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Letters of Support

If you are proposing to develop a program or product, it is important to show the granting agency that members of your target audience (those who will use the program or product) think you are doing something useful. Collecting support letters can be difficult at times, but do not underrate the importance of support letters to enhance the credibility of your application. All letters of support and commitment should be collected and placed in an appendix.

Tips for Collecting Support Letters

  • Collect a list of organizations or individuals in your target audience and start calling (This is a good time to utilize any personal contacts you may have made over the years.)


  • Put together a concept paper to illustrate your idea to potential supporters.


  • Look for opportunities to present your project at conferences or to professional organizations.


  • Draft a sample letter of support that you can send to potential supporters. Each letter should reflect the specific contribution that the organization can make to your project. Encourage them to modify the letter to fit their needs. (This will help prevent your submitting duplicate letters.)


  • Start this process early, as you may need to “remind” people to write the letter several times.

Letters of Commitment

You must also include letters of commitment from any consultants or subcontractors working on the project. These letters should state the willingness of the consultant or subcontractor to work on the project, specify his or her role on the project, and describe any specific activities he or she will perform.

Finally, if you are proposing a study that requires human subjects and you do not work at the institution proposed as the study site, a letter guaranteeing access to the study population is crucial for the success of your grant application. This shows the reviewers that you will be able to begin testing your participants without bureaucratic delays.

 

  

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Last updated: August 12, 2003.