COVER LETTER Cover letters should be addressed to the executive director, administrative director, or to the president, using the person’s last name, unless you have a well-established relationship meriting more informality. If you can't find a name on the website, make a call and ask to whom you should send a proposal; your letter will likely receive the briefest of review if addressed: "To whom it may concern." Getting the name of the foundation wrong will put a minus in the column as well.
MATERIALS Every foundation may have different guidelines or requirements, so if applicable, include all documents requested by the individual foundation. The cover letter should be short, informative, and present a solid knowledge of the foundation's areas of interest. Sending in a 990 from two years before is not just sloppy, but will appear that either no one thought it would be noticed, or that the past year was not as financially strong as previous years.
FUNDING AMOUNT Research the funding amount which is reasonable for the foundation to grant; requesting funding over the foundation's average amount, especially by an organization new to the foundation, often results in the proposal being declined. Grant size average: $15,000 - $50,000.
CONTACT As much as we would like to have the chance to meet with the impressive people within an organization, it is difficult for our staff to schedule face-to-face meetings, or to hold lengthy phone conversations.