How to Create Compelling Nonprofit Donation Receipts

Steven ShattuckFebruary 14, 2018

How to Create Compelling Nonprofit Donation Receipts header image

When it comes to connecting with your donors, nonprofit donation receipts may just be your secret weapon. Think about it: For tax purposes, you need to send donors a receipt whenever they give. It’s the one piece of mail that donors expect to receive from your organization – and even want! So while you have their attention, why not make the most of it? You could write a separate donation thank you letter, or you could simply include compelling content and make your donation receipt its own thank you.

For most organizations, donation receipts are automatic emails sent the instant someone makes an online donation. And that’s a great way to do it. At Kindful, we’re all about using marketing automation tools to make your donation receipts more efficient and effective. But there are many ways to make your donation receipt templates inspiring and creative!

Receipts can be a consistent and creative way to engage your audience and encourage even more donations. Let’s get creative with our donation receipts.

Making Donation Receipts Exciting

If someone has just given to your organization, the last thing they want to see in their donation receipt is another solicitation for even more money.

Asking for more money all the time is not the best solicitation practice. But you can lead them down a strategic path that increases their passion for your organization. You can take a less-than-exciting donor communication and turn it into an enticing engagement to get your audience more interested and involved. Turn that mundane receipt into a valuable donor engagement piece with content that means something.

Now the question is: What is valuable content? Just ask yourself what would entice you or open a story loop in your mind. Would it be something that makes you laugh? Makes you cry? Something that makes you mad enough to take action? Or curious enough to learn more?

Whatever it is, take these mundane donation receipts and turn them into content that will make your donors even more excited to support your organization. Take that simple communication piece and use it to put a face to your statistics and a story to your ideals. Here are 4 great pieces of content that you can include in your donation receipts to encourage even more donor engagement.

1. Short videos.

A 1-3 minute video is a great way to show off your work and inspire people to get involved. Link to your YouTube channel or a specific video on your site to drive traffic.

2. First-hand testimonials from your target population.

Let other people promote your vision for you, giving donors a personal account of how their dollars help change the world.

3. High-quality photos tell a story beyond words.

Photos can draw donors into your mission in just a few seconds. Link to a photo album of all your favorites.

4. Blog posts that are educational or inspirational.

These posts can showcase longer stories or content to help your donors feel more informed or inspired to support your organization.

How To Present Your Donation Receipts

Once you’ve decided what content you want to share with your donors, there’s still one more important step. To create donation receipts that won’t just be added to the pile and forgotten about until tax season, you need to present well.

Remember that donation receipts are not the time to ask for something more. This is the time to thank your donors and give them an opportunity to engage deeper with your mission. Get creative with how you tell your donors about this opportunity. Don’t beg for their help. Make them feel like they’re missing out if they don’t get more involved.

Take a look at the examples below and tell us which message you would click on.

Donation Receipt Messaging Comparison

Option 1 Option 2
Like us on Facebook to learn more and see photos from the field. Check out these amazing photos from our last trip and see the impact you are having all over the world.
Sign up for weekly blog updates to stay up to date on our work. Meet the community that now has clean water thanks to your support.
Watch this video to see how you can get involved with the great work we’re doing. Our friends want to say thank you! Take 30-seconds to see how your support makes an impact.


Did you notice how much more engaging Option 2 is? Not only do these short messages include a subtle note of thanks, but they also encouraged more donor engagement by showing how they’re making a difference. The truth is, with just a little extra time and creativity, you can dramatically improve the impact of even the most simple donor communications.

Automated Nonprofit Donation Receipts That Pop

Valuable content is key. Sharp presentation is important, too. But spending too much time on a good thing is still too much time. That’s why Kindful can help you create automated email receipts that incorporate all the elements that matter without taking up a ton of your valuable time. Check out our tips on crafting the perfect donor email and head over to your donor database to create donation receipts that will make your donors take notice.

With Kindful, you have the ability to include first-hand testimonials, links to media, and custom fields, so your donors receive a personal touchpoint with every receipt they get. You can even create a variety of different templates to send based on the amount people give.

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:   Fundraising