The Art of Convincing: Writing a Grant Letter

 Becoming a single mother does not only require your time, patience, and hard work; it also demands money. Single-handedly taking care of a child usually puts you into financial challenges, without anyone to turn to for monetary assistance. Luckily, there are a number of organizations and foundations who are willing to provide grants to single parents.

A grant may be a financial assistance or any form of support given by an organization, foundation, or other institutions. However, you cannot acquire grants without applying for one, and this always starts with the most basic and the most important step: writing a grant letter.

Writing a grant letter is one of the essential parts in applying for a grant because through this, the grantor would be aware of your situation and why you need the grant. This is why in writing a grant letter, you have to be impressive and, more importantly, convincing.

Knowing your grantor

A grant letter is written in formal, business format. The first step in writing is identifying the funding sources, as the letter would be addressed to them. There are different funding sources, and it is important to know the nature of the organization or foundation you are writing to. Is the funding source the government? Is it a foundation or a corporation? If so, what are these organizations and what are their objectives?

It is essential to have a brief background of the organization to make sure that you are writing to the right person and that you can comply with the conditions the organization asks. In addition, one should be familiar with the name or position of the right person to address, as this information is written in the heading of your letter.

 Describing your situation

The first part should introduce you and state the intention of writing the letter. The reasons stating why you are asking for grants should also be briefly described. Although they may not be necessarily detailed, the first paragraph should be compelling enough to make the reader interested with your request and make him want to read the letter further.

After stating the intentions, you should explain the situation you are currently in. Clearly describe your challenges and difficult experiences to show that there is indeed a need for a grant. Specifically explain the cause of the monetary hardship. You can state that there are circumstances that are beyond your control, and that the grant would be of great assistance. For example, your income might not be enough to send your child to college or you might not have enough money to provide you and your children a place to live in that is why you are writing to acquire an emergency housing assistance for single mothers.

There are organizations that may have special conditions. You can write how you are capable of meeting these conditions. Your goal is to show that among all the applicants, you deserve to be one of those who should be considered.

It is important to be very honest in stating your experiences. Although your aim is to convince the grantor that you really need assistance, it doesn’t mean that you have to fabricate events to gain their sympathy. In contrary, you have to convince them to believe you. To do this, you can state in the later part of your letter that you have attached documents that verify your situation. This may be your income records, copies of tax forms, or other documents that may manifest your need for financial support.

To end your letter, state that you are hoping that the grantor would consider your request. Don’t forget to thank them in taking time to read your letter. It is best to leave your contact information, such as your telephone number or email address, in case the grantor wants to reach you.

How it should sound like

Writing a grant letter is not simply putting words into paper. It is important to consider your tone as it contributes a lot to how the grantor might feel towards your request. The letter should sound polite and sincere but not overly dramatic. You should be aware that you are asking for help, and not demanding, so words should be chosen very carefully. For example, ‘may’ sounds more polite that ‘can’ when asking for a favor. No matter how deserving you are to receive the grant, displeasing the grantor with the tone of your letter would lower your chance of getting assistance.

Monetary support is indeed important not only for you but also for the growth of your child. The lack of it might risk a child’s education, health, and future altogether. Searching for grants is not really a difficult task, as one can easily find them on the internet. The challenge, however, is on applying for grants, complying with the requirements, and convincing the organization that you deserve the grant. But with the sufficient knowledge and dedication, one can surely complete this task with ease.

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