Proposal Report Organization Template
Begin with a statement of purpose. Then give an overview of the report here, such as three or four sentences. For this report, you are answering the following questions for your reader: What is your idea and why is your idea the right one?
Background: Problem and Purpose
Describe the problem that this proposal is meant to solve and clarify the purpose of this report.
This section is the body of your report. In it you must clarify what you are proposing, the benefits, the liabilities, any possible challenges to implementing and a schedule. Have a paragraph here that provides an overview.
Describe your solution in full. Be sure to explain the following:
● How exactly will your solution work? What does it include?
● Can it be accomplished quickly? Or, will it take a few years?
● Has anything like it been tried elsewhere? If so, what happened?
● If your solution costs money, how much money will it cost? Also, what
kinds of materials and labor are needed to make it work?
● Who will be responsible for implementing certain actions?
● How easily can it be implemented?
Plan for implementation
Describe your plan and how exactly it will be implemented. You should have subsections of any items that are required in order for the plan to be a success.
Describe the benefits to the company.
Is there any downside? If so address, but be positive. If not, this section is not needed, but do remember to think in terms of someone who might oppose your idea
Schedule for Implementation
Here, describe the actual implementation in terms of time needed.
Add any concluding thoughts
Authorization—this is a subsection of the conclusion. In it you will state “Upon authorization of this proposal the following steps will be initiated….” Then include the next step and when it would be completed.
If you have been asked to submit a proposal it is considered solicited. The solicitation may come in the form of a direct verbal or written request, but normally solicitations are indirect, open-bid to the public, and formally published for everyone to see. A request for proposal (RFP), request for quotation (RFQ), and invitation for bid (IFB) are common ways to solicit business proposals for business, industry, and the government.
RFPs typically specify the product or service, guidelines for submission, and evaluation criteria. RFQs emphasize cost, though service and maintenance may be part of the solicitation. IRBs are often job-specific in that they encompass a project that requires a timeline, labor, and materials. For example, if a local school district announces the construction of a new elementary school, they normally have the architect and engineering plans on file, but need a licensed contractor to build it.
Unsolicited proposals are the “cold calls” of business writing. They require a thorough understanding of the market, product and/or service, and their presentation is typically general rather than customer-specific. They can, however, be tailored to specific businesses with time and effort, and the demonstrated knowledge of specific needs or requirement can transform an otherwise generic, brochure-like proposal into an effective sales message. Getting your tailored message to your target audience, however, is often a significant challenge if it has not been directly or indirectly solicited. Unsolicited proposals are often regarded as marketing materials, intended more to stimulate interest for a follow-up contact than make direct sales. Sue Baugh and Robert Hamper encourage you to resist the temptation to “shoot at every target and hope you hit at least one.”Baugh, L. S., & Hamper, R. J. (1995). Handbook for writing proposals (p. 3). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. A targeted proposal is your most effective approach, but recognize the importance of gaining company, service, or brand awareness as well as its limitations.