Bad News Letter
Assignment 5 Bad News Letter – Refused Request
You stare at yet another solicitation from a well-meaning service organization. This time it is from Help
Your Neighbor, a local nonprofit endorsed by various churches in the city. They are inviting your
company, St. Bernard Home and Garden, to be a featured sponsor of their annual Help-Out Day. This
event, their major fundraiser and publicity effort, has volunteers from all over the city contributing ones
day’s labor to help their less fortunate neighbors with yard work, home repairs, and other tasks. Your
requested contribution of $5,000 will help pay for the volunteers’ t-shirts (on which your company
name will appear), the supplies, and the picnic that will follow the day’s work.
While this amount doesn’t sound like much for a successful business, you are a comparatively small
organization that can afford to make only a limited number of charitable contributions. This year, your
company is channeling its support into organizations that are helping those who have lost their jobs or
their homes because of the economic slump. Many of your employees know such people, and the
general feeling in the company is that donations should go to such organizations as the food bank, the
homeless shelter, and nonprofits that assist those looking for work. You have given over $10,000 to
such causes this year, and that is all you can afford right now. But these are the types of organizations
you will probably continue to choose to support until the economy improves.
Your Assignment: Write a letter to the Help Your Neighbor chair (April Sanderson) turning down her
request for a sponsorship. Write the letter in such a way that you maintain a positive company image
while also making clear that you won’t become a sponsor now or any time soon. Perhaps you can think
of something that will soften the “no”.
Letter Format Requirements
• Use Microsoft Word – this is to practice what you have completed in SIMNet. • Use Times New Roman 11 point font for the letter. • SINGLE SPACE the letter (this means either set Word to single space or use the “No
Spacing” Style in the Word dashboard). Do not use the default spacing.
• Use a 1” margin for the letter. • Choose block or modified block letter format (see Appendix B in the End Matter).
• Create a complete letterhead for your company; this will entail creating a fictitious address. If
you don’t know what goes in a letterhead – see the examples throughout chapters 9-11 and in
• Create the rest of the inside address for April Sanderson. Don’t forget her title and
organization name in the inside address.
• Turn the letter in as a WORD document in D2L – not as a PDF or from Google Docs. This needs to be a Word file. You will be graded on your use of Word in creating this
• What type of letter is this; what is the best way to start the letter? In other words, identify
w h e t h e r it is being written to an internal or external audience, and should you write it using
direct or indirect format. (Double hint…. you will be using a buffer)
• Think about this from the reader’s point of view – how can you let her down gently?
• What type of closing paragraph will you include?
• Don’t just change a few words and call it good. Really think about what the reader knows
and what the reader needs to know to understand the message.