How To Write a Letter of Intent
Letters of Intent (or Pre-proposal, as they are also known) are another type of formal letters (and this means that all rules for formal letters apply to them as well, so before going on with the specifics of how to write a Letter of Intent, you may want to revise the basic rules for writing letters) that you might need at some time of your life. Although letters of intent are not as common as business letters, some groups of people – students, researchers, even businessmen – write this kind of letters pretty often. Letters of Intent are written on many occasions but most often their purpose is to get preliminary information about funding of some kind (grants, loans) or in the early stages of commercial negotiations.
In that relation it is important to clarify that the Letter of Intent written when one is applying for some sort of funding or is communicating with their trade partners early in the process of commercial negotiations has nothing to do with the legal document with the same name, aimed to accompany your will or trust and set directions for the future of your children in case you die or are disabled and can't look after them.
Letters of Intent can sometimes get pretty long, especially when you need to provide some relevant background information about your project. But still, try to keep it short and don't get into too much detail. If necessary, attach files to your letter, rather than write everything in the letter itself. Very often, a Letter of Intent is actually a letter of requesting the appropriate application form, so you actually don't need to be very detailed – some general information about the project, its goals, its estimated budget and timeframe are enough at this stage of your negotiations. Leave the details for later, when you will have to fill the application form itself.
The structure of a Letter of Intent is not very different from the structure of any other formal letter. It is important to introduce the project in the first paragraph, then in the next paragraphs give some more details about it and finally thank them for their time and write that you are looking forward to working with them. Have a look at the sample letter below, to get a better idea.
Sample Letter of Intent
Ms. Mary Smith
June 18 2006
Ms. Margaret Evans
Dear Ms. Evans:
As a not-for-profit organization, we are involved in numerous activities among which are the following:
Next year we will launch a chain of stores that sells low-cost all-natural foods to people with disabilities. We plan to include a home delivery as well. We have already raised part of the funds for the project on our own but in order to be able to include as many disabled individuals as possible, we need about $100,000 more for the first year of the project.
In that relation I would like to ask you to send at the above address the application form for the Health Universe project. We are interested in obtaining a grant from your organization and we will apply for both partial and full funding of the project.
We believe that this project fits into the policy and mission of your organization. Thank you in advance for your consideration.Yours Faithfully,