US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Mobile Nav Button


Proposal Guidance

HTML button titled "Announcements" - click and it will take you to Announcements page HTML button titled "Program & Process" - click it and it will take you to Program & Process page HTML button titled "Proposal Guidance" - click on it and it will take you to Proposal Guidance page

How Proposals should be Formatted & Submitted

Donation proposals that qualify as small-scale per the criteria set forth in the Small-Scale Donation Proposal Process Guide and Template may be developed and formatted using the simplified template located on page 2 of this document. Small-scale donation proposals may be submitted year-round to

Mid to large-scale donation proposals should adhere to the below formatting guidelines and may be submitted to during the annual proposal submission period, which the Donations Acceptance Program will announce later this summer:

  • Be sent electronically as a .pdf or Microsoft Office compatible file (e.g. Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Visio, etc.);
  • Not exceed 25 total pages in length;
  • Contain a one-page proposal synopsis summarizing the scope of the donation;
  • Be sent in a single email not to exceed 50 megabytes in size;
  • Include one or more photos or graphics depicting the proposed donation(s);
  • Not include follow-on documents or submissions; and
  • Fully address each of the operational and non-operational criteria provided below and in the Donations Acceptance Program Framework.

How Proposals are Evaluated

All proposals, whether small or large, will be evaluated in keeping with the procedures and criteria outlined in the Donations Acceptance Program Framework. The criteria that CBP and GSA use to evaluate the operational and technical merits of each proposal are provided below for easy reference. Please refer to the Program & Process page for more information regarding the processes that CBP and GSA undertake to evaluate proposals and the types of proposals that CBP and GSA can and cannot entertain. 

If possible, interested donors are encouraged to coordinate with the affected CBP Field Office and ports of entry in developing their proposals. 


Operational Criteria

Criteria Example Evaluation Factors
Operational Impact
  • Whether the proposal poses an adverse impact to existing CBP operations.
Operational Benefits
  • Whether the proposal presents measurable existing and future CBP operational benefits.
Funding Strategy
  • Whether the proposal presents a sound strategy for accommodating CBP’s exposure to start-up operating costs (e.g., salaries, overtime and equipment) and first and out-year operating costs (e.g., operations and maintenance).
Health & Safety Requirements
  • Whether the proposal presents a sound strategy for sustaining or enhancing employee and public health and safety conditions both during and following donation implementation.
Economic & Community Benefits
  • Whether the proposal presents measurable local, regional, and national economic and community benefits, including enhanced travel and trade.
Community Support
  • Whether the proposal has the support of all impacted local and regional stakeholders.
Other Agency Support for Operations
  • Whether the proposal addresses the ability of other agencies to provide operational support based on new or increased capacity, hours, location, or workload increases.
Project Duration & Timeline
  • Whether the proposal presents a feasible planning and delivery strategy that poses no to minimal adverse impact on current and future operations.

Non-Operational (Technical) Criteria

Criteria Example Evaluation Factors
Financial Feasibility
  • Whether the proposal’s upfront and downstream non-operational cost estimates (e.g., the cost of planning, design, and construction) appear to be accurate.
  • Whether the potential donor is willing to assume these costs and, if so, to what extent.
  • Whether the potential donor resources needed to fund these costs are immediately available.  Proposals which rely on the full faith and credit of CBP or GSA will not be entertained.
  • Whether the potential donor’s overall financing strategy appears to be viable.
Legal Implications
  • Whether the conditions placed on the proposed donation are feasible.
  • Whether the proposal poses potential financial, land-related or other potentially adverse downstream liabilities.
  • Whether the potential donor has the legal authority to implement a new tolling mechanism or adjust the fees of an existing tolling mechanism.
Real Estate Implications
  • Whether additional real estate is required to accommodate existing and downstream operations and, if so, whether the proposal presents a sound strategy for acquiring such real estate.
  • Whether the proposal presents a sound strategy for identifying and acquiring necessary rights-of-way, easements or other interests in real estate.
Environmental & Cultural Resource Implications
  • Whether the proposal presents measurable local, regional, national, or international, or any combination thereof, environmental or cultural benefits.
  • Whether a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment has been completed in accordance with ASTM standards for any real property related to the donation.
  • Whether any recognized environmental conditions have been mitigated and, if not, whether a plan is in place to address them.
Technical Feasibility
  • Whether the proposal appears to be technically feasible.
  • Whether the proposal appears compatible with existing equipment and technologies and established securities and protocols. 
Planning Implications
  • Whether the proposal is consistent with CBP’s current list of out-year investment priorities.
  • Whether the proposal comports with the out-year investment priorities of CBP’s interagency and international partners.
  • Whether the proposal’s planning and delivery schedule appears to be both reasonable and accurate.
  • Whether the proposal presents a sound strategy for sustaining the proposed donation following implementation.
Proposal  Support
  • Whether the proposal has public support at the political, national or regional levels, or any combination thereof.
  • Whether the proposal has support from all affected federal agencies.
Last published: 
April 29, 2016