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Comments from Shirley Lockwood, Foundation Administrator, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, from The Grantseeker's Guide to Winning Proposals:
The well-written cover letter is concise and straightforward. It briefly describes plans for the upcoming season and a request for funding for a particular program, including a hoped-for increase from the previous year's grant award. Because of the high volume of inquiries received at the Foundation, this format is particularly helpful to the staff and the Trustees.
The proposal is attractively formatted with each section delineated by Roman numerals and captions in bold, making it easy to follow and to highlight the areas the Foundation is most interested in considering. The budget is clear and concise. We are primarily interested in a fiscal accounting of how the funds for a specific project that we supported were expended. We are interested to see if other sources of funding are listed. Many organizations make a mistake, I believe, if they mention the hope or expectation of support from other sources, without further information.
On a personal note, I appreciate the fact that St. Luke's does not devote a great deal of space to reporting on their "uniqueness." Performing arts organizations, in general, are creative entities; the programming will speak for itself. This particular organization happily avoids this common pitfall.