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

Appendix B.

• 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.