Now that you’ve found the perfect funding opportunity, and carefully reviewed the guidelines to decide the next steps to include (great task!). The foundation that you’ve chosen to work with, the possibility requires the submission of an LOI (letter of intent) for nonprofit organizations (an LOU) instead of an application for a grant.

You’re probably asking what exactly is a letter-of-intent and what exactly does it mean for me when I design my grant proposal?

In this article you’ll discover what a letter of intention for nonprofits should include and the industry norms for writing one, and also templates to use for the future. So let’s take a look!

What is a letter of Intent? And why is it important?

In the case of nonprofit grants letters of intent is simply an application form that is created by the grantee (aka the applicant!) to present their organization and to express the desire for cash or in-kind support.

The writing of a strong letter of intent to grant funding is an essential aspect of grant writing as well as development. In many grant applications it’s the first introduction to your non-profit’s purpose and the incredible work you are doing.

The abbreviation is “LOI” The term “letter of intent is usually utilized in conjunction with “letter of inquiry”, “concept paper” or “letter of curiosity”. The only difference between a letter of intent for non-profit organizations and letters of inquiry/interest is the degree of commitment to the “I” letter of intent: intentions, inquiry, as well as the desire.

For instance letters of inquiry or interest could be general, uninvited requests to foundations, while letters of intent indicate the intention to submit an application for a particular possibility.

The practice of asking for the submission of letters of intention is utilized by foundations and other grant-funding organisations to evaluate prospective applicants. It’s similar to an application letter or cover letter for resumes, in the sense that:

1. It demonstrates that you’ve done your homework and are knowledgeable about the business

2. Let them know you are interested in pursuing a specific job

3. Looks into a possible connection

4. It demonstrates that you have the qualifications that make you a great candidate for the job

The letter of intention for non-profit organizations could describe itself as a simplified version of your grant proposal , and is a method to attract the attention of the person who will review your application for an comprehensive application.

When you first establish a relationship between a funder and your non-profit, describing your mission and goals in an official letter of intent is not only to be used for the grant funding possibility you’re currently working. It can also open the way to discussion about other opportunities for support in the near future.

letter of intent writing

The letters of intent can also serve well as the very first part of a grant proposal since you can’t move to the next phase of review without impressing the reviewer by presenting an introductory letter.

Letters of intent demonstrate the thought process you’ve put into developing a relationship with the funder by adhering to any rules set out for the design of your document.

In that regard, what would an expression of intention for non-profit organizations take on? Let’s examine the next.

The Complete Collection of Sample Letters of Intent Samples

A letter of intent to apply for grants will differ for each grant. Every funding agency will give different guidelines as well as guidelines. They be requesting an intent letter without getting into the specifics. Take the time to read through the guidelines thoroughly and follow them as the outline.

If a funder requests an expression of interest without any additional guidelines there are a few industry standards you can utilize to guide your letter.

It is important to draft your letter of intention specifically for the organization that you are seeking funding from However, you can start with a basic story that outlines your purpose and the initiative or program you’re looking to secure money for.


In the Indeed’s resources for career development They also included a summary of letters of inquiry. They also provide a step-by-step guide and a template to utilize as a template when creating your personal letter of inquiry. The process of writing down your goals for your program is a great way to simply outline the tasks you’re planning to complete in your program.

University of Massachusetts Amherst

UMASS Amherst does an excellent job of breaking down every part of a letter intention which includes the importance of background research as well as the methods you can employ when writing.

Each element of an intent letter is broken down more in depth, with regard to the structure of each part. Also, they insist on having a plan in mind prior to starting writing an intent letter.

Foundant Technologies

The LOI overview gives an outline and structural guidelines for how to write your letter of intention. Foundant does a great job of explaining the page count and focus alignment as well as an extensive overview of a deadline to ensure you have your LOI submitted on time. Their model is based on the funding aspect first:

This is The Most Complete Letter of Intent Template

We’ve had the opportunity to look out some amazing letters of intent samples provided by experts in the field. We’ve talked about the basics of LOIs as well as what the procedure is for the creation of a letter of intent to apply to receive grant funds and how the letter of intent of a non-profit organization ought to look like in its essence.

Let’s bring everything together into an outline of the structure you can use as a reference, and also create a sample letter of intention template to keep handy to help you organize your thoughts every time you begin the process of writing a letter of intent!

LOI Structure

A letter of intent to apply for grants should not exceed three to four pages(without attachments) or should adhere to the exact guidelines provided by the grantor.

The Template Letter of Intent

[Program Officer]
[Funding Organization Name[Funding Organization Name

Dear Program Officer

Your non-profit organization is seeking assistance from [funding institutionthrough the [RFP] to fund its unique and innovative [project or program] description[program or project description].

The staff of your program will be involved in the program’s activities] and connect with the [target population] within the area of interest to link them with the [proposed program resultto achieve the program’s goal. We ask for a contribution of [amountto fund program expensesessential to make this program to be a success.

Since your nonprofit was founded in the year [year] as an important landmark for your nonprofitthe organization reached] we have expanded our programs and initiatives in order to identify the most important elements of your nonprofit you would like to emphasizeimportant features of your nonprofit that you want to highlight.

We have a solid track record of [insert track record of success here in a couple of sentences] and the possibility from the organization that funds us is very much in line with our goal of helping us empower our [targeted regionto empower our [target area].

Your catchment area is the [description of the population or area the program(s) servein the catchment area]. According to the most recent Census data, [insert a short 2 or 3 sentence description of the importance of highlighting quantitative datato support your claim.

Your nonprofit’s mission is to achieve [insert short outline of mission or vision[insert brief overview of mission/vision]. Insert a few words about how the initiatives or programs you’re looking for will support your vision or missionĀ».

Insert at least 1-2 sentences on the anticipated improvements to your catchment area or target population, with a focus on quantitative descriptionsof the area you are targeting.

Our total expense for our program or initiativeproject for the time period [projectis the amount. Please provide a brief description of any funding that has been allocated to your initiativeto your project. The contribution you make of [insert amount of request] will help provide the funds we require for the launch of this program and you should also indicate what help from the organization will be used to pay for[include what the funding organization will be used to cover].

Our [name of the projectis an ingenuous solution to the problem that your initiative or program is seeking to solve] that we have identified in our local community. We are aware that the organization that funds your project is also a part of the same mission describe similarities between your non-profit and the funderand we share the same passion for (describe a shared vision in the near futurevision for the future. In providing a brief description of our activities] within the [target area] we can real improvements to the [area your organization is trying to improvethe area your nonprofit is seeking to change.

We greatly thank you for your consideration and time We look to explore ways our organizations can work together. If you have any questions, or if you would like to schedule a tour of our agency’s current programs and services, please contact me at or call me at ###-###-####.

[Your Name]
[Your nonprofit]

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Where to find additional templates for Letters of Intent to Non-Profit Organizations

To add to your collection Check out these other template letters of intent and tools.

Northwestern University

This summary of the work of Northwestern University is geared towards research-related proposals and gives concise guidance on what body paragraphs must be like for the letter of intent within this category. Be aware the research grants as well as the related LOIs typically require extremely specific guidelines because of how they project.

Anschutz Family Foundation

This is a fantastic illustration of what the process looks like when a foundation establishes specific guidelines and guidelines for an intent letter for non-profits. It is important to note that the Anschutz Family Foundation provides four clearly defined areas they’d like to include an overview of the company, a brief description of your activities along with financial information as well as the size of request you’re making.

The Balance Small Business

The Balance compares the letters of intention to auditions, which is exactly what they are! They have a good template and checklist that to help you ensure that you have hit every note on your audition for funding!

Wrapping it All Up The Best Way to Get the Most Value from Your Letter of Intent

A letter of intent must be an integral part of your nonprofit’s development plan for all of your initiatives and programs. Beginning by making a template can make you more efficient when you determine the foundations that are in line with your vision and mission, and determine which you want to fund.

Establishing relationships to grant-funders is the main thing grant writing is about, and letters of intent enable you to make that initial step swift and efficient manner. They are also among the most well-known ways you can communicate your organization’s mission to other stakeholders that ultimately are at the heart of what you wish for your organization in general!

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