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14 Strategies to Write Amazing Thank You Letters to Donors

Carl WegnerProduct and Content Marketing Specialist

Carl Wegner,

Product and Content Marketing Specialist

Oct 19, 2020

Why Send Thank you Letters?

Thank you letters are an important part of the donation process, not only for your organization, but also for your donors. When a donor sends a donation, they undergo feelings of positivity for themselves. Sending a thank you note to your donors engages them in additional feelings of positivity. These thank you notes are important because it shows them that they are valued beyond their donations, and it can convince them to make a second donation.

However, any thank you letter will not be enough. Bad thank you letters can turn your donors away from being repeat donors. Here are some tips for you when writing a thank you letter to your donors.

Quick Reads


Donation Thank You letter content

The content in your thank you letters is the most important part. This is the part of your letter where you need to convince your donors that their donations make a difference for your organization.

If you have the wrong content, the letter can convey the wrong message to your donors.

When the content conveys your message well, your donors will feel that they are valued and the contributions are appreciated. This can lead them to becoming repeat donors to your organization.

Remind Donors what their Donations Go To

When thanking your donors, do not just send a vague statement that they are helping your organization achieve your goal. Really zoom into what project their money is helping them support. Ensure not to just copy and paste your messages and promotions in the thank you notes, as you run the risk of seeming non-genuine.

Remember to explain who or what they are specifically helping with their donations to give them a personal feeling with the project that they are supporting. This can help them develop a bond with the project and become a repeat donor on the project.

Special Recognition for Big Donors

Big donors do not need to give large donations, but are consistent donors to your organization. These donors deserve special recognition in your organization and in the public because they are consistently supporting your organization and your efforts. Adding an additional customized handwritten section on the bottom of the thank you letter makes a great difference for your donors.

This ensures that they feel valued because your organization took the time to write a customized, handwritten note to them. This can be able to convince them to continue supporting your organization with recurring donations.

Don't Ask for Another Donation

Do not ask for another donation while you are thanking your donors. This can make them feel as if their donations are belittled and that their donation does not support your organization in any which way. In your thank you letter focus on the appreciation that your organization feels because of the donations that they have sent in to support your organization.

Keep the request for additional donations for a later date. This will ensure your thank you letters feel genuine and that your organization values your donors.

Personalize Your Thank You Letters

Personalize donation thank you letters

Personalizing your thank you letters is important because it gives your donors a sense that their own donations are valued, and they are not labelled in a category in your organization simply as “donor.” Personalizing your thank you letter gives your donors that each of their individual donation are valued, and that they are an important member to your organization. This kind of sentiment can allow them to feel positively about themselves and can convince them to become a recurring donor.

Keep Them Short

Keep your thank you letters short, succinct and to the point. Your donors would not like to read another long letter or email because it takes up their valuable time. Get to the point in your letter, and express to them that you value them and appreciate their contributions. This ensures that they do not feel as if your organization is wasting their time, and they decide to no longer be a donor.


Including a handwritten signature at the end of the letter allows the letters to be more personal. It would be beneficial for an upper level manager to be signing the notes because it ensures that your donors feel as if they are really appreciated within your organization. Having a lower level employee do it may seem like your organization is looking for busy work for employees and your donors could perceive that. Ensures that the signatures are aesthetically pleasing as well to ensure an overall satisfaction from your donors.

Add Visuals

Donation thank you letters visuals

Adding visuals such as photos of the projects you have helped with. In addition you can show images or videos on the impact their donation has on the projects they were donating to. This allows the donors to feel as if they are donating and contributing to something they feel as tangible. Show the numbers and statistics on the animals, people, or plant life that your organization has saved through their donations. This allows them to see that their contribution has made a difference and convince them to be repeat donors.

Say Thank You in Subject

Saying thank you in the subject is very important. This simple subject line allows your donor to filter to this message more easily and not dismiss it as an additional ask for a donation. Keeping the thank you in the subject increases the chance that the donors will open your organization’s thank you letter, and feel their contributions being valued.

Second Thank You

Sometimes it is important to also include a second thank you letter. Not only does this ensure that your donors get your thank you letter if they missed the first one, but also can increase the amount that they are feeling valued because they are receiving not one, but two thank you letters. This can exponentially increase the amount of value and appreciation that your donors feel your organization portrays and increase the potentiality of your donors becoming repeat donors.

Letter Sending Strategies

The process in which you send your letters is just as important as the content that your letters portray. If your thank you letter sending process to your donors is flawed, it can have implications of donors not becoming repeat donors or consistent donors stop donating. You must ensure that this process is flawless to continue receiving donations because you must have your donors feel as if they are valued.

Send Them As Soon As Possible

Sending them a thank you letter as soon as possible is important because the donation will be fresh on their mind and they would feel the appreciation in a much greater sense. This, however, does not mean that the letter needs to be hastily written. Remember to still include the content needed and produce a high quality letter, but send it as soon as possible so they understand that their individual contributions are valued.


handwritten donation thank you letters

If it is possible, operationally, for your thank you letters to be handwritten, there is no downside to that. A handwritten letter feels more personal and can send your organizations feelings of appreciation through the snail mail system. Many organizations are not able to send handwritten letters efficiently so they choose not to.

Be the organization that puts more effort in sending the thank you letters to your donors. This will make your donors feel appreciated. This can influence them to donate again.

Be Warm

Having a compassionate attitude is important in sending thank you letters to your donors. It allows them to feel as if your organization cares for the project they donated to and that they care about their donors too. If the attitude or the language is not of a positive one, it can harm your organization’s reputation and drive away any potential or current repeat donors.

Have a Team Member in Charge of Letters

Team Member in Charge of Donation Letters

Having a team member in charge of the letters is an important operational tactic to have. This employee can ensure that the letters are sent out on time and to the right person. This can increase the amount of letters sent and decrease the amount of time between the time a donation is received and the time the thank you letters are sent.


Always proofread! Proofreading your thank you letters are important, especially when they are handwritten. A tired writer is one that is prone to make mistakes. Any mistake in your thank you letters will stick out like a sore thumb, and can cause your donors to feel as if they are not appreciated as much because your organization refused to ensure that everything that is sent out is correct. Ensure to proofread all thank you letters before you send them out or risk the donors not donating to your organization any more.

Your Turn

Each of these strategies to write a good thank you letter to donors dependent on the corporations themselves. Some of these strategies may work better than others for different corporations. For your specific corporation, look for what strategies you are missing and add them into your letter writing process.

Let us know which strategy works the best for your corporations! We would be happy to learn about new strategies that work with you that we didn’t mention here. We wish you best luck in your corporation’s thank you letter to donors!

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