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How to Write a Proposal Memo


Proposal memos follow a common format. They briefly communicate a plan of action(s).


Date: The date indicates when sent.

To: The “to” line may have multiple recipients. Between unrelated companies, or in government and military memos, use formal titles.

From: . “From” indicates the department or division and parent organization, etc.

Subject: . “Subject” describes proposal content requiring action by the recipient or refers to the request document if the proposal was solicited.

Text Body

In a short one- or two-page memo, paragraphs in the following sequence make sense. Using the headings below, however, make a longer proposal more readable.


Describe the proposal, define the relationship between the sender and receiver (buyer/seller, manufacturer/sub-contractor, producer/distributor) and identify or reference sources of knowledge or data about the product, process, information, etc., that fulfill the proposal. Make clear why the recipient should respond. Summarize the proposal.


For a solicited proposal, refer to the request. A sender’s unsolicited proposal should describe the project and show how it solves a problem, meets a need, lowers costs, etc. Define, explain and convince as briefly as possible.

Benefits and Feasibility

Describe the features that result from implementing the proposal, such as expanding a market, simplifying a process, increasing profitability, etc. Explain how specific actions can be accomplished to implement the proposal. Sell the benefits of the proposal.

End Result(s)

Broadly describe the proposal outcome. Define the product, procedure, information or service that will result upon completion.


Explain how the proposal will be accomplished in professional or technical terms and list expertise or experience.


Refer to and attach a calendar.


Describe the people and resources available to implement the proposal.


Refer to and attach a budget.


Focus on the results, repeat the benefits, ask for a positive response.




“Proposal Format.” Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) :: Architecture, Business, Engineering, IT, Humanities, Science. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Sept. 2011.

“Internal Proposal Topic Memo.” Valdosta State University. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Sept. 2011. <>.


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