I am writing a thank-you letter for a scholarship I received from the AFCEA – Bethesda Chapter. I am not sure how to write the salutation though. Two alternatives I have considered are:

Dear AFCEA Bethesda Chapter:


Dear members of the AFCEA Bethesda Chapter:

I am not sure which, if either, would be the most appropriate, or if there is a better option I am not seeing.

How should I write the salutation for my letter?

Further research examining past thank-you letters has been inconclusive. Many of them use extremely informal salutations, and there are as many different salutations as letters. You can see them here, if you really want to.

  • 2
    If you worked with someone specific then direct it at them and thank the other members as well. If not then I would say either works, it just depends what you are trying to convey. Sep 6, 2014 at 15:45
  • 3
    Members sounds and looks better to me.
    – Mou某
    Sep 6, 2014 at 17:06
  • 2
    In 'BrE', it is common to use a collective noun metonymically: 'The team were arguing amongst themselves' (= 'The members of the team were arguing amongst themselves'). This is true also of proper-noun groups. However, even people who are quite happy with this convention would probably find 'Dear AFCEA Bethesda Chapter' a little impersonal. I'd certainly choose 'Dear members of the AFCEA Bethesda Chapter' in spite of its clunkiness. Sep 6, 2014 at 18:34
  • I'm with user3306356 and Ashworth: You are a thankful person writing to other people. The abstract organization will consider itself suitable thanked. Sep 18, 2014 at 20:35

1 Answer 1


Since the scholarship is given by the chapter, you must address the chapter itself. The members are only a part of the chapter. The scholarship was given by the institution, and the members by themselves do not make it up - the institution also includes its history, its goals, its mottos, etc.

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