Nonprofit organizations require funding to carry out their projects or programs. These funds are often acquired from donors or partners; however, they may not be enough to enable them to implement the projects. Applying for grants is an effective way for a nonprofit to obtain its funding. Other than its application or proposal for the grant, nonprofit organizations can obtain a letter of support to try and increase their chances of being selected. The support letter writer must clearly understand what it is, its purpose, and how it should be written.
This article will help take you through everything you need to know about support letters.
What is it?
A letter of support is a document written by a third party to explain why a nonprofit organization deserves to receive funding for its programs and services.
It is written to boost the nonprofit’s application or proposal for a grant. In addition, the third-party organization or business writing the support letter is required to demonstrate that the nonprofit can successfully deliver on its promises and accomplish its mission.
Who Can Write it?
A letter of support should be written by an individual, business, or organization outside the nonprofit organization. It helps show that an outside party believes in the nonprofit organization’s ability to achieve its goals. For example, a partner to the organization, a significant funder/donor, a local business owner, a key stakeholder, a congress representative, or another foundation can write it. It can also be written by a community leader that believes in the organization or people receiving services from the nonprofit.
It can also fall under two categories. The first is according to the partners’ knowledge who provide monetary aid to programs run by the nonprofit. The second is according to people who support the program idea.
Support letters that fall into the second category will be dependent on where the letter is sourced from:
- A letter of support from a collaborative partner helps show that the program will benefit the community it hopes to serve.
- A letter from a contribution supporter helps show that the program will receive tangible resources that can be deducted from the grant they are requesting.
- A letter from community leaders helps establish the proposal’s credibility while
- A letter from impacted constituents helps demonstrate the repercussions of the program’s implementation.
The primary purpose of a letter of support is to persuade a funder into providing the nonprofit with the grant. It is also aimed at showing the credibility and commitment of the nonprofit organization by demonstrating that it has established a good reputation with an outside party. It also shows that the nonprofit genuinely plans to collaborate with other interested partners to ensure the program’s success.
Finally, it helps back up the nonprofit’s qualifications and ability to implement the proposal successfully with the grant’s help.
Letter of Support Vs. Memorandum of Agreement
A letter of support and a memorandum of agreement may accompany the nonprofit’s proposal or application. However, they also have distinct differences based on the fact that they both serve different purposes. The significant difference is that a letter of support expresses support for an idea by the nonprofit. Its messaging is aimed at appealing to a potential guarantor.
On the other hand, a memorandum of agreement outlines tangible support that the writer is willing to provide to the nonprofit as a show of support, such as goods, services, or funding. Its messaging aims to appeal to potential guarantors and organizations that may be willing to partner with the nonprofit. The letter of support writer may or may not opt to use it as a memorandum of agreement; however, a memorandum of agreement is always considered a letter of support.
Before the letter can be written, there are a few considerations the writer should consider. These considerations will help make the writing process easy. They will also guide the writer on what to include in the support letter.
These considerations include the following:
Review the application’s guidelines
The writer should review the application’s guidelines to obtain adequate information about the grant the nonprofit is applying for. The nonprofit should also provide the organization with essential facts, statistics, and plans to ensure they are included in the letter of support. It enhances the writer’s credibility by showing that research on key details was conducted.
Create a list of key points
The writer should use the information obtained to identify and create a clear list of key points highlighted in the letter of support. The points can be backed up using statistics, facts, and anecdotes. The use of appropriate storytelling methods can also help keep the reader engaged in the presented points.
Develop an outline
Using the list created, the writer should develop an outline to ensure all the elements that demonstrate support for the nonprofit’s proposal are included in the letter. The most vital points should be indicated first as they are more impactful. Then, related points should be highlighted in the same paragraph to make it coherent.
Write a rough draft
Finally, a rough draft of the letter of support should be created using the outline. It acts as a guide on how the support letter will be written. The rough draft should incorporate phrases and keywords highlighted in the outline. Links between the supporting elements and key phrases should be created to help ensure that the guarantor understands how these details are related.
What to Include?
The writer of the letter of support should clearly understand the elements that should be included. These elements will help make the letter compelling. They will also enable the writer to convey the message of support clearly and effectively.
The elements should include the following:
The writer should begin with a header indicated at the top of the letter. The header should contain the date, name, and contact information of the recipient. In addition, a salutation that begins with ‘Dear’ should be indicated. The writer should also address the recipient appropriately by their last name using Mr., Mrs., Ms., or Dr.
Next, the writer should write a compelling introduction. The introduction will help hook the recipient. It should contain the following information:
Introduce who you are and for whom you are writing
The writer should begin with a self-introduction. The self-introduction should outline the writer’s name and the company or organization they work for. The writer should indicate the nonprofit’s name who the letter of support is for. It will provide information on which nonprofit organization the letter will be referring to.
State your intention to write the letter
A statement explaining the purpose of the letter should then be indicated. The writer should ensure it is authentic and persuasive. This can be achieved by considering the nonprofit’s impact on the community through its services. The statement should only be a few sentences to help keep it brief.
Mention your relationship with the applicant
The introduction should also contain information on how the writer is acquitted with the nonprofit. The writer can opt to provide a brief history of how the relationship started. Programs that the writer’s organization and the nonprofit have collaborated on should be indicated. These details will increase the writer’s credibility.
The body of the letter of support provides context. The details indicated in the body of the support letter play an essential role in helping the writer appeal to the recipient. The details should include the following:
- Write about the mission or project of the organization: The writer should provide information about the project or mission the nonprofit is seeking funding for. Showing knowledge about the project or mission helps show that the writer has invested in the nonprofit’s work. The details should include the mission and what the organization hopes to achieve.
- Explain why the nonprofit organization needs funds: An explanation for why the nonprofit is seeking the grant should be indicated. It should be clear and specific to help demonstrate that the nonprofit already has a plan in place. The writer should also indicate how the funds impact the nonprofit’s mission or project. Examples can be used to help support the impacts indicated in the letter.
- Elaborate on why they should consider your application: The writer should explain why the nonprofit’s application should be considered for the grant. Highlighting the project’s benefits will help the writer provide a comprehensive explanation. The explanation should be compelling to help increase the nonprofit’s chances of being selected.
- Explain how their funding matters: The body of the letter should explain how significant the funding is to the project or mission. For example, demonstrating how valuable the funding will help show the recipient that it will be vital to implement the project. In addition, the writer can use excerpts from a previous letter that successfully secured funding for the nonprofit.
Finally, the letter of support should be concluded by restating the critical points mentioned earlier. This will help emphasize the writer’s message. The writer should show gratitude by thanking the recipient for the time spent reading the letter. The writer’s name, contact details, and signature should be indicated at the end of the letter.
Letter of Support Template
[City, State, Zip code]
Dear [Recipient’s last name],
I am [your name and position] of [ name of the organization you work for]. I am writing this letter on behalf of [name of nonprofit organization’s mission or project]. We at [name of your organization] strongly support the grant application for this project. [Name of the nonprofit] and [ name of your organization] have collaborated on numerous prior projects. Our work together spans [period].
[Name of the nonprofit] focuses on [services provided by the nonprofit]. Its program will go a long way in [ why the mission/ program is essential]. The grant will help [ how the funds will help the organization fulfill its goal]. I believe that this project should be highly beneficial to the community in the short and long term. Awarding the grant to [name of the nonprofit’s mission or project] will [ explain how the grant will assist the organization].
I believe that with the organization’s record of accomplishment, I will be able to achieve its objective successfully. You can contact me with any questions you may need. Thank you for your time and consideration.
[ Your signature]
Letter of Support Sample
ABC Medical company
345 Main Street
Dear Dr. Green,
I am a project manager from Zen-Tech Inc, and I am writing this letter on behalf of The Wellness Project. We at Zen-Tech strongly support the grant application for The Gerry May Foundation. The Gerry May Foundation and Zen-Tech have collaborated on numerous prior projects. Our work together spans eight years.
The Gerry May Foundation’s Wellness project offers free medical care to disadvantaged community members. Its program will go a long way in ensuring that both minor and major illnesses are at an affordable price. In addition, the grant will help the organization open up a clinic in the community and train local health care providers. Therefore, this project will benefit the short and long-term community. Awarding the grant to the Wellness project will also enable the organization to purchase the necessary equipment to provide medical care to the many patients visiting the clinic.
I believe that with the organization’s track record, it will be able to achieve its objective successfully. You can contact me with any questions you may need. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Given below are letter of support templates:
Tips for You
A few practices the writer should consider when writing a letter of support. These practices improve the quality of the letter. They will also help demonstrate the writer’s professionalism.
The practices include the following:
Consider your reader while writing
The writer should consider who is reading the letter. Considering who the reader is will help the writer tailor the information to them. The writer will also be able to incorporate information that the reader may have an interest in.
Follow the formatting guidelines
A font that is easy for the recipient to read, such as Calibri, Arial, Georgia, or Times New Roman, should be selected. A line spacing of 1.5 and a margin of 1 should be used to help space the paragraphs evenly. The letter also should be left-aligned. Lastly, the writer should ensure that the letter is only one page long.
Proofread the letter
Upon concluding the letter, the writer should proofread it to help identify and correct grammatical and spelling errors. It also helps the writer determine if the letter has adequate details. Another person can also proofread the letter on the writer’s behalf to identify mistakes.
Send the letter
Once the writer is satisfied with the letter, it should be sent to the grantor. The writer should also inform the nonprofit that the letter was sent to the recipient. The writer can either send the letter via email or certified mail.
A letter of support helps boost the nonprofit’s grant application or proposal. It is written by a third party outside the organization that has worked with it or benefits from its services. It shows that the nonprofit is qualified and capable of successfully implementing the project. The writer must clearly understand the application guidelines and the key points. The letter should contain information on a nonprofit’s mission or project and why it needs the funds. The writer can opt to use a template and review a letter of support sample to help ease the writing process. The writer must also ensure that proper formatting guidelines are adhered to to ease readability and give the letter a professional look.