Good Planning Leads to Great Proposals 5 strategic steps for developing a winning proposal: Find the funding opportunity that best fits your needs. Read the guidelines and related proposal guides thoroughly before you start writing. Talk to colleagues, the Program Officer, the OSP and others as you develop your project and begin working on your proposal. Develop the project before you start to write about it. Know your expected outcomes and what you will need to spend money on, and also have your preliminary data and background information ready to use. Allow enough time to write, review, edit and fuss over the entire application package as well as to complete WP's proposal approval process. Also, if you need to involve other institutions or agencies, plan for the time it will take to develop the collaboration.