Letters of Support and Commitment by Julie Assel, GPC

 

Letters of Support and Commitment

  1. Basics

Many grants now require attachments called letters of support or letters of commitment. These letters, if created well, can provide significant additional information and credibility to your proposal. Important content to include in each type of letter will be covered in subsequent articles, but here are four items which are key to both types of letters.

  • Place the letter on the letterhead of organization writing the letter. The letter is an official document and should look the part. No plain white paper.
  • Ensure the letter is signed. The highest-level person within the organization or the person who has the authority to make the commitment should sign the letter.
  • Make sure the letter is unique. While there are outlines we recommend (be sure to follow our full story on this topic), letters that duplicate content and are exactly the same lower the quality of the letter. We provide our clients templates or outlines, but never have all the letters has any exact same wording unless they are committing to the exact same thing.
  • Proofread your letter as closely as you do your proposal. Letters of commitment and support are part of your proposal and should reflect the same high quality. If you can, proofread the text of the letter before the representative of the other agency signs it.
  1. Letters of Support

Letters of Commitment should speak to the general relationship between the organization writing the letter and the organization submitting the proposal. A letter of support should include the following:

  • Information describing the organization writing the letter, including the population they serve and how their services fit into the community.
  • A description of the relationship between the organization writing the letter and the submitting organization.
  • Speaking on behalf of the community, describing what this project will do to improve the general well-being of the population, the quality of services provided, or the outcomes to be achieved.
  1. Letters of Commitment

Letters of Commitment should speak to the strong relationship between the organization writing the letter and the organization submitting the proposal. While not as legally binding as a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), it is similar in nature without requiring the involvement of lawyers. A letter of commitment should include the following:

  • Information describing the organization writing the letter, including the population they serve, services provided, and relevant outcomes.
  • A description of the relationship between the organization writing the letter and the submitting organization, including length of time collaborating, and depth of collaboration.
  • Specifically, what the organization writing the letter will contribute to the project. Examples may include in kind support or activities for which the organization writing the letter will receive grant dollars.

GPC Competency 3: Knowledge of strategies for effective program and project design and development.  Skill 7: Identify community resources that aid in developing programs and projects.