Being able to write a proposal is a handy skill, particularly when you need to ask someone for help or financial support. A short proposal takes the art a step further, conveying the request in a concise format. Certain elements need to be included to make the request clear and convincing.
Define what you need and how the other person can help you. Clarify how the response will address your issue without having to ask again for the same thing. Use a computer and word processing software to keep notes and develop your drafts.
Develop arguments to support your proposed need for support and why it would be a good thing to do or approve. Identify and address possible criticisms that could be raised to argue against your proposal.
Research what you will need to use to validate your proposal. Keep these items organized in reference order and what the points are from each source.
Test your proposal before putting it in front of a decision-maker. Confirm that your plan will work and will solve your perceived need or problem before asking for the support. Check to be sure your proposal is practical and within the decision-maker’s budget.
Draft your proposal document with the first paragraph detailing your need and what you are asking for using the information from Step 1. Spell out the steps and justification in your second paragraph. Rebut any potential criticisms of your proposal in a third paragraph. Close your proposal request with a summary as a fourth paragraph. All four sections should fit on one page. Attach relevant research as an appendix to the proposal.
Have another manager help edit your draft. A second set of eyes can catch small errors or have ideas for improvements.
Do not fabricate your research or conclusions. People are usually caught in a lie by what they put down in writing rather than what they communicate verbally.
Since 2009 Tom Lutzenberger has written for various websites, covering topics ranging from finance to automotive history. Lutzenberger works in public finance and policy and consults on a variety of analytical services. His education includes a Bachelor of Arts in English and political science from Saint Mary's College and a Master of Business Administration in finance and marketing from California State University, Sacramento.