Lower your workload and improve your likelihood of success with good & well-written Letters of Intent (LOI).
An LOI is your formal, first request for info from a grant-maker. Many foundations require you submit a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) earlier than making use of with a proper, full-length grant proposal.
Submitting LOIs can save you a large number time. LOIs are brief, 1–3 web page letters that assist you to talk your core concepts to a basis with out spending the handfuls of hours on a full-length proposal earlier than you already know that you just’re an excellent match. If the grant-maker likes your concepts, they’ll invite you to use by means of their full proposal course of.
On this submit you’ll learn to write several types of LOIs to finest meet your potential basis’s wants.
LOIs are available in many sizes and styles. Some foundations require them, whereas others don’t even point out them. However do you know you can all the time submit a brief LOI earlier than making use of to any group? It’ll aid you decide should you’re an excellent match upfront.
If you happen to’re reaching out chilly to a basis with out a longtime relationship, LOIs will be a good way to introduce your self. Simply ensure you do it in a transparent, concise and fascinating approach and always remember your objective.
The objective of an LOI is to get invited to submit a full grant proposal.
Foundations, just like the Ittleson Foundation, ask for “a short letter to the Government Director describing the group and the work for which funds are being sought, together with a price range and proof of tax-exempt standing.”
On this case, you’ll must draft your individual letter from scratch. To not concern — I’ve included an instance letter of intent beneath. Use it and tweak it on your group or mission.
Instance 1 web page LOI to the Ittleson Basis:
*Be sure to don’t neglect to incorporate the attachments that the Ittleson Basis additionally requested otherwise you is likely to be instantly disqualified.
Different foundations present particular tips about what have to be included of their LOI together with a deadline for submission. Take the Armstrong McDonald Foundation for instance.
The Armstrong McDonald Basis calls their LOI a “Pre-proposal,” but it surely’s the identical factor as an LOI. I downloaded a 5-page template of their pre-proposal from their web site.
Instance pdf dowloaded from the Armstrong McDonald web site:
This LOI has a tough deadline of September 1st and along with group identify and handle, the Armstrong McDonald Basis additionally asks for:
- the charitable goal of your group (aka mission)
- quantity of funding requested
- time interval for which funds are requested
- an outline of the mission for which grant funds are requested
- a replica of IRS Willpower Letter
- a line merchandise mission price range for the greenback quantity requested
- a replica of your most up-to-date steadiness sheet (aka your Assertion of Monetary Place) and Revenue Assertion
Even when a basis doesn’t require submitting an LOI, it may be a good way to shortly introduce your self and decide should you ought to make investments the hours on finishing a full proposal.
The Dominion Foundation doesn’t ask for an LOI, so right here’s an e-mail I drafted introducing my group.
Instance e-mail written for the Dominion Basis:
As you begin to develop your LOI, wether it’s an e-mail, a 1-pager letter or in an software you downloaded from the inspiration’s web site, maintain these 3 final suggestions in thoughts:
- Comply with instructions EXACTLY.
Each basis has their very own approach of dealing with LOIs so ensure you perceive what is anticipated of you earlier than you submit. Solely embrace attachments if requested for them. A failure to observe instructions can imply rapid disqualification.
- Budgets & different attachments could also be required along with your LOI.
When placing collectively your price range, determine how much you should ask for from the foundation’s past 990 forms. The 990 type can assist you establish previous awarded organizations, organizations much like yours, and the typical quantity beforehand granted. Use this information as a place to begin and modify your price range accordingly.
Test your grammar and spelling. Don’t come off as unprofessional with grammatical and/or spelling errors.