Writing a Proposal

Ensuring Your Message Is Delivered Appropriately

Each year in late April and early May the percussion, winds, and color guard communities are given a chance to submit proposals to their respective Advisory Boards to modify, amend, or improve any aspect of the activity they think might need some attention. While anyone is welcome to submit a proposal, there are certainly some guidelines to which one should adhere to make sure your message is well received and understood by the PAB, WAB, and CAB.

The first thing you should be aware of is that all proposals are published publicly and will bear the name of their author(s). You should take special care to be as professional as possible in your written submission.

The first field you’ll complete will be the Proposal field. Your proposal should be as concise as possible. In this area, be sure to clearly state your proposition, but revise it several times to make sure it’s as succinct as possible. This is the actual item for which the Advisory Board will be voting. In general, your proposal should be a sentence or two. Make sure not to include any elaboration, arguments in favor, or other support here: that’ll come in the next section.

The second area, Rationale, is where you will break down your thinking for the Advisory Board. This area is where you should provide your reasoning, arguments in favor, evidence, responses to possible counterarguments, or any other support for which you think the Advisory Board should be aware. While the first section was simply where you stated what you’d like to see changed, this is where you’ll state your case. Your rationale may be a single paragraph, or may require several to fully explain your thinking. Be as thorough as necessary, just avoid repetition.

The final section, Financial Impact, is where you’ll outline the fiscal implications of your proposal. For many, there may not be a cost associated with your amendment. In that case a simple “None” is appropriate. For many others, you’ll need to be much more detailed here. Please take the time to think through whatever financial ramifications may come about for WGI as an organizing entity, for local circuits, for participating ensembles, for individual participants or families, or for spectators. Well thought-out proposals include such details.

Lastly, if possible, you should make an attempt to be present at the Advisory Board meeting. Meetings are open to the public, and the author is always the best possible representative for each proposal. If you’re unable to attend, you may want to talk to someone that will be in attendance that might be able to represent you and your thinking at the meeting.