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Request Letter Templates

Updated April 09, 2024

request letter is a formal means of expressing a request for information, permission, or some kind of support. Sending a request letter conveys professionalism, enables documentation of the request, and increases the likelihood of a positive response.

Table of Contents

By Type (3)


Donation Request – A written solicitation for a monetary contribution.

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Recommendation Letter Request – An appeal for a letter highlighting an individual’s skills, qualifications, and capabilities, often included as part of an application for a job or college program.

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Sponsorship Request – A request to sponsor expenses related to an enterprise or activity, such as a sporting event or fundraiser.

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When to Use a Request Letter

  • Applying for a Job: Often, employers and hiring managers require letters of recommendation from sources who understand an applicant’s character and capabilities, such as previous employers.
  • Applying for College: College applications also require letters of reference from professors or other individuals who can speak to an applicant’s work ethic and drive. Professors tend to field many requests for letters, so make sure to be professional and grateful when lodging one.
  • Asking for Money: When seeking sponsorship, it’s important to use a formal request letter and a good idea to offer brand exposure or some other kind of incentive for providing financial support.
  • Asking for Permission: A request letter might be used to ask for permission to use property or facilities for an event, such as a fundraiser.
  • Asking for Information: A request letter not only formalizes the process of receiving information from a government agency, organization, or individual, but it also establishes a record that can be referenced in the event of a dispute or in a legal action.

Key Elements to Include

  • Name of sender
  • Contact information for sender (email address, phone number, address)
  • Affiliations (including logos if applicable)
  • Date
  • Reference number (if applicable)
  • Recipient’s name
  • Contact information for recipient (email address, phone number, address)
  • Salutation
  • Introduction
  • Background information
  • Statement of purpose
  • Call to action
  • Expression of gratitude

How to Write (9 Steps)

  1. Do Some Research
  2. Craft Introduction
  3. Add Context
  4. Offer Incentive
  5. Be Specific
  6. Ask for a Response
  7. Express Gratitude
  8. Format Correctly
  9. Follow Up

1. Do Some Research

Before sending a request letter, do some research into the values and culture of the person or organization to which the letter is addressed. A request letter received by someone who cares about the cause being championed is likelier to be successful, so it’s a good idea to choose the right recipients, find common ground with them, and reflect this in the letter.

2. Craft Introduction

People with capital tend to read a lot of letters requesting sponsorship, and people who employ or teach other people tend to read a lot of letters requesting character references. Think about humanizing the request and sharing personal details that ensure this letter stands out from the others. A more personal letter tends to yield a more positive outcome.

3. Add Context

In addition to introducing the person or organization lodging the request, explain the purpose of the request. Why is it important? Who will benefit if this request is fulfilled, and how?

4. Offer Incentive

What will the recipient of the request letter gain by granting the request? Sometimes this is brand exposure. If, for example, the request letter is seeking sponsorship for a community event, then will sponsors’ logos be featured in promotional materials?
Alternatively, the incentive might be less tangible. If, for example, fulfilling the request will cover medical expenses for an ill child, explain the child’s situation and note the rewards of saving a young person’s life.

5. Be Specific

Vague language doesn’t tend to incite action. Make sure to be specific about how the recipient of the letter can help and why it matters, both because clarity is a means of showing someone their time is valuable and valued, and also because it’s likelier to generate a positive response.

6. Ask for a Response

In the final paragraph of a request letter, reiterate what, specifically, is being requested. Rather than asking for general support, ask explicitly for a monetary donation or other specific contribution.

7. Express Gratitude

Re-read the request letter to ensure that its tone is generally respectful and grateful. No one wants to give something to someone who’s asking in a patronizing or demanding way.

8. Format Correctly

Include, in the top left-hand corner of the letter, information about both the sender and recipient. Be sure the letter is free of grammatical and spelling errors, as these tend to impart a lack of professionalism.

9. Follow Up

Wait a reasonable amount of time — two weeks is generally recommended — before sending a follow-up letter.

Sample Request Letter

Nina Maria
Director
Nourish
123 Grover Avenue
Los Angeles, California 91234
ninamaria@gmail.com
(310) 929-0622

July 1, 2023

Sam Stott
Director
Roe Investments
456 Oscar Street
Los Angeles, California 95678
sam.stott@roe.com
(310) 881-1804

Dear Mr. Stott:

I hope this letter finds you in good spirits. My name is Nina Maria and I am a community organizer in the city we both call home. I run a grassroots organization called Nourish; our purpose is to connect people who care with people who need care. We tackle a range of tough issues and are recently focusing on providing nourishing meals to undernourished populations.

I’m writing to humbly request your support as a sponsor for a fundraising event I am organizing, which is scheduled to take place in December 2023. The event is a benefit concert and festival, at which we are expecting a large turnout, somewhere in the ballpark of 5,000. Proceeds from this event, which also features a silent auction, will go toward sponsoring nutritious meals for underserved populations, including the children of incarcerated parents and the unhoused.

I am reaching out to you because of your demonstrated passion for this city and its most vulnerable inhabitants. As a sponsor, your company will have an opportunity to be featured in all marketing materials, as well as to set up a booth at the event. Not only will sponsorship directly impact the daily lives of thousands of residents of this city, but it will also raise the profile of your organization.

Thank you for considering this request for sponsorship. Further information about levels of sponsorship is attached to this letter. If you require anything else, or if you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at your convenience. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Nina Maria
Director, Nourish