There’s a saying that goes, “Gratitude can double your joy,” and it’s true. People love to be recognized for their actions, and if you don’t say thank you, then they may feel like they were taken for granted.
Your donors will notice if you don’t say thank you, so email them or call them. Or send them a handwritten note if that’s your style. Do something to show gratitude regarding their generous donation. By saying thank you, you acknowledge the donor and the gift they’ve given to you. You’re also building a relationship with them and making them feel valued.
We’ve all gotten that generic, stone-cold template before that says, “Dear friend, thank you for your donation!” before it goes on to plead for more of your hard-earned money. And while this is certainly a thank you note, it’s not a compelling one.
Here are a few tips to craft the perfect thank you letters, and a couple simple templates to help you get started.
Tip #1: Demonstrate The Impact
When you’re writing a thank you for a donation, note how your organization is benefiting from that donation. When it comes to a nonprofit organization, a lot of people want to know how their money is going to be spent.
Be specific. Nobody really cares that because of their donation, they’ll be “helping us achieve our dream of a better world.” People would much rather see how their dollars make a difference and hear that they’re helping to achieve “a 10% improvement in high school graduation rates.”
Tip #2: Send Personalized Thank You Letters, Not Templates
There’s nothing more powerful than a personalized note from a founder to someone who has donated to your organization. Templates are great for organizing your thank you letter, but they’re no good as a final draft.
A personalized and handwritten thank you note is a great way to show your appreciation to your donors, regardless of the amount they gave. It shows that you really care about the person and their donation, and it serves as a good reminder that they made a difference to your cause.
Keep your thank you note sincere but also specific. Make sure you address the note to your donor by name, and thank them for their donation specifically. If possible, refer to a shared experience you have with the donor, or offer well wishes to their family members by name. This takes the personal touch a step further and reminds your donor that they’re more than just a source of money to you.
Tip #3: Mail Your Thank You Letter, Pronto!
When it comes to fundraising, get your thank you notes out as soon as possible. The more time that passes between when a donor gives and when they get their thank you letter, the more likely they are to think you forgot about the gift.
Get your thank you letter into the mail within a day or two of the donation. This is the most important part of the thank you process, so make sure you’re not waiting too long to send it out. A prompt response shows the donor that you are taking their money seriously and also that you value their contribution. You can even send them a small token of appreciation, like some branded merchandise.
Tip #4: Be Gracious, Not Greedy
Thank you notes should be sent out after every donation, even if the donation is very small. The purpose of the thank you note is not to ask for more donations. The purpose of the thank you note is to show your gratitude for the donor and get them more plugged into your organization.
You don’t have to sell them on anything. This is not a sales pitch. If people are giving to you because they want to support your cause, make sure you thank them properly. Don’t try to solicit more donations or advertise upcoming events in your thank you note. That will feel tacky and disingenuous, and those people will be turned off by your organization.
Sample Thank You Letter Templates
Professional Thank You Letter
Dear [Donor’s First Name],
Thank you so much for generously donating to [specific cause/fundraising effort] for [purpose of effort].
Your contribution is directly contributing to [goal/result of charitable effort]. Your generosity and financial backing is the only thing that makes this possible, and [beneficiary of charitable effort] is grateful to have your support.
During the past year, our organization has:[A paragraph or bullet points detailing organizational accomplishments, including data or statistics if possible]
Thanks to donations like yours, we’re looking forward to growing our efforts even more in the coming year. We look forward to bringing you along for the journey.
Warmest Regards,[Handwritten signature]
Casual Thank You Letter
Hi [Donor’s First Name],
We got your donation, and we wanted to give you a shoutout. Thanks a bundle!
Every dollar of your contribution went toward our successful effort to [purpose of fundraiser], and we can’t even put our gratitude into words. But we’re trying!
The generosity of our supporters keeps us going. We had a great time [running/planning/etc.] [fundraiser/event] and we can tell from your generous donation that you found it compelling. We can’t wait to show you what else we’ve got planned for the coming year.[Paragraph or bullet points detailing organizational goals]
Donors like you help us take our mission to new heights. Check out our social media to find out what else we’re up to and to see an example of the good work your support is doing.
A donation thank you letter is more than just a polite response to a gift. A thank you letter is a great opportunity for your organization to share its vision and mission with the donor. It’s also an ideal way to strengthen the bond between your organization and the donor, who may provide future gifts or spread the word about your cause.