Letter of Interest

Guidelines to submitting a Letter of Interest (“LOI”) to the Foundation

Have you never received support from the Foundation before but are interested in making sure we know about your programming?  Are you looking to be invited to apply for funding and receive the password to access our 2019 Application Packet?  This page will discuss some essential items to keep in mind when you provide information about your charitable activities to the Foundation.

There is no strict format for an LOI to follow, share any information with us you feel is important or helpful about what you do, but there are some things you should keep in mind:

  1. Send one hard copy by mail only to the Brown Foundation office at 320 Metairie Hammond Highway, Suite 500, Metairie, LA 70005.  We will absolutely not accept an LOI in any format other than being physically mailed to us (for example, we will not consider or even open attachments to electronic correspondence).
  2. Your LOI should include a cover letter that identifies your program, mission, and how you assist in alleviating human suffering. There are no formal length expectations or restrictions to your LOI though we do suggest that the entire LOI package you prepare for us be under 25 pages in length.
  3. Your LOI should indicate what dollar amount you would likely apply for if the Foundation authorizes you to submit a formal grant proposal (a range is fine, and we understand that circumstances sometimes change from the LOI in the formal grant application packet that may cause an unforeseen change).
  4. We are specifically interested in how you measure your group’s impact and track success, consider identifying your measurable impact in your LOI.
  5. The Foundation generally favors core human suffering initiatives over other projects.  Please be aware that we dissolved both our Arts & Culture Committee and Religion Committee in 2015 and restructured the Education Committee to only include initiatives that are either service-learning based or in the science, technology, engineering, and math field (we support STEM - not STEAM - initiatives).
  6. We expect any group who is sending us an LOI to have at least two (and preferably three) complete calendar years of well documented and positive operating history. A partial year is not a calendar year. The date you received a favorable determination from the IRS may not be the day you actually commenced operations.
  7. When we award a grant we want to see the money put into use as soon as possible, we will generally not make contributions to an endowment or capital campaign. Also, we will generally not support a brick and mortar build out.  You are certainly welcome to inform us of your brick and mortar needs and any capital endowment drives that you may have ongoing, as we are interested in hearing about said projects though we are not likely to contribute to the project and you are not likely to receive any feedback from us of any kind.
  8. Though we do on occasion support the general operating needs of our grant recipients, our usual preference is to support a specific project or program.  Similarly, we generally do not support fiscal intermediary agencies or groups that re-grant out a monetary award (i.e., we want to work directly with the group or laboratory utilizing the money, not a fiscal intermediary).
  9. You may send us an LOI outlining your activities and mission if you are an organization which is recognized as an exempt organization by the Internal Revenue Service, be it a 501(c)(3) of Title 26 or a publicly supported organization such as a University or research institution.  We are always interested in learning about the mission and impact of those working to alleviate human suffering.
  10. You are not guaranteed to receive a response to your LOI.  You may only receive a response if we approve your group to submit an application in which case you will be provided a formal application to complete and turn in. Our staff is not authorized to answer questions about where you stand regarding your LOI, the only question they will respond to is whether they received your LOI.  We do not publish our timetable on when we review an LOI. 

  11. A group submitting an LOI may fail to receive approval for many grounds.  As non-exclusive examples of reasons an LOI may not result in the receipt of an invitation to tender a formal application we may (a) feel you are primarily in the arts & culture space or field and not primarily an education group or other human services, (b) already have a partner in your space that you are providing overlapping services with, (c) already be supporting your upstream or downstream partners, (d) feel there are more cost appropriate programs in your space, (e) feel that your marketing department and fundraising activities possibly dilute your impact,  (f) be prioritizing other areas of critical emergency need, (g) feel you may be challenging or expensive to monitor or your impact may be challenging or expensive for us to measure, (h) already support another chapter/division of your organization, or (i) feel the service you are proposing to provide will have already been provided by the time we would complete our due diligence and complete a review of a formal application.‚Äč

  12. An approved LOI does not guarantee that you will receive support from the Foundation; it merely is authorizing you to tender a formal grant application which will then be reviewed.
  13. Please be advised that we may conduct some due diligence into your organization that is beyond what you submitted to us with your LOI, and we may investigate anything you include in your LOI for accuracy.  We may contact groups your organization has worked with and make an inquiry about your impact. Should your organization have some negative history (even if the negative history is at the national level and not your local chapter), it is better for you to disclose the negative history and address it in your LOI rather than have us find it on our own. If your organization has recently lost or had a reduction in governmental funding or other support, please voluntarily disclose such event in your LOI.
  14. If you feel the need to supplement your LOI with additional information, please remember the same general procedures should be followed for the supplement (do not email us the supplement).