Implementing a Letter of Intent into our unrestricted grant process

edited September 2020 in Grants & Scholarships

Good morning,

At Adirondack Foundation we have never used an LOI with our grantmaking processes. I would like to hear from those of you who use LOI's as to how you streamlined your process with LOI's or if it just adds one more step? We are hoping to use an LOI as a way to help us narrow down larger funding requests we're interested in supporting. It's our hope that this will minimize the burden on staff and also on volunteers who read and evaluate all the requests.

Is anyone willing to discuss this process with me and find the best way for us to try implementing LOI's into our process?

Thanks in advance,

Andrea Grout, Program Officer

Adirondack Foundation

JenniferDeBuesKaraAdamsRhondaReichert

Comments

  • edited July 2020

    Hi @AndreaGrout

    Its's been a while since we chatted, and since the Christmas Stroll in Bozeman! Hope all's well with you out in NY. Will this be the first year in a long time that the Lake Placid Lacrosse Tourney doesn't happen?! Crazy times.

    Here is a link to an LOI blog post I put together that may have some good tidbits for you:

    https://resources.foundant.com/blog/the-loi-is-it-right-for-my-organization?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTVRJd09UZGhOVGs0WmpGayIsInQiOiJabU9QNUxEd1E1VytkaUVCMk5JdE84WFwvcGFYRTYxN2JPU3YzMjN2N21PdVRFODZUdUlVanZ0bkI0ZThLak1qVFUrXC9RNkQ3XC9MRjVPMmlIVWt0Q2RwYTVITXU0ZWY1b1hQdUpwUzhMeFEzb2JtVGdlV0NaekFTVFI2VXcxYmE2XC8ifQ%3D%3D

    KaraAdams
  • My question exactly, Andrea. I look forward to the responses.

  • I always encourage simplifying things, so skip the LOI. The clearer you can be on what you fund up front, the less a need you'll have for LOIs. While I haven't used this resource before, many suggest "Project Streamline" to help with this (see link below). For one of our grant processes, we used to use an LOI, but we got rid of it and we haven't regretted it.

    Best of luck to you!

    Tom



    HenryLemp
  • edited July 2020

    @TomWickersham,

    Thank you for that valuable feedback. May I ask why you got rid of it? Did it just add more work? Or was the narrative information provided by the applicants just not enough info to make good decisions to weed out unqualified requests?

    We have worked hard to streamline our process, and do a lot of work in anticipation of opening grant cycles to clarify what we fund. It just feels like we had to say no alot. (We had 126 applicants and were able to fund only 75).

    Thanks for the resource too, I'll check it out! I'd love to hear from anyone else who is Pro or Con LOI.

    Anything to help us make the decision would be appreciated! :)

    We are a relatively small shop and I'm the loan grant application processer, so streamlining is IMPERATIVE! :)

    Thanks,

    Andrea

    KaraAdams
  • The primary reason to eliminate the LOI was that I was trying to reduce the burden on the applicants. An LOI added another step, a longer process, an additional deadline and emails to respond to. By simplifying the application, we felt it would be less of a burden on the applicants, even those that didn't get funding.

    KaraAdamsDanaBerggrenTammyTilzey
  • edited July 2020

    All very valid points to take into consideration. Thank you so much for your feedback. We do hear from our applicants that our process and software are simple, straightforward and easy to use. Maybe we shouldn't mess with that!

    TomWickersham
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