These materials can be used when approaching corporations or businesses for support. Before you apply, be sure that you establish a relationship with them and find out their funding timeline. Make sure that it fits the timeline and needs of your project. You should know whether or not the corporation has a formal application process or a form that you must use.

see sample Proposal (PDF)

Remember to include the following components in your proposal:

  • Cover letter – This letter should introduce the proposal and include the specific request amount.
  • Application – If the corporation or business requires a formal application, complete it according to the directions. Call and ask for assistance if you have questions.
  • Informal proposal – If no formal application is requested, your proposal should have the following components:
  • Summary – How much you want and how you will spend it. This may be included in your cover letter.
  • Problem statement – The issues, problems, or interests the project will address. Substantiate the need or intent if possible, with data or documentation.
  • Qualifications – Your organization\’s qualifications for accomplishing the work.
  • Funding sources – Other funding for the project and how the effort will continue after the grant funds run out.
  • Funder benefits – How this project fulfills the funders needs, for example, how it meets the funders goals, makes a corporation visible, or given employees an opportunity to participate.
  • Evaluation – How you will evaluate the success of the effort, including methods and who will be involved.
  • Budget – A carefully crafted component that reflects all funds and expenditures for the project with in-kind donations footnoted and assigned a dollar value.
  • Attachments – Include any attachments that are requested.
  • Collateral material – Publications related to your organization and/or the project.
  • IRS letter – Always include your IRS letter of determination.

After you secure a commitment

When you have been successful in securing a commitment from a corporation or business for funds for a particular event or activity or for the general operating expenses of your organization, be sure you follow up with the following:

An official pledge or commitment form. In this letter you should acknowledge the amount of money promised by the funder and anything that your organization is committed to do in return for the support. Many times the funder will provide this, but if they don\’t you should create it.

A thank you and confirmation. Send a letter that can be utilized by the corporation for tax purposes and thank them for the support. Remember, you cannot thank your funders enough.

Adapted from
Arts Extension Service Fundamentals of Local Arts Management