How to Write a One-Page Proposal

All proposals serve one common purpose: they briefly explain in a high-level overview, the reason for doing something. When crafting a proposal for your boss or upper level executives, remember that you are asking the company to allocate time, resources, and often, money, towards a particular project or activity. Use the proposal to clearly explain why the project/activity is needed and how it will benefit the company and help your area, department or the organization as whole to improve profitability.


Step 1

Write your proposal using a memo format. Address it to the person making the decision and copy your boss and all other management between you and the deciding person. Include your name in the “From” field and type “Project Name Proposal” in the title, inserting your specific project name in place of “Project Name.”

Step 2

Lead off the memo with an executive summary explaining the purpose of the project in two to three sentences. Explain what it does and what it will accomplish for the company.

Step 3

Start a new paragraph that explains in two to three sentences how the project is unique and why it is necessary. Skip a line, indent and include the following information in a bulleted format:

Cost: (How much the project will cost to complete) Time: (How long the project will take to complete) Who: (Who will be working on the project and who will be directly impacted by it once it’s completed) ROI: Enumerate the expected Return on Investment for your project. Include anticipated revenue or money saved through expense reduction caused by the project. Equipment: list any equipment needed to complete the project

Step 4

Review your proposal for grammar and spelling mistakes and correct any errors. Present your proposal to your boss in person. Request a face-to-face meeting with the executive or manager making the decision about your proposal. E-mail the proposal to the decision maker one day before the meeting and bring a copy with you as you make a case verbally before the decision maker.