Your donors are your supporters and thanking them is a must! A personal thank you letter to donors not only makes them feel good but also increases the chances of future donations. Studies reveal for non-profit fundraising, donor retention plays a more important role compared to donor acquisition. Acquiring new donors is not an easy job. Maintaining good relations with the existing donors not only boosts the chance of continued flow of funds but also donations by referral.
Expressing gratitude to donors after they have contributed to a cause is simple but having a look at a sample letter of thank you for donation received always helps. It gives an idea about what to include and what to avoid to write the best letters to your donors.
When is the best time to send a thank you letter to donors after they have donated?
Sooner the better! Donors give money because they are inspired by the cause of a fundraiser. They expect to know if it helped the cause and how it benefited the nonprofit organization. The ideal time to send a thank you letter to donors is within 48 -72 hours of receiving the donation. The longer you wait, the letter loses its purpose.
Tips of writing a good letter of thank you for donation received
Personalize the letter
Run-of-the-mill letters can be mundane and express a lack of genuineness. Use your donor’s name and tweak each letter to show you have made an effort to personalize each one. If you are running out of ideas, go through a sample letter of thank you for donation received to get fresh ideas. Mention the donation amount in the letter as it also works as a receipt for their donation.
Dear Mr./Mrs. (donor’s name)
I want to extend my sincere thanks to you for your donation to [name of the fundraiser]. Our fundraiser for helping homeless animals (mention reason) got a big boost from your donation of (mention donation amount). Your contribution on [mention date of the donation] helped us move one step further in achieving our goal.
A prompt letter of thanks is always remembered. Donors supporting your fundraiser will get an idea about your dedication if a ‘thank you for donation’ letter is sent within a few days of the donation received. Do not wait for weeks and months to send out letters of gratitude as they may lose their essence and meaning. The best time to send a letter of thank you for a donation received is within 48 hours.
Use I or we to show a connection
A letter from an organization may not form a personal bond compared to when it is sent by a person. Use I or we and sign it with your name to show real people are involved in the process and they care to appreciate their donors.
Add some emotion to your words
Appreciation letters must be meaningful. It is not just a routine document that’s required to be sent after receiving a donation. A thank you letter to donors should not sound as if it has been written by a robot. Keep the tone friendly yet semi-formal. It should not be boring and uninspiring. If it is too dry and lacks emotions, the donor will know that immediately. That may be a reason to not want to support the organization or the cause in the future. Good sample letter of thank you for donation received always sound personalized. Sending out letters with the same template looks monotonous and lacks personal connection.
Give it a thought before penning it down
A well thought and articulately drafted thank you letter to donors put the wheels in motion for continued support. Write it from the heart and express your true feelings. Tell them how much their donation helped your organization. To do that, ask questions to yourself. How did their donation help you? Related benefits that will be achieved from their donation.
Use phrases like ‘your donation was a lifesaver during the most difficult times’, ‘your donation made it possible to (state benefits)’.
People can distinguish between a heartfelt thanks and a mechanical, routine appreciation letter. The main intention behind writing the letter is to say ‘thank you’ to the donor but don’t just stop at that, express involvement. Try new ways to bring your letter to life. You can mention a brief history of your fundraiser or some inspirational quotes.
Tell your donors how their donations will be used. The most effective messages contain information expressing clarity and a well-thought-out plan in place. Donors feel satisfied when they see their money going to good use. Talk about the fundraiser’s future plans to make a connection and keep them in the loop. Consider looking at a sample letter of thank you for donation received to get an idea about how to word your letter effectively.
Use additional strategies with your letter
A thank you letter is an excellent way of communicating other things that you want to share with your donor. Begin with appreciation, offer frequent donors a special donor status, personalize donor letters, create thank you videos, and be original. Think out of the box to show them how much you appreciate their help. In the world of digital communication, letters to donors can be taken to a different level with visual aids like graphics, images, onsite videos, and more.
Always read before sending your letter
You want your letter to make a good impression on your donor because they are your financers. Donors don’t just help you themselves but often influence others to help a cause they believe in. To ensure your letter is well received, read it out carefully before sending it. Think how you would feel to get such a letter. Make it error-free, friendly, and thoughtful.
Sign it by hand
Handwritten letters are one of the most appreciated forms of thank you letters. However, it is not always possible to write each letter by hand. In that case, a hand-signed letter adds a personal touch to a letter that’s typed out. It shows someone has taken time and effort to sign it. That makes an impact on the receiver of the thank you letter.
The main purpose of a thank you letter is to express gratitude. It is best to start with thanking the donor because it gives an idea of what the letter is all about. However, it need not be the sole purpose of the letter as you can also use it as a bridge to build relationships with the donors. A donation thank you letter can be considered the first step towards making connections with people who are interested in the nonprofit cause and are willing to help.
A sample letter of thank you for donation received will help you draft your version of a thank you letter. That will help you cultivate goodwill and a harmonious relationship with your donors. Thank you letters may be a vital part of a nonprofits’ donor retention strategy.
Format of a donation thank-you letter
Before moving to the sample letter of thank you for donation received, it is important to understand the format.
Add an appropriate subject line to make it convenient for the donor to understand what the letter is about. Every letter needs to be addressed personally to the donor. Next, comes the salutation. Start with giving thanks for their generous help and support. The following body paragraphs should be divided appropriately, stating the amount, what their donation means, how would it be put to good use, and by thanking them. Do not hesitate to appreciate their kind gesture multiple times but do not overdo it either. The closing of the letter should include the name and designation of the sender to show genuineness.
Thank you letter for donation to help educate children
Subject: Thank you for your kind donation towards providing education
Dear (Donors name),
We truly appreciate your support and your donation towards the cause of (mention your cause) helping educate underprivileged children. It was extremely kind of you to come to the fundraising event (mention name of the event) and help us with your generous donation of (mention donation amount)
The fundraising event was a great success and we had an overwhelming response. We managed to raise $[amount] in donations which will help us move one step further towards achieving our goal! Your presence played an important role in the success of the event and boosted our enthusiasm. The amount raised will help us give scholarships to more than fifty deserving children.
We can’t thank you enough for your help. It is an encouraging reminder that kind-hearted people like you are always ready to lend a helping hand to those who need it the most.
On behalf of (mention fundraiser name)
Thank you letter after receiving donation for animal rescue
Subject: Thank you for your generous donation for animal rescue
Let me start by thanking you for your generosity.
Your recent donation of $ (amount) shows how much you care for animals that have undergone abuse and need help to get a better life.
Our nonprofit (name of organization) is dedicated to rescuing and providing shelter to animals that have been abandoned or treated badly by their owners. It is a herculean task to look after them and your donation will help us provide them a comfortable shelter, food, and medication. Not only that, rescue animals often find their forever homes through our organization and a share of the credit goes to you too.
Donors like you make it possible to give homeless and abused animals a second chance. Our volunteer intense nonprofit has a lot of kind people who are always ready to lend a helping and healing hand towards suffering animals. What we require the most is finance to keep our mission afloat. With donors like you by our side, we have reason to get motivated and pursue our goal.
Thank you once again, We love your support.
Letter of thanks after receiving donation for taking care of the elderly
Subject: Thank your for you donation to the ‘Home for elders’ program
We can’t thank you enough for your donation towards our ‘Home for elders’ program. Your donation of $(mention amount) helped a senior couple Jenna and Frank move into a multi-residence housing facility. They now have a bright, well-furnished room and caregivers who are around them all the time. It added so much comfort to their lives.
They can participate in exercise classes and fun activities, and community field trips with people of their age. It is because of you, this couple got a chance to get warm meals, medical care, and the comfort that they deserve. You will always have their blessings for your kind support.
It is because of kind people like you, we can help the elderly who do not have the support or means to lead a comfortable life. Your donation is truly appreciated. We wanted you to know how it has helped make a couple’s life better.
We, along with those we serve, extend our heartfelt thanks for your thoughtful gesture.
Program and service manager
P.S. Please feel free to call us any time at xxxxx (phone number) in case you would like an update or have questions. In case you want to drop in at our office to know more about our work, we would be glad to meet you and extend our thanks face-to-face.
Thank you letter after receiving donation for buying Christmas gifts
Subject: Thank you for your charity donation towards Christmas gifts for the elderly
It was a wonderful gesture on your part to donate $….. For buying gifts for the elderly for the holidays. We appreciate your donation towards ‘Gift for the Elderly’ (name of fundraising).
It means so much for the elderly people who are living in nursing homes to be visited by a volunteer with a sack full of gifts for them. It assures them that they are not alone and people still care about them. Not many people find it a worthy cause to come forward and finance gifts for the aged. It’s for people like you with a large heart who still believe that old people should be cared for, we can cheer them up during the festive season.
Your donation helped us buy ten lovely gifts. On behalf of the recipients, we extend a big thanks to you. Without the help of people like you we just couldn’t make it happen.
Thank you once again
Thank you letter after receiving disaster relief donation
Subject: Thank you for your hurricane relief donation to Hope Always
Dear Mr. Tom Jones[Name],
Thank you for your gift of $___ towards supporting hurricane disaster victims in Slidell, La.
Hundreds of families need food, shelter, and other supplies during this time of emergency. Donors like you make it possible for ‘Hope Always’ (name of the nonprofit organization) to assist those in dire need of help. With the donation from generous people such as you, we have been able to deploy teams and dispatch emergency supplies for those who have lost their homes.
With the donations we have gathered, we are providing food, freshwater, hygiene products, and medicines to the residents of Slidell. We have set up three distribution sites to make sure we can reach the maximum number of people.
Thank you for your quick response in sending the money. We thank you for lending your support in the wake of this disaster.
Please find attached herewith a summary of your donation. Click on this link (add link) to access a receipt of your gift.
Thank you for your compassion.