The Letter of Inquiry (LOI) should be no longer than 6 pages: 2 pages of text (maximum), and a few pages of financial documentation: your organization's Statement of Activity (also called Statement of Revenue and Expense, Income Statement, or Profit and Loss Statement), Statement of Financial Position (also called a Balance Sheet), and if appropriate, a project budget. Financial documents should be for your most recently completed fiscal year. Please include your full contact information including physical address, contact name, phone, email, and website URL within the LOI.
In the first paragraph describe your project and the amount of your grant request.
In the remainder of the LOI, address the items below. The format and content (following the 1st paragraph) is up to you. You may answer each bullet point with a single phrase or sentence. You don't have to compose a formal letter but be sure to address all the questions and requests for information.
- What problem(s) does your project address?
- What makes your organization the right one to conduct this project?
- What other organizations will you work with, if any? How?
- What organizations have you worked with in the past?
- What are the project goals?
- How will you evaluate success or failure?
- Will the project go forward without funding from Firedoll?
- If you requested funds from other sources (or plan to), list them and their status
- Which Foundations, if any, support your organization now?
- Don't forget those budgets (see 1st paragraph above).
Helpful hints for your LOI
Avoid technical jargon and "foundation speak."
Be clear; be simple.
"We will implement a visioning process that leverages existing and new relationships, creating a synergy of grassroots advocacy and civic engagement that will provide new opportunities for this underserved, but vital community," is the kind of sentence to avoid.
Feel free to dumb it down for us.
Letters of reference or recommendation from current Firedoll Foundation grantees in your program area are very helpful. Please see our Current Grantees page.
Typical grant amounts range from $5,000 to $25,000, with a total of $1,500,000 to $2,000,000 distributed each fiscal year. If you're new to Firedoll, please do not request or expect to receive the maximum grant amount; tailor your request in the middle to low end of our grant range, depending on your need.
Where to send
Electronic submissions may be sent to LOI@firedoll.org
If you prefer to send by post, please mail to:
1460 Maria Lane, Suite 400
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
Don't be intimidated by our process. If you have a project in need of funding that doesn't fit our areas of focus exactly, please don't hesitate to contact us. Please direct all questions to our Program Officers.