Thank You: Say it Often, Say it Right
Next to your fundraising appeal, your thank-you letter is the most important piece of communication that your donor receives.
Great thank you letters are the hallmark of great fundraising programs. They make a donor feel appreciated and important … that their gift will make a true difference.
When donors are thanked properly for their gift, they are far more likely to give again.
So how do you write a great thank you letter?
- Thank you letters should be written as part of your fundraising appeal. They are not an afterthought but are a significant, integral component.
- They should be as beautifully crafted and well thought out as your appeal letter.
- They should be personal – a real letter that speaks directly to the donor.
- Your letter should tell a story; ideally, a story in which the donor is the hero (because of their gift.)
- It should reinforce just how the donor’s gift will be used – and the difference it will make.
- If you don’t have any immediate results that you can send back in response to a donor’s gift, let your donor know when they will next receive an update on the program being funded. And follow through!
- There should be no grammatical or spelling errors.
- Most importantly, the letter should be sent out quickly.
Thanking matters! If you aren’t spending as much thought and energy on thanking donors as you do asking them, you aren’t doing your job.
Need some help? There are some great resources out there to help you get started.
Visit Lisa Sargeant’s ‘Thank you Letter Clinic’ on SOFII. There are eight examples of thank you letters to help inspire you to write your next one.
There are five thank you letters donors will love at ‘the balance’