Tips For Writing A Government Proposal

Responding to a request for a proposal from the federal government can be a bit of a daunting task. For one, you really want this business transaction to go well, and that means excelling at writing a government proposal. But at the same time, you are not really sure your proposal writing skills are up to par for the task at hand. The truth is you cannot do this without serious preparation and careful consideration. Here are some tips to help you get started with a winning government proposal.

Read the Request for a Proposal, Then Read it Again

The experts agree: everything you need to know about what is needed in your proposal will be in the proposal request. That is why you need to be sure you squeeze every little detail of information out of that request document as you possibly can. You need to understand the big picture of what they are looking for as well as how they would like it presented. You should know this request inside and out before you take pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, and start working on your proposal.

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image courtesy of Stuart Miles/


Their Directions are Not Suggestions

When considering the request for a proposal, do not look at the criteria as suggestions; look at them as hard facts. When your proposal is being reviewed by a panel, they will likely evaluate your proposal on how closely it meets the guidelines that were set forth, and if you did not follow them to a T, that may work against you. They will most likely favor the proposals that kept to their guidelines.


Structure the Proposal Well

You want the proposal to be well organized and clear. There will likely be a sequence given in the RFP that provides an outline for you to follow. At the very least you should mimic the structure of the proposal request. Try not to jump around from topic to topic as this is confusing and you will most likely lose the reviewer.


Don’t Assume Things, Be Specific and Blunt

You cannot assume that the person reviewing your proposal will know everything about the subject you are writing on. You will need to be thorough and clear in all your explanations. Your failure to do so could cost you the project. Be careful with using industry terms that outsiders may not know or using acronyms without first defining them. Avoiding these mistakes will help keep your proposal clear and concise.

Have a Professional Review Your Proposal Before Sending

You should have an expert in government proposal writing review your proposal and give you feedback before you sending it in to the client. This will help catch any errors that may be in proposal and will ensure it is the absolute best proposal possible.

Make sure you take the process seriously and are prepared when writing the proposal. With dedication to the project and the right amount of research and preparation, your proposal will be at the top of the list when it comes down to the final selection process.

Tony is a proposal writer that has had great results from following a few basic tips that he wants to share with readers.

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