Understanding the Letter of Inquiry

by Cynthia M. Adams, CEO, GrantStation.com

How to use the LOI
Developing a strong letter of inquiry (LOI) is an essential step to securing a grant award. Drafting a letter of inquiry for each program or project that needs funding, as well as for general operating support, is a smart first step when you are trying to secure grant dollars.

The LOI should summarize the project idea, usually in no more than three to five pages. There are many grantmakers that now require you to submit an electronic LOI, so the wording can be quite limited.

Developing the LOI can serve multiple purposes. You can use the LOI as a:

  • working paper to help research and identify appropriate grantmakers;
  • talking paper to help engage your staff, board and other possible partners and collaborators;
  • letter of inquiry to potential grantmakers; and,
  • full proposal to grantmakers that only require a minimal application.

Developing an LOI:

  • challenges you to demonstrate your commitment to pursuing the idea;
  • provides the opportunity for you to organize your...
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