Letter of Inquiry (LOI)

Good Morning from GrantLessons. We are just back from the National Committee meeting in Burbank where we discussed Letters of Inquiry (LOI). Here are a few thoughts on when and how to use LOIs. Funders come in all sizes from local community foundations to large million dollar funders. So how does a nonprofit organization engage a funder or how does a funder desire to be approached?

The best way to engage a funder is through a conversation. However, many funders do not have the time to respond to the hundreds of inquiries that they receive.

In order to many the number of inquiries that a funder can have, they often use a LOI process. A LOI is a condensed summary of the inquirer’s grant proposal. The funder wants to know that the organization is a 501(c)(3) organization. The funder is looking to see that the inquiry for funding matches what they desire to fund. Lastly, they want to get a sense the request for funds is credible or in their opinion worthy of being funded.

The LOI can be completed by online or paper as directed by the funder. In an online LOI, the grant member completes the fields as requested. See Examples/Writing/Letter of Inquiry (Online) under Resources Tab. After the funder receives the LOI the grant member completes the LOI online, an email will be sent to the grant member either telling them to proceed to completing a proposal or there is a denial to proceed.

A paper LOI should be short and to the point. The funder is looking for the same information as described above. Be sure to include your email address and website address in the LOI. See/Examples/Writing/Letter of Inquiry (Paper)).

GrantLessons makes it easy for you to get started.  There is a downloadable file for a LOI. See Resources/Downloadable Files/Writing/ Example – Letter of Inquiry (paper).

We are making good progress on completing our GuideStar Profile for our chapter. It really was not as hard as we originally thought it would be.

Lastly, we have heard of at least one Assistance League chapter who has received a check of $335.30 for completing the Chase Community Bank Challenge. You can see more information at http://tinyurl.com/b53w3f8 . GrantLessons will keep this on our radar screen for next year.

Halloween and the national political races are complete, now we are onto Turkey preparation.

Catch me when you can and I will catch up with you soon. Sandie

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