Project Proposal Template & Examples

A project proposal is a document that an organization, vendor, or contractor prepares to express their interest and capability in taking on a project. Done right, it can help you establish credibility, close clients, acquire funding, and secure the necessary support for your project to be implemented.

Getting your project greenlit is probably one of the most exciting parts of project management. But many times you might have to submit a project proposal first. Having a template or project proposal example to follow can make things much easier.

Read more: How to Write a Project Proposal

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Project Proposal Templates and Examples

There are many ways to make your project proposal. Depending on your needs, it can be simple or highly detailed. Here’s a selection of project proposal examples, project proposal templates, and tools you can use to streamline your process.

Software Development Proposal by Better ProposalsObjective and introduction
Introduce your software and the tasks it’ll automate, along with key features
Your project process and timelines
Case studies
Investment - pricing, budget, etc.
How to get started
Terms and conditions
Project Proposal Template by PandadocCover letter
Executive Summary
Timelines and deliverables
About your company
Costs, billing, terms & conditions
Project Proposal Template by monday.comProblem definition
Goals and objectives
Project performance
Major project milestones
Cost-benefit analysis
Simple project proposal by TeamworkProject summary
Background information
Proposed solution
Scope of work
Schedule and timeline
Authorization and conclusion
A compilation of 17 more templates by SmartsheetSimple Project Proposal
One-page Project Proposal
Freelance Job Proposal Template
Construction Proposal Template

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Types of Project Proposals

Internal Project Proposal

Internal project proposals are those you submit to internal stakeholders. These teams can be your company’s board of directors, upper management, or a specific department in your organization. They either have the authority to grant you the resources you need, or are beneficiaries of the project you’re trying to implement.

External Project Proposal

Unlike the internal project proposal, an external project proposal is what you submit to parties outside your company (also known as external stakeholders). Examples of such groups are the government, a prospective client, or a community organization.

Generally, an external project proposal requires more research than an internal one. Some relevant information might not be readily available to people outside their organizations, so you need to exert effort to acquire that data.

Solicited Proposal

Solicited proposals are initiated by a request. The request can be formal (formally solicited proposals) or informal (informally solicited proposals). In this case, the proposal you make should respond to the needs expressed by the requester. A formally solicited proposal comes with a request for proposal (RFP) document.

The RFP document outlines the requester’s needs and issues, along with the goals and opportunities they want to achieve through the completion of the project. Informally solicited proposals may not come with formal documentation. But the requester’s desire to receive a project proposal has been communicated, and the team can opt to respond.

Unsolicited Proposal

Unsolicited proposals are neither requested nor expected. This can be borne out of the project team’s initiative, or the recommendation of an external party. Compared to a solicited proposal, making an unsolicited one will require more research and effort. One of the most important things you’ll have to establish here is the relevance of your project and its viability.

To do that, you’ll have to find ways to understand your prospective client’s situation, industry, hurdles, and resources. Without this level of understanding, it might be difficult for you to get the right eyes on your project proposal.

Continuation Proposal

A continuation proposal is one of the most straightforward proposals you need to make. It’s essentially an update on ongoing or approved projects. Populate your continuation proposal with updates on your progress, project milestones, and budget, along with issues you encountered or foresee. Sharing these details can help you maintain trust and rapport with concerned parties, and secure assistance to address hurdles and bottlenecks.

Renewal Project Proposal

A renewal project proposal is what you send if your project contract is about to end or has been terminated. It’s a request for reinvestment so you can restart your project operations. Depending on the reasons for termination, writing a renewal project proposal can be easy or difficult.

If your project was terminated because of positive or neutral reasons (e.g., project completion, end of contract), you simply have to establish why it will be good for them to invest in you again. If the contract was terminated for unfavorable circumstances (e.g., missed deadlines, prematurely depleted resources), you’ll have to take time to evaluate the causes of the past mistakes and guarantee they won’t happen a second time.

Supplemental Project Proposal

If you need additional resources for your ongoing project, you’ll need to submit a supplemental project proposal to concerned parties. Similar to the renewal project proposal, this can be easy or difficult to make, depending on your circumstances. Changes in scope due to client requests or new findings might have to be justified if it’s why you need additional investment. On the other hand, massive discrepancies on your estimates without proper initial disclaimers might create more friction.

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Key Components of a Project Proposal

A good project proposal should communicate the significance of the project, the team’s capabilities, and project feasibility and viability. There’s no one way to make a proposal. But here are the essential components you might want to include in yours.

  • Problem Statement: Your problem statement is where you establish why your prospect should approve your project. Display a thorough understanding of your beneficiary’s industry and situation, and help them see the opportunities they’re not fully taking advantage of.
  • Vision and Benefits: Help your stakeholders imagine how their circumstances can change, should your project be implemented. Focus on how it can help them. Insight into their organizational goals, values, and priorities will be helpful here. Hitting what matters most to them is an excellent way to hold their attention.
  • Goals and Objectives: Now that you’ve helped them imagine what could be, it’s time to support this vision with SMART goals and measurable objectives. Identify specific parameters that will define your project’s success. Ensure your stakeholders understand how these all contribute to solving their problems.
  • Plan and Methods: Support your stated goals with information on how you and your team plan to achieve them. Convince your client of your team’s capability to fulfill your promises. Share the project deliverables they can expect from you. Give them a timeline, and how you’ll report progress. This is an excellent way to earn trust and approval.
  • Resources: After thoroughly discussing what you plan to do for the project, this is the section where you communicate your prospect’s role and responsibility in making the project happen. Be transparent about the financial, material, manpower, and other resources you need to implement your plans. Be as accurate as you can when it comes to estimates, and add reasonable contingencies in case there are unforeseen circumstances.
  • Executive Summary: An executive summary isn’t required for short proposals. But for those that span several pages, it’s good to have a section that summarizes the most relevant parts of the project proposal. Make it easy to skim; your goal here is to help your reader gain an overview of your proposal. Avoid overloading them with information when you write this part.

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Writing an Effective Project Proposal

Writing an effective proposal is an essential skill for teams and project managers. Regardless of how good you are at what you do, securing opportunities for you to implement your projects is an important first step. Refine your skills in communicating your and your projects’ value and viability. This way, you can effectively practice your craft, help your community, and positively impact your organization through your work and projects.

Read next: How to Successfully Host a Project Kickoff Meeting

Hannah Donato

Hannah Donato is a SaaS freelance writer for project management and productivity. Her works help SaaS brands become more relatable with actionable tips and relevant stories. Currently, she’s also an events manager and brand coordinator for a game development company in the Philippines, with four years of experience as a producer for games on multiple platforms.