The Proposal Cover Letter – Your Chance to Brag a Bit

20 Mar 2019


The proposal is done. You’ve addressed all the requirements of the RFP, filled in the forms, and attached appendices. Now the only thing left to do is the cover letter. Yes, it’s best to leave it to last, allowing time to reflect back on your proposal and why you are responding to the RFP.

Unlike for the RFP itself, there may be no instructions for what to include in the cover letter. This final task may seem a little intimidating – especially if it’s your first proposal. But you can consider this your opportunity to show your enthusiasm for your organization and the bid you hope to win.

Here are a few tips for writing a cover letter that stands out.

First, the heading and other mandatory stuff.

  • Use company letterhead stationery.
  • Include your phone number, email, and mailing address if they are not part of the letterhead.
  • Include a reference line with the RFP title and number.
  • Make sure you address the letter to the contact person identified in the RFP.
  • Have the head of the organization sign the letter over their title.
  • Keep it to one page.

Now, on to the creative part. Think of the letter in three sections.

The Introduction

First, write a few sentences that express your appreciation for the opportunity to submit a proposal. Let the reader know you understand the RFP and have complied with the requirements.

The Heart

Use the second paragraph to brag about your organization. What’s your story? Are you the third generation of a family business or a start up with a few stellar projects under your belt? Are you an organization with an ongoing mission or one newly formed to address a critical need? What makes you stand out among your competitors?

Looking Ahead

Finish with a few forward looking sentences that communicate how much you are looking forward to working with the potential client. Include the name, phone number, and email of the contact person for the proposal, if it is not the person who is signing the letter.

Now that you have a feel what to include, here’s a sample letter and an article from Bizfluent that covers some of these same suggestions as well as some additional pointers that may be more appropriate for your proposal.



Your Organization



Phone Number



RE: [Name and Number of RFP]


[Your organization] is pleased to present our proposal for [Name of RFP]. Thank you for the opportunity to do business with [Requestor]. Our staff has the training and experience to [mention one, two, or three requirements].

[Who?] established [your organization] in [when?] to [your mission/goal/objective?]. Since then, we have grown to [specific activities]. We are proudest of our latest [product/achievement/recognition]. Our reputation as a [your distinction] sets us apart from our competition in

[your field]


We are excited about the potential to work with [Requestor] on this and future projects. Our contact for this proposal is

[name, title, email, phone number]



[Title of Head of Your Organization]


Good luck!

Brenda Hazzard 
Brenda Hazzard has over 30 years’ experience working as a writer and editor in the private and public sectors. She spent over 20 years working for the US Government in Washington and abroad, and spent several years working with the CIA during which she managed a team of writers producing internal briefs on international news, events, and politics. She writes on a variety of topics but loves opportunities to work on projects that cater to her keen interest in international affairs. She considers herself to be an empathetic editor, one who improves a draft but lets the spirit of the writer shine through. She has also worked on dissertations, white papers, newspaper articles, and family histories.

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