What is an LOI and How Do I Write One?

deadlineDear Libby:

I've been searching GrantWatch.com for new grants and I keep seeing the term LOI with a grant deadline.  What exactly is an LOI?


A Subscriber in Boston

Dear Boston Subscriber:

This is a great and important question as the pneumonic LOI has a few meanings in the grant giving world and appears in many of our grant postings. 

LOI = Letter of Intent, Letter of Interest – Often times a funding source wants a heads-up for how many organizations plan on applying for the grant or contract so that they can hire their review staff in advance of the grant deadline date. LOI also places you on the mailing list for all future addendums and modifications to that particular application, including deadline changes.

LOI = Letter of Inquiry. Many funding sources require the submission of an initial, brief LOI rather than a full proposal.  These letters are reviewed so that only projects of interest to the funding source are invited to submit a full proposal.  Occasionally, a funding source will not publicize a proposal deadline until the LOIs have been submitted.  In that case, our staff will list the LOI deadline on our site as the proposal due date until further information is provided. 

On GrantWatch.com, when we list an LOI date at the top of a grant listing, it refers to a mandatory LOI. If the date has passed and you did not yet submit an LOI to the funding source, then, based on the rules of the funder, you can no longer apply.  Those grants are archived on the GrantWatch.com site.  When you visit our Tour our Archives page, you might find grants with a current deadline date but a passed LOI date.

The funding source usually provides an outline for the Letter of Inquiry.  It is generally no more than two pages and contains: an introduction to your project, contact information at your agency, a description of your organization, a statement of need, your methodology, a brief discussion of other funding sources and a final summary.

I hope I have fully answered your question. Please feel free to call our office if you need further assistance at 1-561-249-4129 or write to Support@Grantwatch.com.

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