What is a LOI?
A LOI is A Letter of Inquiry
Many foundations prefer or even require grant-seeking nonprofits to submit a LOI, or Letter of Inquiry, before sending a complete proposal. The LOI allows the foundation to quickly screen potential candidates for funding, making sure that they do not waste time on ill-conceived ideas or those that do not fit with the foundation's mission. For you, the nonprofit, the LOI is a way to get a invitation from the foundation to submit a complete proposal. Your goal is to get a call from the staff at the foundation, asking for more.
The LOI is the first mandatory step in a competitive grant process. It involves completion of a simple electronic form allowing grant review committees to determine if a project merits further consideration in light of available resources ad current priorities.
Link to a Sample LOI: