Every once in a while, you might have to write a condolence letter from your organization. For example, you may need to write a condolence letter regarding the death of someone connected to your organization.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- 1. Sample Condolence Letter From the Deceased’s Workplace to the Deceased’s Family
- 2. Sample Condolence Letter From a Small Business
- 3. Sample Condolence Letter From a Large Corporation or Organization
- 4. Sample Condolence Letter From a Nonprofit to a Donor
- 5. Sample Condolence Letter From a Place of Worship
- Quick Tips for Writing a Condolence Letter Form an Organization
While this job will certainly not bring you joy, it is something that has to be done, especially if the deceased was a part of your team for years.
Let us help. Here are some tips on how to write a condolence letter and sample condolence letters from an organization or workplace.
1. Sample Condolence Letter From the Deceased’s Workplace to the Deceased’s Family
Please accept my most heartfelt condolences on behalf of the entire company.
Emily was the heart and soul of the office. She was beloved by our customers and a friend to all. She remembered everyone’s birthdays and work anniversaries and made a fuss on their special days. We all looked forward to Emily’s Christmas cookies every year, and she was our go-to person for remembering details about each of our clients.
We know that there is nothing we can say that will take away the pain you are feeling right now, but please know that you are not grieving alone. Emily will be truly missed by everyone who knew her.
2. Sample Condolence Letter From a Small Business
It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I write this letter. On behalf of everyone at Angel Roofing, I would like to offer you our sincerest sympathies for the loss of your wife, Michelle.
I had the pleasure of working with Michelle for more than 15 years and she was an invaluable asset to our organization. She was knowledgeable, efficient, and more importantly, she was a beloved friend to everyone in the office.
Our condolences to you, Connor, and Erin for this tragic loss.
3. Sample Condolence Letter From a Large Corporation or Organization
Dear Mrs. Corzone,
On behalf of Griffith Industries, I would like to offer our sincere sympathies on the death of your husband, Marc. Marc was a highly respected member of the accounting department for 22 years. We always knew he’d complete every project with efficiency and preciseness. Marc set an example that will continue to be an inspiration to us all.
We will send you information regarding benefits in a separate communication. In the meantime, please reach out to our HR department if you have any questions.
Again, please accept our sincerest sympathy for your loss.
Mike Griffith, CEO
4. Sample Condolence Letter From a Nonprofit to a Donor
Dear Mr. Land,
Please accept our sincere condolences on behalf of Eyesight International. Your wife, Margo, was a great friend to our organization and worked tirelessly to raise money for our yearly campaign. As a result of your wife’s work, we have been able to provide eyeglasses to thousands of impoverished children in developing countries.
I had the pleasure of meeting Margo at our volunteer banquet three years ago. I appreciated hearing her story of how she struggled in school for years before a caring teacher thought to have her eyesight tested. This personal account was an essential part of her fundraising campaign, which raised tens of thousands of dollars. Children can see well enough to complete their schoolwork because of your wife’s work for our organization. What a fantastic legacy to leave behind!
Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this devastating time.
5. Sample Condolence Letter From a Place of Worship
On behalf of everyone at St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, we would like to express our sincerest sympathies at the passing of your father, Gregory. Gregory was a beloved member of our congregation and will be missed by many.
While it hurts to say goodbye to someone you love, I hope you and your mom can take comfort knowing that Gregory is now with his heavenly father. Hold Romans 10:9 close to your heart, which says, “Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Gregory believed this with his whole heart.
We are praying for your entire family as you mourn the loss of your father. Please reach out to us if there is anything we can do. A member of our grief counseling team will be reaching out to you in the next few days, but if you would like to meet before that, please give me a call.
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Quick Tips for Writing a Condolence Letter Form an Organization
You may also be interested in reading How to Write a Condolence Email to a Client.
As you consider this unpleasant task in front of you, here are some more tips to consider.
Handwrite the letter
We know that it may have been years since you wrote an entire letter by hand. That’s why you should consider handwriting a condolence note. Writing it out by hand will make it special.
If someone received a beautifully formatted letter from a large company or church, they assume that the message was not explicitly written about their loved one. A handwritten note is much more personal, especially if you include details about what made that person special.
Include details about the deceased
Make your letter shine with authenticity by including details about the person who died. Write about how Monica was known as the office “green thumb,” and that she took great care of all the plants in the reception area. Explain how Michael won the chili cook-off every year. Tell the family of the deceased that Tanya always left everyone in stitches, that she was the heart and soul of the office.
Adding specific details will make your letter more personal — the family of the deceased will appreciate it.
Don’t assume the family shares your beliefs
Unless you are a minister writing to a member of your congregation, don’t assume that the deceased’s family members have your same beliefs.
Avoid writing about how the deceased is “now in a better place” or in the comforting arms of God.
We know it is difficult to avoid cliches when writing a letter of sympathy. After all, how many ways can you say, “I am sorry for your loss?”
Regardless, the family will appreciate a letter that seems like it was personally written and from the heart.
Make sure you get details right
Make sure that everyone’s names are spelled correctly when writing a sympathy letter. Double-check the spelling of the deceased’s name and also the name of the other family members. Also, make sure that the letter is addressed to the correct person. You don’t want to use the ex-husband’s name by mistake when writing a sympathy letter. Compare the obituary and employment records if there is a question.
Make sure you have the facts of the deceased’s employment correct as well. Don’t pretend that you had a relationship with the deceased if you didn’t. This will make the letter feel disingenuous.
Ask others who knew the person to write an additional letter. As a leader of an organization, it’s appropriate that a sympathy letter comes from you. You may also request that the immediate supervisor of the deceased write a letter as well. This person would have had a closer relationship with the person who died and could include details that might make the family members smile.
Consider giving the family a sympathy gift
Your company may have a protocol on what to send when an employee dies or when an employee loses a family member. Make sure you follow these guidelines perfectly.
You may order flowers or a plant to be delivered to the funeral home or the home of the family. You may also ask a member of your organization to order or create a sympathy basket full of comforting items. Providing meals or gift cards to restaurants is also appreciated and you may give special care to the young children who lost a parent.
Attend the funeral
Writing a letter doesn’t give you an excuse not to attend the funeral of your employee or donor.
Sending representatives from the company or organization is essential, especially if the deceased devoted a large portion of her life serving the company.
Send a Well-Written Condolence Letter
When tasked with writing such a difficult correspondence, it’s always best to put yourself in the shoes of the recipient.
If you recently lost a loved one, what would you want to hear from his or her boss or co-workers? Would you rather receive a form letter or would you instead like a personal message from someone who cared?