Components of a Typical Proposal


Title Page (Coversheet, Application Form)

This includes title of project, name and address of applicant and institution, name of sponsor, inclusive dates of project, total funds requested, date of submission, and signatures of authorized personnel.

Table of Contents

This is a list of topics covered within your proposal and gives the page number as to the location of that section.

(Helpful hints: This should be completed at the end of the proposal writing process in order to ensure accuracy.)


This presents the essential meaning of the proposal. The abstract is meant to summarize the major objectives of the project and procedures to be followed. Also include at least one sentence on each of the following: establishing your credibility, the problem being addressed, and the methodology.

(Helpful hints: The abstract is the reader's first impression, so keep this brief (about 250 words). Stress the end product and the importance of the outcomes.)


This clearly establishes who is applying for funds. The introduction should include:

  • Description of the goals and purposes of the proposal
  • Description of any relevant programs (keep this brief)
  • Description of the clients that will benefit from the proposal
  • Evidence of your accomplishments
(Helpful hints: Offer statistics and evidence to support your credibility. This should be written in a logical manner leading to the problem statement. The tone should reflect modest self-confidence. Engage the reader.)

Capability Statement

This provides a quick overview of your institution and the project director. nclude in this section identification of the project staff and describe the availability of facilities and resources.

Problem Statement

This states the problem and why it is important to solve it.

(Helpful hints: Keep this simple and precise. Relate the problem statement to the purposes and goals of the applicant institution. Avoid jargon - use words that speak to the general public. Point out any innovative aspects of the project. Cite statistical or empirical evidence.)

Goal Statement (General Objectives, Solution)

The goal describes what is to be achieved and how it will be accomplished.

(Helpful hints: Keep the goals realistic and achievable.)

Objectives (Measurable Objectives)

The objectives tell specifically what will be done to achieve the goal. The objectives should point clearly towards the outcomes of the project. This section should also define the population to be served.

(Helpful hints: Keep objectives quantifiable and verifiable. Avoid jargon -- use words that speak to the general public.)

Methodology (Procedures - Action Plan, Activities, Strategies)

This is the action plan portion of the proposal, and includes activities and strategies that will be utilized to reach the end goal. Activities and strategies are justified and described clearly.

(Helpful hints: Make sure the strategies can be accomplished within the time and budget allotted. Make sure all aspects of the methodology are internally consistent.)

Evaluation Plan

This section assesses the project to ensure the objectives and activities follow the proposal's plan. The evaluation is used throughout the process and as an end assessment. This section should:

  • Define evaluation criteria
  • Specify who will conduct the evaluation and how they will be selected
  • Describe the methods for gathering the baseline data and outcomes data
  • Describe and include among the attachments the test instruments or questionnaires used
  • Show how the evaluation will be used for improving the program
  • Describe the format of the evaluation reports and include samples among the attachments

Future Funding Plans

If the project is to be ongoing, provide a plan for acquiring funds after the grant period has ended.


The plan describes how the project results will benefit others. The plan also indicates how these benefits will be shared with others who might also benefit.


Include a timeline that is clear and definite.


Key people, their specific responsibilities, and their qualifications should be included (an organizational chart may be helpful). If the plan consists of more than one organization, specify responsibilities, rights and authority, and financial obligations.


The budget specifies the total cost of the project divided into such categories as personnel, supplies and materials, travel, consultants, equipment, and indirect costs. Every section of the budget must be consistent with the corresponding narrative portion of the proposal. The format should be easy to follow and understand.

Appendices (Attachments)

The appendices may include such supporting materials as letters, evaluation tools, reporting forms, bibliographies, maps, graphs, charts, or any other material that was referenced within the proposal.

Suggested Order of Development

  • Problem Statement
  • Goal and Objectives
  • Methodology
  • Evaluation
  • Future Funding
  • Dissemination
  • Budget, timeline, personnel
  • Introduction
  • Title (cover) page
  • Abstract
  • Appendices
  • Table of Contents