8 tips for a stellar donor thank you letter

Have you recently received a grant or donation? Be sure to thank the donor!

This article from the Nonprofit Times provides a nice overview of what to include in your thank you letter:

"A great thank-you letter might mean the difference between another gift from a donor and your future appeals going into the trash. Consultant Pamela Grow shares the eight ingredients to an effective thank-you letter in her e-book, The Lifetime Donor Attraction System. They are:

Joy
You want the donor to be glad to receive the letter.

Timeliness
The letter should be in the mail no more than 48 hours after you've received the gift.

Personalization
It should be addressed to the donor, not "Dear Friend."

Gift recap
Reference the amount and what it was for.

Giving history
Acknowledge the donor's past and continuous support of your organization.

Tax-deductible language
Grow recommends it be centered and italicized at the bottom of the letter.

Post script
It can drive donors to something new, like a blog or a Facebook page.

Contact information
Give the donor a direct line to a real person at your organization.

You should never ask for a second gift in your thank-you letter.

'It simply isn't good manners to include any ask within a thank you letter - and that includes attaching a business reply envelope,' Grow said. “Your thank you letter's sole purpose should be to thank your donor.'"

2013. "Grants." Nonprofit Times 27, no. 4: 19. Small Business Reference Center, EBSCOhost (accessed April 1, 2013).

For more information on writing thank-you letters and other correspondence to donors, check out these resources: