Acquiring funds for your research is an important milestone for every researcher. As the deadline for submitting the grant proposal approaches, there’s a sense of fear that engulfs you into thinking that your application is probably not the best one. While every element of your grant proposal is important to the reviewer, your letter of support for grant has a potential to strengthen their belief in your research idea. A letter of support may probably not clinch the funding; however, it could make your grant proposal more competitive, especially when the letter is written by highly influential and renowned individuals or organizations.
What is a Letter of Support for Grant?
A letter of support is a document used to validate the credibility of your research through a third-party testimonial. It should back up your claims of success and promises to deliver results.
The letter of support implies that other organizations or funders think that your proposal has merit. It signifies that your project has the potential of delivering proposed results. Additionally, it provides a compelling and persuasive reason why a funder should support your grant proposal.
It might indicate that a certain organization not only supports the applicant’s research project, but it wants to provide a support to the project—either as a monetary aid or in kind.
Who Should Write a Letter of Support for Grant?
Letters of support play a major role in determining whether or not your research project is worthy of funding. Therefore, it is important to identify the right people to write it.
A partner organization, a major funder, another foundation, a congressional representative, an outside business, or a key stakeholder can write a letter of support for grant. Furthermore, it could be from community leaders who believe in your project, or from people who will receive the services you propose of providing.
What is the Purpose of a Letter of Support for Grant?
A letter of support for grant helps in determining whether your project is worthy of funding.
The purpose of a letter of support is-
- Firstly, to establish a level of credibility
- Secondly, to demonstrate commitment to a research project
- Thirdly, to show that the planned collaboration is genuine
- Lastly, to address the applicant’s qualifications and abilities to complete the proposed research
Which are the Four Categories of Letter of Support for Grant?
Ideally, letter of support for grant are of two types; letters from knowledge partners who are supporting the research with monetary aid and letters from a person who supports the research idea. However, based on from where the letters of support are sourced, they are categorized as:
- Community Leaders: Letters sourced from community leaders help in establishing proposers’ credibility.
- Collaborative Partners: Letters sourced from collaborative partners help in demonstrating that the proposed project will be beneficial to the service community.
- Contributing Supporters: Letters written by contributing supporters demonstrate tangible resources being dedicated to the project.
- Impacted Constituents: Letters written by impacted constituents help the funder in determining the benefits or repercussions of actions.
Differences Between “Letter of Support” and “Letter of Recommendation”
While the confusion may arise from the fact that both letters of support and letters of recommendation provide key information for reviewers of the funding agency, there still are differences that need to be clarified and understood to write either.
Letter of Support
Letter of Recommendation
|Demonstrates institutional commitment, collaboration or role in the project, and the potential or current user of the proposed application.||Requested during fellowship applications, mentored Career Development Awards, and other programs.|
|These can be written by collaborators, key personnel, institutions, and other significant contributors to the research project.||These can be written by individuals who are not directly involved in the application. However, they must be familiar with the applicant’s qualifications.|
|Letters of support are submitted as part of the grant application.||Letters of recommendation are submitted separately from the corresponding application.|
Key Elements of a “Letter of Support” for Grant
The letter of support consists of three main sections: an opening statement or introduction that identifies the project, one or two main body section of the letter to indicate the relationship of the writer to the project seeking funding, and a closing statement to summarize with key points. However, there are some additional sections such as the header and the salutation. Here we discuss the key elements of a letter of support for grant in sequential order of their occurrence.
A letter of support must include a heading on the top of the letter. You can include the writer’s name, institution, and the date of writing the letter on the letterhead of the organization. In addition, you must include the recipient’s name and contact information in the following line.
Use appropriate salutation in the letter while addressing the recipient. To be sure, you must research to find out if they go by Dr., Mrs., Mr., or Ms., and address them with, “Dear.”
A Professional Introduction
The first thing one must do while creating a persuasive letter of support is introduce themselves. Writing an attention-grabbing introduction will encourage the reader to continue reading till the end. The simplest way to start your introduction section is to inform the reader—who you are and why must the reader care?
Furthermore, state the intent of your letter clearly in the first few sentences. Going forward, highlight your relationship with the applicant. The best way to position yourself with credibility is by showing that you know the proposed project’s subject matter at hand, and that there is value to be obtained from it.
The main body of the letter must justify why funding is necessary for a new initiative or proposed project. Moreover, it should clearly and articulately state the belief of the letter writer in the project and its results. It must effectively bridge the gap between the letter writer and the reader. Additionally, it must address all relevant questions that may arise at the potential funding body’s end.
The conclusion of your letter of support must summarize all relevant key points. It must reiterate the value of the writer’s support while providing any final details.
Important Points to Consider While Writing a Letter of Support for Grant
As letters of support can make a significant difference for applicant/s grant approval, it’s important to consider the following points while writing one.
- It must not be longer than two pages in length.
- Mention correct proposal details.
- Provide any additional details or requirements about the project, if necessary.
- Furthermore, give brief description about the role of the letter writer’s organization in the project.
- Discuss expected outcomes from implementation.
- Letter must follow a professional format with original signature of the writer.
- Most importantly, proofread before sending it out to the potential funder.
Example of “Letter of Support”
1456 Trafalgar Square
Hampstead, London, UK.
Dear Dr. Clark,
I am pleased to be writing a letter in support of the proposal (name of the project) being submitted to the (name of the program) Program by our (name of department) at (name of institution). We strongly support this grant application and the focus on (mention the purpose of the study).
As an organization whose mission is to (state the mission of your organization in alignment to the purpose of the research), we know your true passion is fostering the brilliant minds of tomorrow. We admire your initiatives to fund projects that have greatly benefited research community.
We acknowledge the specific roles and responsibilities fulfilled by us in this partnership. (mention your roles and provisions to the funding point-wise).
As you know letters of support can make or break a project’s chances of receiving funds, it is important to make sure that these letters are crafted scrupulously. Make sure you follow these tips while gleaning your letter of support or writing one for another applicant. Let us know how this article helped you in formulating a letter of support for grant. You can also visit our Q&A forum for frequently asked questions related to different aspects of research writing and publishing answered by our team that comprises subject-matter experts, eminent researchers, and publication experts.