When you are writing a follow-up letter to a funding request, you must handle it in a professional and conscientious manner, without the appearance of desperation. You must continue to present your best attributes and specific qualifications. The tone and timing of the letter can help or hurt your initial funding request.
- Skill level:
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Find the name and title of the person who oversees the funding. Look at the address on the funding application form or visit the website and view the contact information and staff directory.
Call the office to find out if the application process has closed, if all of the applications have been received and if your application has been processed. Ask for the full name of the person who assisted you and his job title or description in an informal manner. Verify that you have the correct name of the person who reviews the grant applications and selects the award recipients.
Send a follow-up letter two weeks after you have sent in your initial funding request. Create a formal letter on personal letter head. Center your name, address, e-mail address and phone number in the header. Skip a space. Next, list the contact person's name, title, company name, address, e-mail address and phone and fax numbers, aligned on the left margin. Skip a space and add the date.
Add a formal salutation, with the name and title of the individual who oversees the funding process. This might read: "Dear Ms. Angela Campbell, Director of the UCLA Scholarship Resource Center." Punctuate at the end with a colon or comma. Skip a line.
Start the body of your letter with a thank you. You might start: "Thank you for the opportunity to learn more about your company's local grant program." Left-align the paragraphs. Skip a line between each paragraph.
Mention your original inquiry letter or grant application. For instance, "I recently submitted an application for a community college scholarship."
Include a specific qualification, in a subtle manner: "The day after I mailed in my application, I found out that I have been accepted to the honours program at Pasadena City College." Update the organisation on your recent accomplishments.
Conclude with a positive inquiry. For example: "I am so excited to find out about the selection process and scholarship winners. When will notifications be going out to the award recipients?"
Inquire as to when actual funds will be available and how they will be given out--by mail, at the office or at an award ceremony. Make certain that it does not come across as if you have already won an award.
Send the letter by mail or e-mail. Either way, your letter should be professional, typed in this business format. Close in a traditional manner, such as "Sincerely." Sign the letter in the bottom left-hand corner.
Tips and warnings
- Keep your communication positive at all times. E-mail allows you to develop back-and-forth communication more effectively.
- Never write about how desperately you need the money. Instead, balance an urgent need with a promising goal.
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