Oddly enough, I’d never written one of these before. But after much stewing over the matter, this is what I included:
1) A title that says what I’d do, and a subtitle that summarizes in a few short words, how.
2) Brief introduction to the project, and its current status
3) Goals and objectives. I’d say a goal is the overall… well, goal. Which is typically to make money, or inform, or whatever. The objectives are the measurable steps that help you know you’re meeting that goal.
4) My tasks with timelines and costs
5) What action they need to take to proceed
I spent lots of hours trying to figure out what to say and how to say it, and sadly (SADLY!), when all was said and done, the potential business partner got back with me saying that his investors were very excited and knew of some ways to accomplish those objectives without funding: in other words, without paying me. Now that they’ve got a task list and a great plan, they can hire someone cheaper, I suppose, OR I can keep working until the project takes off. Unfortunately my landlord doesn’t accept stock options.
Since this didn’t actually get me funded, I can’t decide whether this was a success or not, but I hope this information is straightforward enough to help you if you’re writing a proposal of your own.