A letter of inquiry which is well written can play a great role in securing funds for your project. Many foundations initially ask for funding requests in letter format instead of a full proposal. They use preliminary letters of inquiry to check if they actually have an interest in the project before accepting the proposal.
An effective letter of inquiry is more difficult to write than the whole proposal. The letter of inquiry should be written in short. It must not be of than three pages. It must present properly the need or problem you have identified, the proposed solution, and your organization’s qualifications and ability to implement the solution. The letter of inquiry has to be addressed to the correct concerned person at a foundation or to its CEO and must be sent by regular mail.
The letter of inquiry should have the below mentioned sections:
The introduction gives an executive summary about the name of your organization, the amount needed or requested, and a description of the proposed project. The qualifications of project staff, a brief description of evaluative methodology, and a proper timetable can also be mentioned here.
The organization description must be in brief and must focus on your organization’s ability to meet the stated need. You can write a very brief history and describe your current programs and explain there is a connection between what you do currently and what you wish to do with the funds requested. You can later write this part with full details if you are asked to submit the whole proposal.
The statement of need has to effective enough to convince the reader that there is a genuine need which can be met with the help of this project. The statement of need must have: a description of the target population and geographical area, appropriate statistical data in abbreviated form and strong examples.
The methodology should match your statement of need and must provide a clear, logical, and achievable solution to the stated requirement. Describe the project in short and include major activities, names and titles of key project staff along with your desired objectives. Even this has to be presented with more details while submitting the whole proposal.
Other funding sources if approached to support this project should be mentioned in a short sentence or paragraph.
The final summary summarizes the purpose of the project, shows your readiness to give more details if required and thanks the potential funder for considering it.
Note: Attachments should only be attached if asked by the potential funder and should be specific to its application guidelines.