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Acknowledgement Letters Are NOT Thank You Letters

If you have a donor who has given more than $250 in one contribution, did you know that, by law, you must furnish that donor with a “receipt” (acknowledgement letter)?

According to the IRS, it should be sent “in a way that will come to the attention of the donor.”

At Rescigno’s, we advise that nonprofits provide written acknowledgements to donors as close to the receipt of the gift as possible.

More than that, however, you can use your acknowledgement letters to help your donors understand how their gift was used.

So, the receipt is important, but, there’s so much more to share with your donors than just that.

Share the following:

  • How your organization used the donor’s gift

  • What it helped the organization accomplish

  • How many people the gift helped

  • The “good” you were able to accomplish because of the gift

  • What you were able to accomplish because of the gift

  • New objectives you are undertaking

  • The work you’re doing right now

  • Volunteer events they can get involved in

  • Show them how the money is being spent

  • Offer personal stories and quotes from staff, volunteers, or clients

Here’s a good example of some acknowledgement language that donors will be able to relate to:

“Thank you for your contribution of $300 on November 10, 2016. The joy of giving to an organization that supports (animal rescue/special needs children/healthcare to the poor, etc.) is the only benefit that has been bestowed in exchange for this contribution."

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