What are the Main Types of Proposals ?
Although there are many types of proposals for fund raising purposes, the main categories that they fall under include; A letter of Inquiry, A letter proposal and The full proposal.
A Letter of Inquiry (LOI):
According to Tori O'Neal-McElrath, A letter of inquiry "is generally a two-or three-page summary (though some funders may request a specific number of pages) submitted when the funder wishes to see a brief description of the project before deciding whether to ask for a longer, more detailed proposal". Sending a letter of inquiry to a potential funder after conducting your funder research can save both parties (funder and non-profit) time. By sending an LOI, a non-profit can receive valuable insights regarding the compatibility of its program with the funders' mission. Through the feedback received from the funder, the non-profit can either proceed to develop an in-depth proposal that meets the criteria set forth by the funding organization or refrain from developing a proposal. Likewise, an important benefit of an LOI to a funder is that it cuts down on the amount of time expended on the review of lengthy proposals that might not be the right fit in the first place. In writing a letter of inquiry, one of the factors to keep in mind is indicating how the proposed project aligns with the funders' mission.
A letter of Proposal:
This is usually part of the application process set forth by foundations. It is also requested by corporations on a regular basis. Much like a cover letter, it is generally recommended to limit its content to one page. A letter of proposal should highlight salient points such as the type of project to be implemented and the total cost of the project. It should be written in a clear and lucid manner. Remember that you will not be physically present to clarify issues. As such, it is essential that your letter of proposal doesn't leave room for doubt. Finally, it should be authenticated by the program head or any member of the organization's decision makers.
The Full Proposal:
Generally, a full proposal is written in accordance to the funders criteria which can be found in an rfp. It helps to be as clear and specific as possible. The full proposal usually entails a need that has been identified in the community, the goals and objectives to be achieved, a time frame, an evaluation framework, a budget narrative, personnel, partnerships ( if any) among others. It is equally important to adhere to the submission criteria and deadlines. In order to prevent stressful situations, it is advisable to start the proposal development process sooner rather than later.
Written By Sherita N Brace
Sherita N Brace is an international development professional and a blogger. She serves as a consultant to non-profits and provides grant writing services, program planning services and communications services.
1. Winning Grants Step by Step, Tori O'Neal-McElrath, 2013, John Wiley and Sons.