Link to PDF version of this advice What follows is a collection of advice for writing research grants to the National Science Foundation. This document focuses on writing proposals to NSF, but the general advice can be applied to writing any proposal. General advice Always read the RFP request for proposal to find out what the funders want. They will give you money only if you can help them reach their goals.
There are three distinct categories of business proposals: Request for proposal RFP RFPs provide detailed specifications of what the customer wants to buy and sometimes include directions for preparing the proposal, as well as evaluation criteria the customer will use to evaluate offers.
Customers issue RFPs when their needs cannot be met with generally available products or services. Based on the response to RFI, detailed RFP is issued to qualified vendors who the organization believes can provide desired services.
Proposals in response to RFPs are seldom less than 10 pages and sometimes reach 1,'s of pages, without cost data. The requirements are detailed, but the primary consideration is price.
For example, a customer provides architectural blueprints for contractors to bid on. These proposals can be lengthy but most of the length comes from cost-estimating data and detailed schedules. The purpose of the RFI is to gain "marketing intelligence" about what products, services, and vendors are available.
RFIs are used to shape final RFPs, RFQs, and IFBs, so potential vendors take great care in responding to these requests, hoping to shape the eventual formal solicitation toward their products or services. The customer is interested enough in a product or service to ask for a proposal.
Typically, the customer does not ask for competing proposals from other vendors. This type of proposal is known as a sole-source proposal.
There are no formal requirements to respond. But they choose good quality of product. They are always generic, with no direct connection between customer needs or specified requirements. Vendors use them to introduce a product or service to a prospective customer.
They are often used as "leave-behinds" at the end of initial meetings with or customers or "give-aways" at trade shows or other public meetings. They are not designed to close a sale, just introduce the possibility of a sale.
Testimonials from previous customers, Descriptions of previous projects  Managing business proposals[ edit ] Managing proposals presents an enormous challenge for sales and marketing teams. Many established management methods are ill-suited to deal with the broader issues associated with the production and delivery of proposals.
In these cases, organizations often rely on outsourcing by identifying a proposal manager to support their proposal development needs. The process of proposal management[ edit ] Proposal management is an inherently collaborative process.
It often consists of the following basic roles and responsibilities: Creator — responsible for creating and editing content. Editor — responsible for tuning the content message and the style of delivery, including translation and localization.
Publisher — responsible for releasing the content for use. Administrator — responsible for managing access permissions to documents and files, usually accomplished by assigning access rights to user groups or roles. Consumer or viewer — the person who reads or otherwise takes in content after it is published or shared.
Increasingly, the term proposal management is being used to suggest that engagement with the proposal process is important to more than just the sales team, and should also affect those working in marketing, legal, and sales.
There is also a trend towards using proposal management software that allows users to quickly and easily create proposals, collaborate with team members, track and analyze customer engagement. For example, the Company Name, Mission Statement, History, Qualifications should remain the same for most proposals leaving the Pricing section and specific Product and Service options specific to the customer to be customized for the current target customer.
At times, the process can be tedious, but the steps are pretty basic. Besides solicited and unsolicited proposals, the others that exist include internal proposals and sole-source contracts. These types of proposals can be written by a particular individual, group, department, or division of a particular company.
One example of this is when the manager of a product line writes a proposal suggesting that the company should robotize the production process. Some advantages to this includes easier communication, knowing the client's needs and making fast decisions.
Some advantages to this may include competition from other companies and the loss of management champions. The standard format for this type of proposal consists of information about a specific product, including the price and delivery schedules.
Some advantages to this include not having to have resources to win a contract and the firm or client knows what time the work will be coming.Advice on Writing Proposals to the National Science Foundation. Susan Finger sfinger at benjaminpohle.com Carnegie Mellon University.
Updated April The original . Grant Writing Courses Proposal Writing Short Course (The Foundation Center) Basic Elements of Grants Writing (Corporation for Public Broadcasting) Getting Started: The Concept Paper.
Abstract. The well-written abstract is the single most important part of the proposal. Often, initial proposal review, or "first cuts", are based on the.
9 Tips When Writing Abstracts for Business Documents. Abstracts are more important than ever. We have an ever-increasing need for quick access to information.
Think of those search engine results that you find on Internet sites! Welcome. Welcome to Portland State University's online learning system! Please click here for a System Check before you login. How to Write a Grant Proposal. In this Article: Article Summary Sample Grant Proposal Documents Getting Started Writing Your Proposal Adding Required Support Documentation Finalizing Your Application Following Up Community Q&A True grants can be very difficult to find and harder still to get.
It may not be easy to find the right grant, but when you do, properly completing the grant application. With writing, simply set aside time to "walk the dog": Sit down and write every day and soon writing will be as natural as handling radioactivity.
"An idea with a plan is a grant application.