Proven Thank You Letter Techniques That Work

Why are thank you letters so important? Poorly executed thank you letters can have a negative impact on your organization’s relationships with donors.  Just the same, effective and well written thank you letters can increase donor retention and ensure repeat donations year after year.

Thank you letters are important – you probably don’t need us to tell you that.  The real struggle is finding an effective thank you letter strategy that secures repeat donors.  Where to start?

Thank ALL of Your Donors

Yes, that’s correct, we said thank ALL of them.  Whether they’ve given $5 or $500, donated 1 item or 10 items, they all need to be recognized as having an impact on your organization’s cause.

A lot of nonprofits only send thank you letters to donors who have given above a certain amount. This is the wrong approach as most donors (numbers show as high as 75%) are not giving you as much as they could the first time around. They want to see how you treat them and what you do with their money before committing to a bigger number. A first-time gift of any amount is the beginning of a relationship. Acknowledge that relationship and nurture it. via Nonprofit Thank You Letters – Resources for You

Watch the Clock

You’re aware that thank you letters are important and you know you need to thank all your donors.  What about your timeline? Typically, you want to reach out to your donors with a thank you letter between 48 hours to a week after you have received their donation or gift.  It’s important that your committee sets a timeline that works with your schedules, while still recognizing your donors in a timely manner.  You know your donors better than we do – so you should learn over time what they need from your organization in order to ensure recurring gifts.

Make it Unique

Odds are, your donor is giving a donation to more than just your organization. Donors typically give to between 2 and 3 non-profits annually (via Therefore, your donor would hopefully be receiving between 2 and 3 thank you letters a year.  Donors need to see that their gift is making an impact on your organization and your cause in a unique way.

You have the ability to show your donor why their donations matter, specifically what they go toward, and what impact their donation had on your cause can help ensure a second and even a third donation.  Why wouldn’t you?


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