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

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

Rachel Ayotte
December 14, 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, first make sure to set up automated donation receipts to share important tax information and a custom thank you message as soon as a donation is made. Then, follow up a few days later with a more heartfelt letter in the mail.

2. Make it personal 💁

When sending out your thank you letters, try to personalize as much as possible. Rather than using a formal "To whom it may concern" or generic "Dear friend," include the donor's name as the greeting. Then, sign it from a human being—whether it’s an event organizer or the executive director of your nonprofit.

With Givebutter's contact management features, you can save yourself a whole lot of time using merge fields to easily include donors' names, donation amounts, and other important details in your thank yous, no matter if you're sending emails, text messages, or direct mail letters.

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.

5. Invite donors to connect further 📆

To increase your donor retention rate, finish your thank you message by inviting them to engage with your organization in other ways. Consider inviting the recipient to:

  • Sign up for your monthly newsletter 
  • Follow you on social media 
  • Become a sponsor
  • Volunteer 
  • Register for an auction

Free thank you letter template and examples

Now that you know what to include, it's time to put it into practice. Here is a free donation thank you letter template you can customize to your organization and two sample thank you letters based on real Givebutter campaigns!

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 custom thank-you letters using a modern PDF editor. Take your thank-you letters to the next level by using our built-in Canva integration to add eye-catching graphics. You can also incorporate dynamic merge using Givebutter's built-in donor management tools to automatically add key donor details into each letter, such as their name, largest donation amount, last donation date, and more.

Create modern, branded fundraising letters for free

To see how easy it is to launch a campaign and thank donors for contributing, sign up for your free Givebutter account today.

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

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