Fundraising Tips

Five-minute Guide to Writing a Thank You Letter for Donation (with Customizable Template!)

July 15, 2022

What to include in a thank you letter to nonprofit donors that will keep them invested in your cause 

Sometimes, the most important part of your fundraising campaign is what happens after the donations have already come in: the thank you letter. A physical letter sent to donors – at least once per year – is sure to leave a lasting impression. In a world where sending digital communication like email has become the norm, you can cut through the noise more easily with physical correspondence.

This quick and easy guide will show you how to write donation thank you letters that are sure to keep your donors coming back to support your cause. Say goodbye to writer’s block for good!

Donation letter best practices to keep in mind

Before you start writing a letter thanking campaign participants for their donation, there are a few best practices you should keep in mind. 

  • Be prompt! Send your thank you letter as soon as possible, ideally within one week of the event. 
  • Personalize it! Make sure to include as many details about the donor and their contribution(s) as you can.
  • Be concrete! Provide tangible benefits of your donor’s contribution (i.e. how many people they are providing for, animals they are housing, etc.)

Check out the template here.

How to format your thank you letter 

The best thank you letter for a nonprofit donation starts with a simple formula that you can easily customize based on your donors and your fundraising event. Typically, a letter thanking a supporter for their donation should include:

  • Your organization’s header
  • The donor’s contact information
  • A friendly greeting and opening 
  • Concise body text explaining the impact of the fundraiser
  • Next steps for donors

#1 Your organization’s header

Your header should include your organization’s contact information (and logo, if you have one!). This will help your donors easily identify your nonprofit, and enable them to form a positive association with your organization.

#2 The donor’s contact information

Just as you would in any formal letter, you should include the donor’s contact information before getting into the body of the letter. This will signal to the donor that your organization is aware of them and their ongoing support of your cause. 

#3 A friendly greeting and opening

People respond best to other people. That’s why you should try to make your greeting as “human” as possible. This is where you may want to avoid more formulaic language, and instead try to connect with your donor right away with something that strikes an emotional chord. 

#4 Concise body text explaining the impact of the fundraiser

In the body of your letter, time is of the essence! You really only have about 10 seconds to capture a reader’s attention, and in this case, you will want your donor to know that what you are about to say is worth their time. Try to include tangible actions that will be taken for – or resources that will be given – to the cause thanks to your supporter’s contribution. This will help them to make a concrete connection between themselves and whomever is on the receiving end of their donation.

#5 Next steps for donors

Once you have illustrated to your donors how their contributions are making an impact, they will be motivated to take another action. You can make this as seamless as possible by providing another outlet for them to become a monthly donor, sign up to volunteer, and more. Let them know about new ways to engage in your cause by providing a QR code or URL that links to the next step you would like them to try taking. With Zeffy, you can easily generate scannable QR codes that will take donors directly to a donation or registration form for your next event. This will make it easy for your donors to continue to make a difference. 

It’s all about how you say it

When sending a letter thanking a supporter for their donation, it’s not only the content that will leave an impression, but how you express yourself. 

When writing a donation thank you letter, express genuine gratitude. If nothing else, be sure that you make your donors know that they are making a difference, and that you and your entire organization appreciate the resources they are providing.

And lastly, like we said before, try to keep the language of your donation thank you letter as human as possible. After all, your supporters engage with your cause because it struck an emotional chord with them. You will want to honor that by communicating with them candidly and authentically.

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