Fundraising Guide (English) June 2014 - Page 22

limits how much of their money they can use for these purposes while maintaining their tax-exempt status. ◆◆ Although they will not support lobbying or partisan activities, these foundations may support awarenessraising campaigns, policymaker education, and training programs. Therefore, you can still write a proposal asking to educate officials or inform the public about policy issues, but you cannot use the grant funds to directly ask policymakers to support a specific piece of legislation or to ask citizens to request that their elected officials vote for or against a specific bill. ◆◆ ◆◆ ◆◆ The International Human Rights Funders Group has a helpful flow chart to help organizations decide whether a particularly activity is fundable under lobbying rules here: www.ihrfg.org/sites/default/files/ AdvocacyandLobbyingFlowChartTool.pdf What do you hope to change? How will you measure the change? How will you accomplish the change? What activities do you plan to carry out to achieve the change you described above? Why is your organization the right organization to carry out the work? Briefly describe your organization’s mission, history, and recent accomplishments. Also detail key people or abilities that you bring to the project proposed.  simple project budget may be attached. Check A whether the foundation wants to receive a budget with the LOI. Keep your LOI as concise and simple as possible. Use straightforward, nontechnical language. Don’t waste words as the program officer, usually the main contact for the foundation, may get frustrated and not finish reading your letter if it doesn’t clearly state what your group is going to do and why. Don’t wait until the second page to get your main point across – your message should be clear so that someone reading only the first paragraph of your letter would understand what your project is and what you want to accomplish. LETTER OF INQUIRY/INTENT (LOI) Some donors require you to send a preliminary letter of inquiry (LOI), also known as a letter of intent, instead of a full proposal. The LOI is usually 2-3 pages long and includes key information to help the funder decide whether your organization meets its criteria for funding. If the funder is interested, they will contact you to ask you to submit a full proposal. The LOI is also sometimes referred to as a concept note or concept paper. You should check with the donor if it has a specific template or format required to submit an LOI. If there is a template available, you should carefully read and follow the directions. If there is no template available, below is a list of standard questions and elements that you should be prepared to answer and include in your LOI. Keep in mind to keep your letter brief and do not use any professional jargon (technical terms that the average person would not understand). Make it catchy or stand out if you can. Relate your project back to the foundation’s interests and priorities. You need to show not only that you have a worthy project, but also why this particular foundation should give you a grant. For a template of an LOI, see Appendix 2. Additional examples of LOIs can be found here: foundationcenter.org/ getstarted/faqs/html/loi.html You should hear back within a few weeks (usually the foundation provides a timeline for a response) whether they are interested in seeing a full proposal. Sometimes fo undations only contact successful applicants. If the deadline for a response passes and you haven’t heard back, you can send a quick email to the foundation to inquire about the status of your application.  the first paragraph, you should provide a one to two In sentence summary of your request that includes the amount of money you’re asking for, the time period the request covers, and what the request will support.  the remainder of the LOI, you should answer the In following questions: ◆◆ Who is the target population? How many people will you reach? In what geographic area will you work? Don’t send full proposals to funders who reject your LOI. It is reasonable to contact the funder and ask if they are willing to give you some feedback on why you were rejected, how you might improve your letter, and whether they would consider another application in the future. Be respectful in your request, and don’t be disappointed What is the issue or need that you are addressing? Why is it important? Be sure to mention if need is urgent right now or if there is a limited window of opportunity to have impact. 19