How to write a donation acknowledgment letter
Letter writing can be an art form and when someone donates to your organization—be it online or otherwise—your letters should have standardized formats to ensure timely receipt and acknowledgment. The best donation thank-you letters should include:
Decide how you will address your donors. First name only? Suffix with last name? Full name? Much of this will depend on your brand style and voice but do personalize the salutation of all donation acknowledgments.
Make it clear how much the donation is for. This makes it easy for your donor to keep a record if needed and confirms that the correct donation amount was received.
A thank you ‘impact’ statement
This should be brief but share why the donation was so important. If it was made as part of a specific campaign, mention how the donation helps that area of your organization. If it’s a general donation, you can be more general about how these donations make a difference to your nonprofit.
Ensure that your organization’s contact information is provided (email address, phone number, website) in the event that donors have questions about their donation or need to get in touch after they’ve received your letter.
Keep your thank-you letters short and simple. You don’t want it to read like another solicitation or ask; they already gave a gift. Timing is everything—ensure that online donors receive their thank you emails/letters immediately after submitting their donation. For gifts that come in manually, shoot for a week or less to get those thank-you emails or letters out and in the hands of your donors.
Tracking for the win
Use your CRM to track (either manually or through an automated system) when donors have been acknowledged for their transactions. This also shows a clear path of touchpoints and creates a well-rounded story for your internal teams when doing research on donors or looking at which donors need some extra care outside of their last acknowledgment letter.
It’s helpful to change up thank you letters throughout the year, especially for recurring donors. If your donor makes a monthly gift or even quarterly gifts, they’ll be hip to the fact that they receive the exact same thank you letter each time. Change up your process for recurring donors or, at the very least, track the timing of when your automated thank you letters have been updated so that the same donors don’t receive the same letter each time.
4aGoodCause makes it easy to automate much of what you may need for donation acknowledgment follow-ups. For online donations, the process is simply a matter of creating the content for what you’d like your thank you page and corresponding email to say once someone has made a gift online.
However, we know that sometimes donors miss those thank you emails and may need the information resent to them as a simple acknowledgment or as a way for them to report their gift come tax time. We made it easy to resend email receipts to your donors in both instances. And, for those that prefer ‘snail mail’ and a paper copy of thank you letters, our clients also can generate printed thank you acknowledgment letters.
How can we help update and expedite your donation acknowledgment letter process? Let’s connect; we’d love to show you a free demo and talk about your pain points in the donor thank you process. We can help.