How to write a Letter of Support
While a creative and precise grant application is key in securing funding, Letters of Support can be effective tools to make an application stand out. Some funders even require Letters of Support from board members, principals, superintendents, or other sources.
Who Should Write a Letter of Support?
The first step is for the applicant to decide whom to approach for a Letter of Support. If the application requires a support letter, oftentimes it also states who would be an eligible author. Depending on what type of organization you are applying for (a school, PTA, educational or nonprofit organization), you want to choose someone with authority and leverage.
A Letter of Support clearly shows that the author believes in the applicant and the project, and that it can be successfully implemented. A support letter also shows that the author is in good standing with the supporter and the organization they represent, that they are an active and important part of project development and implementation, and they care about the organization.
How Should a Letter of Support be Organized?
To write an effective letter, authors should organize content into three basic parts: introduction, main body, and conclusion.
The purpose of the introduction is to bridge the gap between the applicant and the organization that is endorsing the application. The introduction does not have to be lengthy, but it should address all necessary facts: the author’s position, organization, and affiliation, as well as the professional relationship to the applicant.
- Main Body
The main body should refer to the proposal in detail, elaborate why the project is necessary and important, and discuss the impact it is intended to have on the recipients. Proposed, positive outcomes should also be mentioned. The more detail about the benefits and the necessity of the project the body contains, the stronger the letter will be. If the supporter is a principal or superintendent, they should go into detail about how the school and students will benefit from the grant. The body should also mention how the school or district administration will aid in implementing the grant project.
The conclusion is an opportunity to provide a short recap of the endorsement. It should not be overly repetitive, but a restatement of why the project is important, how it will benefit the community or school, and why the funder should consider granting the funds to the applicant and their project.
To achieve a successful, compelling Letter of Support authors should utilize a formal yet personal writing style. Presenting information in a clear, concise manner demonstrates the originality of the application and emphasizes relevance and impact.