How to write letters of support for grants

Updated February 21, 2017

Anyone familiar with the grant writing process can tell you the tremendous work involved with researching and completing the application requirements. On this long list are letters of support--otherwise referred to as letters of recommendation. These personalised letters, allowing the opportunity for co-workers and affected community members to express their support for grant funds, can often mean the difference between a supported grant application and a weak one.

Enter your name and city of residence on the top-left margin of the letter, followed by a line detailing the grant you are writing in regards to. This line can usually begin "Re:" followed by the name of the organisation applying as well as the name of the specific grant application.

Check the grant requirements to see if a specific individual is requested for letters of recommendation. If not, you can safely address the letter to "Grant Committee Members."

Write a first paragraph detailing your support for the organisation or individual applying for the grant, being sure to mention your relationship to the applicant as well as their demonstrated ability to perform in specific fields. Include any past experiences without slipping into the anecdotal, and be certain to mention the applicant's positive effect on their targeted group.

Write a second paragraph that focuses on the applicant's recommendation for this specific grant. Include relevant organisation history and demonstrated examples you have personally experienced of why they are the best candidate for the grant and how you feel the grant funds will affect your region. Successful letters of support generally finish this section with a reference to how awarding this grant to their recommendation will benefit the larger community as a whole.

Finish the letter with an offer for more communication. For example: "If you need any further information regarding my experiences with [....] please feel free to contact me." End the letter with either "Sincerely" or "Respectfully," and then your name once again. To add credibility to the letter, it may be in your best interest to add a hand-written signature in addition.

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About the Author

Based in the Appalachian Mountains, Brian Connolly is a certified nutritionist and has been writing professionally since 2000. He is a licensed yoga and martial arts instructor whose work regularly appears in “Metabolism,” “Verve” and publications throughout the East Coast. Connolly holds advanced degrees from the University of North Carolina, Asheville and the University of Virginia.