The dreaded Letter of Support, yes, the one that you forgot to get and then upload the grant application you’ve been working on for weeks! This is one of the first things that I have my clients to gather, as attaining Letters of Support from partners can take TIME. If they are out of town or just busy (as most are), Letters of Support can take weeks to get signed and approved and returned to your nonprofit.
Basically, a Letter of Support is where your community says that they support your project. You can, and VERY OFTEN you will, write a template Letter of Support for your partners and send over to them to put on their letterhead and sign. This is a very common practice. They will read the Letter of Support (or should) and may change some language, but really don’t want to do the work. They don’t mind skimming over something and signing it, with the hopes of you receiving the funding award! (If you would like a downloadable template of a Letter of Support, join the waitlist for the GW&F Changemakers Members Club)
Okay, so how do you write a Letter of Support?
- Make sure your partner inputs it to their letterhead and that it is signed from your partner’s authorized official, such as the director or acting director.
- Make sure they are dated and addressed to the funding source, NOT to your nonprofit, to include the address of the funding source.
- The salutation should be to the director of the funding source.
- The letter should be one to two pages maximum.
- The first part of the letter should include an appreciation of your partner to submit a letter of support for your nonprofit for the specific grant. Include the CFDA number of the grant (if it’s federal), the title of the grant program and the source the funding is from; i.e. the Office of Violence Against Women or the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It should also include the project name and what the project will do (think objective), the project grant amount and duration of grant.
- The body of the e-mail should include how your nonprofit and your partner have worked together in the past (on which projects, etc.) and/or are currently working together. This part of the letter can also include why the project is a good idea and some statistics to support the need of the project.
- In closing, your partner can mention again that they support the project and the impact the project will have on the community.
- For the signature, include the name of the director for your partner’s organization including a title, signature, and contact information.
That’s it! This Letter of Support can provide a competitive advantage to other nonprofits who submit grants but do not include Letters of Support or they have weak partners. If you would like a sample copy of a Template Letter of Support then check out our membership on www.grantwritingandfunding.com.
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