Writing a thank you letter is a professional courtesy that goes a long way in letting donors know you appreciate their generous contribution to your nonprofit. No matter how big or small the gift, a heartfelt thank you is always in order.
Below, we’ll run through how to write the perfect thank you letter and describe how your nonprofit’s CRM software can help streamline the process when you have multiple letters to send.
Who should I send thank you letters to?
You should send a thank you letter to anyone who donates to your organization. Taking the time to write a thank you letter demonstrates how appreciative you are of the person’s donation, which in turn could lead to additional donations from that individual in the future.
Does my organization need to personalize the thank you letter for each donation?
Each thank you letter should be personalized with the individual or corporate donor’s name, the amount of the donation, and other pertinent information. The good news is that you don’t have to do all of this manually. Your organization can utilize a thank you letter template that pulls this information automatically from the record of the donation and saves you time in the process.
When sending donation acknowledgement or thank you letters, be sure to also categorize each donor type so that you send out the right thank you letter; this is known as donor segmentation. A major gift donor should receive a different thank you letter than someone who made a one-time donation of $25. For smaller donations, a donation acknowledgement letter can suffice.
When do you send a thank you letter?
You should send a thank you or donation acknowledgement letter out to donors as soon as possible–ideally as soon as the donation processes on your end. If your organization accepts online donations, set up your CRM system to automatically send out a thank you letter after the donation was made. For those who mail in checks or contribute in different ways, you will need to complete the thank you letter manually. Don’t worry: You can still easily generate that list from your CRM.
What kind of content can you include?
In addition to thanking the donor for contributing to your organization, be sure to recognize the exact amount of money that was donated and when the donation was received. A thank you letter can also serve as a tax receipt that the donor can provide when doing their federal taxes at the end of the year.
Within the body of the thank you letter, be sure to also provide a brief explanation of how the donation will be used to serve the community. People enjoy reading about how their donation dollars are used and what programs they will help fund. You can also include a personal story about someone who your nonprofit has helped so the donor can put a face to your mission and be even more encouraged to donate in the future.
How to format your donor thank you letters
To start, your thank you letter should include a heading that addresses your donor by name. Personalized letters are much more effective and meaningful than a standard form letter that looks like it could arrive in anyone’s mailbox.
In the body of the letter, be sure to include a heartfelt thank you to the donor for their generosity and include the amount of the donation. At this point, as we mentioned above, you can continue on to explain how the donation will be used to fund the mission of the organization, perhaps highlighting a couple of special projects. You can also include photos and videos to help tell whatever story you’re sharing.
Looking for some inspiration on how to format your donor thank you letters? Complete an internet search and you will find hundreds of examples that will help you get started.
Use your organization’s CRM to automate your thank you and acknowledgement letters
Get the most out of your nonprofit CRM by using it to automate the process of sending out thank you letters to donors. Your CRM can be integrated with your organization’s website donation page to send out a thank you letter as soon as an online donation is made.
You can pull contact information, greeting headers, and the amount of the donation from your donor database to create the letter once the donation is submitted to your system. If you prefer to personalize each letter and complete the process manually, you can still run a report within your CRM to generate the information needed to create each letter.
When it comes to creating donation thank you letters for your nonprofit, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Feel free to use our donation letter templates to assist with creating a letter that your donor will feel good about receiving after making a financial contribution to your organization or get creative and think of new ways to say thanks.
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.