SVG File-02

10 Donor Thank You Letter Ideas That Will Keep Your Donors Loyal

Author: Adie M.

Let’s discuss the benefits of the humble donor thank you letter. Did you know that up to 65% of first-time charitable donors never make a second gift? 

This statistic is not too unexpected. After all, times are tough and there are many reasons why donors may choose to contribute to a certain cause once off. The surprising thing is that the research also found that up to 80% of donors say that a prompt, sincere, and meaningful donor thank you letter would convince them to make a second donation. 

Yes, that’s right, a well-crafted donor thank you letter can mean the difference between receiving a once-off charitable contribution from a new donor and getting a second (or perhaps regular) donation from a given person or organization. 

Donor Thank You Letter

10 Ways To Improve Donor Thank-You Letters

Here are some donor thank-you letter ideas to pave the way for repeat engagement from your valued donor pool. 

Write From The Heart

Donor thank-you letters often read like automated responses or a business accounting check-in. If you really want to reach your donors, write from the heart. 

Craft a message that gets to the core of what they're contributing to. After all, a charitable donation is far more likely to have been inspired by an emotional connection to your cause than a tax writeoff. 

TOP TIP: It could be worth your while to get a professional writer to donate their time to create a basic template that you can use and update with new details when required.   

Share How The Donation Is Being Used

Demonstrate the impact of a donor's contribution by harnessing your storytelling skills and showing them how their donation is making a difference. 

Start with 'your donation has allowed us to...' and see where that line of thought takes you. If you can include a quote or two from an actual person who benefited from the results of the donation drive then all the better! 

Invite Them To Something (Free Of Charge)

Your donor thank you letter is the ideal opportunity to invite benefactors to an event or occasion, free of charge. Please note that now is not the time to ask for further financial contributions or monetary aid of any kind. Think about what your donors may like to see. How can you offer them a behind-the-scenes look at what their contributions helped to achieve? 

Perhaps you could invite them for a formal tour of the premises you’re sprucing up? Or a low-key thank you tea? Alternatively, you can simply invite them to join your social media platforms. That way, they can stay up to date with what’s happening within your charitable organization. 

Warm Up Your Language

The tone of voice is incredibly important when it comes to donor thank you letters. Ideally, you want to strike the fine balance between gratitude, professionalism, and genuine warmth. Even though you may be sharing specifics about financial challenges, etc., the underlying tone should be one of appreciation. 

TOP TIP: It helps to imagine that you are writing a letter to your favorite aunt rather than your mother or grandmother. It keeps the content from becoming too familiar but still keeps it warm and inviting. 

Open On A Personal Note

Steer clear of ‘to whom it may concern’ or ‘on behalf of XYZ, we would like to extend’. 

Ideally, you want to address your recipient by name. But, if this is not an option, rather start on a more informal, engaging note. E.g. ‘We have some very happy news to share with you’, or ‘Here’s a lovely silver lining to start your day’. 

Create A Video Message

Consider Video Messaging

Video is an incredibly versatile medium. If you have reason to suspect that your written donation thank you letters aren’t hitting the mark, a video could make all the difference. You can use a single video on multiple platforms, including the company website, social media, email, and even mobile. 

It also doesn’t have to be expensive to produce. A good editor can use stills and pan-overs with overlays and emotive music to create a video that speaks to the heart. 

Add Color & Images

If you choose to print and mail your thank you letters, color printing can become quite expensive. But, if you’re using a digital platform to send your letters, it’s always best to add color and images. 

Even just adding a photo or two that shows where the donations go can make all the difference.

Include Hand-Written Details

There is nothing quite like a hand-written note to let a donor letter recipient know that their contribution to your cause is truly valued. Naturally, this approach isn’t always feasible - especially if you’re dealing with contributions from hundreds or thousands of people and businesses. If you can, rope in volunteers to help in this regard.

Alternatively, stick to a printed format, but take the time to add a little handwritten note in the margin, or a signature at the least. 

Separate Thank You Notes From Receipts

Your donor thank you letter should be completely separate from the receipt that you send. Yes, a receipt is important for tax purposes but this should not be your main focus when you set out to extend your appreciation for a donation. 

Rather print the receipt on a different page or attach it as a standalone file with the thank you message in the body of the email you send. 

Get Creative With Your Donor Thank-You Letters

Everyone likes to be surprised and delighted. Think outside of the box! Find ways to get creative with the platform you use to extend your thank you letters. 

Perhaps you want to have cards printed on seeded paper that recipients can plant in their gardens? Or maybe you want to include a QR code in your email that takes them to a little video that shows the results of their donation in action. 

Donor Thank You Note

Final Thoughts On Donor Thank You Letters

Encouraging repeat engagement from your donor pool can be as simple as being sincere and timeous in the way you thank them for their charitable contributions.

Take the time to craft genuine, heartfelt donor thank you letters. You will see what a difference it makes in your repeat donation rates!