Proposals are key documents to have if a business wants to establish a professional relationship with external stakeholders. They are perfect for businesses to use to gain the trust of funders and get the financial support they need for their projects. proposals

Download the Free Proposals Article in PDF

Proposals Download

Table of Content

Proposal Definition & Meaning

A proposal is a legal document that serves as a suggestion for gaining support for a plan or a scheme.

It can be used as a marketing document to establish a relationship between a business (particularly a small business) and external stakeholders or it can also be used as a project proposal to define the objectives and requirements of a project.

What Is a Proposal?

A proposal is a document that is designed to help a company receive funding for a new program. Having this type of document allows an organization to establish a formal request or presentation to an outside donor. When companies are still in the early phases of a project they’re working on, a proposal is usually created.

10 Types of Proposals

Academic Proposal

Aside from business purposes, proposals also serve a purpose in the academic world. When it serves that particular purpose, it is then called an academic proposal. Typically, this type of proposal is used as a stepping stone for a thesis or a school project.


Accounting Proposal

An accounting proposal can be used by companies as a detailed presentation of their accounting services and the benefits that their customers can get when they deal with the said company. This is an example of a proposal that serves a business purpose. Also, this type of proposal can serve as a request for funding or persuades clients to support the company in a financial manner.


Advertising Proposal

Proposals can also be used for advertising products and services to consumers or for an event promo. All proposals that fall under this function are called advertising proposals. This type of proposal can be used by advertising agencies or multimedia companies.


Agency Proposal

At some point, agencies will have to make their quality of services known to the public. This can be done through the means of an agency proposal. To be able to do so, this proposal needs to be professional in its writing and format.


Artist Proposal

Proposals also serve a purpose for people in the creative industry. An artist proposal can be used by artists to state what they want to accomplish in their art project should they receive the grant (such as building a new movie studio). This can also be used to persuade an organization to include your artwork/project in their exhibit.


Bid Proposal

Proposals can also be used to help persuade contractors to complete projects (such as construction projects or development projects). Documents that fall under this umbrella are called bid proposals. The best purpose of this document is to outline the products or services, the budget needed, and the timeline that companies can offer to clients for completing a specific project or contract.


Branding Proposal

A type of proposal that serves a persuasive function is a branding proposal. The main purpose of this type of proposal is to get a client’s attention regarding a particular brand (which can be listed on a website). When effectively written, this can persuade clients to invest and deal with a company’s brand and business.


Cleaning Proposal

Certain services can make use of a proposal document to persuade clients to avail it. One such example is a cleaning service, and the respective document is called a cleaning proposal. The design or format usually consists of the client/company information, the services offered, contact information for the customers to call or email the company, and a price list.


Company Proposal

If you run a company and need to pitch what you have to potential clients and customers during a conference (advertising a product sale, consultant services, car engine repair business), then an effective proposal document is going to be needed. One such helpful document is called a company proposal. When writing this document, it should take into account the ability to consider what the potential client needs and wants.


Construction Proposal

To be able to start a new project, a construction company will need ways to successfully establish a bidding process with a contractor. This can be done by creating a construction proposal. This design of this document generally includes information such as quotes from suppliers regarding how much the new raw materials will cost (including tax), and so on.


Proposal Uses, Purpose, Importance

Proposals are used in the corporate world and academic world. When writing one, it goes without saying that it should be persuasive while easy to read at the same time. Here are how it can be used and its importance to everyone that uses it.

It helps secure funding

A proposal is particularly important for small businesses because it helps them secure funding. A proposal helps businesses demonstrate to prospective investors how investing in the business can benefit them. In other words, this document serves as a way to show that a business is competent enough for the investors to provide funding.

It provides a universal understanding

A proposal can help everyone in the company, from the top office down to the entry-level employee understand their strategies and goals. Having everything clearly outlined will prevent any chance of misunderstandings from materializing. Every business can benefit from this, from a startup to an established one.

It establishes credibility

Proposals, especially project proposals, should be seen as a tool that helps establish the credibility of a business or company. Additionally, this document should demonstrate to the parties concerned that the company is capable of meeting expectations. By detailing the methods in which a project will be completed, including any risks or complications that may arise, credibility is then established.

It improves vendor comparison

The main purpose of writing a project proposal is for companies to be able to compare in an objective manner the different vendors needed for a project. With this document, the prices and outcomes can be compared. The information inside a project proposal should be able to help the decision-makers in their comparison process.

It helps identify strengths and weaknesses

Startups not only need to focus on their strengths in their businesses, but also on areas where they can improve. Having a business proposal can make everyone in the business look at things in an objective manner. This kind of document can also help identify the factors that are beyond the company’s control.

What’s in a Proposal? Parts?

“About Us” section

The about us section of a proposal describes what the company is, what they do, and its unique selling proposition.

Executive Summary

This part of the proposal outlines why the prospect should choose the company over the competition.


This part of the proposal details the company’s methods to solve a client’s problem and the overall process that it needs.


This describes exactly what’s included in the proposal and what the client can expect to receive.


The milestones section breaks down the entire project into phases.


This section is an overview of the project fees which helps the prospective clients understand what they’re paying for.


How to Design a Proposal?

1. Choose a Proposal Size

2. Decide on the purpose of the proposal document

3. Select a Proposal Template

4. Modify the contents/structure of the proposal template (add what you need and cut out what you don’t)

5. Add the necessary graphics/photos

6. Finalize and download


Proposal vs. Quotation

Proposals are commonly used when a customer/consumer needs a solution to a particular problem.

A quotation is best used when the customer needs ideas about how much something costs to solve a problem.

What’s the Difference Between Proposal, Research, and Thesis

A proposal generally is centered around problems to which the author does not have a particular answer yet.

Research is more centered around an overall argument with the right evidence to support that argument (similar to an essay).

A thesis (also known as a dissertation paper) is a report that a student will make as part of their degree studies that describe a report that they’ve carried out.

Proposal Sizes

Listed below are the most common proposal sizes that are used when creating this document:


Proposal Ideas & Examples

If you’re looking to write a proposal document, then these different proposal ideas and examples can be of great help.

  • Proposal Ideas and Examples 
  • Ideas for Business Proposal with Examples
  • Company Proposal Ideas and Examples 
  • Agency Proposal Making Ideas and examples
  • Proposal Ideas and Examples for Event
  • Tips and Ideas for Fundraising Proposal and examples
  • Lease Proposal Ideas and Examples
  • Proposal Ideas and Examples for Marketing
  • Partnership Proposal Ideas, Examples, and Inspirations
  • Property Proposal Ideas and Examples 


What are the elements of a proposal?

The elements of a proposal include the cover, the table of contents, the abstract, the project description, the budget explanation, the vitae, the other support section, and the appendix section.

How to create a proposal in Word?

Creating a proposal in MS Word usually begins by selecting the right size of the proposal document, selecting a template, modifying the contents and overall structure of the said template, verifying the entire document, and saving it for print.

What are the 4 parts of a proposal?

The 4 parts that a proposal should include are the project background, project objectives, project scope, and section which dictates the plan, timeline, and budget.

Why should we write a proposal?

We should write a proposal because it helps us establish our credibility with outside investors.

How do I write a project proposal?

To write a project proposal, focus on key factors such as the core problem, the resources and timeline, the budget, the strategic goals that need to be met, the responsible parties, the client benefits, and most of all, the project deliverables.

How to write an effective marketing proposal?

To write a marketing proposal, start by researching the client, then follow it up by listing the scope of work, then provide an estimated timeframe for deliverables, discuss the costs, and show how you plan to gauge the results.

What should a marketing proposal include?

A marketing proposal should include ways to uncover the needs of the client and should have a plan of action to achieve their goals.

What should a proposal include?

A proposal should include the background of the problem, the objectives, the scope of the project, a timeline section, a budget section, and a milestone section.

Why is the proposal important?

They are important since it helps build a company’s credibility to outside stakeholders as well as set expectations for the professional relationship with the client.

Why is proposal writing important to many organizations?

Proposal writing is important to many organizations since it helps them outline the purpose and the scope of the project that they’re going to undertake.