3 Tips on How to Write Effective Thank You Notes to Your Donors

Two of the most powerful words in the nonprofit world are, thank you. These two beautiful words should be incorporated into every level of the giving process but especially after the gift is received. It's very important to make the donor feel special and that they are a very important part of your nonprofit's success. Saying thank you in a variety of ways keeps them engaged long after the donation has been made and builds a long-lasting relationship. Get personal with your donors, share with them how their donation makes a difference, and they will continue to be an ambassador for you. Here are some tips to write effective thank you notes:

  • Personalize, Personalize, Personalize:  Did we say, personalize? A thank you note should be sincere and from your heart. Ditch the form letters from your spreadsheet and create a card that you and your team personally sign. Then, put a stamp in the upper right-hand corner of the envelope and mail it! Yes, an email is another and immediate way to thank someone for their contribution, but a card or letter personally signed, sent through the mail shows are extra appreciative.

Tip: Email and direct mail are two important ways to communicate with your donors but which one is better? A personally signed thank you letter is always a winner, but to find out what engages your donors, create a survey and ask. Surveys are another touch point and effective way to engage donors.


  • Focus On The Impact Not The Amount:  Instead of focusing on the amount of the donation, share how their donation is making an impact in your organization. This will make every donor, no matter how much they gave, feel their donation counts.  For example, write something like, thanks to your generous donation, Susie, Jennifer and Bobby were able to attend our summer camp.

Tip:  Adding a photograph in a thank you letter, both email and direct mail, will add a personal touch and show donors how their money is being used, and motivated to donate in the future.


  • Invite The Donors To Stay In Touch:  It's important to continually engage donors, especially after the first gift. It's not wise to ask for another donation in a thank you letter, but it is important to provide other ways they can stay in touch with you. In an email, use a link and invite them to visit your website or join your social media accounts. In direct mail, invite them to special events, open houses and other future activities.

Tip: Keep your donors continually engaged to cultivate a positive, long-lasting relationship.


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