Charitable Grants Hub

Charitable Grant Proposal Writing

Proposals range in complexity and detail, from a two-three page letter of inquiry, to 25+ page narratives with multiple attachments. Grantmakers typically provide some guidance regarding their preferences, such as coversheet forms and online applications, through detailed proposal guidelines. Grantseekers should closely follow funder guidelines, application processes, and proposal requirements—except in rare cases for which such guidance is not available. Funder guidelines, requirements, and instructions are your roadmap. The majority of the time, creating the basics of a proposal is simply a matter of following directions.

The following PDFs discuss aspects of the grantseeking and proposal writing process in more detail:


Letter of Inquiry and LOI Elements—Before submitting a full proposal, many funders want to see a shorter pre-proposal called a letter of inquiry (LOI). This PDF discusses the letter of inquiry in detail, and describes the content of each of its sections.

Model Letter of Inquiry—Includes a sample letter of inquiry with additional commentary on its sections and craft.

Proposal Writing and Proposal Elements—Defines the proposal in more detail and describes typical proposal sections.

Helpful Hints for Proposal Writing—Includes extra writing tips for proposal writing, of which go beyond basic components.

Helpful Links for Proposal Writing—Provides links to other proposal writing resources.