While there is similarity in the types of components generally required in a proposal, yours should totally comply with guidelines provided by the funder. Some will be detailed, specifying each section and the questions that should be answered.
Though it can be tedious to comb through and follow all requirements, it is actually quite useful when the foundation provides a specific outline and what questions must be answered. It may simply require a problem statement, how it relates to the foundation’s mission, the qualifications of your organization and staff, your program’s goals, what it will accomplish, who will be served, what is the timeline, a review of the plan to achieve your goals, how you will define and measure success, and a comprehensive budget.
Another proposal may be much more succinct and simply request the case for your project and why it is worthwhile, with a limit to the number of pages to be provided.
In the first case it should be clear how to proceed. In the second you may want more direction. Anyone will probably benefit from the Grantsmanship Center’s booklet called Program Planning & Proposal Writing. It can be ordered for $45 at the Grantsmanship Center’s website, and the newest edition will be available January 2015. It is described as the “grant seekers bible.”
As you gain grant writing experience you will be better able to create your own outline based on the fund maker and the project you are proposing.