Strategically crafting your Letter of Inquiry (LOI)

ABCI recently revived a training on basic grant seeking. I thought I’d share some of the components with you as they are useful not just for grant seeking, but also apply to other aspects of your fund raising.

Let’s start with the Letter of Inquiry.

Crafting your Letter of Inquiry (LOI) for a foundation or other institutional funder is good practice for developing your case for support.

The LOI is a preliminary, shorter version of a grant application. In one to three pages, you need to convince the funder that your proposed project is important and worthy of a more thorough review.

In the LOI, you need to make your case against strong competition (hundreds or even thousands of proposals) in order to advance to the next round of consideration.

In a very short document, you need to answer these questions:

  • What good this will accomplish (problem/need) and for whom (target audience) in keeping with the objectives of the grant guidelines
  • How it accomplishes the funder’s goals
  • Who you are and why you are the best organization to solve this problem/address this need
  • What you plan to do, when you plan to do it, who will do it and why you believe it will be effective
  • What will have changed/improved as a result of this project
  • How much the project will cost, how much you want from the funder, and how you will pay for the other costs

And up the ante by also ensuring that your LOI is:

  • Well-crafted
  • Evidence-based
  • Reasonable on its face, likely to succeed
  • Extraordinarily compelling
  • Logical
  • Competitive
  • Using language that resonates with the funders theory of change
  • Complete (includes everything the funder requested)
  • Compliant with the length and space limitations of the funder

While we aren’t in the proposal writing business (at least not recently), we can help you develop your case for support and assess your readiness for grants funding.¬† Just give Jon a call at 401-331-2272 or email Jon

See also:

10 grant seeking tips from a program officer

How we got the grant

 

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