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How to Write the Best Thank You Letter for Donations + 4 Templates and Samples
Whether you’re interested in cultivating existing donor relationships, increasing gift frequency and dollar amounts, or spreading goodwill to expand your donor base, a thank you letter for donations is the tool you need.
Your donors crave recognition, whether they’re aware of it or not. They don’t expect it, mind you, and their contributions aren’t contingent on getting the credit they’re “due.” It’s just human nature to want to feel good about the things you do. Recognizing a donor’s contribution with a card full of honest gratitude is an excellent way to spread “warm and fuzzies” and increase your donors’ engagement with your cause.
At Simply Noted, we’re thank you letter experts. We’ve generated hundreds of thousands of thank you cards with our state-of-the-art handwriting machines, so we’ve seen the full range of thank you sentiments. Read on to learn how to write the best thank you letter for donations.
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TIPS FOR WRITING A GREAT THANK YOU LETTER FOR DONATIONS
Writing a potent thank you letter doesn’t have to be complicated. Try these tips to improve your results.
Focus on New Donors
In an ideal world, you would thank every donor every time. But financial realities can get the better of your outreach efforts. If you’re not in a position to send thank-yous to every supporter, concentrate on new donors.
Consistent donors demonstrate a willingness to give regularly, so they’re less likely to fall away without gratitude. You’ll get more bang for your buck building relationships with new donors.
Handwrite Your Cards
Maximizing the emotional impact of your thank you cards is critically important, so use handwritten cards. They resonate emotionally in a way that printed mailers can’t match. However, few organizations have the staffing necessary to write thank-yous by hand. To get your handwritten thank you cards created automatically, turn to Simply Noted. Our handwriting machines can create convincing, pen-written thank yous in any volume.
Make Them Personal
Don’t print a palette of generic thank you cards and mail them to every donor. They ring hollow because of their lack of personalization. Instead, personalize your thank yous with your recipients’ names and other personal details, like their donation amount of city of origin. Personalization creates a connection that helps boost future giving.
Use the Power of Stories
People want to know what their donations are accomplishing. They want to feel involved in something larger than themselves. You can paint a compelling picture for people through the power of narrative. Include stories about what you’re organization is doing, who you’re helping, and where you’re heading in the future. When you tell emotionally charged stories, you pull people in and give them a reason to donate in the future.
FOUR SAMPLE TEMPLATES TO GET YOU STARTED
Let’s see this advice in action. You can use these templates as-is or alter them fit your purposes. As long as you hold to the general structure, your thank you letters should be effective.
Recognizing Frequent Contributors
Recurring donations often form the foundation for an organization’s everyday operations. It’s crucial to recognize consistent benefactors regularly, both to remind them of their commitment as well as invigorate their devotion to your cause.
Dear [Donor’s name],
We love our longtime contributors here at [your organization’s name], and we wanted to recognize your continued support. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for four years of consistent donations. Your generous and predictable support is critical for maintaining basic operations as we strive to fulfill our mission. From all of us on the frontlines, we wish you the warmest of thank-yous.
Let Donors Know What You’re Accomplishing with Their Money
If you can get your donors excited about the good their donations are doing, they’ll happily give more! Mention specific gains your cause has made due to the generosity of your donors. You’ll be thanking them and priming them to give simultaneously.
Dear [Donor’s name],
We can’t thank you enough for your recent donation! We get to accomplish a lot of good in the world, and it’s all thanks to donors like you. In the last six months, we’ve been able to [include specific accomplishment] and [include a second accomplishment]. Each step brings us closer to realizing [include your organization’s driving purpose]. We’re so happy to have you onboard, making these exceptional gains possible. Thanks for your support!
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Mention Your Backer’s Gift
The unfortunate truth about charitable donations is that larger donations sometimes get bigger cheers, and that’s not fair. A wealthy person donating $10,000 is equivalent to someone of more modest means giving $100. Every contribution is meaningful because each is a sacrifice for the giver, regardless of the amount. By mentioning specific gifts, you’re letting your donors know that you appreciate them equally.
Dear [Donor’s name],
Charitable donations are a sacrifice. You give what you can to help others, and whether you can afford a little or a lot, the result is the same — good things happening in the world. We wanted to let you know how thankful we are for your recent $30 donation. It will join thousands of others to push us ever closer to [your organization’s primary mission]. Thanks for your generosity.
Help Your Donors Meet Their Beneficiaries
Another way to spread the word about the good your donors accomplish is to introduce them to the people they’re helping. Include in your thank you letter for donations a note of gratitude directly from someone that benefited from the work you do.
Dear [Donor’s name],
At the end of our summer fund drive, we like to recognize committed donors like you and the people your generous donations help. Like Shelly, who [include a short description of how Shelly benefitted], or Steve who [tell Steve’s story in a sentence or two]. Your donation has forever improved their lives. So we thank you from the bottom of our hearts, but more importantly, so do Shelly and Steve. Let’s hear it in their own words. [Include quotes of gratitude from both beneficiaries]