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Knowledge Base
Q:
How do I write a proposal cover letter?
A:

The cover letter often is your proposal's first chance to connect your project with the reader's philanthropic mission. It goes on top of a proposal, but it is not the same as an executive summary, which states your proposal's key points.

At minimum, your cover letter should:

  • Request your dollar amount and introduce your project in the first sentence
  • Describe how your project and/or organization will further the foundation's mission
  • Reference your most recent contact with the foundation
  • List the proposal's contents
  • Give contact details in case the funder wants additional information
  • Be signed by your organization's executive director
Sample cover letters

Samples of actual cover letters are usually hard to find because the donor and applicant may be very protective of these documents. Also, they usually are very specific to the project, organization, and funder.

However, our Sample Documents section is a searchable collection of proposals, cover letters, letters of inquiry, and proposal budgets that were actually funded. Each proposal includes a critique by the decision-maker who awarded the grant.

Grantseeker's Guide to Winning Proposals book

These sample documents come from our book, Grantseeker's Guide to Winning Proposals, which you can buy at our Marketplace or use at our libraries and Funding Information Network locations.

You also might check if anyone in your professional networks would be willing to share sample proposals and cover letters.

See also our related Knowledge Base articles:

- How do I write a grant proposal? Where can I find samples?
- What should be included in a letter of inquiry? Where can I find samples?

More articles on proposal writing»

Selected resources below may also help.

Web Sites

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Books and Articles

Check title availability at our libraries and Funding Information Network locations or your local libraries.

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