Asking anyone for money, whether an individual or large company, can be a difficult and sensitive task. For non-profit organizations needing money, the most common way to meet those financial goals is by writing a grant proposal that is accompanied by an introductory letter, or cover letter. This letter serves to introduce your non-profit operation, your situation and what you seek to achieve with a grant award. It must highlight the most vital information the recipient needs to know.
Create a header for your non-profit centered at the top of the cover letter. Use the organization's name, address, telephone number and email address rather than your own, as failure to do so will appear unprofessional. Double space below the header and left-justify the text, then type the recipient's name, job title, company name and address as a single-spaced block.
Write a formal salutation and greet the recipient by name, such as "Dear Mrs. Tully." If you do not know exactly which individual will be considering your letter and proposal, contact the company or organization to find out. When requesting financial aid, it is important to make as personal of a connection as possible.
Write an introductory paragraph and explain what non-profit you are writing on behalf of, including your own job title. Explain how much money you are requesting and why the organization needs it. Do not avoid getting to the point on this. If you wait until the end of the letter to disclose this information, you'll try the reader's patience and only force him to scan the letter to find the financial amount first.
Write the body of your letter, which may be one or two paragraphs. Explain your non-profit's mission and relate it to the mission or priorities of the recipient's company, then share how the financial aid requested will be used to help further this mission. Share specific goals with the recipient; if the aid the benefactor provides will be used for a certain project at your non-profit, summarize that project.
Write a closing paragraph and thank the recipient for her time and for considering your request. Include a sentence or two on how a future partnership between your organizations will benefit the recipient, such as with tax deductions, positive press or fulfillment of community participation. Use a formal closing, such as "Sincerely," and type your name, followed by your title within the non-profit.
Include a signed statement of support from the board of directors at your non-profit organization with your cover letter. Maintain an optimistic and cheerful tone in your introductory letter; avoid lamenting your current financial situation, and focus instead on the future.