A little thanks can go a long way towards making people feel appreciated and needed. When your organization relies on donations from others, a “thank you” letter can accomplish just that.
Fundraising does not stop when the drive is over, or when you’ve reached your donation goal. No good fundraiser is ever over until you’ve said your heartfelt ‘Thank You’ to all of those who made your objective a reality with their donations.
Showing, saying, and putting your thanks in the form of a letter is good public relations for you and for your generous donors. It shows donors you appreciate their gift, and that your organization is thoughtful enough to be appreciative. That in itself may be the very thing that keeps you on the list of worthwhile charities in the next fundraising cycle.
Assuming a donor knows you appreciate their donation is never enough. They might not feel appreciated, and might feel taken advantage of, if the ‘thank you’ isn’t timely and obvious. Sending a prompt, personal thank you letter for a donation is essential to maintaining a good reputation as an organization, and to procuring funds in the future.
Form letters are the norm and absolutely necessary when you have a large number of donors. But perhaps a hand-written letter can be sent to special donors or when your nonprofit is still very small.
Following are the best things you can include in your thank you letters for donations to show donors and patrons you really care.
Be warm and personal. Form letters and templates run the risk of not showing true appreciation. Craft your ‘thank you’ letter with extra care that shows that the donation was truly appreciated and the letter isn’t just a required formality of the required ‘thanks.’ Just think ‘How would you feel?’
Make the letter about your donor. This is about their compassion and generous donation and what they’re enabling you to do.
Tell the donor about the good their donation did. Be as specific as possible to show the donor they had a real-world, tangible impact on the lives of others.
Use a conversational tone. Let the recipient feel as if you are face to face proclaiming your appreciation (which also means not overdoing it).
Offering reciprocal support. As a ‘thank you’ gesture, consider offering volunteers or facilities if appropriate.
Make the donor feel great about what they have just done for others.
End the letter with thanks again. Make sure your appreciation is what stays in the reader’s head.
It will help as well to keep one final thought in mind, that donors give you money because you have reached them in some way, and giving makes them feel better about themselves. Make sure your campaign reinforces that emotion, and you will put a great face on your organization, while building public relations and a future fundraising base.