Get By with a Little Help from Your Friends: The Role of Letters of Support in Grant Writing
Picture this: you're a professional grant writer. You've poured your heart and soul into crafting the perfect grant application, but you know there's one thing missing: letters of support. But wait, what are letters of support? Well, think of them as your personal cheerleaders, but in writing! Unlike letters of recommendation, which focus on your skills and qualifications, and letters of support are all about your project and why it deserves funding. Let's dive into how these magical letters can help you win that grant! What is a Letter of Support? A letter of support is a document used to bolster credibility and demonstrate the validity of a research proposal. It is essential to any grant application to provide third-party validation from individuals or organizations familiar with your work. Letters of support can come from colleagues, mentors, or other experts who can attest to the applicant's qualifications and experience. A strong letter of support will: Be specific and tailored to the proposed project or program. Come from a credible and authoritative source, such as a professional in the field, a community leader, or a government official. Demonstrate a clear understanding of the project and its potential impact. Highlight the strengths and qualifications of the applicant or organization. It shows a genuine enthusiasm for the project and a willingness to provide ongoing support. Be well-written and error-free, with a professional tone and format. Provide specific examples or evidence of the applicant's past successes or achievements in related areas. Maximizing Your Chances of Success: Who to Ask for a Letter of Support and How to Ask When asking for a letter of support, it's best to ask someone familiar with your work or who has worked on similar projects. Potential sources include Board Members Current or past donors Partner organizations or collaborators Elected officials or community leaders Beneficiaries of the nonprofit's work Volunteers or staff members Local business owners or corporations Foundations or grant-making organizations Experts in your field Media outlets or journalists who have covered the nonprofit's work When making your request, provide as much background information as possible about the proposed project and the type of support you're proposing. Let them know why their endorsement is important and that you value their opinion. Your message should explain why they should consider writing a letter on behalf of your project and include details about the project that are relevant to their backgrounds or interests. Use this template as a guide, but be sure to add personalization when and where you can: Dear [Name], I am writing on behalf of [organization name] to request your help applying for a [grant/scholarship/award]. I would greatly appreciate your support. We are applying for [name of grant or scholarship] and our chances of success will be much higher with your endorsement. Please find more information about the project below: [Provide a brief overview of the project, including the goal and any relevant details, such as timelines or budget.] Your endorsement of our abilities and qualifications would mean a great deal to [organization name]. Please let me know if you need any additional information from me about the project. Thank you very much for considering my request. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Sincerely, [Your Name] [Your Title] [Name of Nonprofit] The Art of Appreciation Once you have obtained all of your letters of support, remember to thank those who wrote them for their detailed testimonials – both verbally and in writing! Demonstrating that you appreciate their efforts will do wonders when forming lasting relationships between organizations and individuals. Letters of Support: Your Secret Weapon for Winning Grant Proposals Now that you have securely obtained your letters of support, you are ready to submit your grant application. Review all the documents carefully and ensure they meet the requirements set by the funder. Once your application is complete, double-check it for any errors or missing information. Then, adhere to all the deadlines and deliver your application on time. After submitting the application, remember: follow-up! Keep track of when it is due for a response, and make sure to reach out if you haven't heard back promptly. Finally, remember that having letters of support does not guarantee success – but it can significantly increase your chances of obtaining a grant! Be persistent and continue working towards achieving your goals – and don't forget to celebrate each small victory along the way. Have you ever secured funding with the help of a strong letter of support? Share your success story in the comments! At Just Write Grants, we help tell the most compelling story of your organization and the need for your programs, describing them in a way that makes grant-makers want to join you in that important work. Contact us today to learn more about our one-of-a-kind grant writing subscriptions and receive 30 minutes of free, custom grant research . Visit www.justwritegrants.com/virtualmeeting or call
1-866-7GRANTS today. Meet the Author - Kristin Chute Kristin Chute is a freelance writer with a passion for helping nonprofits increase their reach and impact. She has written for companies offering SaaS solutions, nonprofits directly, and donor loyalty programs. Kristin believes in the power of nonprofit organizations to change the world. With expertise stemming from her career and personal connection to volunteering at her childhood summer camp, she shares insights to help nonprofits increase their reach, engage supporters, and amplify fundraising efforts.