How To Write A Donor Thank You Letter – Here’s what your nonprofit could be up against if it hasn’t sent a donor acknowledgment letter. It goes without saying that sending this legal document
Since you are required to send a donor confirmation letter, why not use it as much as possible?
How To Write A Donor Thank You Letter
That’s what we’ll cover in this article. How can you write a donor thank you letter that reads quickly but resonates forever?
Thank You For Donation Quotes. Quotesgram
A donor thank you letter is a legal document that tax-exempt nonprofits provide to donors. The IRS requires these organizations (also known as 501(c)(3) organizations) to send a formal acknowledgment letter for any donation over $250.
Note. This is not a real letter from a real organization. This letter was created by cross-referencing templates from various organizations.
A donor thank you letter is an important touch point in the donor journey. This is a letter that donors actually read carefully
Not only that, getting creative with your donor thank you letters will also help you stand out, which will ultimately build loyalty and help with donor retention.
How To Write A Donor Appreciation Letter
For the letter to be considered valid, the donor must receive it either on the day he decides to file his individual tax return, or before the set date for filing the return for everyone.
As a general rule, all nonprofit organizations send these letters no later than January 31 of the following fiscal year.
However, the typical turnaround time that all nonprofits strive for is 48 hours after receiving a donation. If this seems like a stretch, try sending confirmations for at least a week.
Before we dive into tips on how to make your donor acknowledgment letter more than just a legal document, let’s go over some of the key elements it should contain.
Best Donation Thank You Letter Samples (guide & Tips)
Consider the example of the thank-you letter above. Here are the components that each confirmation letter should contain:
1. Donor Name Address the donor by their full name so that they can claim the tax deduction under it.
You can print the letter on official letterhead, which can include your organization’s name and logo. However, you must still include the official name of your organization in the letter.
3. Contribution Details Whether the donation was made by cash, check, credit card, or payroll deduction. You must clearly explain how the donation was received.
What’s In My Mailbox
For donors who give non-cash gifts (such as goods, services, etc.), you must include a description of what the gift was. It is not necessary to indicate the value of the gift.
The date of receipt of the donation. This date is important for the donor and the IRS to determine exactly what year the tax deduction can be claimed.
Each letter must detail the value of any goods or services provided to the donor in exchange for the gift.
In cases where an exchange has been made, be sure to include a description and honest estimate of the value of those goods or services.
How To Write An Irs Compliant Donor Thank You Letter
For example, the estimated cost of a dinner provided by a donor for their charity’s fundraising event.
Make a note of the goods or services provided to the donor, even if they were minor, such as bumper stickers or badges.
A nonprofit must declare that it is a 501c3 tax-exempt organization. The Employer Identification Number (EIN) must also be provided for IRS cross-checking.
As mentioned earlier, the IRS does not specify a specific format for donor acknowledgment letters. You only need to include the above information.
Sample Thank You Letter For Donation To Church Download Printable Pdf
Note. This example is not a real letter. This was created after cross-referencing other donor thank you letters sent by non-profits.
Although this confirmation letter includes all the relevant information required by the IRS, it makes it a little more interesting and attractive with some additional elements.
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Did you notice how the letter states that this is the donor’s first time participating in the nonprofit?
How To Write The Best Thank You Letter For Donations + Three Templates And Samples
Personalizing your emails can dramatically improve your retention and impact. Research shows that personalization can increase retention by 39%.
But personalization is not just about using the donor’s name and donation amount, it goes far beyond that. Personalization is about making the message more relevant to the donor.
Each donor has a different relationship with your organization, and you should use that relationship to personalize your messaging.
For example, in the donor thank you letter example above, the letter begins with a story that only Crest Meadows locals can relate to. But the same story (message) won’t work with donors living in other states, it won’t have any relevance for them.
Stewardship Thank You Letters: 4 Ways To Show Appreciation
By using personalization in your messages, you make the donor feel more valuable than a cash cow
Although segmentation can be achieved using any pattern, the most popular method is to segment based on their behavior as shown below.
The goal of this segmentation is to create a message that will help you retain these donors and encourage them to do so again.
There are two reasons why new donors may give you a small donation instead of a generous donation. Since you can’t be sure which one is the cause, it would be safe to cover both.
A Sample Donor Thank You Letter For Your Nonprofit
That’s why donors make a small donation – it’s much smaller than your average gift size
If this is the case, you can use your donor thank you letters to indicate other ways the donor can contribute (eg, volunteering, peer-to-peer fundraising, matching gifts, etc.).
Although this message in the letter above is not as detailed, here is an excerpt from another letter to give you an idea of what your message should contain:
You can ensure that future messages to these donors are relevant by tracking the follow-up actions they take after receiving the letter.
Thank You Letter From Recipient Of Mary’s Tissue Donation
For example, if a donor volunteered after receiving the letter, you know the reason why they gave less and therefore can note this in your donor management platform.
So be sure to thank donors for their time and attention in your message. You must also specify how exactly their donation will be used by you.
If you send welcome packages to large and medium donors, mention their names somewhere, or call them to say thank you, include this in your letter as well.
Remember, the idea of donor thank you letters for them is to ensure that they will do it again. They are obviously invested in your business.
Fundraising Thank You Letters
But they will return only if they see a tangible benefit from their donation. That’s why it’s important to let them know how their money will be used.
Your repeat donors are special and have a higher lifetime value than one-time donors. Due to regular donations, most of the time their total donation exceeds the one-time donations
Repeat donors who make small donations are usually people with limited financial means who are very passionate about your work.
Your letters to them should emphasize that you recognize their continued support and how special they are to your cause.
Fundraising Thank You Quotes
You can also talk to them about a monthly giving program that will reduce their financial burden and make it easier for them to donate.
In addition, inviting them to a personal tour or special event, giving them a special mention somewhere can also be included in the letter.
Frequent donors who give more than the average gift amount are likely to be the source of most of your funds.
Emphasize this fact in your thank you letters to them and make sure they know how much you will get back if they leave you.
Examples Of Email Thank You Letters To Online Donors
(you can either send them an invitation or ask them to request online if they want to come)
While you can let them know via email or other means, it’s very easy for this important information to get lost in the crowd. Your donor thank you letter is a way to reinforce this information.
In addition to assuring them that their money was put to good use, it ensured the measurable impact that their donation had, you subtly strengthened your authority.
That trust, in turn, inspires them to come back to you every time they want to donate.
How To Write A Great Thank You Letter For Donations
An alternative way to demonstrate the impact of their donations is through a personal story, as in the example below:
Your donor thank you letter doesn’t have to be a boring legal document. You can create one to better engage your donors with a creative storytelling approach.
“Shyba is a little girl with big dreams. But she needs to go to school to achieve those dreams. Unfortunately, life caught up with her, her parents passed away, leaving a huge gap between her and her dreams. Would you help fill that gap?”
Stories make your work more human and, most importantly, more accessible to the public. They give you the opportunity to emotionally connect with donors and further inspire them to unite in action.
Download Donation Thank You Letter Excel Template
Your stories also connect donors to the beneficiaries who benefit from their contributions, which requires your work and their ongoing support.
First we talked about telling a story through your images. But you don’t have to stop there. You can say a
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