How to Write Good Inquiry Letters
A good inquiry letter may be the key to receiving a green light for your project and getting the funds. There are many foundations that now prefer to have first an inquiry letter and then after that, the full project proposal. Some other foundations may ask for an inquiry letter as a preliminary document for deciding whether they are interested at all in the project you are proposing and then inform you if you should send your project proposal in full.
Many times you will notice that the proposal is much easier to write than the inquiry letter. The inquiry letter are short, around 3 pages, and even they are short, they need to contain a detailed presentation about the problem for which you planned your project, the solution you are proposing and the description of your organization and if this organization is skillful enough to implement the given solutions and finish the project. The inquiry letters are sent to the CEO of the foundation usually and are sent through regular mail.
The inquiry letters are very similar to the grant proposals because they contain the same sections.
- Introduction – The Introduction contains a short project description, the name of the organization applying and the sum that is requested. Included also are the staff qualifications, an evaluation of the methodology that will be used and a timetable.
- Description of the organization – This description is supposed to be short and to inform the reader about the ability of this organization to solve the problem and meet the demands. There should be a short history explaining the past and current activities and connecting them to the direction in which you want to continue and how the funding that you are requesting will help your organization in achieving that. Don’t spend a lot of words describing this because if you get called to send your full proposal, then you will have the chance to explain it in full.
- A Need Statement – This statement has to convince the foundation that there is a need that your organization wants to meet and your project is created for that purpose. Here you should include statistical data, examples and geographical location along with the population that is being targeted with your project.
- Methodology – It should be connected to the statement and present achievable and logical solution to the problem. You should also include a short description of the project with some activities, explaining who of the staff is involved in it names and titles and the goal objectives.
- Mention if there are some other sources for founding that have been contacted.
In the final paragraph, the summary, include again the goal of the project, affirm that you are available for further inquiries and questions and thank for the foundation taking your letter into consideration.