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$3 Billion in Pell Grants are Unclaimed Every Year by Eligible Students

Grant Funding and Assistance
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Good to see that you have progressed to lesson eight. This means you are really serious and want to learn all you can about getting a government grant. I’m very proud of you for that. Don’t stop now, because you are on a roll.

This lesson is about writing the cover letter, which is a document that should accompany your proposal. In terms of placement, the cover letter should be the very first document in the proposal package, despite that you should write it last to ensure that you include any compelling or otherwise highly persuasive information you might uncover during the process of writing the actual proposal.

You may also hear the cover letter referred to as the letter of transmittal. If so, keep in mind they are the same document. Essentially, the cover letter is a short statement of who you are, how to contact you, the reasons you are applying, which program you are applying to, and the amount of your request.

The cover letter is formal in style and ideally – should be written on letterhead stationery. The document must be hand-signed by the CEO of the organization, or you, if you work in this role. It should be no more than one page.

When writing the cover letter, you should state the purpose of the proposal in one sentence. You also need to connect with your reader in a personal way. For example, you can succinctly express your enthusiasm at the prospect of receiving funding from the grant-maker to whom the proposal is being sent. Additionally, you must relate your cover letter (and proposal) to the funder’s requirements, as you learned in Lesson 2. For example, if the grant-maker’s focus is promoting early childhood education, your cover letter (and proposal) should speak to that. Finally, you should present at least three key reasons why you need the grant, including what the funding will be used for. End the cover letter by thanking the funder for his/her time and for considering your request.

Make sure to address the cover letter to the funder, or to the contact person to whom the funder requested. Additionally, if you, or someone within your company or organization, do not directly know the funder, but know someone else in the funder’s organization, send a drop copy of the cover letter to that individual as well.

Personalize your cover letter by praising your charity’s work; but avoid overstatements, claims that are not true, and exclamation points. You want your cover letter to have personality but, foremost, to also be professional.

When creating your cover letter, you will follow a standard business letter format: the date should appear first, followed by the name of the recipient, along with his/her title, the name of the grant-making agency and the agency’s street address, city, state and zip code. This will be followed by the salutation. In the body of the letter, state that you are attaching a proposal. Also state, briefly, what your organization is about, why you need funding, and end the letter appropriately. Ideally, the cover letter should be written on letterhead.

You can see a sample of a cover letter in the appendix at the end of this e-book. When you do the assignment for this lesson, you will compare what you did with the sample.

Writing the cover letter is not hard, as long as you understand what is required.

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Assignment

For this assignment you will do the following exercise:

  1. If you have done previous assignments, you should already know the purpose for which you need a grant. At this time, locate a potential funder for the grant you are seeking.
  2. Using the material in this lesson and the sample cover letter in the appendix, draft a cover letter for the grant you are seeking.

Test

Read over the following questions and provide the best answer possible.

  1. The cover letter is usually written first.
    1. True
    2. False
  2. When done, the cover letter is placed in front of the proposal.
    1. True
    2. False
  3. The cover letter is also known as what?
    1. Letter of Introduction
    2. Letter of Refusal
    3. Letter of Transmittal
    4. None of the above
  4. The cover letter is a short statement of who you are, how to contact you, the reasons you are applying, the grant program to which you are applying, and what else?
    1. The amount of your request
    2. The name of the funder
    3. The name of your organization
    4. None of the above
  5. The cover letter is formal in style and should be written on letterhead.
    1. True
    2. False
  6. The cover letter should be written in a personal way?
    1. True
    2. False

 

Lesson 9 >

Want to Go to College?
$3 Billion in Pell Grants are Unclaimed Every Year by Eligible Students

Grant Funding and Assistance
Billions of dollars are now easily available to many Americans