A Critical First Step: Letters of Inquiry

Have you ever written a beautiful letter of inquiry and submitted it via email, online system, or hard copy only to feel that it was lost in the Bermuda Triangle of Grants? Or have you ever written a letter that you thought clearly articulated the overlap between your organization’s mission with that of the foundation you were writing only to get a letter back that the foundation doesn’t think it is a good fit?

Our guess is that you are nodding your head as both situations have happened to you at least once during your career.

How then can we as grant professionals handle the common situation where a letter of inquiry is the required and only first step at potentially forming a funding relationship with a foundation?

  • We can make sure that we do as much research as possible prior to beginning to craft a letter of inquiry.
  • We can make sure that our letters address why *we* think that the organization and proposed program/project is a strong fit with the foundation.
  • We can make sure to answer our basic questions “Why, What, How, When, and Where” as best possible within the letter.
  • We can ask other colleagues or grant professionals to read our letter of inquiries to see what impression they leave for those that are not familiar with our organization or the proposed program/project.

SmartEGrants will be talking about these questions and more during #grantchat this week, on Tuesday, April 14th at 12pm ET. You can see the preview questions here. Or, after April 14th, you can follow-up via the transcript or blog summary post here.

If you are new to grant seeking, or are trying to expand beyond government contracts and grants into the foundation grant world, we have a few great LOI related professional development opportunities for you this week. We will be talking about LOIs this week in #grantchat as well in our Thursday Blueprints for Grants webinar on April 16th at 12pm (just $25 for the webinar handouts as well as both the live and recorded access to the session!).  You can register for the session here:

Register Here

Hope to see you at one or both! Not able to make either? Let us know your biggest question or concern about handling foundations that don’t accept unsolicited proposals in the comments below.

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