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Proposal writing, prepared by Dilanur Toplak

February 9, 2023

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[UPDATED] Everything you should know about proposal writing in 2023

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Would not you like to bring a good idea to life with a valuable investment? A well-prepared proposal for this purpose can be your savior. With a well-written proposal, you can get companies to buy your idea and be a game-changer for the industry. So how to write a good proposal to change the game?

What's Inside?

What is Proposal Writing?

The proposal is one of the important marketing documents that help to indicate a professional relationship between an organization and donor as a first step of the project to be applied. Proposals can be written for many different purposes. Whatever the purpose, the idea should be presented briefly, concisely, and clearly. Clear and concise expressions represent mastery of the subject. A well-written proposal will impress investors and, on this occasion, resolve their questions, which will positively change the game for both sides. It is very important to be able to convince the investor in proposal writing. Even if you have presented the best idea in the world to an unconvinced investor, s/he will not support you financially.

In its simplest form, a proposal can be described as a detailed statement written to solve a problem on a topic.

This problem could be related to,

  • Marketing strategy
  • Reduction of cost
  • Improvement of a process.

Types of Proposals

Another issue to be considered while writing a proposal is which type of proposal is written. Presenting the desired idea varies according to the proposal type. There are 6 types of project proposals,

Formally solicited:

A formally requested project proposal is made to respond to a formal request for proposal. This type of proposal is the easiest way to respond to a new project using a proposal. A Request for Proposals (RFP) document usually describes exactly what the customer or target audience wants. In addition, instructions for the preparation of the proposal can be included in the document. In formally solicited proposals, you should follow a structured approach. You need to provide a direct answer to the rough details of the content is transferred to you, ultimately you must turn the feedback into a measurable project where you can judge the value of getting started.

Informally solicited:

Informally requested project proposals are similar to formally requested proposals, but the fact that the information on which they are based is not specified in a specific document distinguishes these two types of proposals. While this may seem like it makes dealing with them a bit more difficult, it at least offers a rough starting point. More research is needed for this type of proposal.


Unsolicited project proposals are seen as the project equivalent of cold calls. No one wanted to get a quote, but if executed well it can still provide a ton of value. These are suggestions considered by the person who sent them and can be inspired by a casual conversation the employee has with a customer in their day-to-day work.

These are probably known as the hardest offers to write because you need to be extra persuasive since no one asks for offers. This means that you need to take extra care to gather more evidence than usual to prove the value of the proposal, and to make sure it is persuasive when writing it.


Continuation project proposals are by far the easiest to write because they are written primarily as reminders/updates for ongoing projects.

This proposal includes reminding the target audience of the project they have previously approved, reporting its progress, notifying the changes to the account, and asking permission to continue for the project.

Typically, continuation project proposals are prepared to request funding when a new phase in a project is started.


If an ongoing project is finished or has lost its usefulness and support is considered to be discontinued accordingly, a renewal project proposal can be written to advocate for continued support. If an ongoing project is finished or has lost its usefulness and support is considered to be discontinued accordingly, a renewal project proposal can be written to advocate for continued support.

Much like follow-up proposals, this proposal is intended to show why it is valuable to continue the project, rather than to convince the audience of the value of the project on its own. This usually means comparing the return benefits with the resources needed to maintain the application.

It would be better at this point to compare the project you are trying to get renewed support with other ongoing projects. Thus, it demonstrates its value in the context of other ongoing efforts and enables the identification of areas more likely to be stopped


When you need to request additional resources for a project in addition to the initial proposal, a supplemental project proposal is required.

The main purpose of writing these proposals is to be able to justify the extra resources and produce updated estimates of what the project now needs to complete. If the scope of the project is scaled up to provide greater access, it will be read as an appendix to the original document, focusing on explaining the benefits of expanding the scope. However, if there are issues that mean the original goals require extra resources or new information emerges, you should instead replicate the benefits of the project, explain in detail why such issues and information were not anticipated, and build trust with the client.

The audience should continue to support you, convinced that the operation is still worth the investment.

Why Is It so Important to Write a Proposal?

Writing a proposal shows that you value the idea you have and that it is important. A well-thought-out project, with identified risks and phases of operation, allows the investor to make assumptions about the future of the idea. The proposal, which provides confidence for the investor, also allows discussing and improving the idea.

What is the Key to Writing an Effective Proposal?

If it is desired to collect proposal writing under 3 main headings, it consists of planning, writing, and pre-release stages.  

In the planning phase, the problem must first be defined. After determining the solution to be created for this problem, it should be determined who the listeners and readers will be.

Target Audience

The main purpose of proposal writing is not to tell the consumer how good your idea is, but to convince them why your idea is the best option. Therefore, before writing a proposal, it is necessary to determine who your target audience is. The characteristics of the target audience or group will guide you in choosing which words to use.

The first mistake that many people make is to try to write proposals without identifying the target audience. A proposal is written without knowing its audience will fail to attract the attention of the audience.

Another common mistake is to write proposals for a general audience. Proposals that appeal to the general audience may not meet the needs of the targeted audience and may cause the issues that need to be addressed to be skipped. General proposals do not provide clear or convincing documentation.

In the writing phase, which is the main part of the proposal, The problem that your idea can solve is expressed and the audience affected by this problem is determined. Solutions to the problem are explained step by step. The main discussion point and the purpose of the proposal are explained to the target audience. By discussing cost and benefit, a basic assumption is made for the consumer.

In the pre-release phase, the jargon must be replaced with simple language. The proposal should be checked to be as simple as possible. Spelling and grammar mistakes must be controlled. These mentioned stages can be given as a summary of writing a good proposal, but the stages that will be mentioned now will include the requirements for an effectively written proposal.

A simple schematic of the proposal,

  • Introduction: Summarizes a general description of the problem, solution, cost, and benefit.
  • Issue: Background information is given at this stage. The purpose, argument, and importance of the issue are discussed. It is recommended to discuss in detail at this stage who the proposal will affect, why, and how it will affect people. Adding a SWOT analysis for business proposals will grab the audience's attention.
  • Solution: Stepwise solutions are determined by determining what will be taken into consideration. Solutions to overcome potential problems are indicated.
  • Qualifications: Describes personal competence and experience to support your proposal.
  • Conclusion: After comparing cost and benefit, the importance of the presented idea is emphasized again.

Data and Research

Figures, graphs, tables, and data that will be used throughout the proposal will build audience trust as a complement to the proposal. numerical data always have a stronger effect than assumptions.

Hidden Traps

According to information published in the Project Management Institute (PMI), some reasons for rejecting proposals go unnoticed by the presenters. 4 main situations under rejection of proposals,

  • Poor definition of the proposal
  • The proposal is not in line with the institutional objectives
  • The proposal that is not clearly and reliably defined does not attract attention
  • Ineffective submission of the project proposal

Many proposals are rejected not because they have an idea worthy of the green light, but because they are not clear and persuasive.

Tips for Effective Proposal Writing

#1 Rules of conciseness:

Avoid unnecessary words, less is always more.

#2 Short and clear sentences:

Remember, complex sentences are valuable to the academy, not the proposal. Get the audience to understand you using the simplest and clearest words.

#3 Find a story:

Let your article have a story in itself. Use catchy headlines. Identify the problem. Present the solution. Support your opinion with numerical data. Visualize what you're talking about.

#4 Continue with short paragraphs:

Short paragraphs are much easier to read than long paragraphs. Think about the textbooks you read as a student.

#5 Have a summary of fewer than four sentences:

State problem, solution of the problem, main features, and why it is beneficial for the audience.

#6 Bullets, numbers, and spaces:

Try writing in bullet points to make it easier for the reader to read. While providing the reader with the pleasure of reading, you also ensure that audience pays attention.

#7 Read it aloud:

When you read it aloud, you will correct your mistakes. What you write should appeal to the ear as well as the eye.

#8 Get feedback:

Feedback can be incredibly effective. Why not ask for your listener's feedback?

#9 Use data, table, and charts with appendix:

Using data, tables, and graphs will visualize your proposal, but don't forget to use attachments. Nobody cares about an image they don't know what it's about.

#10 Have a strong cover letter:

Know that your cover letter represents you and your purpose, and don't forget to write according to this purpose.

#11 Make a schedule:

Engage the audience in the time-work relationship by making a time-related arrangement. Thus, you convey that you have thought and worked on the proposal for a long time. You also show the listener what to expect in the long run.

Which of the Following Will Proposal Writing Software For You?

Writing a proposal is a project in itself and using some software while writing it can make your job easier. Thanks to this software, sales process efficiency can be improved. Thanks to the software, you can keep up with modern systems while creating proposals quickly. A more effective and creative environment can be created for the sales team. This software, which helps you focus on specific goals, also saves your time.

A Proposal Software is...

Proposal software is an application that allows you to write proposals on a web-based basis, provides user-friendly use, and provides templates that you can share with your customer online. This software has been developed to facilitate you in writing, managing, and sending business proposals. This software allows you to get analytics about your customers. It allows you to see the time they spent on the proposal, the time frame they read, how many times they read it, and what points they focused on.

This kind of software also makes it easier for you to connect to your data through other applications. In addition, since it is web-based, it allows you to access the same data using different devices. You can use your proposal as a PDF or word file.

While the software provides these advantages when writing proposals, which software should be used is of great importance. A proposal that you will create with software that is not suitable for you will not meet your expectations and may mislead you.

With a few software that will be mentioned, you can have an idea about the software that is suitable and not suitable for you and your proposal.

#1 Decktopus

Decktopus is like an all-in-one presentation software. Seriously, it's better than the coffee you're drinking while reading this description. You get interactive forms, link share capabilities to make your proposals stand out, and close deals in minutes flat! Talk about smooth sailing... Decktopus has got it going on! It is an ideal tool for creating proposals quickly and easily. Create a beautiful, interactive presentation by filling in the blanks with Agreement information, pricing tables, and forms in minutes!

#2 Bidsketch

Bidscketch has not been able to catch up with the trends of the last 10 years in design. In this case, unfortunately, it becomes a little difficult for you to do your job. The cost of the application is almost the same as other good software, but unfortunately the application does not give you the same advantage. This software is suitable for freelancers and web designers. Another disadvantage is that the mobile application is not sufficient. If the consumer accesses your proposal from the phone, your proposal will not have a good effect on the consumer. All templates in the software are defined for the web, software, and marketing industry. It creates a negative situation for other industries.

#3 Proposify

In this software, the proposal viewer is a bit old. This application is mostly developed for designers. This software has not been developed for mobile applications. Proposals shared between clients cannot be viewed as mobile-friendly.

#4 PandaDoc

There is no feature in this software that will make you say, "Oh my God". You can also do many operations in the software with Microsoft Word. Software is suitable for corporates and the enterprise level. The other negative effect for PandaDoc is that they want their name to appear in every file.

#5 Nusii

Nasii software does not promise you the perfect thing. It looks like it's from 2004 at some points. However, it is unlikely to compete with PandaDoc in this regard. In terms of price, it looks a bit expensive. Although it has been developed for freelancers and web designers, it cannot be said that they provide these purposes in terms of price. From a template point of view, it's pretty weak. The small number of templates is quite insufficient to meet user requests.

#6 Proposable

It's hard to say positive things about the design of this software. The lack of updates causes the application to look like it is from 2002. In terms of wages, we can say that it is at a very high point. This software is suitable for resellers. We can say that the software does not have a phone application. It is impossible to edit dimensions.

#7 Microsoft Word or Apple Pages

Microsoft Word software has no design. The fact that it is free and comes installed on computers causes it to be widely used. People generally do not use Microsoft Word software for proposal writing. It is almost impossible to use this software in the phone application. It has a mobile app design that zooms constantly. Also, there is not even a template that you can use in the software. This software is not compatible to prepare a proposal.

#8 InDesign

This software welcomes you with a blank page like Microsoft Word. In addition, it allows you to edit. It's suitable for designers because exploring how software works are challenging. The mobile app is a complete disappointment. Its constant use of large sizes requires you to compress the files. The other negative aspect of the software is that it has no templates. You are constantly redirected to a blank screen.

To sum up,

Writing proposals is necessary for many areas, from business to academia. When writing a proposal, the purpose for which it should be written is of priority. Proposals that act as a bridge between the idea owner and the investor should be written in detail and convince the audience. It is very important to determine the target audience of the proposal prepared for this purpose and to use a suitable language for them. Thanks to the possibilities provided by technology, it is possible to quickly create proposals on a web basis. At this stage, we come across many software. It is important for the user and the investor to determine which software is suitable for us and to test the compatibility of the software.

In this article, it is mentioned what the proposal and proposal writing are, what should be considered when writing an effective proposal, and which software is suitable or not for the user.

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