Strategies of Writing Proposal to Non-Profit and For-Profit Organizations

Background Information

For-profit organizations only determine their level of success regarding profit and their capability to pay back loans or pay dividends. Meanwhile, non-profit organizations only serve to benefit a particular community, irrespective of whether they will gain from the service. Therefore, non-profit institutions are governed by different tax and revenue specifications. This memo focuses on the differences between the strategies of writing proposals to non-profit and for-profit organizations.

Research Methods

To establish the similarities and differences between plans of writing proposals to the non-profit and for-profit organization, the study used secondary sources of information. These secondary sources included peer-reviewed journals, library books, and lecture notes. This is because these are the most credible and reliable sources of information since they have been reviewed and regarded as good academic materials.

Comparison of the Strategies

Since most of the non-profit institutions have limited resources, employing a targeted strategy in writing of their proposal can be very much rewarding. Acquiring funds for their major projects or programs can be significantly enhanced if they prove to be eligible organizations and submit well-composed, persuasive, obliging, and complete proposals. Such projects ought to be consistent with the institutions’ capabilities, vision, mission, and objectives. They must also address valid societal needs and offer measurable or quantifiable pieces of evidence regarding the existence of these requirements. Furthermore, these proposals for non-profit organizations should stress the originality of their project convincing funders that their requests are not duplicates of existing programs and projects (Geever, p. 34).

Meanwhile, for-profit organizations are focused on trading products, services, or both to their clients. The primary objectives and mission these organizations are associated with earning profits and increasing their owners’ wealth. This implies that proposals written to stakeholders, customers, and owners have the purposes of increasing the sales of more products, goods, and services. These messages or texts directly persuade clients to buy services or products. Proposals written to for-profit institutions might also be more general, yet created with the organizations’ primary goals in mind. For instance, the fundamental objective of companies’ endeavors to publicize their green environmental plans is to create a good public image, and thus encourage potential consumers to buy their products and services.

Non-profit organizations do not just have a particular bottom line, but rather a two-fold bottom line. The first one of these bottom lines is accomplishing their stated missions. The second bottom line is possessing necessary and adequate funds to support the first one currently and in the long-run. As a result, these institutions are regarded as corporations of public benefit which obtain their revenues mainly from grant income or donations, donated equipment and facilities, volunteer or low-paid staffs. This is the main difference between non-profit organizations and for-profit organizations and must be put into consideration when writing proposals (Peris-Ortiz, et al. p. 06).

Non-profit institutions are not ennobled to support, and hence they ought to earn it. When writing proposals, it is imperative for non-profit organizations to demonstrate to the general public and their funders their worthiness and deserving of the support. The history, accountability, profile, services, fiscal management, accomplishments, vision, mission, volunteer commitment, and the overall reputation of these organizations speak about their authenticity and worthiness of funding. Therefore, successful financing of these non-profit came from hard work by individuals committed to the project and braced to carry out this process from developing the proposal to reconciling the received funds.

For-profit organizations, on the other hand, may choose different strategies in their proposals as they are only aimed at improving business. Their proposals tend to market new products and services to increase their revenue and establish themselves to their customers and stakeholders. They tend to reflect more of personal selling than involving the public and can make significant adjustments to aspects of their business like product features, selling prices of new products, and new terms of delivery (Sant, p. 138).

For non-profit institutions, proposals are not only aimed at generating funds but also at creating long-term friendships. It is paramount when writing proposals to ensure there is a valuable and mutual experience between a non-profit institution and a donor/donors whether they are new or conventional funders. Hence, one should be careful when writing the proposals to avoid damaging professional and personal relationships.

Even though there are a few non-profit organizations that adopt the marketing techniques used by profitable companies, the projects mainly focus more developing and fundraising unlike the business style of marketing employed by for-profit organizations. In such cases, most of their content concentrate on making their funders and the public realize their value in the society, with the powerful style of communication that will compel the foundations or individuals to give their part of financial and equipment support (Marsh, et al. p. 39).

Fundraising is an important method that most non-profit institutions can generate funds for their projects. Such projects consist of a wide array of community issues such as politics, philanthropic, religious, and issues concerning the environment. Although fundraising always entails money being donated as an outright gift, selling a product or products could also be used to raise funds. This strategy is best referred to as product fundraising. The USA Girls Scout have proven that this strategy can succeed when adopted by non-profit organizations. Profits gained from product fund-raising help the organization on its road to accomplishing its mission. On the contrary, for-profit organizations aim at selling their products and services to earn more income and grow economically. Their proposals, therefore, are based on making a profit to benefit the owners, stakeholders, and workers. The money gained from selling these products is always used to grow the corporations and enable them to fulfill their debts.

Last but not least, one should focus on the needs their organization has met in the society, when writing proposals, instead of the institution’s needs. In case organizational needs exist, they should be expressed within the context of their target audience and the community. For instance, a non-profit organization might site a website as their community’s need, which represents an operating expense, yet a cost-effective solution. The nature of such a need might give the public and funders an impression of something that is not urgent. It is, thus, critical in such a situation to focus on depicting how the website benefits the target audience. For example easier access to information for 24 hours in a day by people with disabilities in the society.


There are several similarities between the proposals written to non-profits and for-profit organizations, but the differences are many. The major difference is that non-profit institutions aim at developing and fulfilling their mission in the community. However, strategies employed in for-profit organizations’ proposals are inclined on making profits, increasing revenue, and growing economically to reign in the particular market.



Work Cited

Geever, Jane C. The Foundation Center’s Guide to Proposal Writing. Foundation Center, 2012.

Marsh, Charles, et al. Strategic Writing: Multimedia Writing for Public Relations, Advertising, and More. 2016.

Peris-Ortiz, Marta, et al. “Social Entrepreneurship in Non-profit and Profit Activities. Theoretical and Empirical Landscape: An Overview.” Social Entrepreneurship in Non-Profit and Profit Sectors, 2017, pp. 1-7.

Sant, Tom. Persuasive Business Proposals: Writing to Win More Customers, Clients, and Contracts. AMACOM, 2012.




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