|What should be included in a letter of inquiry?
When funders ask for a letter of inquiry (LOI), they want a few pages that will make them excited about giving you a grant. Some foundations will then invite you to send a full proposal. That means a great LOI might win you funding for your project. Letters of inquiry are short—usually no more than one-two pages but that doesn't mean they are easy. The LOI should thoroughly present the need or problem you have identified, the proposed solution, and your organization's qualifications for implementing that solution. It should be addressed to the appropriate contact person at a foundation. Like a grant proposal, the LOI should include the following:
- The introduction serves as the executive summary/abstract. It includes the name of your organization, the amount needed/requested, and a description of the project. Also included here are the qualifications of project staff, a brief description of evaluative methodology, and a timetable.
- The organization description should be short and focus on the ability of your organization to meet the stated need. Provide a very brief history and description of your current programs. Clearly show a direct connection between what you do now and what you want to do with the requested funding. You will expand on this in more detail if you are invited to send a full proposal.
- The statement of need must convince the funder that there is an important need that can be met by your project. The statement of need includes a description of the target population and geographical area, appropriate data in abbreviated form, and several examples. Making the Case: How to Position Research in Your Proposal, our self-paced, online training, helps you create a needs statement that shows funders why your organization is the right one to meet an urgent need.
- The methodology should be appropriate to your statement of need and present a clear, logical, and achievable solution to the stated need. Describe the project briefly, including major activities, names and titles of key project staff, and your desired objectives. As with the organization description, this will be presented in far greater detail in a full proposal.
- The budget should be as complete as possible. It should show connections with the statement of need and match the guidelines of the funding organization. Often funders require a match so be sure to include your contributions or other contributions to the project. Justification is important so a statement describing the budget categories should be included. The budget should answer questions not create more.
- Other funding sources being approached for support of this project should be listed in a brief sentence or paragraph.
- The final summary restates the intent of the project, offers to answer further questions, and thanks the potential funder for its consideration.
Click-Here for WIB’s LOI portal.