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How to write a thank you letter for a donation (free templates!)

Attract recurring donors with free donation thank you letter samples, best practices, and essential tools.

Rachel Ayotte
September 29, 2023
April 20, 2021
Nerd Mr Butter

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Expressing gratitude is the backbone of all charitable giving. It can increase donor retention and help your nonprofit foster a strong relationship between you and your community for years to come.

Below, we explain how to write a thank you letter for donation, including what to write, which tone to use, and how to effectively express your gratitude after a successful campaign.

Thank you letter for donation: 5 best practices to follow

1. Send your thank you as soon as possible ⏰

In general, nonprofits should aim to send thank you letters within 1–3 days following a contribution.

To do this efficiently, send automated donation receipts to share important tax information and a custom thank you note with each donor right away. Then, follow up a few days later with a handwritten note in the mail.

Streamline your follow-up with automatic receipts

2. Make it personal 💁

When sending out your thank you letters, try to address it to the person. Rather than using a formal "To whom it may concern" or generic "Dear friend," write the donor's first name (spelled correctly!) as the greeting. Then, sign it from a human being—whether it’s an event organizer or the executive director of your nonprofit.

This is where using a CRM system for your fundraising event will come in handy. Using a CRM system—like Givebutter—you can easily look up each donor's first name, how much they donated, and other personal details, which can seriously cut down on the time it takes to write your thank you notes.

3. Display the positive impact they made 💓

In your thank you letter, be specific about how much money you raised, how the funds will be used, and your plans for the future.

If the campaign is still ongoing when you’ve sent your gratitude, invite supporters to follow your campaign's progress on your fundraising page or on your giving hub. Your community will be able to see you inch your way toward your fundraising goal in real time, knowing they played a key role in it!

4. Add a real-life story 👫

People make a generous donation when they personally connect with a cause. Include a short anecdote on how their generous gift made a real difference in someone's life!

This may be a good opportunity to include peer-to-peer fundraising within your campaign. Each team member can share why they're connected to the cause on their social media and create personalized pages within your campaign.

5. Invite donors to engage with you in the future 📆

To increase your donor retention rate, finish your thank you email or note by inviting them to engage with future fundraising efforts. Consider inviting the recipient to:

  • Sign up for your monthly newsletter 
  • Follow you on social media 
  • Become a sponsor
  • Volunteer 
  • Join a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign
  • Register for an auction

2 customizable thank you letter templates

Now that you know what to include, it's time to put it into practice. Here are a couple of sample thank you letter templates to thank your community based on real Givebutter campaigns.

Example 1: From a beneficiary

Darlington School raised $61k through independent giving in just 24 hours on Givebutter. If you're looking to thank donors on behalf of your school, your thank you message might look like this:

Dear Stephen,

Thank you so much for your donation of $55. Your generous gift will bring plenty of smiles to students and teachers of Darlington School!

We are so pleased to announce that in just a single day of giving, we were able to raise $61,000. This money will be used to buy supplies and resources for our students and teachers, who have been working so hard this past year during the pandemic.

I'm actually an alumni of Darlington School myself, and my mom worked in the advancement office. I know the impact this school has on students — because I was one! — so I can't thank you enough for your contribution.

To learn more about how your contribution makes a difference in students’ and teachers’ lives, we invite you to visit DarlingtonSchool.org/GivingDay. You can also visit our Facebook page for future events.

Once again, thank you for your donation. Go Tigers!



Example 2: From a campaign team member

The Bululu Well Project raised $7k to provide clean water to Uganda. If you were one of the many volunteers or campaign organizers who made this happen, you might find yourself writing thank yous that look like this:

Dear Taylor,

I just wanted to reach out and personally thank you for your donation to the Bululu Well Project. Your in-kind donation of $100 will help provide clean, safe drinking water to 1,200+ Obur Village residents.

I am so pleased to announce that we successfully raised $7,000 to provide clean drinking water in Uganda. In fact, we already wired the funds this Wednesday, and they will begin drilling a new well shortly thereafter. Soon, the Obur Village and the Bululu Secondary School will have access to clean drinking water.

When you bring clean, safe water to a population, it directly impacts young people's ability to attend school. It even changes the health and hygiene of the community, and decreases the risk of death. I hope you know your generous gift played a significant role in this trickle-down effect.

To learn more about how your gift makes real change, I invite you to follow Call to Care Uganda. You can also find them on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Once again, thank you kindly for your generosity.



CEO of Earth2

Express your gratitude in new ways with Givebutter 

Thank you notes that are personal, prompt, and creative are one of the best ways to turn first-time givers into recurring, major donors.

With Givebutter, nonprofits can send branded automatic donation receipts and—coming in 2023—custom thank you letters using a modern PDF editor! 

To see how easy it is to launch a campaign and thank donors for contributing, sign up for your free Givebutter account today. And be on the lookout for the launch of fundraising letters in 2023!

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Set up your peer-to-peer fundraiser for free in just a few minutes →

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