Starting a business

Cover letter for grant proposal: Sample & tips for success

Once you’ve decided to turn your passion into a children’s activity business and write a business plan, you should turn your attention to funding. How are you actually going to get this new venture off the ground? At Sawyer, we work with thousands of children’s activity and education businesses and we know that grants are a great way to subsidize the cost of starting a new business so you can get your first students in the door. 

In order to successfully win a grant, you need a strong grant proposal. Talking about your business and what you will accomplish with the money awarded to you is part of writing a good grant proposal, but personalization is even more important. Even though it might take longer to write personalized proposals for each grant, it is definitely worth the time spent. And the cover letter for a grant proposal is the number one place to show this personalization.

Cover letter for grant proposal: Sample & tips

Use these tips and our template to help you write a great cover letter for a grant proposal.

  1. How to research grant opportunities
  2. Writing a grant proposal cover letter
  3. Cover letter for grant proposal sample

How to research grant opportunities

When it comes to writing a grant proposal and winning the grant, personalization is key. Whether you are looking for government or private grants, there are a lot of incredible opportunities for you to find the right ones for your new children’s activity or education business. Here are our suggestions on how to research grant opportunities so you can personalize your cover letter and proposal.

Cover all of your bases

Grants are, for all intents and purposes, free money, so it is in your best interest to do as much research as possible so that you can apply to any and all grants to which you are eligible. This means looking at government, both federal and state-level, as well as private grants. Private grants are offered by corporations and foundations and can have additional requirements. For example, some private grants are exclusively for women or minority communities. 

You can find private grants here:

To find government grants, check out:

Read about the organization or agency

Before you start writing  the cover letter of your grant proposal, do your research! Read about the mission, values, and goals of the organization or agency that is awarding the grant. Take notes so that you can tailor your cover letter and additional elements of your grant proposal to that specific agency or organization. This will help you stand out and let the reader know that you spent the time to personalize your proposal to fit this specific grant.

Research past winners

Most grants will include a page with past winners. Take a look at these people and their companies so you can see what the organization or agency is looking for in a grant recipient. We also recommend that you reach out to these past winners to see if you can set up an informational phone call or coffee chat to learn more about their success. If you do this, be polite and aware of their time. Come prepared with questions and be sure to say thank you afterwards.

Photo of cover letter for grant proposal

Writing a grant proposal cover letter

Once you have done your research, you are ready to begin writing your grant proposal cover letter. Take a look at the website for the grant to which you are applying to make sure they do not have any styling or formatting requirements. In addition, some government grants do not require a cover letter at all. Therefore, you should always double check before writing one. 

The goals of your grant proposal cover letter are:

  • Introduce your business to the reviewer
  • State what you need (the amount of funding)
  • Explain why you need the funding

What makes a successful grant proposal cover letter?

  • It is succinct and to the point: Do not go over 1 page.
  • It is unique: Don’t repeat what they will read in your proposal.
  • It is personalized: Show them how much research you have done and why your children’s activity or education business fits with their mission.

Important tips for your grant proposal cover letter

  • Use your company letterhead so it looks professional. You can use free design sites like Canva to easily create letterheads. 
  • Make sure you use the same date throughout your application. Even though experts suggest that you write your cover letter last, use the same date, which is the date of submission, across the whole proposal.
  • Double check the organization’s contact information with a call or email so you know it is correct when adding it to the cover letter.
  • Address the cover letter with “Dear” and then the title and last name of the reader. Make sure that you have the right name when you confirm the contact information.
  • End the cover letter by signing “Sincerely” and your name and the name of any other high level board members, if you have them for your company. Leave room to sign it by hand and type your name below that.
  • Include the word “ENCLOSURE” in all caps at the bottom of the letter.
Photo of grant proposal cover letter

Cover letter for grant proposal outline

  • In your first paragraph, introduce your proposal, company, and request. Make sure you use the legal name of your company. Explain what you will accomplish with your company and, if there is data to back it up, include one point of research. For example, if you are starting an art education business, include a piece of information on the benefits of art classes for children.
  • The next 2 paragraphs should be short, but pack a punch. Talk about the purpose of your business and how it fits with the mission of the organization or agency. If you are applying for a specific grant based on eligibility, like one for women, make sure to speak to this in the letter.
  • Your conclusion paragraph should summarize what was said above and can mention how the grant and support of the organization would be beneficial for your company. You can even invite the reader to visit your classes online or in-person once they are up and running.

Cover letter for grant proposal sample

October 21, 2021

John Jay

Grant Administrator

Organization Name

1234 Main St.

Anytown, USA 12345

Dear Mr. Jay,

Please find enclosed the grant proposal for Little Hands Art Community, a new art program helping children find their passion for creation. We are respectfully requesting a grant of $50,000 to start this children’s education program with online and in-person activities for children of all ages. Art has incredible abilities to help children regulate their emotions and stabilize their feelings, according to research done by the National Endowment for the Arts.

By working with qualified art teachers as well as licensed developmental specialists, Little Hands Art Community has a goal of teaching children to find beauty in everything. We will have classes available for children of all ages and ability levels. In addition, part of the funding requested will go towards scholarships and free classes that will help children from low-income families attend classes.

We have been working with children in our neighborhood of Santa Fe on our own for 6 months now and seen a vast improvement not only in fine motor skills, but also in emotional intelligence. Parents and teachers have reported that the classes have helped students better understand themselves and each other. We know that setting the next generation up for success is one of the missions of Organization Name and we hope you can see how Little Hands Art Community fits into that goal.

Thank you for taking the time to read our included proposal and consider us for this grant. We look forward to speaking with you more about how Little Hands Art Community can partner with Organization Name to help more children lead happy and healthy lives. If you have any immediate questions or need further information, feel free to reach out to me at 555-555-5555. 


Elizabeth Jones (signature)

Elizabeth Jones

Founder, CEO of Little Hands Art Community

123 Smith St,

Santa Fe, New Mexico 12345


Photo of cover letter for grant proposal sample

With these tips & cover letter grant proposal sample, you should be well on your way towards writing a strong cover letter for grant proposals. For even more information on how to get a small business grant, check out our guide. If you are looking for more guidance on how to start a business teaching children, the resources and tools offered by Sawyer for Business can help. 

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