Letters of Inquiry can take many forms. There is no set format. The following is a fictitious sample of an LOI, but should not be considered the final word on the format that your organization might choose.
Review the elements of a full proposal before attempting the letter of inquiry. You can see samples of actual LOIs in the Foundation Center's excellent book, The Foundation Center's Guide to Winning Proposals.
Anywhere Community Foundation
625 Smith St.
Any City, XN 28905
Dear Mr. Hunter:
Thank you for reading this letter of inquiry to your Anywhere Community Foundation. We hope to determine your interest in receiving a full proposal for our Any City Senior Center's Women's Outreach Pilot Program. We are respectfully requesting your consideration of a grant in the amount of $35,000.
This project is our first outreach to senior women in their homes. We are finding more and more elderly women are staying in their homes when they cannot get out to visit facilities such as our Senior Center. We plan to provide socialization opportunities, health and wellness information, and social services when needed to women who are isolated from the community. Our pilot program fits squarely within your Foundation's areas of interest: health services for seniors in Anywhere County; increasing outreach to the home-bound elderly; and helping providers of elder services to achieve greater reach within our community.
Any City Senior Center, established in 1985, is the largest senior center in our county, serving more than 400 seniors each day at our recently remodeled facility. Our mission is to help seniors improve and maintain healthy, independent lifestyles through improvements in their quality of life. Our satisfaction rate among the elders we serve is a very high 95%, according to our latest survey. We provide nutritious lunches, social opportunities, physical exercise opportunities, and educational events throughout the year.
The senior population of our county is expected to increase by 30% over the next 20 years. Many of those seniors are expected to be at or below poverty income levels and to be mildly to seriously disabled. Some of these home-bound elders can be brought to our community center with our existing fleet of five vans that currently transport 25-35 clients each day.
However, expanding the transportation system is costly and will not allow us to expand our services enough for the increased number of home-bound seniors, some of whom cannot leave their homes at all.
Consequently, we are proposing the Any City Senior Center's Women's Outreach Pilot Program to test the practicality of bringing services to individuals in their homes. We think that by using volunteers, supervised by one professional staff member (a social worker), that we can help expand the horizons of a significant number of home-bound senior women.
We have limited our pilot to women because of the preponderance of single women seniors in our community. If the pilot is successful, of course, we would want to further expand our programs to include men and couples who are home-bound.
Our one-year pilot program objectives include 1) establishing once-weekly visits to 50 home-bound women; 2) recruiting 100 volunteers to make those visits on a rotating basis (many of the volunteers we expect to recruit from our current elders who visit our facility); and 3) improving the health and activity levels of those visited as measured by several available survey tools, used at pre-set intervals throughout the year.
Some of the activities that we plan to include in our home visits include cooking lessons that incorporate easy-to-prepare and nutritious food; teaching simple exercise routines suitable to each elder's physical condition; the introduction of socialization through the playing of board and card games; simple tests of mental capacities and the introduction of common methods of combating loneliness and depression, loss of memory, and lack of mental stimulation.
The total cost of our pilot program for one year is $70,000. Half of that has already been committed from both the county government and other funders. Your investment of $35,000 will complete the funding we need to fully implement the pilot project. Our board of directors is enthusiastic about the project, and we already have a number of volunteers who have expressed interest.
We look forward to partnering with your foundation on this exciting project. If you have any questions or would like to receive a full proposal, please feel free to contact me at 490-982-1157 (or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org). We deeply appreciate your consideration of our request and look forward to hearing from you soon.
Janet B. Feelgood
Any City Senior Center
P.S. I enclose our latest annual report and catalog of activities offered at our Senior Center.