The Common Grant Application (CGA), Common Letter of Inquiry (LOI), and Common Grant Report are basic templates for grant applications and reports. A number of WRAG member organizations use these templates as the basis for their own applications.
In 2011 and early 2012, the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers worked with WRAG members and nonprofit organizations to revise the CGA, Common LOI, and Common Grant Report to make them simpler and less redundant. The revised documents are intended to better meet the needs of funders, while lessening the burden on nonprofit organizations and allowing them to better describe their work.
All grantseekers: If you have questions about the CGA, LOI, or Common Grant Report, it is important to contact the funder you are approaching for funding. While the documents are WRAG products, each funder who accepts the forms uses them in a different way, and may require additional information. In addition, some funders have online applications and do not accept paper or email submissions.
Arts and cultural organizations: Some funders now require applicants to submit organizational and financial data to the DC Cultural Data Project, which generates reports for funders. Be sure to check with the funder you are applying to in order to determine whether this is required.
Common Letter of
Who Accepts the Common Grant Application?
The following funders have indicated that they accept the Common Grant Application:
- Agua Fund, Inc
- Herb Block Foundation
- Naomi & Nehemiah Cohen Foundation
- Lois & Richard England Family Foundation (invited proposals only)
- Fight For Children
- Corina Higginson Trust
- International Monetary Fund
- J. Willard & Alice S. Marriott Foundation
- The Claude Moore Charitable Foundation
- Morningstar Foundation
- The Curtis & Edith Munson Foundation
- Prince Charitable Trusts
- Washington Gas
- The World Bank
Please contact Leni Dworkis to have your organization added to this list.
8 Tips for a Successful Proposal
Remember that even funders who accept the Common Grant Application may require additional information. Always be sure to check what the funder’s requirements are.
Communicate with funders. When in doubt, ask for clarification. (Don't be scared: Funders are people, too.) Make sure you understand what's expected. However, note that some foundations have minimal staff, and so therefore they may not be able to respond to your inquiry immediately.
Follow the directions. Answer the questions in the order listed, submit the number of copies grantmakers request, and include only the materials specified.
Be creative, clear, concise, and accurate. Make the case for your proposal in your own unique way, but include precise data. Avoid technical jargon.
Emphasize what your organization will do. Spend more time describing your solution than the issue. Economize content and avoid repetition. Less is more.
Evaluation counts. Keep what you want to learn and evaluate in mind, as well the assessment tools you will use to evaluate your project (e.g., records, surveys, interviews, pre- and post-tests).
Proofread carefully. Make sure numbers add up and typos are removed. Double check the foundation name.
Seriously, proofread! If your proposal has been adapted for multiple funders, make sure you omit other funders' names, as well as references to previous requests.
Be sure to check out the user guides above for further application advice.