Here are a few tips to help with writing your thank you letter. I hope they are helpful! Feel free to add your own in the comments section 🙂
- Take a moment to reflect. Before writing the letter, take some time to think about what this generous donation will allow you to accomplish. Remember that the donor did not have to give, but instead chose to join your cause because he/she believes in the work you do. That’s pretty awesome. Don’t forget that the best letters come from the heart. If you are just trying to sound grateful, the letter may come off as contrived.
- Mention the purpose of the gift. If it was made for a specific program/project, be sure to mention this in the letter and how their support will make a difference. While numbers are helpful, make sure that they are accurate and not at all misleading. If the gift did not have a specific purpose (i.e. general operating), let them how valuable this kind of donation is. If possible, let them know how you will be allocating the funds and how that will make a difference. Note: If you have a subscription, see the “The Numbers Game” paragraph of The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s article titled Fund-raising and Program Goals Often Clash, Say Charity Officials.
- Add personal touches. Did they recently attend an event? Or will they be celebrating a birthday soon? Take these opportunities to build a relationship. It may vary, but one or two simple lines should be enough, don’t go overboard.
- Incorporate their language. If the funds were received from a grant, use some of that language or visit their website to check out their language there. Again, don’t go overboard. It’s just a small way to let them know that you are interested in what they do as well and at the very least, care enough to get to know them.
- Make sure all your facts are correct. This may seem silly, but be sure all your information is correct, including donation amount and the spelling of their name. Also, take the time to make sure all of your statistics (if included) are correct and not out of date.
- Edit, Edit, Edit. Read your letter from beginning to end a couple times. Try to eliminate as many grammatical errors as possible and check the formatting. Make sure the letter is not repetitive, makes sense, transitions gracefully, and ends on a positive note.
Still stuck? Take a break and visit a program site or talk to an individual that benefits from your program for some inspiration!