Sneha J

December 06, 2019

8 Books for Proposal Writers to Write Better Proposals

books for proposal writers

Top 8 Recommended Books for Proposal Writers to Write Winning Proposals

Unlike other writings, proposal writing needs a lot of time, persistence, commitment, and passion. Some of the proposal writers are expert in writing while some still struggle. It’s not easy to learn the nuances of grant writing.

One has to spend a lot of time learning tips and tricks on writing sales proposals. Proposal writers need to master the basics that include current trends, policies, funding requirements, etc. If one of these variables is not included, then you won’t be able to write an effective proposal. In the process of proposal writing not only you need to know how to write a proposal but you also need to learn about what really goes into a winning proposal.

The best way to improve your ability in writing good proposals is to study the craft by reading good books on the subject and learning from good examples.

Thankfully, there are a lot of really great books that can educate us and encourage us to become better writers of proposals. That’s why here I present the list of books proposal writers should read to write better proposals. Whether you are a beginner at proposal writing or a master who wants to brush up the skills, these books will provide you with the resources you need to win more deals.

1. The Foundation Center’s Guide to Proposal Writing

guide to proposal writing

By Jane Geever


This one is the best selling guide for proposal writing. Author Jane Geever offers comprehensive information on preparing successful proposals. The guide gives some insights into the proposal making process based on the interviews with grantmakers. Author Jane has written successful proposals for over 30 years.

What’s Good About It
  • The guide will take you through the entire proposal writing process, from pre-proposal planning to writing it, to post follow-up.
  • You’ll have a better understanding of all the necessary components required for proposal writing.
  • The guide includes real examples of proposals- cover letters, project details, and budgets.
  • You’ll learn about new trends in the proposal writing process.

2. Grant Writing for Dummies

Grant Writing for Dummies
By Beverly A. Browning 

Easy to understand reference book gives everything you’ll need to get started with the applications in the grant writing process. If you’re ready to create powerful, successful applications and proposals this the book for you.

What’s Good About It
  • You’ll learn about how you can connect with the grant-making agencies.
  • You’ll learn about how to tailor your application as per your prospect’s expectations.
  • What is included in the grand submission application
  • You’ll get to explore the writing techniques to create powerful, successful applications and proposals.
  • It provides a list of compelling words that you should use in the application.

3. The Only Grant-Writing Book You’ll Ever Need

The Only Grant-Writing Book You'll Ever Need

By Ellen Karsh and Arlen Sue Fox


This book written by two expert authors who have won millions of dollars in grant offers an in-depth, step-by-step guide for grant writers. This book is a must-read in today’s challenging economic environment for anyone seeking grant. It’s clearly a well written and well-organized book to understand the grant writing process.

What’s Good About It
  • It includes concrete suggestions with examples for creating each section in the proposals
  • It has hands-on exercises that encourage you to practice what you learn.
  • It defines what is necessary and the mistakes others have made in applying for grants and been rejected.
  • 40+ tips on writing effective proposals.

4. Persuasive Business Proposals

Persuasive Business Proposals

By Tom Sant


With over 75,000 copies sold, the first and the second edition of Persuasive Business Proposals helped many readers create a dynamic, successful proposals. Now this updated 3rd edition also presents some new effective techniques to plan, write and deliver the proposals for today’s global business environment.

What’s Good About It
  • This book cuts all the confusion with hundreds of real-world examples.
  • This updated version offers step-by-step guidelines for crafting quality-centered, recipient-specific proposals.
  • This book discusses the worst mistakes proposal writers make (with some examples).
  • This book is extremely important for anyone who is seeking to win contacts and sell products or services.

5. Million Dollar Consulting Proposals

Million Dollar Consulting Proposals

By Alan Weiss


Bestselling author of this book reveals the techniques of creating profitable proposals. It’s ideal for consultants, speakers or other professional service providers. It describes everything from the basics- starting from why proposals are necessary to step by step guidelines in crafting one.

What’s Good About It
  • It reveals the nine key elements to write a proposal that’s accepted every time.
  • Offers hundreds of golden rules for the presentation of proposals
  • The professional advice from Alan Weiss can lead your business to incredible success.

6. Handbook for Writing Proposals

Handbook for Writing Proposals

By Robert J. Hamper and L. Sue Baugh


Since 1995 Handbook for Writing Proposals has helped thousands of beginners and experts in writing effective and winning proposals. This excellent handbook takes you through the unique nine-step proposal writing process that literally starts from the difference between RFI, RFP, and RFQ to the client presentation.

What’s Good About It
  • The authors explain how even the beginners in proposal writing can create a winning proposal.
  • The book offers you checklists, summaries, and samples that will keep you on time and on track.
  • This book will teach you how to craft a profit-making proposal.

7. The Complete Book of Grant Writing: Learn to Write Grants Like a Professional

The Complete Book of Grant Writing: Learn to Write Grants Like a Professional

By Nancy Burke Smith


The Complete Book of Grant Writing is a must-have for anyone who seeking funding through grants. This book is a collaborative effort between an experienced grant writer and an experienced grantmaker to provide views, tips, and information from both sides of the grant-seeking process.

What’s Good About It
  • It explains the five core components that must be included in grant writing.
  • It teaches you to be a professional grant writer.
  • The book is packed with samples of grant proposals, letters of inquiry, support letters, and more.
  • This book is especially for newbies to grand writing. Easy to read and digest.

8. Start your Own Grant Writing Business: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Success

Start your Own Grant Writing Business: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Success

By Entrepreneur Press


In this book readers will learn the art of researching, preparing and submitting winning grants. This is a must-have book for new or experienced grant writers who are looking to expand their talents. All the current trends are covered even though the book is published in 2012.

What’s Good About It
  • You will learn how to identify grants and contact funders.
  • Write persuasive proposals that win funding.
  • It offers strategies for the online application process: using effective subject lines and searching for funders.
  • It is divided into four sections: the art of the grant proposal, prospect research, starting and marketing a grant writing business.


Writing winning proposals is difficult because writing effectively is difficult. Sadly, almost all of us faces difficulties in writing really effective proposals. But in the process of proposal writing don’t get overwhelmed, you have plenty of book options to guide through the whole process.

P.S: Nowadays, proposal templates provide an excellent starting points to write proposals.

Do you have suggestions for a book that helped you in the proposal writing process? Let us know in the comments.

Reference: All the above book covers are taken from

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