Donation Receipt Email & Letter Templates For Your Nonprofit

Jonathan MayfieldNovember 19, 2020

header image for donation receipt templates

One of the most important parts of running a nonprofit is making sure you’re staying compliant with government regulations. The last thing you want is to spend your time dealing with legal trouble. One of the ways your nonprofit can ensure that you’re staying compliant is by issuing donation receipts and acknowledgement letters to your donors.

A donation tax receipt is essential for your organization and donors, and they ensure you’re maintaining good relationships with your donors. We recommend that you use a donor management system that has an automatic receipt feature built in. This will make sure that you’re staying compliant with tax receipt regulations without having to take the extra time to send receipts every time you receive a donation.

Automated receipts will save you a lot of time in the long run. That’s why it’s important to set up email and letter templates for all the types of receipts your nonprofit will need to send. We’ve adapted these Kindful email templates to work for any nonprofit. Just make sure you update them with the custom fields that your donor management system uses.

These email and letter templates will help you create compelling donation receipts without taking your time away from your donors:

Donation and non-cash gifts

It’s a good idea to start your donation receipt templates with a generic email or letter that you can send for any donation or non-cash gift.

Donation and non-cash gifts receipt template

Hello, Sarah!

It’s people like you who make what we do possible. Your donation of $250 on July 4, 2019, to our Save the Turtles! Campaign is greatly appreciated. So, let us be the first to say THANK YOU for being a part of our mission in saving the Sea Turtles!

Since 2013, we’ve been working tirelessly to ensure that the habitats for these beautiful creatures remain intact, as well as promoting their health and well-being to those who live in the communities around them.

Your amazing donation of $250 has a tax deductible amount of $200. Below, you will find a receipt for your records. Don’t worry, we’ll also send out a year-end tax summary in time for you to file early next year.

If you need to make any adjustments, you can follow the link below to manage your giving options with our donor management system, Kindful.

donation receipt for donations and non cash gifts

Thanks again!
jonathan signature
The Sea Turtle Foundation

Recurring donations

If you have a monthly giving program, you’ll need a donation receipt template that will automatically thank your recurring donors. You can use this template to thank donors when they first set up their ongoing donation.

For example, if today is June 15, and the donor creates a recurring donation to process on the 25th of the month, this receipt will confirm when their transaction will process.

Initial recurring donation receipt template

Hi Davey,Thank you so much for setting up a recurring donation with us! We’re so delighted you would choose to commit to supporting the sea turtles on a regular basis.

Your first donation will draft on the next occurrence of the date you chose so be on the lookout for that! When the gift processes, we’ll send you a receipt for that, too.

You can click on the link below to manage your giving account and see the details of this donation with our donor management system, Kindful.

Thanks again!
jonathan signature
The Sea Turtle Foundation

Regular recurring donation receipts

You’ll also need a receipt that sends every time your recurring donor’s transaction processes. We recommend using a template that tells the ongoing story of your nonprofit for your regular donors. This will help them feel connected to your work month after month and motivate them to continue giving or upgrade their gift.

Regular recurring donation receipt template

Grace,We wanted to let you know what we have been up to this month!

Recently we were able to re-home four sea turtles along the Florida panhandle. We are absolutely thrilled about this, and we couldn’t have done it without supporters like you.

We’ve continued with our efforts to improve the habitats for the sea turtles we work with as well. We hope to have our sea turtle homesite finished by the end of October. We’ll keep you posted on how this project is going.

After we finish this project along the coast, we’ll host our annual Winter Gala to support the sea turtles. This is currently scheduled for December 17, 2020. Keep your eyes out for an email with more information on how to purchase tickets and attend this incredible event. There will be music, a live auction, incredible food, and some fun dessert food trucks in attendance!

If you need to make any adjustments to your transaction or see the details of your donation, you can click on the link below to manage your giving account with our donor management system, Kindful.

Thank you so much again!
jonathan signature
The Sea Turtle Foundation


If your organization uses pledges in your fundraising portfolio, you’ll need an email template that sends as soon as you process a donor’s pledge. This serves as a confirmation for your donor of their commitment to give.

Pledge receipt template

Dear James,Thank you so much for making this pledge to us! Your promise for the future helps us effectively forecast our plans for creating sustainable habitats for our sea turtles.

Below is your pledge information we received. We look forward to working with you to complete this pledge! Be on the lookout from our team for ways to complete this. Just so you know, any future donation can be applied towards this if you so choose.

donation receipt for pledge

Thank you so much!
jonathan signature
The Sea Turtle Foundation

Failed donation receipt

There will be times when your donors’ transactions are not successfully processed. There are a variety of reasons for this, but in any case, you’ll need to notify your donors when this occurs. Some platforms like Kindful will have a standard template for failed transactions. The benefit of using Kindful’s standard template is that it will automatically include important information for your donor. This information includes:

  • Reason the transaction was unsuccessful
  • Date and time the transaction was initiated
  • Campaign the transaction was assigned to
  • Name of person who initiated the transaction
  • Amount of transaction
  • Credit card information provided
  • Billing address provided
  • Phone number provided
  • Email provided
  • Link for donor to update their billing informationv

donation receipt for a failed transaction

We recommend checking with the platform you use to process transactions—your donor management system, online fundraising platform, or payment processor—to determine if this feature is available. It likely is, but if not, we recommend creating a simple template that provides your donor with the information they need. We also recommend providing a link or directions for your donor to update their information.

Expiring card email

Just like the failed transaction email, Kindful also offers a standard template for donors who have a credit card that’s expiring soon. Kindful automatically sends this email 60 days before the card expires. If you’re not using donation software that has this feature built in, we recommend using a template that notifies the donor and gives them instructions for what to do next.

Expiring card email template

Hi Jared,We wanted to let you know that your card is expiring soon.

You can access your free online giving account through our donor portal. From there, you’ll be able to update your email and billing preferences, keep track of your donations, and make donating to the Sea Turtle Foundation event easier.

Thank you for your support!
jonathan signature
The Sea Turtle Foundation

Integrate and automate your fundraising systems

When it comes to staying organized with donation tracking, receipts, and payment information, it’s important to integrate your systems. Make sure your payment processor and online fundraising platform connect with your donor management system. This will allow you to automate important processes like sending your donation receipt emails and letters. It will also allow you to personalize your thank you letters to help reinforce your relationships with your donors.

Schedule a live demo with our partner Bloomerang, and we’ll show you how easy it is to create and automate reports, utilize online and offline fundraising tools, quickly integrate and access all your data, and ultimately create more time to engage your donors.

Filed Under:   Donor Management