Individuals in need: How to write a letter requesting support

Most charitable donations are given to NGOs and organisations to implement projects that support groups and individuals in need. However, a number of foundations do provide grants directly to families and individuals under certain circumstances. Due to the limited amount of funding available in this area it is incredibly competetive and getting your letter application just write is fundamental to your success.

We have put together our top tips for writing a letter of application to support a family or individual in need:

  • Write clearly and concisely: It is crucial to be extremely clear about the nature of your situation and how the funder can help you to resolve it. Use simple language andavoid slang and jargon as well as any other terminology they may not understand. You should print the application if you can but if not make sure your writing is as easy to read as possible.
  • Provide a summary: At the top of your letter you should try to provide a short paragraph that provides an overview of your current situation. This will enable the funding organisation to quickly process your letter and pass it to the appropriate person or department.
  • Detail the problem: Explaining the challenge you or your family faces is a critical part of your application. Be sure to detail the exact nature of the problem and in particular the effects that it has. For example, if you have a medical problem you should detail how it has affected yours and your families life including aspects such as maintaining a job, getting around and requiring medical support from your family members.
  • Be specific about what you need: State clearly the amount of financial support you require, how it will be used and what difference it will make. Most funds for individuals and families in crisis restrict contributions to under $1,000 but can provide more in exceptional circumstances.
  • Exit strategy: Most funders look to support people who have a way of escaping their problems through realistic solutions. Your application stands a far greater chance of being successful if you can detail how the money will enable you to be sustainable in the long term. For example, if you need emergency assistance to pay for education bills then you can include that once you graduate you will be able to find a well paid job.
  • Other funding sources: Detail in your letter any other approaches to funding organisations. This will demonstrate that you are doing everything you can to resolve your situation. It is wise to also explain that any surpluses raised beyond the amount you have requested will be returned.
  • References: Most funding organisations will undertake some background investigation into your circumstances before agreeing to provide funding. You can assist them with this work by either providing a character reference alongside your letter or alternatively provide the contact details for someone who they will be able to easily contact.

Have you had any success raising money for individuals or families in need? Share your advice with the community in the comments section.

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  1. Amir Banjara Chhetri says:

    Well, I am associate with Hamro Pahunch “Our Access” Local NGO in Nepal. In our working area (Gorkha District of Nepal) there are more then 300 people who are living with HIV and AIDS, last year during the World Aids Day 2012 we had organized 2012 candle light program to mark the AIDS DAY and aware people about HIV and AIDS in that area, during that program we also collect money by selling the candle and able to collect Nepali Rs.28,210/- ( In words Twenty eight thousands two hundred and ten Only), that money really help to continue the program Our Access Plus with that support the number of ART users (by enhancing their access towards treatment ) has increased from 28 to 78 in numbers with in the 8 months period. This one is a very good example of raising money for good cause.for more information you can visit our face book page

    Thank you.
    -Amir Banjara Chhetri

  2. Sylvestre Kisite says:

    I am so happy to meet you online and teach me a lot on How to write a proper Letter Requesting Support. May be why our Social Awareness and Live Support (SALISU) have not got any Seed Grants for Capacity Building yet!
    Thanks a lot.
    Sylvestre Kisite

  3. Ramesh Tanty says:

    Dear Sir Please let us know the sample Paper of Project Writing.How its to be written What are the feature.Please Give us the example.For which act of your kindness we shall be grateful to u.

  4. Ramesh Tanty says:

    Praise the Lord. I am Ramesh member of an orphanage.There are 20 children in this orphanage including boys and girls.we want to operate this orphanage very systematicaly.But due to low source of income we unable to manage it properly.we all member struggle for the childrens everyday needs.We have planed to run it systematic manner. For this it needs lots of financial support.So Please guide.How can will get fund Grants.