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What Goes in A Proposal?

There is so much that goes into developing a winning proposal that one post just is not going to cover it all. But here is a 50,000-foot view for familiarity purposes, and we will talk about each one in more detail over the coming weeks.

The major components of a standard proposal are:

Title Page:  This is the top sheet. It should reflect the project name, the type of project, the hiring agency or organization and solicitation number.

Executive Summary: This is about your firm or company and what makes you the best fit for the project. This summary can change depending on the opportunity you are pursuing.

Project Objectives and Goals: This section is your chance to let the organization know what you understand their needs and wants, and that what is important to them is also important to you. 

Project Approach: This is where you answer the scope of work topics and demonstrate your understanding, and answer how you will meet them.

Results: The result is that the government or hiring agency gets the item or service expected in the solicitation. Think of this more as a “features and benefits” section and talk about the value added to their intended result.

Risk Management: Every task has risks. Use this section to identify them and discuss mitigation strategies.

Organization and Staffing: This should include identifying who will compose the team, the designation of the head and members, their responsibilities and contact information.

Timeline: This part discusses phases of the project, if any, or how services will be rendered in a set time frame.  Dates can be mentioned, or plus/minus days from award.

Budget: This portion will identify the specific budget line items, their descriptions, the amount needed and the proposed sources for these items.

Other relevant information: Sometimes, other relevant information may help support the funding for a project, such as the mention of other activities or related projects that are slated to complement the current initiatives.

Appendices or attachments: This is where you might put in and attach endorsement and recommendation letters and other documents to support the project. Some solicitations will direct you to add forms, resumes or other documents here.

Not all proposals contain these sections. They may be in a different order, have specific requirements not mentioned here, or be omitted entirely. It is imperative to read the solicitation and make sure what you provide in your response complies.