An Executive Summary and Cover Letter

Executive Summary

An executive summary should be included in all funding applications (unless otherwise stipulated). It is a fundamental part of your application that summarises your application's key information and can help persuade the assessor that your application has merit.

Develop your executive summary after you have finished writing your application. Your executive summary is your "sales pitch". Assessors will start to form an opinion about your application after reading the first page.

Capture the reviewer's attention and tell them:

  1. What you want to do
  2. Why it is important
  3. Why you will succeed
  4. How much it will cost. 

Your executive summary should:

  • Be clear, easy to read, and understand
  • Accurately depict the rationale, outcomes, and impacts of your application.

Cover Letter

Include a cover letter on your organisation's letterhead. It should be signed by either the Chair of your Board, the CEO, Executive Director or Executive Officer.

A cover letter lets the funder know:

  • The name of your organisation and who to contact about your application
  • How much you are applying for
  • What your application will deliver.

It needs to be clear and succinct.

Executive summaries and cover letters may not be required for applications submitted via the web or an electronic proforma. Check the funder's guidelines.

References & Resources

YouTube Videos

The following YouTube videos also provide advice about how to write executive summaries and cover letters.



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Activity 8.2.1 Prepare an Overview of Your Application

Develop an executive summary for your application. Write your summary below. Remember to keep it brief (i.e., less than two pages).

8.2.1.pdf (96 KB)

Tell the funding body why it is important.

Activity 8.2.2 Develop a Cover Letter Template

Writing a cover letter is your last task. Organisations can develop proformas to assist in this process. A cover letter should not be more than one page.

8.2.2.pdf (98 KB)

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