Nonprofit Thank You Letter for Donation
It’s the end of your fundraising campaign and you’re looking over the list of amazing people and organizations that have donated to your cultural institution. You’ve exceeded expectations, allocated funding to the appropriate departments and event organizers, and are to celebrate a successful fundraising campaign.
But you’ve forgotten one important step: the donation thank you letter.
Sending out a formalized, standard thank you donation letter simply isn’t enough to express your appreciation and accrue long-term donors, especially when other institutions are taking the time and effort to put together exceptionally constructed thank you letters.
This article will look at some nonprofit donation thank you letter best practices, templates, and examples to help you ensure funding for the present and future.
Why Thank You Letters for Donations Matter
Whether you’re running a nonprofit museum, zoo, garden, or other cultural institution, you’re likely relying on donations to help meet your annual costs and needs.
For many administrators, this often comes to the question of how to obtain new donors. What nonprofit leaders in the culture industry need to understand, however, is that retaining reliable, long-term donors is just as important to your funding strategy as obtaining new ones.
A high-quality donation thank you letter is important for several reasons:
- A well-thought and personable letter will let your donors know that they’re appreciated and that their gift matters.
- A high-quality thank you letter will leave a good impression on your donors, making your institution more memorable in the future.
- Good thank you letters could be the difference between a life-long donor or a one-time donation.
- Thank you letters are a great opportunity to remind your donors of your mission statement and why your nonprofit is important to the community.
- A boring, standardized thank you letter is a missed opportunity to express your true gratitude and show why your institution should be valued.
Thank You Letter For Donation Best Practices
Before we get into example letters and templates, there are a few general best practices you can apply to bolster the quality of your thank you letter. Even if you follow only some of these practices, you’re going to help improve your chances of obtaining returning donors.
- Include your donor’s name: If the first thing your donor reads is “Dear donor,” you’ve already lost half the battle. You want to make a good impression by referring to your donor by their actual name, which will, in turn, make them feel appreciated, noticed, and impactful in their philanthropy.
- Be prompt: Sending a thank you letter months after receiving a donation will look lazy, careless, and ungrateful. Sending a prompt thank you letter will help reinforce your appreciation and remind donors why they chose your institution to donate to.
- Be personable: There’s no reason to be overly formal or clinical in your letter. Be warm, friendly, and personable in your response. Provide your donors with a human touch to an otherwise formal process.
- Make the letter aesthetically pleasing: Add visuals, colored font, and aesthetically pleasing design patterns on your letter. Not only is this a good opportunity to make receiving your letter a more pleasant experience, it’s a great way to reinforce the themes and values that your organization represents.
- Reinforce your mission statement: Remind you donors why their support matters by reinforcing the impact of their donation and your mission statement. If you can, inform them of the exact event or campaign their funds are being allocated to. Provide links, include quotes, and allow your donors to engage with your letter as much as possible.
Templates and Examples of Thank You Letters for Donations
Having a template is important to expedite the process and ensure that all of your letters are as personable, friendly, and aesthetically pleasing as possible.
Below is a simple template to help you get started with your own model for future letters:
Dear [Donor Name],
Thank you so much for your very generous donation of [$ amount].
[Briefly describe your organization’s mission statement and roles as a cultural institution, tying it back to how this donation will contribute to that mission statement].
[Provide more detailed information as to what the donation is specifically going to or upcoming events that will be made possible because of the donation].
[Include an image, quote, or visual].
[End with another warm thank you and provide links to your website and calendar of events]
With Kind Regards,
Here are some of our favorite nonprofit thank you letter examples:
Charity: Water: While not very personable, this is a great example of how visuals can carry the letter.
Water.org: Another great example of how to utilize images, but it also highlights the importance of providing a narrative and human element to your letters.
Green Peace: A great example of how to be personable, aesthetically pleasing, and informative all at the same time.
Final Thoughts: NonProfit Thank You Letters for Donations
If you plan on building perennial donors, these best practices, templates, and examples are a great way to start developing your own thank you donation letter.
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