How to Write a Request Letter (Format and Samples)

A Request Letter is a formal letter written to request something from an individual, a company, or an organization. When you are writing a request letter, you are asking someone to take the time to read your letter, consider your request, and act on that request. Request letters should be written in a kind, appreciative tone. When you ask someone to do something for you, make it as easy as you can for them to accomplish the task. For instance, if requesting donations, include a postage-paid, self-addressed envelope.

Request letters should clearly state the nature of the request you are making. Appeal to the recipient’s better nature by stating the importance of the request and the benefits that their assistance can bring. If you are asking for a referral, offer information about the position you are hoping to obtain. If you are asking for a transfer to another location, tell your employer how beneficial the transfer would be, not just for yourself but for the company. Be clear, professional, and polite.

When you are preparing to write a letter requesting something, clarify why you are making the request and if there is a deadline after which the assistance can no longer be helpful. For instance, if you are applying for a scholarship and are asking for a letter of recommendation, let the recipient know when the recommendation must be mailed to the appropriate organization.

  • Tell the recipient who you are
  • Tell the recipient what you are requesting
  • Explain the benefits of the assistance
  • Offer several alternatives for assisting, if possible
  • Make it as simple and easy to assist as possible
  • If necessary, set a deadline after which the assistance can no longer be helpful

Important Points

  • Be specific about the request.
  • Make the tone match the reason for the request.
  • Offer as much background information as required, but stay on topic.
  • Show how the recipient can help you accomplish your goal.
  • Demonstrate the importance of the goal.
  • Enclose all forms and information required to meet the request.

Request Letter Format

Here is a basic format for a request letter. Some appropriate request phrases are included; simply delete any that do not match your need and add appropriate phrases as needed.

{Your name}

{Your address}

Leave this line blank.

{Recipient name}

{Recipient address}

{Date}

Dear {Recipient name}:

{Introduce yourself and your goal here}.

(I am writing on behalf of {nonprofit name}. As you may know, we help {who and how}.)

({I am in your {name of class}. I am currently applying for the {name of scholarship}.)

(I have been with {company name} for {length of time}. I am interested in relocating to {location name}. I am aware {company name} has a division in {location name}.)

I am writing to ask you to {request}. Your assistance will help {who}.

(I am writing to ask you to consider donating to {organization name}. Your assistance will help {who and how}.)

(I am writing to ask you for a letter of recommendation for a scholarship. Your assistance in this matter can greatly improve my chances of receiving the scholarship I need to continue my education.)

(I am writing to respectfully request a transfer to the division located in {location name}.)

You can help by {offer way(s) to fulfill request}.

(You can help by sending your donation in the postage-paid envelope provided, or by calling {phone number} with your payment information.)

(You can help by sending a letter of recommendation to {organization address} by {date}.)

(You can help by forwarding my request to human resources with your approval of the transfer.)

{Add any other relevant information here}.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and consider my request. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

Respectfully yours,

{Your signature}

{Your name}

Enclosures: {Note any enclosures here}

Sample Request Letter

Here is a sample letter based on the above basic format.

Help for Humanity

1080 East 73 Court

Boonesville, OH 28659

Mr. Joseph Haverton

20098 South Marina Drive

Boonesville, OH 28659

August 16, 2032

Dear Mr. Haverton:

I am writing on behalf of Help for Humanity. As you may know, we help local residents who need clothing, personal items, or household items.

I am writing to ask you to consider donating to Help for Humanity. Your assistance will help your neighbors in need by offering them basic necessities. Often these neighbors do not have the items required to maintain a household or the clothing needed to seek and maintain employment.

You can help by donating your unused clothing or household items to our organization. Our drop-off point is located at 3098 West 93rd in Boonesville.

You can also help by sending a financial donation in any amount in the postage-paid envelope provided, or by calling 924-398-4200 with your payment information. Any donation, no matter how small, helps local residents meet their needs.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and consider my request. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

Respectfully yours,

Alicia Jennings

Alicia Jennings

Enclosures: Postage-paid Addressed Envelope

Request Letter Examples and Templates

Writing a request letter can be difficult. Having a sample letter that demonstrates the use of a basic format can help you create the perfect request letter for your own need. Our basic format letter offers some common request phrases. You can use any of these or write your request. Feel free to use the basic format provided above.

Request Letter for Materials

A Request Letter for Materials is a formal request for materials required to accomplish a task. Most companies have basic formats for requisitioning materials. These are forwarded to a purchasing department. These can also be used as a way to request materials from a warehouse.
Details
File Format
  • MS Word

Request Letter to Bank

A Request Letter to a Bank is a formal request to a bank, usually as a request to close an account or to access a lockbox. Such requests should provide the information needed to fulfill the request, such as the name of the account holder and the number of the account or lockbox.
Details
File Format
  • MS Word

Request Letter for Transfer

A Request Letter for Transfer is a formal request for a transfer to another division of a company. When writing a request for a transfer, maintain a professional and respectful tone. Let your employer know how you can be useful at the division you wish to be transferred to.
Details
File Format
  • MS Word

Request Letter for Payment

A Request Letter for Payment is a professional letter written by a company’s accounting department requesting payment of an account balance or a minimum payment on an account. This formal letter is generally used when an account or a payment is over 30 days past due.
Details
File Format
  • MS Word

Request Letter for Approval

A Request Letter for Approval is a formal request for approval for any specific item. Approval requests are common in companies, and are used to verify approval for materials, services, or other needs. These are generally based on a specific, company-wide request form.
Details
File Format
  • MS Word

Key Points

  • Be professional, polite, and clear about your request.
  • Tell the recipient how their assistance will help, and who it will help.
  • Tell the recipient how to help.
  • Let the recipient know if there is a deadline for helping.