping it as brief as possible and being compelling or even entertaining at the same time.
It’s okay. Here’s how to achieve all that in just five steps.
Step 1: Get their attention Step 2: Show you understand the challenge Step 3: Show you have the right solution Step 4: Show your work Step 5: Tell them what’s next
Step 1: Get their attention
“Snoozefest Co. is excited to submit this proposal to you.”
Are they though?
It reads more like this to a prospective client: “Snoozefest Co. is going through the motions in this proposal intro so we can cash your cheque.”
This is the very first thing the prospect will read in your business proposal! It needs to grab some attention.
Here are some examples of more impactful ways to open your cover letter.
Cover Letter Example 1 - Business consulting
Cover Letter Example 2 - Electrical
Cover Letter Example 3 - Public relations
Why these examples work
They put the focus on the client.
Congratulate them on a recent (relevant) company achievement. Show that you get what it’s like to be in their shoes . Offer up a fun fact or industry statistic that signals you’re already thinking about their market niche.
They build curiosity.
Segue your way to success. Each of these first paragraph examples creates build-up, curiosity, and excitement for what the prospect will read next and throughout the rest of the proposal. Ask a question. Don’t give away all the answers just yet. (what is the “light at the end of the tunnel”?)
They start to allude to the pain point.
You’ll go more in-depth into the challenges you’re solving in the next few paragraphs but it’s good to get it out there up top. It could be more explicit, like in example 1 (how to go from good to great when you’re already at capacity), or it could be more subtle, like how the specific mention of “heritage home” starts to set up the challenge in example 2.
Step 2: Show you understand the challenge
Sometimes when we write, we gloss over the pain point. It can be awkward to write about the challenges someone is facing in their professional life; you don’t want to suggest they don’t know what they’re doing or they’re not good at their job.
In a cover letter, though, it’s essential to dig into the ‘pain point’ they’re feeling in order to close the deal. Showing you understand the obstacles they’re facing is the best way to position your company as the only solution to their challenges. (See Step 3.)
But avoid any urge to make it about you. It can come off as “Look how smart I am!” Again, turn it back to the prospect. A good way to do this is to make sure you use the word ‘you’ more than ‘I’ or ‘we’ in this section.
Cover Letter Example 4 - Legal services
Cover Letter Example 5 - SaaS/Social
Cover Letter Example 6 - Insurance
Why these examples work:
They say what the prospect is likely thinking.
Show you understand all aspects of the prospect’s challenge by bringing up objections before they have a chance to, and then knock them down. Legal advice is too expensive and complicated? Not when you partner with us!
Butter your prospect up a bit. They’re not experiencing these challenges that you understand so well because they’re bad at their jobs. No, maybe it’s just a resourcing issue! Like in Example 5, you can position your team as the experts who take challenging tasks off people’s plates.
They show off the benefits of doing business with an expert.
Give them peace of mind. You’ve done this before and this isn’t your first rodeo. You see and understand the full challenge so you can help clients avoid problems before they crop up.
Step 3: Show you have the right solution
Okay, NOW you can talk about yourself. With a few cautions:
- Keep it relevant. Your company’s Best Float win at the local parade is cool and all but now’s not the time.
- Keep it concise. It’s time to ‘elevator pitch’ your solution.
- And keep it upbeat without overhyping. You want your solution to sound attractive, but don’t write cheques with your cover letter that the rest of the proposal can’t cash.
Cover Letter Example 7 - Solar
Cover Letter Example 8 - Web design
Cover Letter Example 9 - PR
They keep things high-level
No need to outline the eight different ways you’ll test their website or every single PR tactic you’ll use. This isn’t a book report on your proposal.
They still stay specific.
“Public relations...creates and maintains your public image, and positions you as a leader in your industry” is better than “we make you look good”.
But notice that these examples don’t use jargon. If a jargon-y phrase is used, like responsive design, it’s immediately explained in a non-technical way. Stick to plain language like this, unless you cater to a highly-specialized specialized audience that will understand acronyms and look for that industry-insider lingo.
They show how you’re putting everything on the table.
Look at how these cover letters talk about the sales document they’re about to read over. For example, the proposal is not just a package; it’s a “comprehensive package”.
It’s the difference between presenting the proposal as ‘here’s some info’ and ‘we’re presenting you with all the details, including facts and figures’. Let the reader know that your proposal gives them everything they need to make an informed decision.
Step 4: Show your work
Time for a not-so-humble humblebrag .
Maybe it’s a team skill set you’re known for. Or some original research you’ve done that would resonate with this prospect.
You could showcase how your company is a power-player in your niche via previous work you’re especially proud of or awards you’ve received. Or give a quick preview of your proprietary process.
Basically, the information you include in this paragraph should provide an answer to the question on every prospect’s mind: why should they work with you ?
Cover Letter Example 10 - Exterior pressure washing
Cover Letter Example 11 - Content marketing
Cover Letter Example 12 - Construction
They give the references some ‘meat’.
If you’re talking about existing customers, don’t just name drop. Highlight some impressive outcomes you’ve achieved for them as well. For example, they didn’t just construct a building at NYU, it’s an award-winning building they built at NYU.
They cite the facts.
If there’s a specific accreditation that clients will need to know about (i.e.: are you licensed, bonded, board-approved, etc.?), now’s the time to mention it. Basically, anything that would differentiate you from competitors. In a market dominated by big national brands? Talk about how your business is family-run. Or vice-versa.
They go granular but don’t get into the nitty-gritty.
Again, be as specific as possible without going into too much detail.
Talking about “our process” is okay. But “Our four-step process” is an ideal amount of information for the purposes of this cover letter since you’re going to explain the steps later on in the proposal.
Step 5: Tell them what’s next
Your sales team wouldn’t end a sales call without discussing next steps. Your proposal cover letter is no different.
The closing is your chance to set expectations, either for the prospect or yourself. Don’t forget that you have to keep your end of the bargain. If your cover letter says you’ll follow up with them in a certain amount of time, for Pete Campbell’s sake, do it.
(Bonus: If you’re using proposal software, you’ll be notified when your prospect opens your proposal so you can perfectly time your follow up.)
Cover Letter Example 13 - Construction
Cover Letter Example 14 - Financial Services
Cover Letter Example 15 - Public Relations
They show how the vendor and the prospect together.
Why will this specific partnership work? You’ve talked about them, you’ve talked about yourself, now it’s time to talk about why you’ll go together like a square-hole colander and quinoa. (A square shape keeps the round grains from falling through while you’re rinsing it. Obviously.)
They ask for the sale.
You’ve refrained from selling throughout this cover letter. Now’s the time to ask for the close. Don’t shy away from presuming that you’ll be the winning proposal, that you “hope” they’ll pick you.
They talk about the next steps.
What literally happens next? Should they sign now? Will you be meeting to walk through the proposal before a signature is expected? Are you going to follow up with them? Let the reader know what’s expected of them and what they should expect from you.
A quick caveat before you rush off to write your proposal
There you have it. And now you just plug these pieces into your cover letter and copy these examples word for word and…
Not so fast.
The 15 example snippets above are all pulled from our proposal templates , all written by professional writers. Templates and samples like these are amazing starting points. But they aren’t the end-all, be-all.
Notice that all these samples are written in a slightly different voice? How you word your proposal if you’re in legal or financial services might be different than how you would write one in the marketing industry or the world of pressure washing.
And how YOU word your proposal should be consistent with your brand voice, including language, tone, and style . The information you include should speak to YOUR ideal customer. Remember, the cover letter is your proposal’s first opportunity to persuade your prospect that you’re the best choice to hire.
Conversions don’t come from canned, uncustomized content. Use these steps and examples as the catalyst for your own authentic version of a pitch-perfect cover letter for your proposal.
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Proposal Letter | Formats, Template, How To Write a Proposal Letter?
February 19, 2021 by Prasanna
Proposal Letter: What is a Proposal Letter? In a business setting, a Proposal Letter is an important document that serves to introduce a plan or an idea to an individual who has the authority to make important decisions. In other words, a Proposal Letter can help the recipient understand the idea you are pitching and its potential benefits for that individual or organisation.
Get Other Types of Letter Writing like Formal, Informal and Different Types of Letter Writing Samples.
Why Should You Write a Proposal Letter?
As stated above, a Proposal Letter pitches your idea in the form of a formal document. In a professional setting, this could help you move up the corporate ladder or even help you land some lucrative incentives. Alternatively, Proposal Letters are used in other fields as well, such as in research, where it is required if you need to access government grants for your research project. Moreover, a Proposal Letter will create the first impression for the recipient and the likelihood of favoring your proposal increases significantly, provided if the Proposal Letter is drafted effectively.
In this article, we shall explore the basic guidelines to draft a Proposal Letter, important tips, formats and samples.
Proposal Letter Contents
Following are the contents that should be included when writing a letter of proposal
- Your Proposal Letter needs to include information about yourself – such as your name and background information
- You should also state the purpose of sending the Proposal Letter
- The proposal must clearly outline objectives, goals, or other benchmarks
- You need to explain why your proposal is unique and different from others
- The proposal also needs to explain how funds will be utilized
- Include a call-to-action line.
- Conclude the letter with your contact details.
Letter of Proposal – Template / Format
Following is a commonly used template for a Proposal Letter
Proposal Letter Sample
Following is a sample of a Proposal Letter. You can adopt the same format and modify content according to your preferences.
Sample of a Proposal Letter
FAQ’s on Proposal Letter
Question 1. What is a Proposal Letter?
Answer: A Proposal Letter is a formal document that serves to introduce a plan or an idea to an individual who has the authority to make important decisions. It can also be used for other scenarios, such as requesting a grant for a research project.
Question 2. Why Should You Write a Proposal Letter?
Answer: A Proposal Letter pitches an idea in the form of a detailed formal document. These documents are very crucial in business as well as other professional environments. Alternatively, Proposal Letters are used in other fields such as in research, where it is required to access government funds or grants for a research project.
Question 3. What does a Proposal Letter Contain?
Answer: A Proposal Letter contains the following elements: Information about yourself; background information; purpose of sending the Proposal Letter; objectives, goals or other benchmarks of the proposal; Estimation of grant/ funds requited; call-to-action line; contact details.
Visit AplusTopper to explore more examples of Proposal Letters. Alternatively, you can also find helpful learning resources and study materials for your upcoming exams.
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45+ SAMPLE Proposal Letters in PDF | MS Word
Proposal letters | ms word, 45+ sample proposal letters, what is a proposal letter, the standard parts of a proposal letter, how to write a winning proposal letter, what is the standard format of a proposal, what are the distinct features of a proposal letter, does a proposal letter need a title.
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Why is a proposal letter important, step 1: research on the client’s industry, history, competitors, etc., step 2: save a sample proposal letter template, step 3: begin inserting the elements or parts of a proposal letter, step 4: get to the point in the introduction, purpose, and goals, step 5: consider how your proposal helps your client, step 6: highlight why your client should choose you, step 7: don’t forget the call-to-action statement, step 8: insert supporting documents and background details.
- A proposal letter is also known as a sales document.
- It aims for a partnership between your organization and your client’s business.
- It follows the basic business letter format.
- Business proposal letters may be unsolicited or solicited.
- It denotes how your proposed project, product, or service can help your client’s needs.
- Such letters can be sent personally or digitally.
- The letter is written by someone who sells the idea and sent to a potential buyer.
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How to Write a Proposal Letter [With Samples & Templates]
Writing a proposal letter can be a daunting task. Whether submitting a proposal at your job, trying to gain funding for a project, or seeking a partner in a venture, you will have to create a proposal letter to make your case.
Creating a perfect proposal letter is a tall order because you are essentially placing your future hopes in the hands of a person who can make them happen. To persuade this person to give you the assistance you need requires that your proposal be top-notch.
But how do you write a proposal letter?
Do you know the best practices for writing a proposal letter to a prospective client or potential partner?
Let’s show you what you need to know to create a compelling proposal letter.
What is a proposal letter?
In the simplest of terms, a proposal letter is a document designed to persuade a secondary party that they should make a favorable decision toward the writer of the document's proposal.
A proposal letter can also be a cover letter for a potential client at the beginning of a longer business proposal.
A proposal letter should be informative to the reader. It should detail your goals, what form of assistance you need, and how you plan to achieve its objectives
with the backing you receive. Proposal letters can be used in business, academics, or local government.
Types of proposal letters
There are two types of proposal letters that you can write: solicited or unsolicited. The difference between the two is significant because they establish a context in which the recipient receives your proposal letter.
If your proposal letter is a solicited proposal, an outside party has reached out to you with an idea and wants to hear your proposal of how to make it happen. A solicited business proposal has a greater chance of success right out of the gate because the contact has already approached you.
Solicited proposals break down further into three different types.
Request for quote
A request for quote (RFQ) is when an organization looks for the lowest bidders from their suppliers. This helps organizations keep several options from suppliers while reducing costs by selecting the lowest bidders.
Request for proposal
When businesses are looking for services, from a marketing agency for example, they send out requests for proposals (RFPs) so that agencies and other companies can pitch their services and pricing to the business.
Invitation for bid
When a company knows what needs to be done and what it will take, they will send out an invitation for bids (IFBs) to vendors and contractors to submit their bids so they can show that they can provide the work needed at their pricing within their project proposal.
An unsolicited proposal letter could represent a steeper uphill climb to receive approval. An unsolicited proposal letter is one that you have sent out to one or more prospective backers of your proposal. Many consider an unsolicited business proposal a harder sell because it hinges on the hope that it will interest the recipient.
In what scenarios are proposals used by organizations?
A variety of organizations and institutions use proposals when seeking business opportunities. Here are a few examples of when they would need to write a business proposal letter with their proposal.
Businesses seeking a loan from a bank usually require a proposal to the bank showing how big of a loan they need, how their business will make money to pay it back, and the collateral they offer.
Similar to bank loans, businesses, startups, restaurants, and retail stores may also write a grant proposal or seek financing from investors. Your grant proposal or proposed idea to a potential investor will show what you need and how you will use the capital to make a profit.
Agencies and similar businesses will write detailed proposals to potential clients to show what services they offer and solutions they can provide for those clients. In this scenario, they can solicit these proposals when there is a request for proposals or send unsolicited proposals to garner more business.
Suppliers and contractors
These businesses usually send proposals when requested for certain jobs or when companies seek certain products from suppliers. Sometimes the lowest bid or price gets the job, other times it is a mix of showcasing that you can provide quality work within the budget and scope for the job.
What is the format of a proposal?
A good proposal letter is made up of many components. You cannot simply do a few paragraphs where you detail what you want and then hope the receiver of the letter says “yes”. Use the following elements and structure to create a winning proposal letter that can persuade.
This may seem fairly obvious, but the first thing that you need to do in your proposal is to introduce yourself. It does not matter if you already know the person you submit the letter to. Your introductory paragraph should at least serve as a brief reminder of who you are and what you have accomplished in the past.
If there is a prior relationship with the receiver of the proposal and that relationship is positive, then you can certainly mention that in the proposal. Just be sure not to overplay your hand in that regard. Overemphasizing a pre-existing relationship could make the receiver of the proposal feel as though you are taking advantage of that relationship, which can not only tank your proposal but also sour a relationship.
Purpose of the proposal
After introducing yourself, you need to establish the purpose of the proposal. This is where you highlight your proposal and what you need to meet its goals. You need to be clear about what your proposal entails here.
Make your goals clear
It must be stressed that your proposal letter should feature the ultimate goals that your proposal sets out to achieve. By stating your goals, you are giving your proposal a metric that it can live up to and, therefore, give the receiver of your proposal an idea of what to expect.
When you outline your goals, you need to outline any potential obstacles that could impede you from achieving your goals. This is important because it will give the receiver of the proposal a realistic idea of what could potentially go wrong. If they choose to back your proposal while knowing the risks, then there will likely be no animosity should those risks come into play.
If you should somehow exceed the goals you lay out, you will only look better to the receiver of the proposal. This can potentially give you leverage down the road with any future proposals.
Outline budgetary needs
One of the most important parts of any proposal, particularly a business proposal , is highlighting the budgetary needs to meet the proposal's goals. You need to be fully transparent here about your needs because financial honesty is a bedrock of trust in getting a proposal approved.
Outlining the budget can be a bit of a tightrope for the proposer. If your estimate for the project is too high, you risk not having your proposal approved. If you low-ball the budgetary needs, you compromise on getting approved without the necessary budget to achieve the goals of your proposal.
Asking for too small a budget could put you in the position of needing to ask for a budget increase later on. This could cause friction with the receiver of your proposal and possibly damage your relationship.
Above all, be open about your budgetary needs. You need a complete and detailed list of needed things and what they will cost. This will give the proposal recipient a realistic idea of what to expect the proposal to cost once everything is in motion.
Explain how the proposal can be beneficial
Now that the goals of your proposal are known, you need to explain the benefits of your proposal. Is your proposal something that could make the other party money? Is it a humanitarian effort? Does it come with some other benefit that is not immediately obvious?
Whatever the benefit of your proposal, it needs to be impressed upon the receiver that supporting your proposal is worth their while. There must be some sort of investment return for their money or time. Do what you can to make the proposal's benefits seem exciting and worth taking the time and risk on.
Be sure to cover the tangible and intangible benefits. Intangible benefits include clout, reputation, opening doors to new potential contacts, and things of that nature. Sometimes a proposal does not necessarily get approved for the tangible benefits because the intangible can have greater long-term benefits.
Clarify how you can see the proposal's goals to completion
It is one thing to make a bunch of promises to the person your proposal needs the approval of. It is another thing to deliver them. You need to be able to explain to the receiver of the proposal just how you intend to go about bringing the goals of the proposal to completion.
One of the best things you can do is provide a detailed breakdown of your action plan. Explain thoroughly how you plan to carry out your proposal plan. Give examples of achievements you have made in the past as evidence of your ability to see it through to completion. This will go a long way in engendering the faith in you the potential backer will need.
Final call to action
The last paragraph of your letter should be a call to action for them to act on your proposal. Be sure to neatly sum up your points about what makes your proposal a worthwhile endeavor. Emphasize that none of the proposal's benefits will come to pass without their backing.
Ensure that your contact information is in your call to action so they can give you an answer. Include a phone number (perhaps even an additional phone number), physical address, and e-mail address. Be sure to also include any potential business hours in which you are available.
One of the most important parts, and often the last part, of submitting your proposal letter is following up with who you sent your letter. You want to give them a decent amount of time to have been able to read your proposal letter, but you do not want to let too much time pass either.
Sometimes follow-up on your side can end with you getting the results you want, particularly if the receiver of your proposal is busy and has not had time to respond.
Sample proposal letter template
Here is a sample proposal letter template you can tweak based on your specific project proposal.
If you are creating a business proposal letter, here is a proposal letter template you can use that breaks down each section.
Finally, a sample proposal letter gives you a good example of how a business proposal letter may look.
How not to write a proposal letter
Knowing how to write a proposal letter is one thing, but as the old saying goes, you can still do everything right and end up doing something wrong. You can do many things to sabotage an otherwise well-written proposal letter. Here are the worst things you can do.
Don't seem desperate
A proposal letter is not begging for help. Some make the mistake of writing a proposal letter that emphasizes that the subject of their proposal depends on the person they address it to. Doing so is a quick way to stop that person from wanting to help you.
It is one thing to impress upon the receiver of the letter that their help is needed, but you do not want them to decide from a place of pity. Doing so will likely cause them to find your proposal pitiful, for lack of a more appropriate word.
Don't seem demanding
A formal proposal letter is also not demanding. Don't make the mistake of trying to impress upon the receiver of the letter that they have some perceived obligation to help you. Remember that it is you who is asking for their help or approval. You are not doing them any favors by “giving them the chance to get in on the ground floor” of your proposed venture.
Don't downplay necessity
Another bad move that you can make is downplaying the necessity of the recipient's approval. Trying to seem somewhat aloof to appear confident or not appear desperate can backfire. The recipient of the proposal may question why you are submitting a proposal at all if you are putting on such airs.
A good proposal letter can open a lot of doors for you. Even if your proposal does not get picked up, a proposal letter can help you establish contacts that can be helpful in your future. It also needs to be said that you can always fine-tune your proposal with AI writing tools .
Whatever the reason for you writing a proposal letter, hopefully, this helped to break down the sections and format of proposal letters while providing tips for do’s and don’ts to write an effective proposal letter that leads the way towards closing a deal.
How to write a proposal letter is part of an ongoing series on how to write effectively in today's world. The content and tutorials on this topic include, but are not limited to:
How to create a writing portfolio
How to Write an Artist Statement
How to Write an Argumentative Essay
How to Write a Scholarship Essay
How to Write a Query Letter
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How to Write a Business Proposal (Examples & Templates)
By Aditya Sheth , Nov 21, 2022
The great Mark Cuban once said, “Sales cure all.” If a business doesn’t sell, it doesn’t make money and by extension the business fails. That’s why you need to write business proposals.
A well-written business proposal can often mean the difference between winning or losing a prospective client.
In this in-depth guide to creating business proposals, we show you how to close more deals, make more sales and crush your business goals — all by using easy-to-edit professional business proposal templates.
Here’s what this guide will cover (click to jump ahead):
What is a business proposal, what should you include in a business proposal, business proposal format, what are the types of business proposals.
- How do you write a business proposal? Business proposal templates
More business proposal examples + writing and design tips
- FAQs about business proposals
Looking for a shortcut? Watch this quick video for an overview of everything to include in your business proposal:
An effective business proposal is a document used by a B2B or business-facing company (this may not always be the case) where a seller aims to persuade a prospective buyer into buying their goods or services.
A business proposal outlines what your business does and what you can do for your client. It can be general like this business proposal example:
Or it can be more specific, like this business proposal template which focuses on proposing a project for the Newton Center Rail:
Or this business proposal sample, which presents a plan for a social media strategy and campaign:
To design a business proposal that holds the client’s attention, identify their pain points . Then provide your buyer with the right solution to alleviate those frustrations.
Return to Table of Contents
A business proposal usually aims to answer the following questions:
- Who you are and what your company does
- The problem your buyer is facing
- The solution your company offers to alleviate the problem
- How your company will implement this solution effectively
- An estimate of resources (time, money, etc) required to implement the solution
You can see how this sample business proposal template covers the above points.
Notice how this proposal template addresses the same project like in one of the previous templates, but uses a completely different design style (more retro, while the previous business proposal template is more modern and minimalistic).
You can remove or add more sections depending on the goal of your business proposal. Essential, your business proposal can follow this format:
Table of contents
Executive summary, the problem statement, the proposed solution, qualifications, the timeline, pricing, billing and legal, terms and conditions, the acceptance.
We go into detail on how you can write a business proposal (plus different business proposal templates you can apply the tips to) in the next section . But you can also click on the format items above to learn how you can best write them!
If you aim to create a holistic business proposal, feel free to just edit from the two templates right above. You can also add your brand colors and logo to your design, using My Brand Kit :
Here’s another example of a business proposal template that you can edit:
Generally, there are three types of business proposals:
1. Formally solicited
A formally solicited business proposal is made when you respond to an official request to write a business proposal.
In this scenario, you know all the requirements and have more (if not all) information about a prospective buyer. You simply need to write the business proposal for your buyer to evaluate so you can begin the sales process.
2. Informally solicited
Informally solicited business proposals are written when there isn’t an official request for a proposal. A prospective buyer is interested in your services and asks for a proposal so they can evaluate it.
An informally solicited proposal requires a lot more research from your end. These types of proposals are usually created out of informal conversations. They are not based on official requests which often contain more detail.
Think of this as a marketing brochure or a cold email . Unsolicited business proposals will often take a generic, one-size-fits-all approach to business proposals. Unsolicited proposals lack any understanding of the buyer or their requirements.
But with additional market research , personalization and identifying customer pain points , you can propose a customized solution based on your buyer’s needs. This can be a very persuasive approach, such as in this business proposal example:
How do you write a business proposal? Business proposal templates
Before you start creating your business proposal template, you need to know what it comprises. At a high level your effective business proposal should include the following:
Below, you can see business proposal examples that demonstrate how to include these 10 sections.
Business proposal title
A compelling title could mean the difference between someone reading your proposal or ignoring it in favor of a competitor’s.
What makes a good title page? Here are the essential elements to include:
- Your name along with your company’s name
- The name of the prospect (or their business)
- The date you’re submitting the proposal
The gray business consulting proposal template above contains all the details a prospect would want to know. The title also offers a strong tangible benefit to the prospective buyer. Honestly, “Who doesn’t want to grow their business?”
Return to business proposal content sections
The table of contents is a fundamental part of every winning business proposal template. It makes your proposal scannable and easy to read.
The people you will be pitching to are usually C-level executives. These are busy people who don’t have time to read your entire proposal in one go.
That’s why most of the business proposal examples in this list include a table of contents.
Adding a table of contents to your document makes it easy for them to go through it at their own pace. They can also skim through parts of the proposal that they deem more important. You can see how this abstract business proposal template uses the table of contents:
You can also make your business proposal template easier to navigate by adding hyperlinks to the document, particularly in the table of contents. This way your clients can jump to specific sections without having to scroll through the entire document.
It’s easy to add hyperlinks in the Venngage editor. Select the text you’d like to turn into a link, then click the link icon in the top bar. From there, select the page you want to link to! Then download your completed design as an Interactive PDF .
The executive summary is a staple in all kinds of annual reports , project plans and even marketing plans . It is a concise summary of the entire contents of your document. In other words, write a business proposal outline that is easy to glance over and that highlights your value proposition.
The goals of your executive summary are:
- Introduce your company to your buyer
- Provide an overview of your company goals
- Showcase your company’s milestones, overall vision and future plans
- Include any other relevant details
This gray business proposal example has a detailed yet short executive summary including some social proof in the form of clients they’ve worked with:
Take note of how precise this business proposal example is. You want to keep your executive summary concise and clear from the get-go. This sets the right tone for the rest of your proposal. It also gives your buyer a reason to continue reading your proposal.
Pro Tip: Try to write an executive summary such that, even if your prospective client doesn’t read the entire proposal (with a good executive summary, they most likely will), they should have a clear idea about what your company does and how you can help them.
The point of writing a business proposal is to solve a buyer’s problem. Your goal is to outline the problem statement as clearly as possible. This develops a sense of urgency in your prospect. They will want to find a solution to the problem. And you have that solution.
A well-defined problem statement does two things:
- It shows the prospect you have done your homework instead of sending a generic pitch
- It creates an opportunity for you to point out a problem your prospect might not be aware they had in the first place.
This bold business proposal template above clearly outlines the problem at hand and also offers a ray of hope i.e. how you can solve your prospect’s problem. This brings me to…
The good stuff. In the proposed solution section, you show how you can alleviate your prospective buyer’s pain points. This can fit onto the problem statement section but if you have a comprehensive solution or prefer to elaborate on the details, a separate section is a good idea.
Spare no details regarding the solution you will provide. When you write a business proposal, explain how you plan to deliver the solution. Include an estimated timeline of when they can expect your solution and other relevant details.
For inspiration, look at how this business proposal template quickly and succinctly outlines the project plan, deliverables and metrics :
At this point, the prospect you’re pitching your solution to likes what they’re reading. But they may not trust you to deliver on your promises. Why is this?
It’s because they don’t know you. Your job is to convince them that you can fix their problem. This section is important because it acts as social proof. You can highlight what your company does best and how qualified your team is when you write a business proposal for a potential client.
This free business proposal template showcases the company’s accolades, client testimonials, relevant case studies, and industry awards. You can also include other forms of social proof to establish yourself as a credible business. This makes it that much more likely that they will say yes!
Pro Tip: Attaching in-depth case studies of your work is a great way to build trust with a potential client by showcasing how you’ve solved similar problems for other clients in the past. Our case study examples post can show you how to do just that.
To further demonstrate just how prepared you are, it’s important to outline the next steps you will take should your buyer decide to work with you.
Provide a timeline of how and when you will complete all your deliverables. You can do this by designing a flow chart . Or add a roadmap with deadlines. Pitching a long-term project? A timeline infographic would be a better fit.
If you look at this abstract business proposal template below, even something as simple as a table can do the trick.
The timeline is not always set in stone, rather it’s an estimation. The goal is to clarify any questions your potential client might have about how you will deliver for the underlying B2B sales process.
On this page, you can outline your fees, payment schedule, invoice payment terms , as well as legal aspects involved in this deal.
The key to good pricing is to provide your buyer with options. A pricing comparison table can help with this. You want to give your client some room to work with. Make sure you’re not scaring off your client with a high price, nor undervaluing yourself.
Breaking up your pricing in stages is another great way to make sure your potential client knows what he’s paying for. Look at how this simple business proposal template does this:
The legal aspects can slot right into the terms and conditions section. Alternatively, you can add them in the signature section of the proposal to keep things simple.
Summarize everything you have promised to deliver so far. Include what you expect from your prospective buyer in return. Add the overall project timeline from start to end, as well as payment methods and payment schedule. This way, both of you will be clear on what is being agreed on.
This step is very important as it outlines all the legal aspects of the deal. That is why the terms and conditions section of your proposal needs to be as clear as possible.
I recommend consulting a lawyer or your legal team when working on this section of the business proposal. If you’re a business veteran and understand the legalities of your business, you can use the same terms and conditions across all your proposals.
The final step of this whole process. Your client has read your business proposal and they want to buy what you have to offer.
Add a small section at the end of your proposal to get the necessary signatures. This way, you and your client can sign the proposal and the partnership becomes official.
Be sure to also include your contact information in your business proposal template. It acts as a gentle prompt to your client to contact you in case they have any questions.
Now that you know how to write a business proposal, let’s look at how you can optimize your proposal to deliver results!
Below you’ll find some winning business proposal templates and examples to get you started. I’ve also included some design tips to keep in mind when you’re creating your next business proposal:
1. Know your audience
If you have some clarity on who your ideal buyer is — their pain points, their budget, deadlines, among other things — you’ve already won half the battle.
If you are a business that helps clients with everything from running giveaways or helping grow their blog , identify which customers to pitch. This is a sure-shot way to close the deal.
Mapping user personas for your ideal buyer can help bring some clarity. It will also help you position your business proposal correctly. This improves the chance of your buyer moving your business proposal to the “Yes!” pile.
2. Put your brand front and center
If your company follows certain brand guidelines, incorporate them in your business proposal templates. Consider how business proposal examples like the one below highlight brand identity:
From the color palettes to the company logos , everything follows their brand guidelines. The result: a business proposal that’s consistent across the board.
Pro Tip: Switching this template to match your brand assets is actually pretty easy. Venngage’s My Brand Kit feature allows you to import your color palettes, logos as well as font choices. Any Venngage template can now be your template.
You can also consider this sample business proposal template:
Design companies sure do know their design. They did a phenomenal job keeping their brand colors consistent while opting for a black design. This unique color scheme also makes their white logo prominent throughout the proposal.
3. Try less text, more visuals
Have you ever read a proposal and thought to yourself, “Wow, this is all text and has no images, I love it!”? Yeah, me neither.
The free business proposal template below is a perfect example of the “less is more” principle. It does a phenomenal job of communicating what it needs to. By substituting some of the text with icons and visuals, you get a clean business proposal that’s much more scannable.
Want to keep things strictly professional? Instead of icons, you can always add your team’s headshots. This shows your buyer exactly who they’ll be working with.
Check out this formal business proposal format for some inspiration:
4. Switch up your business proposal designs
It doesn’t hurt to go above and beyond once in a while. Jazz up your business proposal template with some extra colors. This helps make your business proposal more engaging. It also helps your buyers retain information faster.
The business proposal example alternates between black, white and grey backgrounds. It still manages to maintain consistency in its branding . Just switching up your backgrounds once in a while can also bring in some variety to an otherwise standard business proposal.
This SEO business proposal sample proves that it’s possible to switch up the colors in every other page. But it still maintains the same color scheme across the entire proposal just like a professionally designed website :
Pro Tip: Not a color expert? Our guide on picking colors can help you pick the right color scheme for your proposals.
FAQ about business proposals
What is the purpose of a business proposal.
Essentially, a business proposal aims to streamline the B2B sales process (which is often complex) between you as a seller and a buyer.
It does this by serving the dual purpose of acting as a source of information. The proposal also acts as a sales pitch aimed at convincing your buyer why they should buy what you have to offer.
What are the best practices for business proposal design?
- Do a thorough spell-check. The goal of your business proposal is to convince your buyer why you’re the perfect person for the job. A proposal with typos or grammatical errors communicates the opposite. A thorough spell-check before you send your proposal is a must.
- Let your brand shine. As discussed before, writing a business proposal is all about knowing your ideal buyer and focusing on their pain points. But that doesn’t mean your business proposal template has to be boring. Demonstrate how different you are compared to other companies. You can do this through your brand guidelines, by using more visuals, switching up your proposal design or showing off your personality in your writing.
- Download your business proposal as a PDF. This allows you to attach other collaterals with your business proposal. These can include a company explainer video or case studies showcasing the work done with past clients. Also, who doesn’t love saving paper?
How long should your business proposal be?
The length depends on the scope of the work as well as the complexity of the project. Here is a one-page business proposal template:
Can your business proposal template really be one page? Yes, as long as you understand who your buyer is and their pain points. You should also have the ability to communicate everything your ideal buyer needs to know about your business in a succinct manner.
Or if you’re feeling adventurous how about just two pages? Often, clients prefer if you go straight to the point and avoid all the fluff.
For example, this green modern marketing proposal template wastes no time in getting down to brass tacks:
There is no one size fits all approach when it comes to deciding how many pages you should include in your business proposal template. And at the end of the day, “the only rules are the ones you set for yourself”.
At the end of the day, writing winning business proposals that sell is all about you understanding your buyer, their potential pain points and positioning yourself as someone who can alleviate those pain points.
Now that you know how to write compelling business proposals, what are you waiting for?
Take action and start creating your own business proposals to close more deals and grow your business today!
More business communications templates + writing tips you might be interested in…
31 Consulting Proposal Templates to Close Deals
How to Write a Project Proposal [10+ Templates]
20+ Professional Business Letterhead Templates + Branding Tips
How to Write a White Paper [Tips & Templates]
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Dear … We are very pleased to present to you __(a design/several designs)__ that we have come up with for your __(website/logo/banner/brochure/floor plan/etc.)__. As __(Name of company)__, we are confident that __(this/these)__ concept(s) will give you the image that you want to express to your marketplace. Not only does this type of __(campaign/brochure/website/floor plan/etc.)__ present a professional image, giving your customers confidence in your company, it sends a message of __(type of message)__ that will merit an increase your sales. With every new account we work on, our team of professionals place a great deal of emphasis on completing a market study of that specific industry. Combining that with an in-depth ‘needs analysis’ is what gives us a strong foundation with which to build our creative concepts on. Our goal is to provide you with the greatest ROI and we believe we have achieved that with this __(campaign/brochure/website/floor plan/etc.)__ we have designed. Our extensive experience, knowledge and care that goes into designing each project for our clients has given us a successful track record. We want to take this opportunity to thank you for allowing us to show you how our expertise can work for you and we look forward to a mutually rewarding relationship. Yours truly,
Receipt of proposal - will make decision soon.
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Dear … Request for __(Bid/Proposal)__ Our company is .. Read More
Dear … We are very pleased to present to you __(a design/several designs)_ .. Read More
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Dear … Thank you for your proposal dated __(date)__ for our __(name of proj .. Read More
Proposal Unaccepted - Over priced
Dear … We appreciate your recent proposal to supply us with __(name of item .. Read More
Solicit a Project Proposal
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How to write a grant proposal: a step-by-step guide
A grant proposal is a request for funding that organizations submit to grant-making bodies.
Generally, a grant proposal outlines a project idea, explains why the organization needs grant money, and provides evidence that demonstrates the need and worthiness of the project.
In grant proposals, organizations usually describe their mission, describe how they plan to use grant funds, provide program goals and objectives, a timeline for completion of the project, and an expected outcome.
However, a grant proposal must also be written in such a way as to convince potential funders of the value and impact of the proposed project.
In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at how you can create stunning grant proposals in record time.
Why should you seek grant funding?
When done successfully, grant writing can open doors to vital funding sources needed to make your project a success.
Writing grants can also be a networking opportunity with grant-making organizations, as grant writers often make connections and partnerships that may prove valuable in the future.
Most of all, grant writing is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate your organization’s commitment to its mission and goals, as grant writers must be able to articulate the importance of their vision.
At first glance, grant proposals may only appear to benefit the organization or individual who needs the money, but that’s not exactly true.
For a grant-making organization, investing in a project, initiative, or organization is an investment in positive change that can have a powerful impact on the issues they care about.
A bit of stats to benefit:
- The United States Government offers thousands of grants that nonprofits may apply for, each providing various amounts for federal projects that will have an impact across the country.
- Many Fortune 500 companies offer matching programs for grants, where companies match monetary donations made by employees to nonprofits.
- Submitting to at least three grant applications puts your chances of winning at least one grant at around 90% .
Before you get started
Before you start writing, take the time to prepare carefully. Consider each of the following.
1. Pursuing grants will incur costs in both time and money
You’ll need to find a grant that matches your initiatives, create a proposal, and participate in the entire selection process.
2. Your grant proposal may or may not be successful
Most organizations rely on multiple sources of funding, and grant opportunities shouldn’t change that.
Remember that grants can be competitive and funding may be limited.
Calculate the award against the time invested before pursuing the opportunity.
3. Be sure to have a strong understanding of your project
Be sure to have a strong understanding of your project including desired outcomes, estimated timelines, and other funding sources before you start writing.
Your proposal will be evaluated by grant-making bodies and committees who may choose to award funds to your competitors or simply choose not to award any funding due to a lack of clarity or credibility.
4. Create the appropriate accounts
You may also need to create the appropriate accounts and go through verification processes before you can submit a grant.
For example, organizations seeking federal funding need to register with the federal grant program before they can ask for a grant .
5. Submit a grant inquiry letter before writing a full grant proposal
In many cases, it may make more sense to submit a grant inquiry letter before writing a full grant proposal.
If the grant-making body approves your letter and sends you a request for a formal grant proposal, you can proceed with writing a detailed RFP response to this prospective investor.
4. Save time by using a document management software
Save time by using a document management software like PandaDoc to assist you in this difficult task.
Besides grant proposals, our software tools can handle your quotes, agreements, contracts, and proposals.
With those basics out of the way, let’s move on to the structure of a standard grant proposal you should adhere to.
Step 1. Write a strong cover letter
Your cover letter is the perfect opportunity to capture the funder’s attention and get your foot in the door.
Unlike the rest of your grant application, the letter can be less formal and address the reader more directly.
The key objective of your cover letter is to compel the reader to get to your proposal.
They’ve likely received tens or even hundreds of grant applications and your letter should separate you from the crowd as much as possible.
Here are some dos and don’ts when it comes to cover letters:
Here is how a good cover letter can start:
Dear Mr. Jones,
The Pet Care Clinic respectfully requests a grant of $30,000 for our South Boston Health Center Project.
As the largest independent pet hospital in Boston, we are aware of the challenges pet owners in our service area are faced with. We’re particularly concerned about the lack of service quality in South Boston given the fact that the area has the largest amount of pets per capita in the city.
We are committed to solving this issue by growing our community and providing our expertise to the people and animals of Boston by the end of 2021. The South Boston Health Center Project will allow us to provide access…
No fluff and right to the point!
Step 2. Start with an executive summary
Every winning grant should start with a brief executive summary.
Also known as a proposal summary, an executive summary is essentially a brief synopsis of the entire proposal. It introduces your business, market segment, proposal, project goals — essentially, your grant request.
It should have sufficient detail and specifics; get to the point quickly and be pragmatic and factual.
Here are some questions that a good grant writer will answer in their executive summary:
1. What is your mission and history ? What do you do?
2. What is your project’s name and who is it supposed to help?
3. What problem are you solving and why should it matter?
4. What is your end goal and how will you measure whether you achieved it?
5. Why should you get the funds? What are your competencies ?
6. How much money do you need and how do you plan to finance the project in the future ? Do you have other funding sources ?
Step 3. Introduce your organization
Now that you’ve set the stage for the entire proposal, you can start with your business/organization. Share as much relevant information as you can about your infrastructure, history, mission, experience, etc.
Here you include a biography of key staff, your business track record (success stories), company goals, and philosophy; essentially highlight your expertise.
Client recommendations , letters of thanks , feedback from customers and the general public are must-have things to write in a grant proposal.
Be sure to include all valid industry certifications ( ISO or Quality Certifications ), licenses, and business and indemnity insurance details.
You need to show that your company or organization has the capacity and the ability to meet all deliverables from both an execution perspective but also meet all legal, safety, and quality obligations.
You may need to provide solvency statements to prove that you can meet your financial commitments to your staff and contractors.
Step 4. Write a direct problem statement
One of the most important parts of the grant proposal structure is the problem statement.
Also known as the “ needs statement ” or “ statement of need “, this is the place where you explain why your community has a problem and how you can provide the solution.
You may need to do extensive research on the history of the underlying problem, previous solutions that were implemented and potentially failed, and explain why your solution will make a difference.
In a winning grant proposal, the problem statement will heavily rely on quantitative data and clearly display how your organization answers a need.
Here’s how a brief problem statement could look:
A 2017 report from [institution] showed that the town of [your community] has the highest [problem stat] per capita in the state of [your state]. Another study by [institution] confirmed these findings in 2020, highlighting the importance of [potential solution] in dealing with these issues.
There is a need for education and professional services in: [fields and industries] backed by expertise and a strong infrastructure.
To meet this need, [your organization] proposes a [your program] that would, for the first time, address the problem of [problem].
With PandaDoc, you get a free grant proposal template that has all of these sections incorporated!
Grant proposal template
Step 5. state your goals and objectives.
Another important part of the grant proposal process is clearly stating your goals and objectives.
In fact, many proposals fail because they forget or mishandle this step so all their hard work goes to waste!
Write details about the desired outcome and how success will be measured.
This section is key to providing information on the benefits that the grantee, community, government, or client will see for their investment.
And, although they sound similar, Goals and Objectives should be separated.
Think of Goals as broad statements and Objectives as more specific statements of intention with measurable outcomes and a time frame.
Here is an example of well-formulated goals and objectives.
Goal: Improve the literacy and overall ability of expression of children from inner-city schools in [the community].
Objective: By the end of the 2023 school year, improve the results of reading and writing tests for fourth-graders in [the community] by at least 20% compared to current results (55/100, on average).
Notice how the goal is more optimistic and abstract while the objective is more measurable and to the point.
Step 6. Project design: methods and strategies
Now that the funding agency or grantee knows your goals, it’s time to tell them how you plan on achieving them.
List the new hires and skills, additional facilities, transport, and support services you need to deliver the project and achieve the defined measures for success.
Good project management discipline and methodologies with detailed requirements specified and individual tasks articulated (project schedule) will keep a good focus on tasks, deliverables and results.
Step 7. The evaluation section: tracking success
This section covers process evaluation — how will you track your program’s progress?
It also includes the timeframe needed for evaluation and who will do the evaluation including the specific skills or products needed and the cost of the evaluation phase of the project.
This is one of the most important steps to writing a grant proposal, as all funders will look for evaluations.
Whether we’re talking about government agencies or private foundations, they all need to know if the program they invested in made a difference.
Evaluation can be quite expensive and need to have entry and exit criteria and specifically focused in-scope activities.
All out-of-scope evaluation activities need to be specified as this phase can easily blow out budget-wise.
Once again, solid project management discipline and methodologies will keep a good focus on evaluation tasks and results.
To go back to our child literacy example, here is how an evaluation would look for that project:
The program facilitators will administer both a set of pretests and posttests to students in order to determine to which degree the project is fulfilling the objectives. The periodic tests will be created by a set of outside collaborators (experts in child education) and will take place on a monthly basis for the duration of the program.
After each session, we will ask participating teachers to write a qualitative evaluation in order to identify areas of improvement and generate feedback […]
Step 8. Other funding sources and sustainability
Your founders won’t like the idea of investing in a short-term project that has no perspective.
They’ll be much more willing to recognize a long-term winner and reward a promising project that can run on a larger scale.
That’s why you need to show how you can make this happen.
This section of your grant proposal is for funding requirements that go beyond the project, total cost of ownership including ongoing maintenance, daily business, and operational support.
This may require you to articulate the projected ongoing costs (if any) for at least 5 years.
An accurate cost model needs to include all factors including inflation, specialist skills, ongoing training, potential future growth, and decommissioning expenses when the project or the product reaches the end of its life cycle.
Step 9. Outline a project budget
Of course, one of the most important grant proposal topics is budgeting . This is the moment when you go into detail about exactly how you’ll be using the resources from an operational standpoint.
Provide full justification for all expenses including a table of services (or service catalog) and product offered can be used to clearly and accurately specify the services.
Remember that the project budget section is the true meat of your grant proposal.
Overcharging or having a high quote can lose you the grant and even be seen as profiteering.
Underquoting might win you the business but you may not be able to deliver on your proposal which could adversely impact your standing with the grantee.
Many grantors underquote in the hope of hooking the reader and then looking for additional funding at a later stage.
This is a dangerous game to play and could affect your individual or company’s brand, community standing, or industry reputation.
Here’s how a project budget would look for a fictional grant for a cross-country research study:
Below a table like this, you can further clarify any key points, like what a research assistant will do and why they’re needed for the study.
You can also explain how you intend to use a specific piece of software to save time or money.
For example, PandaDoc can help you create forms and templates so that you can gather precise information in a uniform way.
Schedule a demo here and see for yourself how PandaDoc can expedite your grant proposal process. With PandaDoc, you’ll enjoy:
- A robust document builder.
- Seamless, paperless delivery.
- Document analytics and tracking.
- Hundreds of customizable templates.
- Content libraries for text and media snippets.
- And much more.
If filling out forms and gathering information is a key component of your research study, you’ll need a tool that can help you capture data quickly and easily without breaking the bank.
Frequently asked questions about grant proposals
What is the difference between a grant proposal and a grant letter.
It’s quite easy to confuse a grant proposal with a grant letter.
But a grant proposal contains all the sections we mentioned: the project’s summary, a cover letter, problem statement, etc. and is typically pretty long.
Some companies or individual investors consider this document too long and prefer a grant letter, which is a shorter, much more streamlined document. A grant letter typically doesn’t exceed 3-4 pages although it has a similar structure.
How do you write a scientific grant proposal?
Here you should emphasize the significance of your project and its contribution to science if implemented successfully.
Back it up with relevant statistics, scientific facts, and research data on the subject. It’s important to use simple terms comprehensible to the prospective Grantee.
Also, explain why you are the one who can finish this project: provide some proof of your expertise to make your proposal stronger.
How do you write a grant proposal for education?
Besides the project description, you need to mention how it will improve the education system.
Detail how your project will improve student’s productivity, increase their knowledge, and make their overall learning process better.
Educational projects usually involve a team of people who will put the idea into practice. Provide more information about each team member and why this person can perform their duties.
How to write a grant proposal for art?
Even though the inspiration can’t be forced, an art project should be time-specific. Mention the start and end date of your activity.
Otherwise, a prospective grant may not take it seriously.
Primarily you should convey your message to the grant-making organization, even if they don’t know much about the kind of art you create. Explain the idea in the simplest way so anybody can understand it clearly.
How do you write a grant proposal for a non-profit organization?
Unlike other organizations, an NGO needs to drill down to the key community issues and show how deeply its work can affect the people it’s meant to serve.
Given the democratic and often local nature of NGOs, their work will be viewed more through an altruistic lens.
An NGO also needs to pay special attention to demonstrating the sustainability of the project over time, since that’s a unique problem to NGOs and something that commercial businesses have already dealt with.
How many pages should a grant proposal be?
There isn’t a strict rule when it comes to grant proposals — their length will always depend on the complexity of the issue it covers and the amount of research behind it.
Typically, a grant proposal should be up to 25 pages , although different funding institutions will often put this in their “ Rules ” section — so read those carefully!
How many hours does it take to write a grant proposal?
Proposal writing is slightly different from regular writing: it needs to follow a specific structure and rules.
Add to that all the research and argumentation needed to write a good proposal, and you’ll be looking at hours, days, or even weeks if you’re really a perfectionist.
As a rule of thumb, you should devote one week to writing a proposal. Although you might finish earlier, it’s good to have enough time to cover everything.
Originally was published March 2014 and has been updated for comprehensiveness in February 2023
Proposals 9 min
Proposals 8 min
Proposals 18 min
Santos' AR-15 rifle proposal, Jan. 6 videos, school lunches, and teens' mental health
Rep. George Santos wears his AR-15 lapel pin. He has sponsored a bill to make the assault rifle the "national gun of the United States." Credit: Los Angeles Times via Getty Images/Kent Nishimura
Readers shoot down Santos’ AR-15 idea
It seems rather insensitive and politically incorrect to sponsor a bill naming the AR-15-style semiautomatic assault rifle the “national gun of the United States” [“Santos backs bill to name ‘national gun,’ ” News, Feb. 24].
Given that Rep. George Santos (R-Nassau/Queens) has admitted to lying during his campaign, it makes no sense to address or give attention to his proposal, which is co-sponsored by three other House Republicans.
Are they missing something? They lack compassion and sensitivity as this has been the weapon of choice in many mass murders that this country has experienced in a relatively short window of time.
This is not about gun laws but rather about this weapon being intrinsic to unthinkable killings. It’s time to think of this accountability and appropriateness.
— Nancy DiMonte, Elwood
I am outraged. As a grandmother of a student who was in a classroom shot up in the 2018 Parkland, Florida high school attack, it is beyond my comprehension that Rep. George Santos, a liar and a cheat, would sponsor this bill and wear an AR-15 lapel pin.
My granddaughter and her mother both, to this day — five years later — suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Santos’ remaining in office is a travesty of justice. He is completely unfit to serve and must be removed.
— Julia De Tomaso, Syosset
I find it hard to direct any of my attention to the fraud that is Rep. George Santos, yet I feel compelled to respond out of respect for all those in our country who lost loved ones to an AR-15-style rifle. Even bad attention is attention.
I believe kindness does prevail, and my heart will always be with those who have suffered from horrific gun violence. I am confident that I speak for most Americans.
— Diane McGuire, Northport
The United States has a national bird, flower, seal, anthem and mammal, and Rep. George Santos now wants to make the AR-15-style rifle our national gun.
Maybe we need a national HINO — a human in name only. I nominate Santos.
— Sid Burgreen, Garden City
Releasing Jan. 6 videos not a stunt
It’s confusing and disappointing to read how Dan Janison describes the release of thousands of hours of official surveillance footage of the Jan. 6 violence at the U.S. Capitol as nothing more than a political stunt [“Shallow displays are the legislative rage,” Opinion, Feb. 23].
The only way to make sure no events like these happen again is to let the public see exactly what happened, build consensus for changes to the law that could help this, and enact those changes.
People can and should make up their own minds, based on complete evidence, no matter what that evidence may show.
Withholding information breeds distrust and should not be championed. Reasonable journalism and a functioning democracy require it.
— Ray Grasing, Nesconset
Helping feed students is the American way
I agree 100% with your editorial about feeding our students [“Fund meals for our students,” Opinion, Feb. 24].
I believe that the best program created by the federal government, on a bipartisan basis, was Head Start and its commitment to provide free breakfasts for all young children. These “free” meals directly contributed to higher school grades and higher graduation rates.
Politicians support this, so now all we need is funding. Newsday’s editorial board favors New York State spending funds to “close the gap” of missing federal aid.
I would also recommend a 25-cent surcharge to each student to help pay for the “free meals,” educating each student that we all must give back, in some way, to those who are less fortunate, as taught by our religious institutions.
I would also encourage students receiving “free lunches” to volunteer through various clubs and school government to “give back” to our society. America’s spirit of volunteerism is one key to our success in the world and contributes to a free and fairer society.
— Alan H. Cohn, Nesconset
Church accepts teens and all — everyone
A reader is way off base about teenagers being unwelcome by religious institutions [“Religion not always helpful to teenagers,” Letters, Feb. 26].
At our church, we accept everyone — whoever they are or wherever they come from.
So many of Jesus’ encounters and subsequent lessons revolve around those who were outcasts or overlooked by society: the Samaritan woman at the well, divorced five times; lepers; an unethical tax collector; and many more typically abandoned and/or downtrodden.
— Scott Evans, Huntington
WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO JOIN OUR DAILY CONVERSATION. Email your opinion on the issues of the day to [email protected] Submissions should be no more than 200 words. Please provide your full name, hometown, phone numbers and any relevant expertise or affiliation. Include the headline and date of the article you are responding to. Letters become the property of Newsday and are edited for all media. Due to volume, readers are limited to one letter in print every 45 days. Published letters reflect the ratio received on each topic.
Here are some seven steps to follow when composing a proposal letter: Introduce yourself and provide background information. State your purpose for the proposal. Define your goals and objectives. Highlight what sets you apart. Briefly discuss the budget and how funds will be used. Finish with a call to action and request a follow-up.
What is a proposal letter? Most commonly, a "proposal letter" (a term which has a number of overlapping meanings) is a document that acts as a full proposal for small projects, where an in-depth proposal, with a table of contents and extensive project details, is not required.
What is a proposal letter? A proposal letter is designed to entice the recipient to read your proposal in its entirety. It can be formal or informal, and usually covers the problem statement, goals, proposed solution, and next steps. It might also include details about the project budget or timeline.
There are many things you will need to cover in your proposal letter. Each different part has a purpose, and altogether they should set out clearly the reason for the letter. Here are five sections that need to be included: Introduction - This should grab the attention of the reader.
How to write a business proposal letter There are a few steps to take to ensure that your business is well-formatted and compelling: 1. Create a business header Write your contact information at the top of the letter followed by the date. Then add the contact information of the recipient.
Writing Your Own Proposal 1 Start with a firm introduction. This should start out with a hook. Ideally, you want your readers enraptured from point one. Make your proposal as purposeful and useful as possible. Use some background information to get your readers in the zone. Then state the purpose of your proposal.
A proposal letter is a written offer from an individual, a group of people or from an organization to another to propose something. This is a way of communication that creates an opportunity for a person or an organization to interact well and get offers for business opportunity.
When to Write the Proposal Letter. While it's tempting to write the proposal letter first, you'll actually find it much easier if you wait to write it last. Create your entire proposal with all of the details, and then once you have a deep understanding of what exactly you're offering, write that into the cover letter. Example Proposal ...
Here are some steps for how to write a proposal cover letter: 1. Include contact information It's important that you include your contact information, your name, email, phone number, and the contact information of your organization, its name, email, phone number, website and even social media pages.
You may write a proposal letter for a number of reasons—in particular, you may be requesting a grant, requesting a business loan, or requesting that a publisher accepts your book idea.  There are general formats and specific arguments you should make in each instance. Here's what you should include. Part 1 Formatting the Letter Download Article
First, a proposal cover letter and an executive summary have some things in common: They should appear at the beginning of your proposal. They should be one page long, maximum. They should be prospect-focused. They should NOT be overly sales-y or pitchy. They should NOT be a detailed rehash of the entire proposal.
Your Proposal Letter needs to include information about yourself - such as your name and background information. You should also state the purpose of sending the Proposal Letter. The proposal must clearly outline objectives, goals, or other benchmarks. You need to explain why your proposal is unique and different from others.
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If you're planning to write a cover letter for your grant proposal, here are some helpful steps you can follow: 1. Use a formal header. At the top of a grant proposal cover letter, most professionals choose to include a formal header. In this section, you can include elements such as: Your contact information.
Make your goals clear. . It must be stressed that your proposal letter should feature the ultimate goals that your proposal sets out to achieve. By stating your goals, you are giving your proposal a metric that it can live up to and, therefore, give the receiver of your proposal an idea of what to expect. .
Generally, there are three types of business proposals: 1. Formally solicited A formally solicited business proposal is made when you respond to an official request to write a business proposal. In this scenario, you know all the requirements and have more (if not all) information about a prospective buyer.
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Business proposal 101: How to write effectively. There is no magic recipe to create the perfect proposal letter for a new hire. It all depends on the company's approach and business model. Usually, staffing campaigns generate a handful of time-consuming tasks that the HR Department has to take care of.
Step 2. Start with an executive summary. Every winning grant should start with a brief executive summary. Also known as a proposal summary, an executive summary is essentially a brief synopsis of the entire proposal. It introduces your business, market segment, proposal, project goals — essentially, your grant request.
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