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Anatomy of a great email thank you [Infographic]

thank you email

I’m sure your grandmother or mother probably stressed the importance of writing thank you notes after receiving a gift. Common etiquette practices advise that you send thank you notes after receiving birthday presents, wedding presents, graduation presents and other gifts. In the same way, your nonprofit must be thanking donors and volunteers who take the time to support your cause. Their time and donations are gifts to your organization, so shouldn’t you be thanking them?

Sending your donors a thoughtful thank you message is one of the most important things your organization can do. Thank you e-mails can make a big impact on your donors, and timely, genuine thank you’s will encourage donors to give again.

Here is a look at the anatomy of a great email thank you:

1. Be timely

Timely, prompt thank you emails assure your supporters that their work or donation was noticed, received and appreciated, in addition to indicating that your nonprofit is on top of things. Send a thank-you email within two days to two weeks, with an average of less than a week. Online donors should receive a thank you email from your fundraising platform immediately after giving.

2. Make it personal

Personalizing your emails will help donors feel more appreciated and willing to consider donating again in the future. Avoid using "Dear Donor" or "Dear Supporter". Always address one or multiple donors’ names in salutation.

3. Make it warm and inviting

The message of your email should be warm and inviting. Use a friendly, casual tone, as well as first and second person pronouns. Be sincere and try to connect with the supporter, rather than just talk at them.

4. Reiterate your cause

Remind your letter recipient what his or her donation will be used to achieve. Create an emotional tie between money and service. Briefly share how your nonprofit is helping the community or demographic.

5. Let them know their value

Include the percentage of each dollar that goes directly to activities that support your organization's mission. Let your supporters individually know how their donation has helped.

6. Encourage further engagement

Invite your donors to stay up-to-date with your organization's and get more involved by including information for e-newsletter sign-up, social media accounts, upcoming events, etc.

Thank you emails are a great way to further engage your supporters and show your appreciation, all the while leaving a lasting impression. Take the time to craft personal, timely and inviting thank you emails.

thank you email infographic
Anatomy of a great email thank you

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Ronald Pruitt

Ronald Pruitt

Since founding 4aGoodCause in 1998, Ronald has had the joy of doing what he loves - building software that makes a difference in the world. For almost 20 years, Ronald and the 4aGoodCause online fundraising platform have helped raise millions of dollars for nonprofits from Maine to Hawaii. Follow Ronald on Twitter at @4aGC.

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