There are not very many foundations that give personal grants, and the ones that do have very specific criteria that must be met in order for them to award a personal grant request. Before starting the process of writing a personal grant request letter, the applicant should do some research on the foundations and institutions they plan to approach to learn their specific criteria. The first rule of grant application is a person should only apply if they qualify
In order to have the best chance of success, the applicant should:
• Clearly express an important idea or significant issue
• Be able to demonstrate an innovative approach to that significant issue
• Explain their reasonable objectives and how they plan to reach them
• Be able to assure the funder that the applicant’s ideas can be implemented and successful
• Clearly state how their project will advance the funder’s mission
Once the personal grant request letter is written, it should be read by at least two outsiders. If the project, amount of money and purpose is not clear to them, it will most likely not be clear to the grants committee.
A cover letter should be attached to the grant proposal. It can be in regular business letter format and addressed to the name of the person responsible for grants in the foundation or institution. It should state:
• What documents are enclosed with the proposal such as land deeds and budget estimates
• How much money is being requested and what it is for
• Why the grant is in keeping with the foundation’s mission
• When the applicant hopes the project will be completed
Here is a sample grant request letter for renovating a historical home. Any documents sent with the grant should be copies, originals should never be sent. Before sending, the applicant should make sure it will reach within the deadline for grant applications, make sure it is well proofread, double check all the attached documents and keep a copy of the whole package.
Sample Grant Request Letter
Project Title (Renovation of Historical Victorian Mansion)
I. Proposal Summary (one short paragraph)
I am requesting a grant of $20,000 to restore a Victorian mansion that I own, which is on the list of historical property in my city. I will use the funds to refurbish and restore the house to its original beauty, and make it into a functioning bed and breakfast inn.
II. History and Organization Plan (one page)
The home was originally built by my great-grandfather and recently came into my possession when my father passed away. I have had discussions with several contractors who specialize in restoration to get estimates and plans for the job. (details can be given)
III. Background (one page about the project and why it is a good investment)
The mansion has stood empty for the past 20 years and is in need of major repairs. It is in an economically developed part of the city and would add to the beauty of the parkland and outdoor shopping center if it were renovated to its former glory. Since I have retired, my wife and I would like to live in the mansion and operate a bed and breakfast establishment, but we don’t have the means to refurbish the building. If it were renovated, it would add value to the city and attract tourists to the area.
IV. Project Description with timeline (one to four pages about goals and how to reach them)
We have the estimate of a local contractor who has renovated Victorian buildings in the past, and we have seen the results of his work. He also has an interest in the development of the city and doing a good job. We would like to finish the job before the tourist season begins in the fall, which is about September 15th. The contractor assured us he could complete the task in that timeframe.
(Provide a detailed copy of the estimate give by the contractor that shows how the requested grant money will be spent.)
We understand that your foundation’s mission is to beautify and promote the city. We believe our Victorian mansion on ADDRESS is an important part of the history of this city and, if renovated to be attractive and useful, it can contribute to your mission.
By Andre Bradley