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Program proposal template to create successful projects 9 min read
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Creating a new program brings challenges with it. You have to keep many plates spinning while you set your priorities and gather resources, funding, and allies. Fortunately, a program proposal template can point the way to success.

In this article, you’ll learn how to touch every base as you create a new program or project. With’s Program Proposal Template, you can make sure all stakeholders are on the same page as you launch your new program while streamlining your entire proposal process.

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What is a program proposal template?

A program proposal is a document that outlines how a program is designed to solve a specific problem within a business or nonprofit organization. The Program Proposal Template helps stakeholders create the actual proposal for a program or project, often as a linchpin document to getting projects funded and approved. The document also guides the development and trajectory of the program.

Writing a program proposal is the first step in project management. Working with a proven template to create that proposal is a reliable way to ensure all elements vital to the program’s success are covered. The template provides a format to ensure you address the following:

  • Clarity: State the program’s goals and requirements clearly
  • Details: Think about all the program details before presenting them to potential stakeholders
  • Resources and funding: Detail all resources needed, including funding, to help the program succeed
  • Buy-in: Achieve buy-in from all stakeholders

The details in a program proposal can vary depending on the project size or industry. A small program might need a brief proposal in the early stages, while a complex one might require plenty of project details. A Program Proposal Template covers the following sections:

  • Executive summary: Often program proposals begin with a summary that lets the client or decision maker understand at a high level what is being proposed. If needed, this section can include an introduction to the company, department, or employees presenting the proposal (often with a summary of past projects or accomplishments). Some programs, such as complex product launches, may include longer summaries.
  • Statement of objectives: This section summarizes what problem is being addressed and provides a basic understanding of the solutions being proposed. This section provides any pain points or urgent situations that the program will provide solutions for.
  • Scope of work: This part explains what is involved in creating the solution to the problem discussed in the statement of objectives. Precisely defining the scope can be important to prevent a program or project from becoming too large or unmanageable. This section of the program proposal should list all deliverables and, if appropriate, a discussion of project management methodology. Any measurements for success or completion should be included here.
  • Timeline: In some cases, you’ll want to create a separate section for the timeline, detailing specific milestones to be reached. Visual depictions of the timeline are often helpful to readers.
  • Budget: This section is the most important of the entire proposal for many clients. It summarizes the budget, including any hidden costs, and explains which departments will fund the program and how funds will be spent.
  • Resources: This section should list all resources needed to complete the project successfully, including human resources and outside vendors.
  • Call to action: The final section of a program proposal allows the recipient of the proposal to accept or approve the proposal so that the program or project can begin. Make sure to include a spot for all parties to sign off on the proposal.

Why use a program proposal template?

A Program Proposal Template provides a starting point so you can get your thoughts and ideas together as you prepare a project or program proposal. It makes sure you don’t overlook any of the main components of the project plan you’re proposing, including timelines, budget, resources, staffing required, capabilities, and more.

Potential clients like to see program proposals so they can make the right decision when choosing to partner with another organization. With a Program Proposal Template, all the specifics that prospective clients want to see are covered and all their questions are answered, so they can understand how the proposed program will solve the problem.

Potential clients like to see program proposals so they can make the right decision when choosing to partner with another organization.

A program proposal is not the same as a business proposal, which is often less specific than a program or project proposal. The detailed information required for a program proposal is one of the key reasons why using a template is a good idea. A prospective client may become interested in a proposed project based on as little as an elevator pitch, but the proposal itself is what is likely to seal the deal.

Reasons for using a Program Proposal Template include:

  • Provides clarity: Since a Program Proposal Template walks you through all the major components in preparing a project proposal, you can be ultra-clear about the timeline, budget, resources, deliverables, and other specifics that potential clients or stakeholders may care about.
  • Streamlines the planning process: Because the template covers all areas of your proposal, you’re a step ahead of the game when it comes to setting milestones and checking your progress as the project continues.
  • Creates a professional proposal. Creating a project outline is a standard document for an enterprise-sized organization that runs hundreds of projects at a time. For a smaller company, though, working with a Program Proposal Template makes you look competitive with the bigger fish in the pond since you’re delivering the same kind of document filled with thoughtful planning.
  • Brings stakeholders on the same page: It’s easy for stakeholders to think they agree on the project details, then later find they have fundamental disagreements regarding the expectations or deliverables for a project. Projects approved via a clear program proposal assure everyone agrees on the problem, the solution, and the means for reaching the solution.

In addition to having many uses, there are also many types of project proposals, which we’ll discuss now.

What are some examples of program proposal templates?

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Program proposals come in many forms, and Program Proposal Templates can be used to create specific program proposals that meet the requirements of each type. Among the types of project proposals are:

  • Internal proposals: These are created to get buy-in from internal stakeholders. For example, a university department might create a program proposal to introduce an orientation program for students who are the first in their families to go to college.
  • External proposals: These proposals seek buy-in from external stakeholders, such as potential clients.
  • Formal solicited proposals: Often created in response to a Request for Proposal (RFP), these are formal documents that often must meet strict requirements regarding their content and questions to be answered. Being asked to solicit a formal proposal typically means that a client is very interested in working with you.
  • Informal solicited proposals: These proposals may have the same rigid requirements as a formally solicited proposal, but the informal nature of the request may mean there’s less competition to get approval.
  • Continuation of proposal: Sometimes programs are rolled out in stages, with a new proposal required to move to the next stage. In addition, proposal continuations can consist of updates, lists of changes to an original program proposal, and consultant proposals to keep key players on a project.
  • Unsolicited proposals: These proposals are generated by the vendor, not by the client, on a speculative basis. While they are still intended to meet a client’s needs, the client may not agree that the needs exist or may have a plan in place for meeting them.
  • Proposal renewals: If a program has been terminated, this type of proposal focuses on the reasons to reboot it or to roll the company providing services into a new role.
  • Supplemental proposals: These proposals typically ask for extra time, extra funding, or more resources to complete a program that’s already underway.

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Program proposal templates on

On, proposal templates can help you draft proposals intuitively and comprehensively.’s Project Proposal Template helps users define the problem to be solved and outline goals and objectives. It specifies how project milestones are to be tracked, suggests milestones to help structure a program, and establishes the groundwork for an effective cost-benefit analysis.

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Related templates on

Choose from templates that help you design a Single Project, or keep all the balls in the air with Project Portfolio Management Templates that help you manage multiple programs and projects while keeping track of budgets and measuring success effectively. Templates from can also help you manage Approvals and Requests when programs and projects change.

Frequently asked questions

What does a proposal look like?

A program or project proposal follows a format that takes the reader through sections of the program or project. This includes the problem definition, the scope and objectives of the project, timelines, budget, and resources. A sign-off page is near the end of the proposal for stakeholders to provide their approval on the proposal.

What is a project proposal?

A project proposal is a document that lays out how an organization plans to solve a specific problem or create a specific event or project. Depending on its formality and the complexity of the project, a proposal can run from a couple of pages to as many as 100 pages.

Create winning program proposals with a helpful project proposal template

A program proposal that’s comprehensive and easy to review can make all the difference when you’re trying to get your boss or a potential client to say yes. Using the easy-to-use Program Proposal Template from helps you define expectations and set parameters to get your project off the ground.

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