Make sure that your proposal is solid by following these eight steps.
1. If application guidelines exist, read them and follow the instructions.
Read them again and again, highlighting the important parts and making sure your project is a good fit. If you have questions, ask for clarification.
2. Understand your project fully.
Make sure you can do it and that you can articulate your abilities.
Is your budget complete and realistic? Do you need to hire additional help? What kind of a model would help readers visualize your project?
3. Always keep the end-users (audience, fans, . . . ) in mind.
Are they the public? The workers in a large corporation? Who will benefit from your project and are you addressing their concerns?
4. Aim for clarity.
Emphasize key points in the first paragraph and grab the imagination and attention of the reader.
5. If the organization offers help with proposal writing, take it!
Organizations love it when artists care enough to seek help and do it right. You will get to know the staff and will, as a result of your dialogue, submit a far better proposal than if you had done it alone.
6. Allow yourself plenty of time.
Do not write a proposal the night before it’s due. You must have time to change, rearrange, and edit your content.
7. Have at least one other person read your proposal.
This falls into the “duh” camp. Editors exist because everyone needs one. A non-biased set of eyes can see holes in your proposal that you can’t. It’s also helpful to read the proposal aloud.
8. Go back to the guidelines and make sure you have your supporting materials in order before you send it in.
The length should be within limits and, as a general rule, you shouldn’t submit anything that isn’t requested.