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Writing an Impressive Letter of Intent: Tips for Success

Your Letter of Intent (LOI) is the crucial first formal contact you have with a foundation or donor. It offers you the opportunity to make a lasting impression, pique their interest, and stand out from the competition. In this blog post, we'll share some tips to help you craft a standout LOI that leaves the foundation craving to learn more.

  1. Keep it concise:While it's essential to provide a well-developed LOI, strive to keep it to one page or a maximum of two pages. Foundations receive numerous letters, so brevity is key. Succinctly and effectively convey your message to make a lasting impact.

  2. Maintain a business letter format:Remember, an LOI is a business letter. Make sure your writing is clear, succinct, and answers all questions posed by the foundation. Adhering to a professional tone and format enhances your credibility.

  3. Utilize official letterhead:Present your organization in a professional light by ensuring your LOI is written on official letterhead. It helps establish credibility and adds a formal touch to your communication.

  4. Personalize your greeting:Address the letter using the specific name of the recipient. This demonstrates attention to detail and shows that you've done your research. Personalization adds a human touch to your letter.

  5. Structure from the top down:Considering that foundations review numerous LOIs, structure your letter in a way that immediately captures their attention. Start with essential information at the beginning and then provide additional details.

  6. Key components to include:

  • Name of your organization

  • Name of the grant you are applying for

  • Amount of money requested

  • Brief description of how the funds will be utilized

  • Demonstrate how the project aligns with the goals or interests of the foundation

  • Provide a concise history of your organization

  1. Overview with purpose:Craft an overview that creates a clear connection between your nonprofit's overarching goal and how this specific program fits into the broader vision. Describe your target population and the geographic area you serve. Incorporate statistical facts, specific examples, and highlight past successes related to the proposed program.

  2. Outline program objectives:List the objectives of your proposed program and ensure they are measurable and attainable. Include supporting data and examples of previous successes to reinforce credibility.

  3. Closing on a positive note:Wrap up your letter by expressing gratitude for the foundation's time and consideration. Let them know you are available for any additional questions or even a tour of your organization, if appropriate. Conclude with a closing remark such as "Sincerely" or "Respectfully" followed by your signature.

By following these tips, you can confidently write a compelling Letter of Intent that captures the attention of foundations and donors. Remember, this initial contact sets the stage for future engagement, so make it count. Aim to inspire curiosity, and leave them eagerly anticipating the next steps in the grant application process. Good luck!

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