Resources for Proposal Writing

Letter of Inquiry Content and Format

LOI Outline

What is the Need or Problem Why are you requesting a grant?

Introduction/Background Who are you/What is your organization’s mission?

Goals/Objectives What are you going to do?

Methodology How are you going to do it?

Evaluation/Outcomes How will you know that you have done it?

Qualifications/External Validation Why are you qualified to do it?

Fundraising/Other Support What is the cost, who else is supporting this work?

Examples of Online Letter of Inquiry Forms

Private Foundation in New York City requests the following information in a 700-word project description.

Organizational overview

Describe your program or project, including whether it is new, existing, or an expansion of current programming/activities

Describe your track record of achievement

Indicate the number of people or organizations that will directly benefit from the work or services

The results/outcomes you anticipate being able to achieve for those you serve

How those results align with the results the Foundation seeks as articulated in our guidelines

A National Foundation requests the following information in an online form; each narrative section has a character limit.

Specific Purpose - Clearly state how the requested funds will be used (400 character limit)
Introduction - Briefly describe the organization, its mission, and achievements (1,500 character limit)
Problems, Objectives, and Methods - Briefly describe the need/problem and means to accomplish the desired outcome. (1,500 character limit)
Timing - Time frame of the project, current status, and estimated completion date. (400 character limit)
Cost and Financing - Provide a detailed listing/cost breakdown of the essential elements of the project. (1,200 characters)
List sources and amounts of funds obtained for this project. (1,500 character limit)
Will this project be self-supporting? If so, how and when? (350 character limit)
Assessment - Explain how the desired outcome of the project/program will be accomplished. (900 character limit)

A National Foundation supporting science research requests the following information:

Project Summary (7,000 characters)
Aims of Research (2,000 characters)
Proof of Concept, Preliminary Results, or Related Work (2,000 characters)
What makes this investigation unique or innovative (6,500 characters)
Is the project high risk/high reward? (1,500 characters)

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