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Thank you for your generosity letter samples

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Thank you for your generosity letter samples
August 30, 2018 Holiday Thanks 4 comments

Thank you for being part of the change within our community by supporting Your generosity and dedication means you understand what it means to LIVE.

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A dear friend of mine is a dedicated philanthropist, as is his wife. Both as a couple and independently, they support many charitable organizations in their quiet, yet deliberate way. While reviewing the day’s mail recently, my friend’s wife plunked her stack of letters down in her lap and, with a tone of exasperation in her voice, she remarked, “Is there only one thank you letter?”

When I first conducted research over a decade ago on the impact of thank you letters on donor loyalty and generosity, donors identified two prominent deficiencies — the time it took to receive acknowledgement letters after making gifts and the predictable nature of their content. I am happy to report that donors now say they receive far more thank you letters in a timely fashion. Unfortunately, they continue to be deflated by the content.

What Donors Say Makes Thank You Letters Superior

My research on thank you letters culminated in a list of the 20 Characteristics of Great Thank You Letters which was published in Donor-Centered Fundraising. Over the years I have had many reports from thrilled Development professionals who have re-engineered their acknowledgement letters according to these principles, raising more money and improving donor retention as a result. Many have also received immediate and very generous additional gifts from donors who were now reading something they could get excited about. One story is particularly memorable. A community hospice sent their new donor-centered thank you letter to a first-time donor who had just made a $100 contribution. The delighted donor called the organization because she “wanted to meet the person who had written such a beautiful letter”. Donor and Fundraiser fell into conversation about the Hospice and its future plans. The next day a check arrived via courier with a post-it note attached which read, For your hopes and dreams. The check was for $25,000.

Here is my list of the 20 things that make a thank you letter superior:

  1. The letter is a real letter, not a pre-printed card.
  2. It is personally addressed.
  3. It has a personal salutation (no “dear donor” or “dear friend”).
  4. It is personally signed.
  5. It is personally signed by someone from the highest ranks of the organization
  6. It makes specific reference to the intended use of funds.
  7. It indicates approximately when the donor will receive an update on the program being funded.
  8. It includes the name and phone number of a staff person whom the donor can contact at any time or an invitation to contact the writer directly.
  9. It does not ask for another gift.
  10. It does not ask the donor to do anything (like complete an enclosed survey, for example.)
  11. It acknowledges the donor’s past giving, where applicable.
  12. It contains no spelling or grammatical errors.
  13. It has an overall “can do”, positive tone as opposed to a hand wringing one.
  14. It communicates the excitement, gratitude and inner warmth of the writer.
  15. It grabs the reader’s attention in the opening sentence.
  16. It speaks directly to the donor.
  17. It does not continue to “sell”.
  18. It is concise – no more than two short paragraphs long.
  19. It is received by the donor promptly.
  20. Plus, in some circumstances, the letter is handwritten.

A Growing Resource as Precious as Gold

At the request of colleagues who understand the power of compelling communications, I continue to compile a catalog of the best examples of Donor-Centered Thank You Letters which is distributed to everyone whose entry is included. We are now accepting submissions for the 3rd edition of our Donor-Centered Thank You Letters Project. If you have adapted one or more thank you letters according to the twenty donor-centered principles above or if you would like to do so now, I would love to receive a sample of your best.

In the meantime, don’t hesitate to post a comment if you have any questions about something on that list of twenty characteristics. Here is a clue that will lead to greatness —  more than 80% of thank you letters start with Thank you for your generous gift of… or its first cousin, On behalf of the Board of Directors, thank you for your generous gift of…

I’m counting on you to be so much more brilliant than that.

Donor-Centered Thank You Letters Submissions

Send your Donor-Centered Thank-You letters to:  [email protected]

All letters chosen for publication will be edited to preserve anonymity. Here is an example from the 2012 Edition of the Donor-Centered Thank You Letters Project.

For more information on the project, visit:



Donor-Centered Thank You Letters: Your First Step to the Next Gift2011-08-252018-05-30 Blog

So, pick up your pen and write a thank you letter to express your gratefulness towards the The letter should be written within 24 hours after the generous act.

Sample Donor Thank You Letter

thank you for your generosity letter samples

Donation Thank You Note Samples

Sending a donation thank you note shows your appreciation and reassures the giver that choosing your cause was a good decision. Some things to keep in mind:

Acknowledge the gift soon after it's received, within 48 hours. People are less likely to give again if they feel unappreciated. Besides, it's just plain rude not to be prompt with any thank you note!

Some More Tips...

  • Make the note about the giver, not you or your cause. Some say bragging about how much money you helped raise isn't called for in a thank you note but I can see how it could be done tastefully. After all, if I believed in a cause enough to donate money, I'd be interested in hearing how much was produced overall. Maybe instead (or in addition to), you could give details about what services were made possible with the money.
  • Keep a generic version on your computer that can be personalized quickly.
  • Keep the tone personal.
  • Very large donations deserve a phone call or a personal visit.
  • If you've received a donation thank you note, keep it as receipt of your donation.

Donation Thank You Letter Samples

Thanking School Donation

Dear Annie,

You made my day!  I just opened the mail and found your very generous donation.  Your support means so much, not only to the school, but to the kids you are helping.

Here at XYZ, our goal is to make sure no student starts school hungry.  We have proof that kids who start school with breakfast perform better than those who do not.  Thanks to contributions like yours, we have fed over 2000 children since the program started.

Thank you!  You truly have made a difference.

With gratitude,

Thanking Vendors

Dear Vendors,

Please accept my heartfelt thanks for your gift donations. Our company picnic was a huge success, in part due to your help. The raffle was a hot item with your gifts as the prize.

Thank you for your generosity and your quality products!


Donation Thank You to Friends

Dear Kim and Frank,

I want to express my appreciation for your generosity in support of [name of cause here]. Your personal commitment was incredibly helpful and allowed us to reach our goal. Your assistance means so much to me but even more to [name of cause here]. Thank you from all of us.



Dear Karen and Mike,

I so appreciate your contribution to the [name of cause here] fundraiser. You truly did a wonderful thing. Your generosity will directly benefit [ x ] and their families.

If you ever need me to help with a charitable cause of your own, please let me return the favor. Again, thanks so much for all you've done for [name of cause here].



Dear Marcy and Steve,

Thank you for your very kind donation, which we received today. Your generosity will make an immediate difference in the lives of [name of cause here]. The funds raised will go toward [ x ], [ y ], and [ z ]. You are making a difference!

Thanks again for your kindness,

Donation for Raffle

Dear Mr. Pritchard,

We would like to thank you and your company for the generous gift to our fund raiser. Our raffle was a huge success, and that raffle would not have been possible without your help. The raffle funds will be used to [ xyz ], so you are truly making a difference in people's lives. Thank you on behalf of [name of cause], and thank you from our group in particular.


Donation Thank You for Clothes

Dear [Church member],

We can't thank you enough for your recent clothing donation. People take undergarments for granted-- until you don't have any or they're uncomfortable! Please know how much you've helped our students and how much we all appreciate it.

Best regards,


Dear [Friend],

I just had to tell you again how much I appreciate the clothes. It's all great stuff and I know [child's name] will look adorable in them and get lots of use out of them.

Thank you for being so generous and thoughtful!


Thank you for hosting benefit

Dear Linda,

Wow! What an incredible month you've had! You've managed to pull off a spectacular auction, raising over $62K for Horton Elementary, and have also run a full marathon! You are such an impressive person, and not only for the amazing things you've managed to pull off this month. You are an inspiration to me and I'm so glad to have you as my friend.

Thank you again for inviting us over for dinner after the marathon. We had such a nice time, and it was great to share all of our experiences of the day. I'm finally beginning to walk again without hobbling--hooray! Perhaps we could join each other for a walk around the neighborhood sometime soon.

Thanks again for everything, but most especially your friendship.

Much love,


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Steal This Thank You Letter! A Sample Donor Thank You Letter for Your Non-Profit

thank you for your generosity letter samples

For years, you’ve probably been taught to send thank you letters for gifts. Whether or not you listened is up to you – but when it comes to making sure your nonprofit or charity properly thanks your donors, you shouldn’t skip out!

It’s pretty simple: According to research, 65% of first-time donors don’t make a second gift – and 80% of those donors say a simple “thank you” would convince them to make a second donation. That’s proof that something as easy as a thank you letter can bring in extra funds for your charity or nonprofit.

Crafting a good thank you letter for donation isn’t just about encouraging more giving – it’s a necessity that can help make your donors feel like they’re a part of something bigger. Put yourself in their shoes: Imagine you’ve donated even a small amount to a cause you care about. What will make you feel more appreciated: Never hearing anything from the cause (or worse, a “Dear Friend” form letter) or a personalized, well-written thank you letter that frames your donation in a larger context and helps you feel like your support can make a difference?

We thought so. But where do you start when it comes with putting together the best letter of gratitude that your donors have ever read? Here’s 20 ideas for how to make your donation thank you letters really make an impact – and hopefully create more lifelong donors.

1. Make it personal: The biggest advice we could ever give is to personalize, personalize, personalize! The “dear supporter” form letter is a surefire way to make sure your donors don’t feel special at all. Once you have their name and donation details, make a point to talk to them like you would talk to a good friend. This will definitely help them feel like they’re one in a million, not just one in another line of faceless donors.

2. Demonstrate the impact: This is where your storytelling skills come into play. Outline the projects and missions that the donation is going to support, and emphasize that this donation is helping to create a positive impact. Wording like “Your gift makes it possible to...” is key. Check out the below example from Doc Wayne Youth Services – they even include a thank you from one of the kids that will benefit from the funds. This is a great way to prove that donations have impact!

3. Keep the tax receipt separate: The tax receipt email (or attachment) is a statement verifying the donation details, and some nonprofits or charities will send it along with the thank you letter. Unfortunately, this can come off as a little stiff and formal, so keep the tax details separate and fill the thank you letter with your organization’s personality instead! The last thing you’ll want is for your supporters to think your nonprofit is only focused on business.

4. Spread it on social: Ask your donors to share their donation on social sites like Twitter and Facebook (and follow your organization there too!). You can make it easy by including social share options on the thank you landing page as well. People will love to show off the good causes they’re supporting, whether it’s through a tweet that can be sent out automatically, a special photo filter on Facebook, or a fun picture they can share on their Instagram accounts.

5. Know your tone: You’ll need to craft the writing of your thank you letter to best suit which individual is receiving it. Consult your donor personas to see how they would best respond to different tones of writing. For example, you might not want to send the same letter to a youth volunteer that you’d be sending to a major corporate donor. Have your donor persona guide handy when you’re crafting the language in your letter and you’ll be sure to hit the mark, whether you need something more straightforward or more lighthearted.

6. Sign it personally: Again, don’t have this look like a form letter that’s pumped off of a conveyor belt. It’ll go a long way towards legitimizing your letter – and your organization – if the thank you is signed by a single person rather than the charity at large. You’ll want to aim high – it looks especially impressive if a director or CEO of the company signs the letters. This will just go to show that your organization takes its donors seriously, and that you place high importance on being grateful for the support.

7. Have your thank you letter team in place: Not sure who’s going to be signing that letter? Be certain to outline the process ahead of time – you won’t want to be left fumbling to find someone or worse, letting the thank you letter go unsent because it ended up on somebody’s to-do list. It’s also a good time-saving idea to have your thank you letter drafted and approved before your first donor meeting – that way you will be able to send it quickly after the excitement of receiving your first major gift!

8. Try greeting-card style: As Kivi Leroux Miller suggests in her article 9 Clever Ways to Thank Your Donors, you’ll want to be in the Hallmark mindspace rather than an accountant’s. You’re going to want something short, warm, and friendly, so stay away from overly formal or complicated language. Think about the kind of thank you you’d want to receive! As we noted in an earlier point, there’s no harm in being more straightforward when the situation calls for it – say, if you’re sending the letter to a major corporate donor – but it’s wise to still sound human. Here's a cute one from The Jimmy Fund:

9. Create a video message: Online video is a cost-effective and popular medium. Your staff members just need a smartphone or a laptop to create a direct, moving and authentic “thank you” video. Try doing custom videos where your staff directly address donors and express their gratitude (in either a heartfelt or funny way, or both!). You could even experiment with Instagram or Snapchat to create short messages that can be shared across social media.

10. Plug your nonprofit’s social media: Speaking of the power of social, you can use the end of your donor thank you letter to drive people to your social media sites. Be sure to include links to your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or whatever else you’re running – and encourage donors to sign up for more info! (If you’re not already running a few social media accounts for your nonprofit, take this as your wake-up call – it’ll help get the word out on your good work, plus it gives you another outlet for your amazing thank yous)

11. Be specific: Donors are hungry for personalized details about the impact of your work. Are you careful to segment your donors by the types of funds and programs they contributed towards? If donors gave to a specific program, they should receive special information about their impact on that program, not just in general. By segmenting your thank you letter content down towards what really matters to your individual donors, you’ll guarantee more attention gets paid to what matters.

12. Tell a story: Your donor thank you letter is a great way to engage in creative storytelling. Take note of the below thank you letter from Toronto Cat Rescue: it explains how the funds will be put to use, tells a story of a particular foster cat and how the nonprofit was able to help her, and reinforces how donations further the cause. The charity even encourages the reader to follow their social media accounts – a best practice we’ve noted, for good reason!

13. Share even small progress: Show your donors they matter, no matter the size of their donation. Make sure to explain exactly how your donor’s gift is causing positive change and helping to advance your cause, even if they only gave the minimal option – it’s important to emphasize that any little bit helps (and who knows, their second donation could be even larger). Let your donors see how their donation is helping by visualizing your data in an infographic or colorful chart to help reinforce the impact of their support.

14. Add an invitation: Have you thought about inviting your donors to join you or support you in a way that doesn’t include asking for another donation? Ask your supporters to volunteer, sign a petition, come to a free event, or follow you on social media. Take a look at this example from Helping Hands Monkey College – it’s a straightforward thank you without an ask for another donation. Sometimes it’s good to just show your gratitude without asking for more!

15. Consider a return envelope: If you’re sending a physical letter, make it easy to give another gift by including a reply form and reply envelope. Mention that “your future gift will continue to make a difference in supporting...” so the donor knows what their second contribution will go towards. You can also offer a newsletter subscription or other non-monetary reason to return the card.

16. Include a personalized opening: Shake up your copy and be creative! Start your “thank you” with a personalized feel. Try “You made my day!” instead of traditional openers like “Thank you for...” The first line of an email often appears in your donor’s inbox below the subject; make sure that line is something worth clicking on! And if you’re sending a physical thank you letter, it’s a good way to capture someone’s attention right away and make them feel special. Here's how Nevada Public Radio did it - a "thank you" followed by something warmer:

17. Show photos of your success: Your donors love to see photos that celebrate your successes, especially if they can feel like they contributed. Photos help create a connection between your nonprofit and your donors. In your thank you letter, consider sharing photos of the people your organization has helped, or pictures from a volunteering event. These visuals are important to help add color to your cause story, plus they can really brighten up a letter format.

18. Send something more than a letter: When it comes to digital letters, a “thank you” message doesn’t have to stick to the traditional letter format – especially when there’s so much selection out there. There are several apps available that allow you to create and send a personalized postcard with a photo. Try sending a photo postcard that visually captures the everyday work you do, or see if you can put together a small animation that will show off how creative and dynamic your charity is.

19. Customize it: Be sure to choose online fundraising software that lets you use specific customization on behalf of your nonprofit (logos, design, and so on). This will help your letter stand out and maybe even earn a place of honor on an office fridge or cubicle wall! Take a look at this thank you letter from Guide Dogs of America and see how they’ve formatted it with their logo and adorable photos of puppies – that’s definitely the kind of design that will get plenty of eyeballs on it.

20. Ask volunteers to help: Harness the power of volunteers to improve your thank you process! Ask your volunteers to join staff in writing hand-written and personalized thank you notes to donors. Having the physical thank you letter be written by hand is a powerful and thoughtful way to follow up with your supporters – it shows that you’re devoted to your supporters and are willing to put in extra effort to make them feel appreciated.

Hopefully this list of tips will get you and your charity started towards thank you letter success. There's no wrong way to thank a donor - but there are plenty of ways to go above and beyond. Try out some of our tips and see if you can turn a one-time donor into a repeat supporter!

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Begin your thank you letter by addressing the person in the way that feels most natural Thank you notes are usually short and to the point, Your warmth, generosity, and kindness mean the world to me.

Donation Thank You Note Samples

thank you for your generosity letter samples

Common Words of Appreciation

You don't have to give a big speech or write a long thank you letter to let someone know you appreciate them. Sometimes short is sweet.

  • Thanks.
  • Thank you.
  • I am indebted to you.
  • Dinner was delicious.
  • I appreciate you.
  • You are an inspiration.
  • I am grateful.
  • You are a blessing.
  • You are a true friend.
  • You're so great.
  • This is great.
  • You light up my life.
  • My sincere thanks.
  • You're the best.
  • You make me happy.
  • You've been very helpful.

Words of Appreciation for Gifts

People always appreciate it when you take the time to thank them for a gift, especially if they didn't get to see you open it, as with wedding gifts.

  • I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
  • You are one of the most generous people I know.
  • Are there no limits to your generosity?
  • You are so thoughtful and generous in your gift giving.
  • Thank you for the delightful gift.
  • You must have read my mind because your gift is exactly what I wanted.
  • You picked the perfect gift for me.
  • Thanks for being so thoughtful.
  • Your gift means a lot to me.
  • If you could see my face right now, you'd see a look of gratitude.
  • Thank you for showering me with gifts for the baby.
  • You made my birthday a special day.
  • I am grateful for you and your generosity.
  • Thanks for thinking of me; you made my day.

Words of Appreciation for Help & Support

For someone who has been there for you or encouraged you a message of gratitude is very much appreciated.

  • How can we ever thank you enough for all you've done? We're forever grateful.
  • You helped me right when I needed help most.
  • If anyone deserves thanks, it's you.
  • I really appreciate your support in this endeavor.
  • You have been extremely supportive through this difficult time. I could not have gotten through it without you.
  • We must thank you for your support at this time.
  • I want to thank you for all the support and concern.
  • That was very kind of you. How can I ever repay you?
  • Your support has made me a stronger person and I will forever be grateful.
  • You're my best friend.
  • Thank you for always being there for me.
  • Taking the time to help me was a very nice thing for you to do. Thanks so much.
  • Thank you for thinking of me and taking the time to be kind.
  • You are the most beautiful and wonderful thing that has ever happened to me. I'm so lucky!

Appreciation in the Workplace

To help keep things positive in the workplace a few words of thanks or support can go a long way to making employees feel appreciated.

  • You are a great employee and a positive force around the office.
  • I want to acknowledge everyone's extra effort.
  • You did an excellent job on that report.
  • I want to thank you publicly for your hard work and dedication.
  • Your attitude and work level suits us here, so keep up the good work!
  • Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience with me.
  • You have been a valuable member of our team.
  • Thank you for giving me the chance to fulfill my potential here.
  • Your commitment to this project is second to none.
  • I appreciate you supporting me at the meeting.
  • You have a winner's attitude.
  • Thank you for sharing your vision.
  • Your commitment to excellence has inspired others.
  • We appreciate your innovative thinking.
  • Your attention to detail puts you at the top.
  • Thank you for taking the initiative and getting it done.

If you want to add to these examples of words of appreciation to craft a longer thank you, you can read more Words of Appreciation offering quotes and thoughtful messages.

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Thank you for attending our wedding and for the generous gift. Related: Thank you notes for graduation gifts: Money, tips, and examples . PrimeEligible 100 Thank You Cards – Black Bulk Note Cards with Gold Foil Embossed Letters.

thank you for your generosity letter samples
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