How To Write a Grant Proposal Cover Letter (With Example)
Updated July 22, 2023
The image is titled "Business Letter Format" and shows an example letter with the parts of the letter identified on the left side.
The left side includes:
Name and address
Complimentary close and signature
The letter reads:
February 1, 20XX
ABC Company, Inc.
1234 East Main Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Dear Ms. Jones,
I am submitting this request for a leave of absence to tend to important personal matters beginning next month. If possible, I would like to take my leave beginning March 15 and return to the office April 3, 20XX.
I can make myself available intermittently to answer questions via phone or email, and am happy to do whatever necessary to ensure a smooth transition before my leave begins.
Thank you for your consideration.
Effectively writing grant proposal cover letters can help separate your application from other candidates' and capture the attention of potential funders. If you or your company is writing a cover letter for a grant proposal, it may be helpful to learn some tips for doing so.
In this article, we explain what a grant proposal is and the steps for writing an effective grant proposal cover letter then offer writing tips, a template and an example you can use when writing your own.
What is a grant proposal?
A grant proposal is a written document with information about a proposed project. The primary purpose of these proposals is usually to persuade the reviewers to support your proposal financially. Common elements you might include in a grant proposal are:
Purpose and goals
Measures for success
Future outlook for the project
Clearly defining these elements can help your reviewers understand your project comprehensively before deciding whether they want to provide funding. The length of these documents may depend on the scope of your project and the amount of relevant information you have to share.
Related: What Is a Nonprofit Organization?
How to write a cover letter for a grant proposal
If you're planning to write a cover letter for your grant proposal, here are some helpful steps you can follow:
1. Use a formal header
At the top of a grant proposal cover letter, most professionals choose to include a formal header. In this section, you can include elements such as:
Your contact information
The date you sent the letter
Recipient's contact information
Adding these elements allows recipients to contact you easily and reference the date of the proposal. This can also help them link you with your organization, especially if you write the proposal on company letterhead.
2. Introduce your organization
Introducing your organization at the beginning of your grant proposal cover letter can be beneficial, as it can provide reviewers with a background understanding of your organization and its purpose. Specific things you may mention in this section include:
Title of your organization
Purpose and values of your organization
How long your organization has existed
When writing this section, it's important to remember that the purpose of the entire letter is to secure financial funding for your organization's project, not the organization itself. Therefore, it might help to condense this information to create more space to discuss the project itself.
3. Discuss the purpose of your project
The main section of your cover letter allows you to discuss the purpose of your project. This is important because you can provide reviewers with a general understanding of what your organization aims to accomplish. Here, you can share:
Your project's name
Your project's purpose
The future outlook of your project
Depending on the type of project you aim to implement, you may decide to add as much information as necessary to ensure reviewers can attain a comprehensive understanding. Typically, most of an effective cover letter discusses this information.
4. Explain the reasons for seeking funding
After your reviewers have a general understanding of your organization and the project you want to implement, you can explain the reasons why you require funding. Information you might emphasize here includes:
How you plan to use the funding
The amount of funding you're seeking
Why your organization requires support
Another piece of information you may mention in this section is the reason why your organization specifically sought funding from the recipients to whom you're writing. However, this might apply if you're only seeking funding from one organization or person.
5. Highlight the potential impact of the funding
Emphasizing the impact of potential funding in your grant proposal letter is also important because it can help reviewers understand how their contributions can directly aid your cause. Specific elements you may choose to highlight include:
The positive effects your project might achieve
The people who may benefit from those positive effects
This information might persuade reviewers to fund your project if they believe their funding can positively contribute to individuals affected by the problem your organization aims to address.
6. Add a formal closing statement
Near the end of an effective grant proposal cover letter, professionals often add a formal closing statement. Here are some items to consider adding to your formal closing statement:
Summary of the project
What the project can accomplish for individuals
Appreciation for reviewers considering your proposal
Typically, effective closing statements are between two and three sentences long.
Tips for writing an effective cover letter for a grant proposal
Writing an effective cover letter for a grant proposal is important because it helps capture recipients' attention, who may receive dozens of proposals from different organizations. Here are some tips to ensure you write an effective cover letter for your grant proposal:
Clearly define your project's details prior to writing your cover letter.
Consider a narrative format for your cover letter to further engage reviewers.
Proofread your cover letter for grammatical errors.
Ensure your cover letter is clearly and concisely written.
Provide references for other funders with whom your organization has previously worked.
Include a personalized signature at the bottom of the letter.
Research the potential funding organization to ensure you address the right person.
Template for writing a grant proposal cover letter
If you're planning to write a grant proposal cover letter, here's a template you can reference:
[Your phone number]
[Your email address]
[Funding organization's contact name]
[Funding contact email address]
Dear [insert funding organization's contact name],
My name is [full name], and I am the [position title] at [name of your organization]. In our [number of years in operation] years in [community or city where your organization is located], we have worked to [your organization's mission]. We do this by [one or two activities your organization does, preferably related to the grant or funding organization’s mission].
We are seeking funding for our upcoming project, [project title], which centers on [information about the purpose of the project]. In our preliminary research, we discovered [information about the problem the project aims to address].
Funding for this project is essential because [information about why your organization requires funding]. Comprehensively, we are seeking [dollar amount] in funding. This financial support will allow us to [information about how your organization plans to use the funds].
If we were to receive funding, our project [information about potential positive effects of funding]. Individuals who might benefit from your funding include [information about affected groups]. This is important because [information about how the project helps them].
[Your organization name] is passionate about addressing this problem because [summarize purpose]. We understand how meaningful this project can be in helping others [potential project impact]. I would like to thank you for your consideration and for providing organizations like ours with opportunities to [summary about your organization's mission].
To upload the template into Google Docs, go to File > Open > and select the correct downloaded file.
Example of a grant proposal cover letter
Here's an example of an effective cover letter for a grant proposal using the template above:
Little Lamb Literacy Center
July 16, 2023
Finch Discovery Foundation
Dear Mr. Finch,
My name is Sameen Root, and I am the founder of Little Lamb Literacy Center. In our six years in Robinston, we have worked to help children and adolescents realize their highest literacy potential. We do this by providing each student with meaningful learning experiences through immersive learning strategies and personalized instruction.
We are seeking funding for our upcoming project, Digital Literacy Lamb Academy, which provides children and adolescents with ways to improve their digital literacy skills. In our preliminary research, we discovered that there are eight specific components of digital literacy, including topics such as critical thinking, creativity, safety and collaboration. We also learned that many of the children and adolescents we serve lack one or more of these components.
Funding for this project is essential because with it we can help children and adolescents in our community master digital literacy and attain important skills for advancing their educational journeys. Comprehensively, we are seeking $25,000 in funding. This financial support will allow us to develop interactive lesson plans and provide students with immersive learning experiences where they can interact with professionals who directly use digital literacy skills in their careers.
If we were to receive funding, our project would help prepare students for their future professional lives and provide them with valuable digital skills. This is important because these skills are crucial for success in our technologically advanced world. Students can go on to apply these skills in their studies and remain culturally aware of technology in their everyday lives.
Little Lamb Literacy Center is passionate about addressing this problem because we want to help children and adolescents realize their highest literacy potential. We understand how meaningful this project can be to help students gain knowledge and advance as technological learners. I would like to thank you for your consideration and for providing organizations like ours with opportunities to make a difference in the community.
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