What makes a good letter of support?

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I’m new to applying for HLF funding and the idea of  asking for “letters of support”. What should I be looking / hoping for? 


Many thanks, 


proffil Mary Milton's Mary Milton Aug 2 2018 - 7:43am
  1. Hi Mary

    It would be good if someone from HLF replied so we can hear from the horse's mou as it were, , but I've always gone with the idea that its best if someone writes in their own words (so all the letters aren't the same, and obviously written by you anyway!). If they can make reference to a part of the project that's of particular interest to them so much the better, so its personal or at least specific. Also if they're an organisation any reference how your project fits with  their own priorities, policies, purposes, or objectives helps with context.

    That said, you'll probably get some rather ordinary letters from very large organisations (like say a County Council)  or small ones without much skin in your game (like Parish Councils maybe) but the gesture of them writing at all is still helpful.

    Hope this helps and good luck!


  2. proffil Bill Jenman's Bill Jenman
    Offline | Last seen: 2 wythnos 6 dydd ago
  3. Hi Mary and Bill,

    Thank you for your questions and comments.  I'm a Development Officer in the London Region and get asked this question a lot!

    Letters of support are used by assessing officers to back up information that you've included in your application and demonstrate to us that you have had a conversation with that group/organisation.  So for example, if you tell us that you plan to deliver a workshop with a school, it would strengthen your application if you include a letter of support from that school.  These letters should try and work for you as much as possible: instead of the supporter saying 'I support this project' it is important that they give details about how they plan to support you.  In the case of school support, this could include details of the class year the workshop will engage and key stage/subject(s) that your heritage focus will tie into, as well as any pre-arranged dates that have been discussed for the activity to take place.   

    We would also advise that any letters include cash costs that the organisation will incur, or in-kind contributions they might make.  So if you plan to work with an archive who will be offering an introduction to the archives and this usually carries a charge, they can include this in their letter.  We will then cross-reference that information with details included in your budget. 

    I hope this helps but do let us know if you still have questions.


  4. proffil Anne Dodwell's Anne Dodwell
    Offline | Last seen: 6 dydd 15 hours ago
  5. Thank you very much, that's very helpful indeed. I think I can achieveing what I need!

  6. proffil Mary Milton's Mary Milton
    Offline | Last seen: 1 mis 1 wythnos ago
  7. We have produced some examples of good and bad letters of support. Good ones often include details of how the writer has been involved in the project planning and if they will be offering their time or other in kind support to the project.

  8. proffil Elise Turner's Elise Turner
    Offline | Last seen: 3 wythnos 4 dydd ago
  9. I am new to this forum, but it was good to read the discussion thread as it gave me some more information on what the support letters could look like.

  10. proffil Paulette watson's Paulette watson
    Offline | Last seen: 1 mis 2 wythnos ago
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