A Successful Grant Proposal Begins with an Informative and Concise LOI

One of the key components to winning a grant is writing a solid Letter of Intent. This LOI may also be referred to as the Letter of Inquiry in grant circles. The intent of this important document is to generate interest in your organization so that you can procure the necessary funding to achieve your goals.

Many grant foundations will supply you with a format to write your LOI. However, there are some basic steps to follow that will increase your chances of standing out from the field. Here is what you need to know about crafting your LOI.

Length of LOI

It is important to keep in mind that the LOI is designed to be an introduction. This section of the grant proposal may be used by the foundation to determine if they need to see a full proposal from your group. It is also used to weed out the organizations that are worthy of the funding.

For this reason, the LOI needs to be no more than two pages in length, with most only coming in at one page. The goal is to be concise while encouraging the foundation to consider reading your entire grant proposal. Many foundations will provide you with a page limit.

Opening Paragraph

The opening paragraph of your LOI should be able to stand alone on its own. In this statement, you need to answer key questions such as why do you need the money, how much do you need, and over what period of time do you need the funding? When writing this paragraph, ask yourself if this statement provides a concise summary of your project and encourages the reader to look further into your request.

Statement of Need

After you have set up your LOI, it is time to get into the meat of the information. Now is when you want to provide a statement of need. In this statement, you need to sell your goals and why it is important that you receive this funding. Use this section to explain how the money will be put to a good use. Be sure to fully explain the issue at hand. Do not just assume that the foundation is familiar with the challenges that your organization faces and why you need the funding to combat these issues.

Project Details

Continue delving into the bulk of the important information by detailing how you will be using the funding. This section should be the bulk of your LOI. Use this section to highlight what sets your organization apart from the others, selling why you should be awarded the funding. Be sure to include the major activities of the project and the titles of the people who will be overseeing each initiative.

Outcomes and Evaluation

What are the desired outcomes? How do you plan to evaluate if the outcomes were reached? These are the questions that you need to answer in this section. Basically, you need to prove that you have a solid plan in place to be a good steward of the money.


Use this section to prove why your organization is the best group to carry out these objectives. What makes you more qualified than the others in your field? Why are you the most deserving of this funding? This is the section to include the history of your organization and a summary of everything that you have achieved. Do not be shy about bragging about awards, rankings, or notable accomplishments. This is your chance to truly sell your organization.

Closing Statement

This is your last chance to offer up any additional information that the foundation may need to decide whether to proceed. You also should use this statement to include contact information and provide a call to action for the foundation. Do not forget to express your appreciation for the foundation's time and their serious consideration in awarding your organization the funding.

Using the right words and providing the appropriate balance of information and brevity will ensure that your LOI captures the attention of the reader and puts your organization in a better position to receive the funding that it needs to advance all of its goals.

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