Example of a Letter of Commitment

| April 15, 2013 | 0 Comments

A Letter of Commitment is a written agreement to a contract or plans that have been previously discussed by two parties.  It is a document that is valid in a Court of Law, and should include information on the commitment to the project being undertaken, as well as the time frame in which it will be completed.  It should also outline exactly what is expected from both parties involved.  Often it is used in a situation where money is offered by one party to another, and is sent out either by the lender to the loan applicant, or the loan applicant to the lender. In that case it is a legally valid document that commits two parties to a financial assistance agreement.

The letter of commitment can commit the lender to give money to the applicant, or be a letter from the applicant verifying information and committing to the terms and conditions as specified by the lender. When written by the lender to the loan applicant, the letter is also known as the ‘Offer of Advance.’  It is, in fact, a cover letter that accompanies the formal contract between the two parties.

It is becoming increasingly common for proposals to involve or incorporate partnerships and collaboration among educational institutions, community groups, corporations, and service providers. When a research institute, for example, has the lead on a project with partners, principal investigators need to obtain letters of commitment from outside participants and collaborating institutions. Conversely, the research institute provides letters of commitment for projects when another institution takes the lead.

There is no formula for writing a strong letter of commitment.  Each must be crafted to meet the demands of a particular project.  For a letter to be effective it must be short and succinct, usually less than a page in length.

Keep your letter of commitment brief, precise and easy to understand

While the format changes depending on the demands of the situation, the general manner in which the letter of commitment is to be written needs to be simple, unambiguous and easy to understand.

Always write a letter of commitment in the business format and make it concise and to the point.

Below we have given you an example that can be used for Boards of Directors, committees, and working groups, as a framework for your own particular set of circumstances, while making the right impact for your letter of commitment.

An effective letter of commitment addresses four aspects of the proposed collaboration:

  • It identifies the project
  • Specifies what the collaborator will contribute
  • Is authorized by an appropriate official, and
  • Convinces the reader that collaborator has the capacity to fulfill its responsibilities and is committed to achieving a successful outcome.

The tone of the letter should convey a sense of enthusiasm for participating in a worthwhile project.

The opening paragraph of the letter should identify the proposal, sponsor, project title, and all partners and collaborators.

The second paragraph states the roles and responsibilities that the collaborator commits to the project.

If this is in the nature of program responsibilities, it is often sufficient to identify a broad area of responsibility, such as “perform statistical analysis” or “collect test data”, and say that activities will be carried out as specified in the job description. Several factors can underscore the collaborator’s capacity to perform successfully. You can mention experience on similar projects and expertise, equipment, and other special resources.

Commitment Letters Should Be Signed and Authorized

Letters should be signed and authorized by the individual who bears responsibility for the fulfillment of the commitment (Vice Chancellor or Corporate authority, for example). If York University is participating on an initiative that requires collaboration across colleges, the deans may elect to write and endorse a single letter of commitment. Proposals involving collaboration with Centers should be endorsed by the Head of the Center.

The complete example of our Letter of Commitment
This is what your completed letter will look like –

(On University letterhead)

Dr Brian Devlin
York University
Whitehall Crescent
Richmond, Ontario

10 August 2012

Dr Edward Caxton
Vice Chancellor
Metropolitan University
Whitehall Crescent
Richmond, Ontario

Dear Dr Caxton

Reference: Our discussion on 8 August 2012 re the establishment of the
“Inter-University Research Group on Risk Management in Global Software Outsourcing”

Under the sponsorship of myself, as Vice Chancellor of York University, the Research Group commits to making the project on Risk Management in Global Software Outsourcing a priority over the next financial year. The dedicated Research Group consists of the following six members –

  • Dr Alison Verner,  Richmond University, (Group Leader)
  • Professor Emily Hughes, Metropolitan University
  • Dr Nicholas Jones,  Canada University
  • Dr Marcus Owen, Birmingham University
  • Dr Sam Watson, Cambridgeshire University,  and
  • Dr John Wilson, Exeter University

The Research Group will report its findings on this critical research on 30 September 2013, and make recommendations for the way forward.

Professor Emily Hughes has pledged to work with a Metropolitan University team to perform statistical analysis (as specified in the job description) for this project. She understands that this is a significant responsibility and will make it a priority. She will attend in person or by phone at least 75% of the meetings held, and whether or not she attends will continually communicate with the team and the main coordinator to ensure that she understands all lines of research being conducted.

Monthly reports of the Research Group’s progress will be made to both Professor Hughes and myself, on letterhead, but as an attachment to an email. The contact details (including mobile telephone numbers) of the Research Group members, are attached to this document.

Professor Hughes will actively participate in all requests for assistance, and will provide statistical analysis (as specified in the job description) for the “Inter-University Research Group on Risk Management in Global Software Outsourcing”

Signed: _____________________________  Date :______________ (Member)

Print Name:__________________________

Signed :_____________________________  Date: ______________(Sponsor)

Print Name:__________________________

Please return the original Letter of Commitment to –

Dr Brian Devlin
York University
Whitehall Crescent
Richmond, Ontario

More ideas to include in your Letter of Commitment

  • (For a Working Group or Committee) If the partners have worked on prior projects together , be sure to mention this, as it indicates that a productive relationship is already in place
  • (For a Board Letter of Commitment) Ensure commitment to legal compliance, and to the best interest of the organization as a whole
  • Some sponsors accept emails, but letters printed on letterhead are more formal and official, and often more substantial in content.
  • Close by establishing the extent of the organization’s commitment to the project, and provide spaces for signatures.

Download This Letter Example

Category: Legal Letters Examples

About the Author ()

Melanie Walters is a writer and editor for several businesses both online and offline. Her experience with writing business letters and marketing materials has helped her understand exactly what works in written communication for businesses. In the 10 years she's been writing, Melanie has amassed a large collection of letter examples that she gladly shares with you here on Letter Example Help.org

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