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Use This the Next Time You Thank Your Donors

Would your last thank you letter pass the basic necessities of what a basic thank you should look and feel like? Yes, I said “feel” as well as look because you’re trying to make an impression on your donors when you send them a thank you letter.

If you can, pull out your last appeal from your file drawer or get it up on your computer right now and let’s do a little self-assessment.

  • Does your first sentence or paragraph express in no uncertain terms your love and appreciation for the gift the donor sent? For example, You may not know it, but you’ve just made a huge difference in someone’s life. Because of you…………………………

  • Have you thanked your donor “in specifics”? In other words, referred back to the subject matter of the appeal? For example, Your $175 gift to our SOS Campaign is truly appreciated.

  • Does your thank you explain the impact or difference the donor’s gift is making or will make? For example, Dexter will be the first in his family to graduate from college and that’s thanks to you!

  • Does your thank you letter make a promise and include your contact information? For example, In the near future, I will be reaching out to invite you to tour our new facility. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me. Your feedback is important to me.

  • Thank the donor again.

  • In the P.S. (yes, there should be a P.S.) mention an added benefit like a new report on something having to do with your organization or an upcoming event, etc. to extend your engagement efforts. For example, In the month of April, Harper’s Bazaar will be featuring us in their magazine. It’s a story about……………………..don’t miss it—and never forget—you’re an important part of our success!

And, of course, since these thank you letters are supposed to be as personal as possible, if you can, hand sign them.

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