Support letters in your grant applications prove that you have a viable concept and needed program. Incorporating a support letter into your application allows others to tell your story – giving you a little boost!

Here are some Do’s and Don’ts for support letters:

Do request a letter from administrators, teachers or other professionals with whom you work. Your clients themselves are not the right point of contact. You need other nonprofit or charity professionals, from groups with whom yours collaborates, that can speak to the value of your work.

Don’t be afraid. Nothing wrong with a simple humble request from those with whom you have a standing relationship. Be honest with them, tell them you are applying for a grant to improve or grow the work you have done for them.

Do provide them with some key points. You don’t need to put the words in their mouths (or hands), but some reminders of how you have worked together, how many you have served, how you’ve impacted the community are helpful. Stick with the facts/ statistics.

Don’t overload your application with support letters. One or two relevant letters are enough. Too many becomes bulky and unnecessary.

Do be on the lookout for any prohibitions of any additional paperwork. Some applications will ask you not to attach anything more than what they request. If this is the case, leave out the support letters. The support they could add will be negated by your not following the directions.

Don’t forget to tell the reader that you have included a letter of support. This will give him a heads up and let him know what to expect. Otherwise, by the time he gets to the end of the application and finds your support letter, he might think that some of your mail just fell in!

Have any more questions about support letters? Email me below.