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Proposal Cover Letter Writing

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A proposal cover letter is a one-page message to a potential donor quickly introduces your organization and proposal. Including a cover letter with a proposal is usually optional, but can add a nice personal touch and brings context to the proposal.

Cover letters are separate from the proposal, and so is distinct from the cover page and executive summary. A cover letter is an accompanying letter that serves as the introduction to your full proposal. The cover letter looks similar to a letter of inquiry, but a LoI is sent independently of a proposal while the cover letter is always paired with a proposal.

The cover letter format may change depending on the way the proposal is submitted. If the proposal is submitted physically by mail or in person, the cover letter should be placed on top of the printed proposal, but should not be stapled or bound to the proposal. If the proposal is submitted by email, the cover letter should be included as the body of the email, not as an attachment. All the typical rules for contacting a donor also applies to cover letters.

Purpose of a Cover Letter
Often a cover letter is the first contact with a prospective donor. The basic purpose of a cover letter is to convince the donor to read your proposal. The cover letter is to introduce you and your project to the donor and draw their attention to your proposal. A cover letter can also provide administrative details useful to donors, such as which fund or portfolio the proposal should be considered under, who should review the proposal, etc. A cover letter should also be used to try and establish a connection with the donor – either by mentioning past grants and meetings, or just by proving you have researched them donor and taken their priorities into consideration for this proposal.

If you are submitting an unsolicited application, it is highly recommended to include a very good cover letter.
A well-written letter can entice the donor to read your proposal with greater interest and will improve your chances of winning the grant.
What Content to Include in Your Cover Letter
A cover letter typically contains 3 – 4 paragraphs, not longer than one page, in letter format.

Paragraph 1 should contain general overview information:

Greeting
Project title
NGO name
Grant request amount
Relevant fund/portfolio
Paragraph 2 should contain, if applicable, any relationship with the donor:

Past grants received
Past conferences or networking sessions attended together
Other relationships
If there is no relationship yet, then explain why the donor should be interested in the project based on their stated priorities.
Paragraph 3 should summarize the impact of the project:

Project location
Purpose
Impact
Number of beneficiaries
Timeline
Paragraph 4 should conclud

A proposal cover letter is a one-page message to a potential donor quickly introduces your organization and proposal. Including a cover letter with a proposal is usually optional, but can add a nice personal touch and brings context to the proposal.

Cover letters are separate from the proposal, and so is distinct from the cover page and executive summary. A cover letter is an accompanying letter that serves as the introduction to your full proposal. The cover letter looks similar to a letter of inquiry, but a LoI is sent independently of a proposal while the cover letter is always paired with a proposal.

The cover letter format may change depending on the way the proposal is submitted. If the proposal is submitted physically by mail or in person, the cover letter should be placed on top of the printed proposal, but should not be stapled or bound to the proposal. If the proposal is submitted by email, the cover letter should be included as the body of the email, not as an attachment. All the typical rules for contacting a donor also applies to cover letters.

Purpose of a Cover Letter
Often a cover letter is the first contact with a prospective donor. The basic purpose of a cover letter is to convince the donor to read your proposal. The cover letter is to introduce you and your project to the donor and draw their attention to your proposal. A cover letter can also provide administrative details useful to donors, such as which fund or portfolio the proposal should be considered under, who should review the proposal, etc. A cover letter should also be used to try and establish a connection with the donor – either by mentioning past grants and meetings, or just by proving you have researched them donor and taken their priorities into consideration for this proposal.

If you are submitting an unsolicited application, it is highly recommended to include a very good cover letter.
A well-written letter can entice the donor to read your proposal with greater interest and will improve your chances of winning the grant.
What Content to Include in Your Cover Letter
A cover letter typically contains 3 – 4 paragraphs, not longer than one page, in letter format.

Paragraph 1 should contain general overview information:

Greeting
Project title
NGO name
Grant request amount
Relevant fund/portfolio
Paragraph 2 should contain, if applicable, any relationship with the donor:

Past grants received
Past conferences or networking sessions attended together
Other relationships
If there is no relationship yet, then explain why the donor should be interested in the project based on their stated priorities.
Paragraph 3 should summarize the impact of the project:

Project location
Purpose
Impact
Number of beneficiaries
Timeline
Paragraph 4 should conclude with a request to contact:

Full name of contact person (if project contact is different from the letter’s signer)
Email of contact person
Phone number of a contact person
Thank you to a donor for their time
Sign off
Typically, it should be the NGO’s executive director who signs off the letter. If the letter is printed or sent as a document, remember to include the executive director’s signature and printed name and title.
Here is a sample proposal cover letter as well as a cover letter template to download for your own use.
e with a request to contact:

Full name of contact person (if project contact is different from the letter’s signer)
Email of contact person
Phone number of a contact person
Thank you to a donor for their time
Sign off
Typically, it should be the NGO’s executive director who signs off the letter. If the letter is printed or sent as a document, remember to include the executive director’s signature and printed name and title.
Here is a sample proposal cover letter as well as a cover letter template to download for your own use.

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