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Avoid Common Pitfalls: Key Mistakes to Avoid in your Project Proposal Templates

In today’s competitive business landscape, a well-crafted project proposal can make all the difference in securing new clients and winning lucrative contracts. However, many businesses fall into common pitfalls when it comes to creating their project proposal templates. In this article, we will highlight some key mistakes to avoid in order to ensure that your project proposal templates are effective and persuasive.

Lack of Clarity and Structure

The first mistake to avoid is a lack of clarity and structure in your project proposal template. A poorly organized proposal can confuse your clients and make it difficult for them to understand the scope of the project. To avoid this, start by clearly defining the objective of the project and outlining the steps that need to be taken to achieve it. Break down the proposal into sections such as introduction, methodology, timeline, budget, and deliverables. Use headings and subheadings to guide your clients through each section and make it easy for them to find the information they need.

Another important aspect of clarity is using language that is concise and straightforward. Avoid jargon or technical terms that may confuse your clients. Instead, focus on explaining complex ideas in simple terms that anyone can understand. Use bullet points or numbered lists to present information in a clear and organized manner.

Lack of Personalization

One common mistake businesses make is using generic project proposal templates without customizing them for each client. While templates can be a great starting point, they should be tailored to meet the specific needs of each client or project. Take the time to research your client’s industry and understand their unique challenges and goals. Incorporate this knowledge into your proposal by addressing their specific pain points and showcasing how your solution can help them overcome these challenges.

Personalization also extends beyond just the content of your proposal template. Pay attention to visual elements such as colors, fonts, and images. Align these elements with your client’s branding to create a cohesive and professional look. A personalized proposal shows your clients that you value their business and are invested in their success.

Lack of Supporting Evidence

A project proposal without supporting evidence is like a house without a foundation. It lacks credibility and fails to convince clients of your capabilities. Avoid this mistake by including relevant case studies, testimonials, or success stories in your proposal template. These examples demonstrate your past achievements and give clients confidence in your ability to deliver results.

Additionally, consider including relevant data or statistics that support the effectiveness of your proposed solution. Whether it’s increased productivity, cost savings, or improved customer satisfaction, quantifiable evidence adds weight to your proposal and makes it more persuasive.

Lack of Call-to-Action

Lastly, one crucial mistake businesses often overlook is failing to include a clear call-to-action in their project proposal templates. A call-to-action tells the client what they need to do next after reviewing the proposal. It could be scheduling a meeting, signing a contract, or providing feedback.

Make sure your call-to-action is specific and easy to understand. Use action verbs such as “schedule,” “sign,” or “reply” to guide the client towards the desired action. Provide clear instructions on how they can take that next step, whether it’s contacting you via email or phone.

In conclusion, avoiding common mistakes in project proposal templates is essential for winning new business opportunities. By ensuring clarity and structure, personalizing the content for each client, providing supporting evidence, and including a clear call-to-action, you can create persuasive project proposals that impress clients and increase your chances of success.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.


proposal template for project

17 Free Project Proposal Templates

By Kate Eby | November 24, 2017

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In this article, we’ve researched and compiled the best project proposal templates, ranging from software and consulting proposals to construction and engineering, so you can get the support and approval needed to hit the ground running on your next project plan . 

Included on this page, you’ll find a simple project proposal template , IT project proposal template , research project proposal template , and more, free to download in Excel, Word, PDF, and Google Docs formats. Plus, we'll uncover what to include in a project proposal .

General Project Proposal Templates

Simple project proposal template.

Simple Project Proposal Template

Download Simple Project Proposal Template

Google Docs  |  Excel  |  PDF

This simple template breaks the proposal into clearly delineated sections, providing an organized layout that is easy-to-use and read. You can use this template for a wide range of proposal types, including school projects. Edit the template as needed to increase or reduce the number of sections. Since this is a Google Docs template, you can quickly download and print the document or share it with others via your Google Drive account.

One-Page Project Proposal Template

One-Page Project Proposal Template

Download One-Page Project Proposal Template

PDF  |  Word

With this template, you can limit your project proposal to a single page, focusing on key details such as objectives, measurements, timeline, and a budget overview. This template can help project managers compile and organize critical information into a concise document. A brief project proposal will make a strong impact and set the stage for in-depth planning.

Generic Project Proposal Template - Word

Generic Project Proposal Template

Download Generic Project Proposal Template - Word

Use this generic project proposal to create a customized template. Complete the basic outline with essential proposal elements, including the problem statement, goals, scope of the project, and itemized timeline and expenses. Once you have adjusted the proposal to meet your project needs and company standards, you can reuse the template for future projects, saving time, energy, and cost.

Business Project Proposal Template - Word

Business Project Proposal Template

Download Business Project Proposal Template - Word

This business project proposal template includes fields at the top for entering project details; sections for listing objectives, justification for and impact of carrying out the project, and resources required; plus a schedule timeline. Create a comprehensive proposal that identifies stakeholders, addresses potential risks, and presents a compelling argument for  project approval.

Freelance Job Proposal Template

Freelance Job Proposal Template

Download Freelance Job Proposal Template

Freelancers can use this template to pitch their services to prospective clients. Describe what problem you will solve, how you will meet the client’s needs, and why they should hire you. The template covers deliverables, quantifiable objectives, a timeline with deadlines, and breakdown of project costs. You can also include terms and conditions to turn the template into a job proposal contract.

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proposal template for project

Project Proposals by Product or Service

It project proposal template.

Project Proposal Template

Download IT Project Proposal Template

Excel  |  Word

This IT project proposal provides room for listing important roles, such as project sponsor, owner, and manager, their general responsibilities, and the names of other stakeholders. It covers all of the typical elements for a project proposal, including space for technology requirements, security risks, hardware and software costs, and more.

Software Project Proposal Template - Word

Software Project Proposal Template

Download Software Project Proposal Template

Word | Smartsheet

Craft a proposal for a software development project that includes an overview, key milestones, information on development and testing, and reporting methods. A table is provided for a thorough timeline of tasks to help accurately estimate project hours. If the proposal is for external use, you can include payment terms for prospective clients to review.

Mobile App Proposal Template

Mobile App Proposal Template

Download Mobile App Proposal Template

Excel  |  PDF

This template can serve as a professional pitch for mobile app design services. To stand out from the crowd and highlight relevant experience, attach examples of previous work to the proposal template. The information included in the proposal will depend on the specific project. Customize the template to address pertinent details - such as a timeline of design stages and itemized costs - while showcasing what you have to offer.

Project Management Proposal Template - Excel

Project Management Proposal Template

Download Project Management Proposal Template - Excel

With this project management proposal template, you can describe the activities involved in different project phases, outline key deliverables, and list expectations. Adjust the proposal to suit the scale and type of project to be managed along with industry norms.

Engineering Project Proposal Template - Excel

Engineering Project Proposal Template

Download Engineering Project Proposal Template - Excel

An engineering project proposal should have relevant background information, including the scope of the project and specific engineering tasks to be executed. This Excel template includes automatic calculations for adding costs. Use the  work schedule to show a timeline of project phases, from preliminary design through construction. If that work schedule doesn’t work for you, choose one of these free templates for Word and Excel.

Construction Proposal Template - Excel

Construction Proposal Template

Download Construction Proposal Template

This construction proposal template offers two sheets, one for providing contractor information, project scope, and agreement terms, and the other for listing the costs for labor and materials. The template calculates subtotals and total expenses, including tax, so that project costs are clear.

Marketing Proposal Template

Marketing Proposal Template

Download Marketing Proposal Template

Google Docs  |  Excel  |  Word  |  PDF

Marketing plans mix data with a strategy to reach effective outcomes. Use this template to describe the goals, challenges and projected results of a marketing project. Depending on the project, tasks may include activities related to branding, competitive analysis, content development, and new market development. In addition to a project overview, include a detailed schedule with specific dates for project stages and campaign milestones.

Web Design Proposal Template

Web Design Proposal Template

Download Web Design Proposal Template

From initial research to ongoing hosting and maintenance, this template can help you create a thorough web design proposal. Write a proposal for a website upgrade or pitch design services to an internal or external client. Clearly state the goals of the web design project in the proposal, including alignment with the vision of the company or organization.

Social Media Proposal Template

Social Media Proposal Template

Download Social Media Proposal Template

Social media campaigns are a valuable part of business marketing, and proposals need to show how projects will accomplish specific goals, whether it’s reaching a broader audience, creating a brand presence on social networks, or boosting sales. This template follows a traditional format, outlining an executive summary, problem statement, objectives, tactics, and scheduling. We’ve also incorporated a budget section for estimating project costs.

Accounting Proposal Template - Excel

Accounting Proposal Template

Download Accounting Proposal Template

Excel | Smartsheet

Use this template to pitch financial services such as accounting. This proposal could be for a specific project or ongoing services for a business or other organization. Include the terms of service, a breakdown of costs, important goals, and a compelling solution for the client’s financial needs.

Consulting Project Proposal Template - Word

Consulting Project Proposal Template

Download Consulting Project Proposal Template - Word

Consultants can use this template to offer services for a specific project and make a strong case for getting hired. As with other project proposals, focus on how you will help a company resolve specific issues or seize opportunities. List the activities you will undertake, specific deliverables, and a timetable for project tasks. Contract terms can also be included to secure an agreement with clients.

Research Proposal Templates

Research project proposal template - word.

Research Project Proposal Template

Download Research Project Proposal Template - Word

Research proposals, whether for academic, scientific, or other purposes, are slightly different from the typical business project proposal. In addition to a project overview and background, the template also includes a literature review section to support the significance of a proposed project by identifying gaps in the available literature that the project would address. Additionally, the research design and method section enables you to outline exactly how the research project will be set up and how the results will be interpreted. A list of references may be included to show all sources cited in the proposal.

What to Include in a Project Proposal

Project proposals vary depending on the type of project and organization, and whether the proposal is for internal or external use. However, there are some common details to include to justify the project and gain approval. Here are some typical sections in a project proposal and how to use them:

  • Executive Summary: Briefly provide sponsors with an overview of the project. The aim is to offer a compelling pitch so that sponsors are already convinced the project is a good idea after reading the summary. The rest of the proposal offers greater detail about the key points in the executive summary.
  • Background: Use background information to provide context, including company history, details about the problem or opportunity the project addresses, and the proposed solution.
  • Objectives: Include measurable goals as well as a broader vision for supporting business objectives. 
  • Methodology: Describe the project approach and organization along with specific activities and deliverables that will move it toward its goal. This section may include a project schedule with a concrete timeline showing milestones and deadlines.
  • Resources: Include any resources necessary to complete a project, such as human resources (including hiring new staff), tools and equipment, time allocated for computer use or other tasks, and the management structure.
  • Budget: Show all project costs in the budget, listing each item separately in a table or spreadsheet along with its associated cost. You may also need to include information to justify budget costs or provide further explanation.
  • Measurement and Reporting: How will you define and measure success? Explain how you’ll measure and report progress, including the frequency that sponsors will receive status reports.
  • Risks: Note potential risks along with the probability of occurrence, potential impact, and plans for mitigating them if they do occur. You may include a detailed risk management plan along with a list of risks and methods for controlling them.
  • Appendix: In the appendix, list any separate documents that are attached to support the proposal.

Additionally, you may define and assign key roles to specific people. A proposal will also typically have a section for authorization to document approval. Once the project is approved, you can create a project charter and comprehensive plan.

Project Proposal Tips

The first step for a project manager, or whoever is writing the project proposal, is to carry out detailed research, which may include analyzing previous projects and gathering information to support the project’s efficacy, objectives, and business value. It is important to involve stakeholders and decision makers early in the process to support buy in. Soliciting feedback in face-to-face meetings, and incorporating that feedback into the proposal, can help limit the changes needed and save time in the long run. 

When it comes to actually writing the proposal, start by emphasizing the problem you’re addressing. The proposal needs to show measurable benefits such as deliverables for a company or organization to be persuasive. Overall, the proposal should support an organization’s vision and long-term objectives. Whether you’re writing a lengthy research proposal or submitting a one-page proposal template, use clear, concise language so that readers can easily identify the information they need.

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  • About Proposal
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The Project Proposal Toolkit

Templates, samples, and video guides. all materials are free for use.  .

We created this toolkit to simplify the process of creating a project proposal. We know that it can be hard to find templates, samples and guides all on one page. So, we compiled everything you might need to create a good project proposal in an easily digestible format! If you are familiar with proposals please scroll to the templates and samples . If you’re not, please take a look at the About Project Proposals , Video Guides and Further Reading sections to find out more information.

This Toolkit was brought to you by Casual – a tool that makes project management simple .


All templates are free for use. choose between google drive templates and word documents..

Short Project Proposal Template

Short Project Proposal Template

Google Drive Template

Short Project Proposal Template  Microsoft Word Document

Microsoft Word Document

Generic Project Proposal Template  Microsoft Word

Generic Project Proposal Template


Browse and download samples that we've picked out for you..

Generic project proposal Sample  by Ithaca College

Generic project proposal Sample

by Ithaca College

University proposal sample  by Penn State University

University proposal sample

by Penn State University

Proposal samples for freelancers  By Guru.com

Proposal samples for freelancers

By Guru.com

NGO proposal sample  by Unesco

NGO proposal sample


If yes, take a look at casual, the project management tool that helps you plan your projects as awesome visual maps. find out more,   about the project proposal  , a project proposal is a document which you present to potential sponsors or clients to receive funding or get your project approved.  .

Project Proposals contain key information about your project. They are essential for your sponsors since they’ll use them to evaluate your project and determine whether or not they’ll allocate funds for it. A Project Proposal is generally drafted during one of the early phases of your project (before detailed plans are made and resources are allocated). Therefore, often time and budget estimates are rough, at best. Project proposals do not follow the ‘one size fits all’ principle. This can be attributed to the fact that there are many different types of proposals, all serving a unique purpose in their own right. Proposals can be internal (within your organization) or external (written from one independent organization to another). They can be solicited or unsolicited. They differ in form since some are for businesses, while others are for university or NGO projects. Also, the amount of detail used when outlining proposals can vary significantly. In certain cases a few very short and general phrases are sufficient (when the proposal is 2-3 pages), while in other cases all the major points must be set out in detail (then the proposal would be 30-50 pages). Generally speaking, NGOs have more complicated proposals. A Project Proposal is not a contract. It’s easy to confuse it with a Business Proposal (a document in which legal terms are outlined). However, clients or sponsors merely sign the Project Proposal to approve its contents. After signing and approving the Project Proposal a business starts drafting the following documents: a project charter, project plan, contract, etc. Despite the fact that many different formats are available, roughly 80-90% of all Project Proposals follow a similar template. They mostly all have the same structure which contains a few key points. We have compiled a few templates in this toolkit to help you chose the most appropriate one for your business. For instance, you’ll find templates and generic business proposals, as well as NGOs, grants, university, and freelance project proposals.

Proposal Writing

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Freelance writers on Upwork

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How to Write a Winning Project Proposal

Video tutorial on project management proposal.


Check out these materials if you feel that you need more info..

A big presentation on project proposals

A big presentation on project proposals

A super detailed guide: a how-to write proposals for NGOs

A super detailed guide: a how-to write proposals for NGOs

A presentation for writing university project proposals

A presentation for writing university project proposals

Thanks for reading this toolkit. If you want to add something, please contact us at [email protected]   If you like this toolkit, please spread the word! You may also check out other toolkits crafted by Casual: Project charter , Project brief and Project coordinator .

Crafted with love by Casual.pm © 2020

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Free Project Proposal Template

Free Project Proposal Template

Don’t waste time creating multiple project proposals from scratch. With Jotform Sign ’s ready-made Project Proposal template, you can generate and customize a professional-looking proposal that includes details such as an overview and description of the project, resources and budget , project goals, expected outcomes, and more. Update the wording however you see fit, then share it with clients via email to seamlessly gather e-signatures from any device.

Want to personalize this Free Project Proposal to match your company’s branding with Jotform White Labeling ? No problem! Using our powerful online builder, you can add or edit form fields, upload your logo and branding, include images, change fonts and colors, and make other design changes without any coding. Once both you and your client have signed this proposal, you’ll automatically receive a finalized document — ready to share, download, and print for your records.

More templates like this

Sign Templates: Free Business Proposal Template

Free Business Proposal Template

Getting your business off the ground is no small task and might require gathering funding from investors. With Jotform Sign’s free business proposal template, you can present your new business’s needs, ideas, and benefits to potential investors — making it easier to get their buy-in. A business proposal template is a tool for entrepreneurs to quickly and effectively create professional business proposals without having to start from scratch. Just create and customize your proposal, then send it to your investors and other stakeholders for their e-signatures.Need to make changes to your business proposal template? No problem! With Jotform, you can drag and drop elements to personalize your proposal and match your company branding. You can add or remove form fields, create an automated signing order for multiple investors, upload logos and branding, and choose fonts and colors that work best for you. Work smarter with Jotform Sign!

Sign Templates: Mobile App Development Proposal Template

Mobile App Development Proposal Template

Create a Mobile App Development Proposal Template that works for all occasions with Jotform Sign. With our entirely online signature and feedback collection process, you’ll be able to manage and reference signatures from your team members in one convenient place. Share via email or embed in your online team portal.Customizing this Mobile App Development Proposal Template is simple and efficient with Jotform Sign. Update the terms and conditions, add or remove form fields, change fonts and colors, and make other cosmetic changes with no coding required. Create your app proposal, send it straight to your team, and start collecting signatures and feedback instantly. Collaborate smarter with Jotform. To collect e-signatures on any device, create an e-sign document with Jotform Sign.

Sign Templates: Cleaning Proposal Template

Cleaning Proposal Template

Attract customers to your cleaning services with a professional Cleaning Proposal Template. Simply customize the proposal template to match your services and branding, share your proposal to be filled out and signed on any device, and watch as each completed document is converted into a polished PDF automatically.Drag and drop to make this Cleaning Proposal Template your own — you can upload your logo, add terms and conditions, and change fonts and colors for a personalized touch. You can even set up a custom signing order if your document is being signed by multiple parties! Pair your high-quality cleaning services with a high-quality automated document using Jotform Sign’s Cleaning Proposal Template.

What is a project proposal?

A project proposal is a document that describes the overall structure of a proposed project, including its purpose, timeline, budget, and expected outcomes.

Organizations use these proposals to define the scope of projects and secure financial or other support for them.

When you submit a project proposal, you’re providing a comprehensive, formal document that highlights how you’ll see the project to completion and how it will benefit stakeholders. Your recipients will then consider all the details provided in your proposal and determine whether to grant your request.

Why do you need a project proposal template?

Templates help you make sure you include all the pertinent information for the proposal, create a reusable resource, and reduce the administrative burden on your team. When you create proposals from scratch, you run the risk of accidentally leaving out vital components.

Not only do project proposal templates present you with an easy, quick way to create a professional document, but they also minimize the amount of work required to do so. This helps your team focus on high-value work and reduces your overall administrative costs.

How do you write a project proposal?

Writing a project proposal comes down to providing clear, well-thought-out arguments that will convince a reader to support your project. Start by writing an introduction that provides an overview of your project’s purpose, strategy, and objectives. This introduction, often referred to as an executive summary, is the hook for your proposal.

Next, add a detailed plan that highlights the problem your project aims to solve, how it solves the problem, how long it will take to solve the problem, and who’s involved in the solution. Supplement this plan with documents such as a proposed budget, terms and conditions, and any other important information stakeholders should know.

When should you use a project proposal template?

Sometimes your team just doesn’t have the time, staff, or resources to create a brand-new project proposal. That’s why project proposal templates are such an asset to businesses. Templates are useful for anyone trying to create the best proposal possible, including situations like

  • When you need to create multiple versions of a project proposal tailored to different audiences
  • When you’re on a tight deadline
  • When you have a limited number of staff to work on a project proposal
  • When you don’t have access to, or the budget for, a designer
  • When you’re building your first project proposal

A project proposal template gives your team a reusable resource that will help them build future proposals quicker.

What are the basic elements of a project proposal?

While your project proposal will be unique to your project’s needs and specifications, there are a few basic elements every proposal needs. Including them will help increase your chances of approval and legitimize your proposal. Some of the most important details to consider are

  • Project title
  • Contact information
  • Recipient information
  • Submission date
  • Project overview and objectives
  • Project team
  • Resources and budget
  • Terms and conditionssite

After you’ve included all necessary elements, you can customize your proposal to fit your brand’s voice, tone, and visuals.

What can a project proposal template do for me?

Project proposal templates offer you an easy way to build a professional, visually appealing document that will convince potential partners or clients to support your project.

Jotform templates let you customize your proposal’s font, colors, images, and more using the Form Builder . This code-free tool can help you get your proposal looking its best — even if you don’t have the budget to hire a designer.

Jotform Sign templates also provide e-signature capabilities, making it easy to collect signatures to finalize the approval of proposals by both parties.

What are the benefits of using a project proposal template?

Project proposal templates have a number of useful benefits for those who choose to use them. The main benefit of a project proposal template is the time you save using a template vs building your own proposal from scratch. Some other key benefits include

  • Reduced need for designers
  • No coding knowledge required
  • Reusability
  • Customization
  • E-signature capabilities

Not only do templates save time, but they also save money and hassle — so your team can focus on building the best project plan possible without worrying about building a proposal from the ground up.

These templates are suggested forms only. If you're using a form as a contract, or to gather personal (or personal health) info, or for some other purpose with legal implications, we recommend that you do your homework to ensure you are complying with applicable laws and that you consult an attorney before relying on any particular form.

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Free Proposal Templates

Write a winning proposal in minutes with Jotform’s Proposal PDF Templates. Whether you need a business proposal , bid proposal , or project proposal, these free proposal templates will help guide you in creating an attention-grabbing proposal that contains key information regarding objectives, strategy, and budget. Proposal submissions will automatically be converted into PDFs that are easy to print, pitch, and present.

Personalize your proposal for your company or potential clients using Jotform’s PDF Editor . If you need to start from scratch, you can always get started generating a custom proposal for free! In any case, you’ll be able to modify your proposal template however you’d like, from writing additional form fields to changing fonts and colors. Jotform simplifies the proposal process so you can spend less time drawing up your proposals and more time closing deals.

Seeking new investors or clients? Use Jotform’s free business proposal template here to highlight the potential, ideas, and benefits of your business.

Sign Templates: Free Project Proposal Template

Need to write a project proposal? Get started with one of Jotform’s free project proposal templates here to save time and effort.

Create a proposal to send to your mobile app development team. Works on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices. Drag and drop to customize. No coding knowledge needed.

Use this cleaning proposal template to make a great first impression with potential clients.

Sign Templates: Consulting Proposal Template

Consulting Proposal Template

Create a professional consulting proposal via Jotform Sign. Drag and drop to customize. Fill out and e-sign from any device. Easy to share. No coding.

Sign Templates: Bid Proposal Template

Bid Proposal Template

Create a bid proposal for upcoming projects. Customize the proposal to match your project’s theme. Works on any device — desktop, tablet, or mobile.

Sign Templates: Sponsorship Proposal Template

Sponsorship Proposal Template

This sponsorship proposal template helps you attract and convince your leads to be part of your event as a sponsor. It contains a front page, cover letter for the leads, company overview, information about the event and terms.

Sign Templates: Grant Proposal

Grant Proposal

Create a custom grand proposal in seconds. Easy to share and collect e-signatures. Works on any device. Drag and drop to customize. Streamline your workflow.

Sign Templates: Construction Proposal Template

Construction Proposal Template

Create a construction proposal for all your needs. Drag and drop to customize. Works on smartphone, tablet, and desktop devices. E-sign in seconds.

Sign Templates: Software Proposal Template

Software Proposal Template

Create a software proposal in seconds. Fill out and e-sign in seconds. Share with clients via email. Works great on any device. Converts to a PDF.

Sign Templates: One Page Proposal Template

One Page Proposal Template

Generate one page proposals with ease. Free template. Easy to customize. Share in seconds. Fill out and sign on any device. Save time with e-signatures.

Sign Templates: Video Production Proposal Template

Video Production Proposal Template

Create a professional video production proposal. Works on tablet, mobile, and desktop devices. Built to match your company needs. E-sign in seconds.

Sign Templates: Budget Proposal

Budget Proposal

Generate a custom budget proposal in seconds with Jotform Sign. Fill out and sign on any device. Drag and drop to customize. Converts to a PDF document.

Sign Templates: Non profit Business Proposal Template

Non profit Business Proposal Template

Generate a nonprofit business proposal and share via email. Fill out and sign from any smartphone, tablet, or desktop. Customize in seconds. No coding.

Sign Templates: Proposal Letter Template

Proposal Letter Template

Create a proposal letter with this ready-made template. Easy to customize and share via email. Fill out and e-sign from any device. Converts to a PDF.

Sign Templates: Marketing Proposal Template

Marketing Proposal Template

Generate a marketing proposal with this free template. Fill out and e-sign in seconds. Easy to customize and share. Converts to PDF document. No coding.

Sign Templates: Interior Design Proposal Template

Interior Design Proposal Template

Create a custom interior design proposal with this free template. Easy to customize and share. E-sign in seconds. Works on all iOS and Android devices.

Sign Templates: Event Proposal Template

Event Proposal Template

Create, track, and manage event proposals online. Gather e-signatures from any device. Drag and drop to customize the design. Turn into completed PDFs.

Sign Templates: Job Proposal Template

Job Proposal Template

Create a job proposal with this free template. Fill out and e-sign from any device. Easy to customize and share. Works great on any Android and iOS device.

Sign Templates: Contractor Proposal Template

Contractor Proposal Template

Create a professional proposal for your next contracting job. Works on mobile, tablet, and desktop devices. E-sign in just seconds. Converts to PDF.

Sign Templates: Catering Proposal Template

Catering Proposal Template

Create a catering proposal for your client’s next event. Easy to edit and customize. Works on all mobile, tablet, and desktop devices. Receive copies upon approval.

Sign Templates: Research Proposal Template

Research Proposal Template

Create a professional research proposal with Jotform Sign. Easy to customize and share. Fill out and e-sign anytime, anywhere. Converts to a PDF.

Sign Templates: Music Business Proposal Template

Music Business Proposal Template

Create a business proposal for your next music venture. Create and send in minutes. Drag and drop to customize. Works on all iOS and Android devices.

Sign Templates: Go To Market Strategy Template

Go To Market Strategy Template

Create a go-to-market strategy for your team. Works well on all devices. Drag and drop to customize. Email or embed to share. Converts to PDF easily.

What is a proposal?

A proposal is a formal offer written in response to a specific request or opportunity with a prospective client. As the name suggests, it proposes a unique idea or a solution to a client’s problem. Proposals are evaluated on whether they meet a client’s expectations regarding goals, timelines, deliverables, and budget.

What are the different types of proposals?

From sales proposals to construction proposals to book proposals, proposals are written for all purposes and industries. Some of the most common types of proposals are grant proposals, research proposals, and business proposals. Business proposals are either solicited or unsolicited. A solicited proposal is one that has been requested by a client or written in response to an RFP (request for proposal) . RFPs are sent out by companies and agencies and list specific requirements. Unsolicited proposals initiate the sales process without responding to a request and are generally considered to be more challenging to write.

What should I include in my proposal?

Our free proposal templates already include everything you'll need for your proposal. To learn more about proposals, read our article on items to include in a proposal!

How should I write an effective business proposal?

It takes a lot more than a good idea for a proposal to be successful. Check out our tips on how to write a winning proposal .

What makes a proposal different from an estimate, quote, bid, or business plan?

Unlike estimates, quotes, and bids, proposals include information beyond the specific cost of a project or service. Proposals provide an in-depth explanation of the work being done, with details about scope, deliverables, milestones, and qualifications as well as budget.

While a business plan and business proposal might sound like the same document, one focuses on a company’s internal operations while the other seeks to create a business relationship with another company. A business plan, usually written with the intent of securing funds from an investor, summarizes a company’s overall goals and objectives. On the other hand, a business proposal focuses on a specific project or service for a prospective client.

Can a proposal become a contract?

For a document to be considered a legally binding contract, it must consist of an offer, consideration, and acceptance. A proposal can serve as the foundation for a contract, but it will generally only require a client’s signature, whereas a contract needs signatures from all involved parties.

A signed proposal may become a contract only if it contains signatures from each party and contractual language such as terms and conditions. However, it’s best to keep your contract separate from your proposal in case your client disagrees with your offer and requires a new document outlining the negotiated terms. If you need inspiration for your contract, we recommend our free contract PDF templates.

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What is a project proposal template.

A proposal template —also known as a business proposal template — is a preformatted document to establish a project, stating details like goals, objectives, important dates, milestones, and requirements needed to start and complete that project . There are different types of project proposal templates that we cover in our step-by-step guide: writing your project proposal article. Usually, it's self-led and is the beginning of something great.

In other words, it's a way of communicating a business growth idea to leadership and getting the go-ahead to run with that idea. This document covers everything from budget to research; which team members are involved in project deliverables. It's a complete overview of what the project will entail and the desired results.

Pro Tip: A request for proposals can be made by anyone: potential clients, project managers, internal stakeholders—ensure everyone has access to your project proposal form.

How to Create your own Project Proposal Template

1. access slite's template library.

Slite offers a library of free proposal templates for various purposes. To access our templates, create a Slite account or log in to your existing account, then navigate to the template library.

2. Select a Project Proposal Template                                                

To quickly create a work proposal template, you'll need to understand the structure that works best for your project or organization. They vary a lot in their content. This is because the word project is so vague and means different things in different industries. It's difficult to put together a one page project proposal template to encompass all project proposals because what they look like changes so much on a case-by-case basis.

3. Define Documentation Standards

Defining standards for your project proposal template involves more than just visual and writing elements. You'll also need to establish the required level of detail, terminology, and formatting. These standards ensure consistency and professionalism in your project proposals.

4. Determine Your Audience

To create an effective project proposal template, it's crucial to determine your audience early on. Project proposals are typically written for stakeholders, decision-makers, or potential clients. By identifying your audience, you can tailor the content and language to address their specific needs and interests.

5. Save & Share with Your Team

Save your customized program proposal template as a reference or example for future projects. Having multiple templates can save you time and effort by allowing you to use an existing template as a starting point and make necessary modifications. Share the template with your team to encourage collaboration and ensure consistency in proposal submissions.

Pro Tips: No project proposal template should be delivered without a great deal of proofreading and reviewing. It can be tempting to send it out as soon as you're finished, but make sure you read it over yourself as well as getting a few more pairs of eyes on it so it goes out in tip-top shape.

Key Elements of a Project Proposal Template

Project description.

A detailed explanation of the project is the basic components of a project proposal template, including its background, purpose, and an overall plan that describes the main activities for members to participate in . This section provides comprehensive information about the project, giving readers a clear understanding of its importance.

Pro Tips: Your project proposal template should always be written with a specific audience or reader in mind. That person(s) should be the decision-maker on whether you'll be moving forward with the project in question or not. Be sure to use language, details, and structure that will resonate with them in your proposal document.

Project problem statement

A problem statement is the starting point for any project proposal template. It defines what problem your product or service will solve, and why your solution will be effective. This should always be backed up with data and research as much as possible. Think of this as a key sales pitch. Put simply: Why would people want to buy your product or service and what will it do for them?

Pro Tips : As discussed in the problem statement section, any project ultimately aims to produce something that will resolve a problem. Having said that, your project team's goal should be providing a great solution to that problem in a proposal template. Don't spend too much time focusing on the problem at hand, but rather on what you and your team will bring to the table to resolve it.

Scope and deliverables

A clear definition of the project's scope, including what will be included and excluded from the project as described in the template for proposal. This section also outlines the specific deliverables or outputs that will be produced upon project completion.you can use a project scope template that provides a structured framework for documenting the boundaries and objectives of the project, ensuring clarity and alignment among stakeholders.

Timeline and milestones

A timeline or schedule as presented in the project pitch template that outlines the key milestones, activities, and their corresponding deadlines. This helps stakeholders understand the project's timeframe and enables effective project management.

Budget and resources

A detailed breakdown of the estimated budget required for the project proposal, including costs for personnel, materials, equipment, and any other resources. This section helps in assessing the financial feasibility of the project and is an integral part of the project proposal template.

Project roadmap

Where applicable, it's a great idea to include a project roadmap in your project proposal template. A project roadmap is a broad document that covers all the more important elements of a project. This includes things like objectives, milestones, deliverables, resources, and timelines.

If you have put together a project roadmap, you may not need to include all the separate elements above, as some of them should be included within your project roadmap document.

Team members and roles

To clarify roles, reduce confusion and improve collaboration in the project team, you'll want to identify the key members and responsibilities for this project. You can do so using a RACI template for example.

Pro Tips: At the end of the day, you should be using your project proposal template to show why you and your project team are the best choice for the project at hand. As such, you should write your proposal persuasively. That means highlighting any special skills and ideas you have, as well as any relevant experience. It also doesn't hurt to back up your claims with research, data, charts, case studies, and testimonials.

Risk assessment and mitigation

An identification and evaluation of potential risks or challenges that may impact the project's success, need to be mentioned in the template of a proposal. This section should also outline strategies or contingency plans to mitigate those risks.

Pro Tips: Proposal templates are not the place to use vague language or go on long tangents. Your finished document should be detailed and concise without dragging on and on. You don't want to lose your reader's attention due to lack of time and ultimately fail to secure that dream project.

Any necessary sponsorship

If your project has a prospective sponsor or will need to find one, include all the necessary details pertaining to that in your work proposal template.

Advantages of Having a Project Proposal Template

Project proposal templates are invaluable documents in the project management world. They provide key details about a prospective project and need to be approved by clients in order for work on a project to be approved and initiated.

Proposal templates are vital elements of the project initiation process. They often lay the foundation for more robust documents, like project outlines and project plans.Writing a project proposal template can do wonders for your internal business processes and structure how you consider new projects. Not only does it give an executive summary of a project plan or a business plan, it also:

Formalizes processes

Processes are good things. They get people on the same page and ensure that everyone knows how to handle the same situations. Using a project proposal template means that anyone will be able to submit a proposal and know exactly how to do it with a template of a proposal.

Manages expectations

Building on our last point, whoever receives a proposal that was made with a template will know what to expect. If they've worked with you before, they will have already seen your template for a proposal. If it's a new potential client, templates have a way of organizing information clearly.Your reader will have a better experience reading your project proposal template because they'll know roughly how long it will be and what information they can expect to be included.

Centralizes knowledge

A great place for completed proposal templates is in a knowledge hub. This can become a helpful resource if you permit people to access past documents and learn from what's been done before. They can assess which past project proposals were a success, which ones weren't... and why.

Pro Tip: Project proposal templates are best introduced with a short tutorial, so everyone will be informed about what they have to do. This will also avoid redundant questions.

Streamlines proposals

Branding is so important when you're trying to unite a team and get everyone on board. However, not everyone has the time, materials, or design skills to put together a perfectly branded project proposal form.

‍ Project proposal templates are here to save the day. They allow people to spend less time fretting about being on brand and more time focusing on the project at hand.

Avoids missing information

By putting together a template for your project proposal needs, such as an IT proposal template, you're ensuring that anyone creating one doesn't skip a beat. Forgetting about missing key information or sections, because everything will already be there for you to get started on. A well-structured idea proposal template can save you time and ensure all essential elements are included for a comprehensive and compelling proposal.

Helps plan realistically

Writing a template for project proposals forces project managers and teams to reflect, research, and create a realistic plan that addresses client expectations and ensures successful project execution.

Keeps the project team organized

One of the biggest pitfalls to any project management process is lack of organization . If you don't know exactly what your priorities and which tasks need to get done, your project development will likely be inefficient and get knocked off course.

Templates for project proposals add a degree of visibility to your project's most important priorities right from the get-go. Should your proposal be approved, project team members will already be familiar with the project's different elements and what they'll be working on.

Project proposal templates also help you develop a document that's visually pleasing, and has a consistent, elegant format.

Secures great projects, clients, and investors

Proposal templates are documents that describe proposed projects. Sometimes they're solicited, and sometimes they're unsolicited. Especially if you're putting together an unsolicited proposal, it should really wow your potential client and convince them to work with you. Using a project proposal template is an ideal solution to help you deliver a sleek document that will impress the reader and make sure that you haven't missed any key information.

For one reason or another, you may be on a project team that needs to secure funding or investors. Sending out a great project proposal is also key in this context because it will show your company's competence and provide potential clients and investors with details about how your project will benefit them.

Makes a great first impression

When presenting businesses with information about a proposed project, it's essential that you come off as professional. It's basically like an elevator pitch for your project, and you really want it to be convincing.

The receiving company's boss will most likely be the person who has the last word on the ultimate acceptance or rejection of your proposal. A poorly formatted Word document or quick email just won't look good. On the other hand, a final project proposal template will make a great impression and show that you mean business.

Sets clear expectations

Projects fail for all kinds of reasons, but one of the biggest is poorly communicated expectations on both sides. When expectations aren't clear, it leads to a lot of frustration, confusion, and inefficiency down the road. Done correctly, a simple project proposal template helps avoid this because its contents make expectations clear very early on the project initiation process.

Project proposals are invaluable documents in the project management world. They provide key details about a prospective project and need to be approved by clients in order for work on a project to be approved and initiated.

Project proposal documents are vital elements of the project initiation process. They often lay the foundation for more robust documents like project outlines and project plans .

However, they vary a lot in their contents. This is because the word project is so vague and means different things in different industries. It's difficult to put together one template to encompass all project proposals because what they look like changes so much on a case-by-case basis.

This is why we've developed 9 different project proposal templates for you to use for free. No matter your industry, there's something for everyone here. You'll save time when you're getting started and feel confident in the direction you're taking with your template if you follow this comprehensive guide.

Slite's Free Project Proposal Template

Here at Slite, we have a variety of free proposal templates for you to choose from. Without a doubt, you'll find something that perfectly matches your needs, no matter your project type, topic or size. Take a browse through our samples and let your imagination run wild.

Browse 10 other project proposal templates by navigating the template on top of this page or here, and start creating your winning project proposal today with one of our free proposal templates. ‍ →  Project Proposal Directory → Web Design Project Proposal → Consulting Project Proposal → Mobile App Project Proposal → Software Project Proposal → IT Project Proposal → Marketing Project Proposal → Business Project Proposal → Construction Project Proposal → Research Project Proposal

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How to Write an Successful Project Proposal

Learn how to create a compelling pitch for your next project and get it approved by the stakeholders.

Being able to successfully present your ideas is a vital skill for getting your projects approved.

Giving a convincing elevator pitch is often not enough – you need to create a formal, structured document that explains why your ideas are worth being executed and addresses the stakeholders' concerns before they had a chance to voice them.

Let's dive deeper into what a project proposal is and how to write it.

What is a project proposal?

Project proposal example, how to write a project proposal, project proposal template, tips for creating a persuasive project proposal.

A project proposal is a document that outlines your project’s core value proposition and sells it to the stakeholder. Simply put, it establishes what the project is, what you are aiming to achieve with it, how you plan to get there, and why it's a worthwhile endeavor. Writing it is the first step in the project management process .

A project proposal may include a list of activities or tasks that will be associated with the project, but it doesn't go into the same level of detail as a project plan .

There are many reasons why you might what to create a formal proposal for your project – to win a new client, to secure funding, to convince your manager to allocate resources to your initiative, and many more. In any case, a well-written, clear, and detailed document is usually the best way to approach it:

A project proposal helps you get a buy-in at your organization.

It creates clarity about the goals, priorities, and requirements of the project.

It forces the project initiator to think through the project details before pitching it.

After the project proposal is approved by all the stakeholders, it becomes the foundation of the project plan .

No two project proposals are alike, and depending on the nature of your project you may want to follow a different format. There are various types of project proposals:

Internal or external (intended to get buy-in from internal or external stakeholders)

Solicited or unsolicited (created in response to an official request for proposal or written ad-hoc)

Continuation (an update to an ongoing and already approved project)

Renewal (put forward to restart a terminated project)

Supplemental (used to request additional resources for an existing project)

The amount of detail in your project proposal can also vary significantly. In some cases, a simple and brief one-pager proposal would suffice, while in others, you would need to cover every point in great detail, creating an extensive document spanning many pages.

Here's what a project proposal example can look like in Nuclino :

Project proposal example

Nuclino is a unified workspace where you can not only manage your projects and collaborate on project documentation , but also build your internal knowledge base , onboard new employees , take meeting minutes , and more. It works like a collective brain, allowing you to bring all your team's work together in one place and collaborate without the chaos of files and folders, context switching, or silos.

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Include an executive summary

The executive summary is the first and most important part of your project proposal and should be written last. If it fails to capture the attention of your readers and make a compelling point, it may doom your proposal right then and there. Think of it as the elevator pitch for your project and focus on describing what success would look like.

Here are some guiding questions to help you get started:

What problem does your project aim to solve?

Why is it important to solve it?

How will it help solve it?

Include the project background

Include a section where you go into more detail about the problem you are solving. Prove to your readers why they should care about this project and back your claims with relevant references and statistics.

Consider providing answers to the following questions:

What is the history of the problem? How long has it existed?

How is solving it related to the business goals of your organization?

Explain your solution

After you have described the problem, it's time to lay out the proposed solution:

How will you solve the problem you described?

Why will the proposed solution be effective?

Why is the proposed solution better than alternatives?

What would it take to make it happen?

Define the deliverables and success criteria

Make it clear how the success of your proposed project will be measured:

What will be the project deliverables?

What are the SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound) objectives of the project?

List the required resources

Be realistic and detailed when you estimate your project budget requirements. Include the supplies, tools, ad spend including cost per click , salaries , and whatever else would be required to successfully deliver the project.

A detailed financial breakdown will signal to the stakeholders that you've done your research and assure them that there wouldn't be many unexpected costs down the road. If you're working on a project for an external client, a good way to avoid any surprises would be to provide them with a formal cost estimate and get their approval.

You may want to conclude the document with a brief conclusion. Reiterate the points you made and remind your audience why they should approve your proposal, without introducing any new information.

As previously mentioned, there is no one-size-fits-all format. But this simple project proposal template can be a great starting point:

Project proposal template

Using a good template does not guarantee the success of your project proposals. Following a clear structure is important, but that alone is not enough.

There are several noteworthy best practices that can help you make your proposal as compelling as possible.

Understand your audience and write for it

No matter how great and innovative your initiative is, it will fail to persuade your readers if you don't convey it in a way they would understand.

Try to answer the following questions as you write:

What is the background of your readers – specifically, the decision-makers? Would they understand specialized terminology or would it be better to use simpler language?

What would they find more convincing? Data? Visuals? User feedback?

What tone of voice is likely to resonate with them? Formal or informal?

Keep it brief and simple

There is probably a lot you can say about your project – you have likely been thinking about it a lot. But is all that information relevant to the point you are trying to make? Focus on what would strengthen your pitch and provide as much detail as needed, not as much as possible.

Make your solution SMART

Avoid vague goals such as "increase MRR" or "optimize a process". Make sure your proposal clearly defines the success criteria of your project and keeps it SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound).

Anticipate questions and objections

Be prepared to defend your solution. Don't wait for the stakeholders to voice their objections – address them directly in your project proposal.

Writing formal project proposals may seem like a hassle, especially when you are confident in your idea. But not all great ideas get approved or funded – in many cases, whether your initiative sees the light of day depends on how effective and convincing your proposal is.

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How to Write a Project Proposal (Examples & Template Included)


Table of Contents

What is a project proposal, types of project proposals, project proposal vs. project charter, project proposal vs. business case, project proposal vs. project plan, project proposal outline, how to write a project proposal, project proposal example, project proposal tips.

  • ProjectManager & Project Proposals

A project proposal is a project management document that’s used to define the objectives and requirements of a project. It helps organizations and external project stakeholders agree on an initial project planning framework.

The main purpose of a project proposal is to get buy-in from decision-makers. That’s why a project proposal outlines your project’s core value proposition; it sells value to both internal and external project stakeholders. The intent of the proposal is to grab the attention of stakeholders and project sponsors. Then, the next step is getting them excited about the project summary.

Getting into the heads of the audience for which you’re writing the project proposal is vital: you need to think like the project’s stakeholders to deliver a proposal that meets their needs.

We’ve created a free project proposal template for Word to help structure documents, so you don’t have to remember the process each time.

proposal template for project

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Project Proposal Template

Use this free Project Proposal Template for Word to manage your projects better.

In terms of types of project proposals, you can have one that’s formally solicited, informally solicited or a combination. There can also be renewal and supplemental proposals. Here’s a brief description of each of them.

  • Solicited project proposal: This is sent as a response to a request for proposal (RFP) . Here, you’ll need to adhere to the RFP guidelines of the project owner.
  • Unsolicited project proposal: You can send project proposals without having received a request for a proposal. This can happen in open bids for construction projects , where a project owner receives unsolicited project proposals from many contractors.
  • Informal project proposal: This type of project proposal is created when a client asks for an informal proposal without an RFP.
  • Renewal project proposal: You can use a renewal project proposal when you’re reaching out to past customers. The advantage is that you can highlight past positive results and future benefits.
  • Continuation project proposal: A continuation project proposal is sent to investors and stakeholders to communicate project progress.
  • Supplemental project proposal: This proposal is sent to investors to ask for additional resources during the project execution phase.

A project proposal is a detailed project document that’s used to convince the project sponsor that the project being proposed is worth the time, money and effort to deliver it. This is done by showing how the project will address a business problem or opportunity. It also outlines the work that will be done and how it will be done.

A project charter can seem like the same thing as a project proposal as it also defines the project in a document. It identifies the project objectives, scope, goals, stakeholders and team. But it’s done after the project has been agreed upon by all stakeholders and the project has been accepted. The project charter authorizes the project and documents its requirements to meet stakeholders’ needs.

A business case is used to explain why the proposed project is justified. It shows that the project is worth the investment of time and money. It’s more commonly used in larger companies in the decision-making process when prioritizing one project over another.

The business case answers the questions: what is the project, why should it be taken up, who will be involved and how much will it cost? It’s therefore related to a project proposal, but the project proposal comes before the business case and is usually part of the larger proposal.

Again, the project proposal and the project plan in this case are very similar documents. It’s understandable that there would be some confusion between these two project terms. They both show how the project will be run and what the results will be. However, they’re not the same.

The project proposal is a document that aims to get a project approved and funded. It’s used to convince stakeholders of the viability of the project and their investment. The project plan, on the other hand, is made during the planning phase of the project, once it’s been approved. It’s a detailed outline of how the project will be implemented, including schedule, budget, resources and more.

There are several key operational and strategic questions to consider, including:

  • Executive summary: This is the elevator pitch that outlines the project being proposed and why it makes business sense. While it also touches on the information that’ll follow in the project proposal, the executive summary should be brief and to the point.
  • Project background: This is another short part of the proposal, usually only one page, which explains the problem you’ll solve or the opportunity you’re taking advantage of with the proposed project. Also, provide a short history of the business to put the company in context to the project and why it’s a good fit.
  • Project vision & success criteria: State the goal of the project and how it aligns with the goals of the company. Be specific. Also, note the metrics used to measure the success of the project.
  • Potential risks and mitigation strategies: There are always risks. Detail them here and what strategies you’ll employ to mitigate any negative impact as well as take advantage of any positive risk.
  • Project scope & deliverables: Define the project scope, which is all the work that has to be done and how it will be done. Also, detail the various deliverables that the project will have.
  • Set SMART goals: When setting goals, be SMART. That’s an acronym for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. All your goals would be defined by those five things.
  • Project approach: Define the approach you’ll use for the contract. There are several different types of contracts used in construction , for example, such as lump sum, cost plus, time and materials, etc. This is also a good place to describe the delivery method you’ll use.
  • Expected benefits: Outline the benefits that will come from the successful completion of the project.
  • Project resource requirements: List the resources, such as labor, materials, equipment, etc., that you’ll need to execute the project if approved.
  • Project costs & budget: Detail all the costs, including resources, that’ll be required to complete the project and set up a budget to show how those costs will be spent over the course of the project.
  • Project timeline: Lay out the project timeline , which shows the project from start to finish, including the duration of each phase and the tasks within it, milestones, etc.

In addition to these elements, it’s advisable to use a cover letter, which is a one-page document that helps you introduce your project proposal and grab the attention of potential clients and stakeholders.

All the elements in the above project proposal outline are present in our template. This free project proposal template for Word will provide you with everything you need to write an excellent project proposal. It will help you with the executive summary, project process, deliverables, costs—even terms and conditions. Download your free template today.

Project proposal tempalte for Word

To make the best proposal possible, you’ll want to be thorough and hit on all the points we’ve listed above. Here’s a step-by-step guide to writing a persuasive priority proposal.

1. Write an Executive Summary

The executive summary provides a quick overview of the main elements of your project proposal, such as your project background, project objectives and project deliverables, among other things. The goal is to capture the attention of your audience and get them excited about the project you’re proposing. It’s essentially the “elevator pitch” for the project life cycle. It should be short and to the point.

The executive summary should be descriptive and paint a picture of what project success looks like for the client. Most importantly, it should motivate the project client; after all, the goal is getting them to sign on the dotted line to get the project moving!

2. Provide a Project Background

The project background is a one-page section of your project proposal that explains the problem that your project will solve. You should explain when this issue started, its current state and how your project will be the ideal solution.

  • Historic data: The history section outlines previously successful projects and those that could have run more smoothly. By doing so, this section establishes precedents and how the next project can be more effective using information from previous projects.
  • Solution: The solution section addresses how your project will solve the client’s problem. Accordingly, this section includes any project management techniques , skills and procedures your team will use to work efficiently.

3. Establish a Project Vision & Success Criteria

You’ll need to define your project vision. This is best done with a vision statement, which acts as the north star for your project. It’s not specific as much as it’s a way to describe the impact your company plans to make with the project.

It’s also important to set up success criteria to show that the project is in fact doing what it’s proposed to do. Three obvious project success criteria are the triple constraint of cost, scope and time. But you’ll need to set up a way to measure these metrics and respond to them if they’re not meeting your plan.

4. Identify Potential Risks and Mitigation Strategies

To reduce the impact of risk in your project, you need to identify what those risks might be and develop a plan to mitigate them . List all the risks, prioritize them, describe what you’ll do to mitigate or take advantage of them and who on the team is responsible for keeping an eye out for them and resolving them.

5. Define Your Project Scope and Project Deliverables

The project scope refers to all the work that’ll be executed. It defines the work items, work packages and deliverables that’ll be delivered during the execution phase of your project life cycle. It’s important to use a work breakdown structure (WBS) to define your tasks and subtasks and prioritize them.

6. Set SMART Goals for Your Project Proposal

The best mindset when developing goals and objectives for your project proposal is to use the SMART system :

  • Specific – Make sure your goals and objectives are clear, concise and specific to the task at hand.
  • Measurable – Ensure your goals and objectives are measurable so it’s obvious to see when things are on track and going well, and conversely, when things are off track and issues need to be addressed. Measurable goals make it easy to develop the milestones you’ll use to track the progress of the project and identify a reasonable date for completion and/or closure.
  • Attainable – It’s important every project has a “reach” goal. Hitting this goal would mean an outstanding project that extends above and beyond expectations. However, it’s important that the project’s core goal is attainable, so morale stays high and the job gets done with time and resources to spare.
  • Relevant – Make sure all of your goals are directly relevant to the project and address the scope within which you’re working.
  • Time-Based – Timelines and specific dates should be at the core of all goals and objectives. This helps keep the project on track and ensures all project team members can manage the work that’s ahead of them.

7. Explain What’s Your Project Approach

Your project approach defines the project management methodology , tools and governance for your project. In simple terms, it allows project managers to explain to stakeholders how the project will be planned, executed and controlled successfully.

8. Outline The Expected Benefits of Your Project Proposal

If you want to convince internal stakeholders and external investors, you’ll need to show them the financial benefits that your project could bring to their organization. You can use cost-benefit analysis and projected financial statements to demonstrate why your project is profitable.

9. Identify Project Resource Requirements

Project resources are critical for the execution of your project. The project proposal briefly describes what resources are needed and how they’ll be used. Later, during the planning phase, you’ll need to create a resource management plan that’ll be an important element of your project plan. Project requirements are the items, materials and resources needed for the project. This section should cover both internal and external needs.

10. Estimate Project Costs and Project Budget

All the resources that you’ll need for your project have a price tag. That’s why you need to estimate those costs and create a project budget . The project budget needs to cover all your project expenses, and as a project manager, you’ll need to make sure that you adhere to the budget.

11. Define a Project Timeline

Once you’ve defined your project scope, you’ll need to estimate the duration of each task to create a project timeline. Later during the project planning phase , you’ll need to create a schedule baseline, which estimates the total length of your project. Once the project starts, you’ll compare your actual project schedule to the schedule baseline to monitor progress.

Now let’s explore some project proposal examples to get a better understanding of how a project proposal would work in the real world. For this example, let’s imagine a city that’s about to build a rapid transit system. The city government has the funds to invest but lacks the technical expertise and resources that are needed to build it, so it issues a request for proposal (RFP) document and sends it to potential builders.

Then, the construction companies that are interested in executing this rapid transit project will prepare a project proposal for the city government. Here are some of the key elements they should include.

  • Project background: The construction firm will provide an explanation of the challenges that the project presents from a technical perspective, along with historical data from similar projects that have been completed successfully by the company.
  • Project vision & success criteria: Write a vision statement and explain how you’ll track the triple constraint to ensure the successful delivery of the project.
  • Potential risks and mitigation strategies: List all risks and how they’ll be mitigated, and be sure to prioritize them.
  • Project scope & deliverables: The work that’ll be done is outlined in the scope, including all the deliverables that’ll be completed over the life cycle of the project.
  • Set SMART goals: Use the SMART technique to define your project goals by whether they’re specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.
  • Project approach: Define the methodology that the project manager will employ to manage the project. Also, figure out what type of contract will be used to define the project.
  • Expected benefits: Show how the project will deliver advantages to the company and define what these benefits are in a quantifiable way.
  • Project resource requirements: List all the resources, such as labor, materials, equipment, etc., needed to execute the project.
  • Project costs & budget: Estimate the cost of the project and lay that out in a project budget that covers everything from start to finish.
  • Project timeline: Outline the project schedule, including phases, milestones and task duration on a visual timeline.

Whatever project proposal you’re working on, there are a few tips that apply as best practices for all. While above we suggested a project proposal template that would have a table of contents, meaning it would be many pages long, the best-case scenario is keeping the proposal to one or two pages max. Remember, you’re trying to win over stakeholders, not bore them.

Speaking of project stakeholders , do the research. You want to address the right ones. There’s no point in doing all the work necessary to write a great proposal only to have it directed to the wrong target audience. Whoever is going to read it, though, should be able to comprehend the proposal. Keep the language simple and direct.

When it comes to writing, get a professional. Even a business document like a project proposal, business case or executive summary will suffer if it’s poorly constructed or has typos. If you don’t want to hire a professional business writer, make sure you get someone on your project team to copy, edit and proof the document. The more eyes on it, the less likely mistakes will make it to the final edition.

While you want to keep the proposal short and sweet, it helps to sweeten the pot by adding customer testimonials to the attachments. Nothing sells a project plan better than a customer base looking for your product or service.

ProjectManager & Project Proposals

ProjectManager allows you to plan proposals within our software. You can update tasks for the project proposal to signify where things stand and what’s left to be done. The columns allow you to organize your proposal by section, creating a work breakdown structure (WBS) of sorts.

When building a project proposal, it’s vital to remember your target audience. Your audience includes those who are excited about the project, and see completion as a gain for their organization. Conversely, others in your audience will see the project as a pain and something to which they aren’t looking forward. To keep both parties satisfied, it’s essential to keep language factual and concise.

Our online kanban boards help you think through that language and collaborate on it effectively with other team members, if necessary. Each card shows the percentage completed so everyone in the project management team is aware of the work done and what’s left to be done.

Example Project Proposal Kanban Board

As you can see from the kanban board above, work has begun on tasks such as product documentation and design. Tasks regarding stakeholder feedback, ideation, market research and more have been completed, and there’s a good start on the engineering drawings, 3D rendering, supply chain sourcing and translation services.

A PDF is then attached to the card, and everyone added to the task receives an email notifying them of the change. This same process can be used throughout the life-cycle of the project to keep the team updated, collaborating, and producing a first-class project proposal. In addition to kanban boards, you can also use other project management tools such as Gantt charts , project dashboards, task lists and project calendars to plan, schedule and track your projects.

Project proposals are just the first step in the project planning process. Once your project is approved, you’ll have to solidify the plan, allocate and manage resources, monitor the project, and finally hand in your deliverables. This process requires a flexible, dynamic and robust project management software package. ProjectManager is online project management software that helps all your team members collaborate and manage this process in real-time. Try our award-winning software with this free 30-day trial .

Click here to browse ProjectManager's free templates

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Blog Business

How to Write a Project Proposal + FREE Templates (2023)

By Jennifer Gaskin , May 11, 2023

project proposal

For businesses that rely on clients and partnerships to generate sales and revenue, project proposals are must-haves. A polished, professional project proposal is one of the best ways to present the capabilities your team has and put your goods and services in the best possible light.

But a good project proposal is more than just a timeline and a budget. Adding visual flourishes like charts, graphs and other imagery can help elevate a boring proposal to the top of the pile. Learn how you can create a successful project proposal and take a look at several project proposal templates you can fully customize using Venngage.

Click to jump ahead:

  • What is a Project Proposal and How to Use It?
  • What are the 6 types of project proposals?

How do I write a project proposal & what makes a good project proposal?

What are the contents of a project proposal, project proposal templates and examples, what is a project proposal & how to use it.

The purpose of a project proposal is to describe the parameters of a potential project or initiative. Depending on the industry and type of project proposal (more on that in a moment), these documents can include things like scope of work, timelines, staffing, budget, capability statement and more.

Companies that receive project proposals from other firms or individuals use these documents to narrow down their options and make an informed decision about the best partner for them. And companies that create project proposals use them to make their pitch for the project.

Here’s an example of a project proposal to propose a new partnership:

project proposal

It’s important to note that project proposals are not the same as business proposals , though there are some similarities. One of the biggest differences is that business proposals tend to be more general and expansive. Learn more about writing a great business proposal.

Return to Table of Contents

What are the 6 types of project proposal s?

Because every project is unique, there are many types of project proposals, but these are the most common ones:

Solicited through RFP

RFP stands for Request for Proposal (they may also be called Request for Quotation, or RFQ).

These types of project proposals typically come with the most stringent requirements and obligations. The hiring company will usually list out the elements that must be included in the RFP as well as any limitations or conditions that apply.

From the vendor’s standpoint, being asked to submit an RFP is generally a good sign because it means that your firm (or yourself, if you’re an individual) has made it through the initial round of research by the hiring party.

I nformally solicited

Informally solicited project proposals are similar to RFPs or formally solicited proposals in that they may have just as many requirements, but because they’re outside of the formal RFP process, the requirements often aren’t stated up front. That could mean the vendor needs to do more research and ask more questions of the hiring party, or it could mean there actually aren’t as many requirements.

Another benefit of submitting an informally solicited project proposal is that the absence of a formal process likely means the vendor will be up against less competition.


Also called spec (speculative) proposals, unsolicited project proposals come from the vendor’s side rather than the hiring party.

These proposals are particularly difficult because the hiring party, well, may not be hiring at all. With a spec or unsolicited project proposal, the vendor believes there’s a need for their services and must not only convince the hiring party that the need exists, but that the vendor is the best one to fill that need.


Pre-proposals can be considered mini versions of RFPs. They are often sought by a hiring party that wants to avoid a lengthy proposal process — or simply doesn’t want to read a long pitch. These types of proposals are brief, usually a few pages at most, and depending on the results, the hiring party may make an offer or make a full RFP request.

Non-competing/continuation proposals

Continuation proposals are common in multi-year projects or ones in which both parties may have agreed to certain conditions governing how the project proceeds.

With a continuation proposal, the goal isn’t to pitch your services but rather to keep the client up to date on the project, inform them of any metrics they need to know or that may be part of the scope of work and get their formal approval to continue with the project.

Competing/renewal proposals

Renewal proposals are similar to continuation proposals, but instead of being created in the middle of a project, a renewal project proposal is generated once a project or contract has ended. They’re also called competing proposals because the vendor will need to make their case as to why the project or contract should be renewed.

It may be wise to approach these types of proposals as you might an unsolicited one, but the benefit to the vendor is that (if the project has been a success), they will have past results with that specific client to showcase in their new proposal.

Writing a great project proposal can be a challenge, even if there aren’t a ton of requirements from the hiring party. That’s because you need to craft the message specifically for the company or individual you’re sending the proposal to, and that may mean spinning facts in your direction.

Here are some tips when it comes to writing your project proposal:

Review the RFP (if you have one)

If there is no formal RFP, you’ll still need to start out researching as much as you can about your potential client. That means finding out not only about the problem you’re hoping to solve but the history of the client, their industry, their competitors and more. Getting to know them better will help you understand how to portray yourself or your company in the best light.

Create a project proposal outline

Whether you use the sections we listed above in that order, add or remove ones or shift things around, jot down a quick outline of sections to keep in mind as you work.

Highlight elements that may set your proposal apart

For example, if you know that your company will be able to complete the task more quickly than any competitors, make that the focus of your solution or scope of work section. Compare your proposed timeline with what your competitors are likely to propose to the client.

You should also make notes of any elements that you might be able to visualize through a graph, chart or other design element — visuals can help not only make your project proposal easier on the eyes, but they can make it more memorable and illustrate to the client that you are able to think creatively.

Here’s an example of how it can look in your project proposal:

project proposal

Avoid overly salesy language

It can be tempting, particularly if you’re sending unsolicited project proposals, to use some of the same language in your proposal as you might in an ad, but you should keep such wording to a minimum.

Let the proposal speak for itself; if you or your firm truly are the best one for the job, it should be evident in your proposal. Being straightforward can also signal to the hiring party that you don’t want to waste their time with flowery language. It’s better to deal in facts rather than opinions for project proposals.

Establish a single point of contact

Some project proposals will include lists or even short bios of your staff members who will be involved in the project. But it’s a good idea to ensure that your project proposal makes it clear whom the client should contact to move the project forward or submit any questions. Include this person’s information at the beginning and the end of your document.

Write with one voice

While it’s common for large RFPs to be completed by many people on the team, ensure that whoever is responsible for bringing it all together has a chance to make the document feel cohesive. It should read as if one person put the entire thing together.

The content of project proposals will vary depending on the industry and the type of proposal. For example, while solicited, unsolicited and pre-proposals will typically include a budget that is negotiable, a continuation proposal’s budget has likely already been set. That said, here are the typical contents of a project proposal:

  • Summary : An executive summary or project background is typically the first section of a project proposal. Most vendors use this as an opportunity to thank the hiring company for the opportunity, as well as summarizing what the client is about to see through the remainder of the proposal.

This template shows a complete executive summary for a product launch, which can be longer than a typical executive brief or project background in your proposal — something to keep in mind:

project proposal

  • Objective : An explanation of what needs to be done or what problem can be solved if the hiring party accepts the proposal.

project proposal

  • Solution : An explanation of what the vendor would do to solve the problem or how they would approach completing the needed task.

project proposal

  • Scope of work : A detailed description of what exactly would be done, when and how much it would cost. This section may also need to include legal information, though in most cases, contracts are separate from project proposals.

Here’s an example of how you can write down the scope of work for your proposed project:

project proposal

Call to action : The final section of your project proposal (assuming there are no appendices) should let the hiring party know what to do next. Include a place for them to sign the document to show their acceptance, as well as contact information in case they have further questions. To make the proposal legally binding, you can send it to your client via a free eSignature software such as Papersign  and collect their signature in a compliant manner.

proposal template for project

  • Appendix : Appendices in project proposals could include information that didn’t fit within the client’s requirements or that helps to further explain information in the main part of the document. This section is optional.

Now that we’ve explored some of the background and purpose of project proposals, let’s take a look at some templates you can customize using Venngage for your own project.

Construction proposal examples

The construction industry is a complex one, and project proposals are critical for landing business and keeping projects on track. But there are many approaches a construction project proposal can take.

Taking the complicated and making it simple is a challenge, particularly in this field, but as this project proposal example shows, it can be done. By using simple, clear language and well-placed visual emphasis, this free project proposal template stands out for its simplicity.

project proposal

Many hiring companies simply skim project proposals for things like budget and timeframe, and while you still need to craft an engaging proposal, it’s a good idea to put those types of elements front and center, as this construction project proposal does.

project proposal

Remember that regardless of whether your firm is hired for the job at hand, every document you send to another business is a chance to establish your company’s brand identity. Use a template like the one below, update it with your logo and brand colors and fonts to keep it aligned with your messaging.

project proposal

As you can see from the example below, a few color changes can make a huge difference:

project proposal

To easily apply your brand colors and logos, simply have them automatically extracted from your website using Autobrand:

And apply them to your design in one click with My Brand Kit :

Design proposal examples

You might think it would be a no-brainer for a designer to create a well-designed project proposal, but it’s common for creative people to have difficulty when it comes to analytical thinking. That’s why having a couple of great project proposals in your back pocket is perfect for a designer.

Project proposals in creative fields tend to be a bit less buttoned-up than those in other industries, so use your proposal as an opportunity to make a bold design statement. The template below, for example, uses a striking color palette and minimalist imagery on the cover to make the proposal stand out, and those touches are reinforced throughout the document.

project proposal

This example, similarly, uses creative color combinations to strike a design-forward tone. But as both of these templates illustrate, the bones of the project proposal must be sound, and all the information required should still be covered.

project proposal

Work proposal examples

Not every industry requires a unique approach to project proposals, and, in fact, for most applications, a general work proposal template will suffice, provided that you do your due diligence in following any requirements set forward by the hiring party.

This template created for a consulting firm illustrates a straightforward approach to project proposals that you can easily adapt for your needs. Add or remove pages, insert charts and graphs or new icons and craft a compelling narrative.

project proposal

This project proposal template is an excellent example of how companies can use established templates to create a unique proposal. Note how they’ve used the sections that apply to them and put them together in a way to appeal to their potential client.

project proposal

Marketing proposal examples

Marketers and marketing agencies are regularly asked to submit RFPs, whether for individual projects or long-term engagements, so the average marketing agency will need to have several project proposals on hand that they can modify when new requests come in.

This social media marketing project proposal template is ideal for a single campaign rather than a multi-year engagement. In that situation, it’s crucial to make sure all dates and milestones in the campaign are clearly stated.

project proposal

Ideally, a marketing agency or marketer will get a chance to pitch for long-term work. In that case, this project proposal template is ideal for outlining all aspects of the project proposal, including a timeline that extends to a full year.

project proposal

A critical aspect of modern marketing success is doing a great deal of research on keywords, competitors and traffic, and many marketers include such metrics in their project proposals, along the lines of this example. Note how high-impact charts and graphs are used to help the audience absorb the data and make an informed decision. There are various marketing proposal examples that you can look at to inspire your next proposal design and help catch the attention of your clients.

project proposal

In summary: Put your products in the best light using one of Venngage’s professional project proposal templates

Letting a potential customer know what you’re capable of is a critical tool in many fields, and project proposals can highlight your company in a way few other documents can.

Start with one of these templates or create your project proposal from scratch. Whether your company has just gotten an RFP or you want to land that big fish in your industry, Venngage makes it simple to create an effective project proposal without becoming overwhelmed. It’s free to get started.


  1. 43 Professional Project Proposal Templates ᐅ TemplateLab

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  2. 43 Professional Project Proposal Templates ᐅ TemplateLab

    proposal template for project

  3. 43 Professional Project Proposal Templates ᐅ TemplateLab

    proposal template for project

  4. 43 Professional Project Proposal Templates ᐅ TemplateLab

    proposal template for project

  5. 43 Professional Project Proposal Templates ᐅ TemplateLab

    proposal template for project

  6. 43 Professional Project Proposal Templates ᐅ TemplateLab

    proposal template for project


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