Writing a Good Thank You Letter

You’ve written the appeal letters or emails, you got a response and a donation! Congratulations! Now it is time to write a thank you letter.

If you’ve attracted and obtained a brand new donor, acknowledging and thanking them can build a huge building block in the foundation of this new relationship and will improve donor retention. In fact, this study from the Journal of Marketing Management showed that the effect of acknowledgements on the donor relationship is moderated by how frequently the donor gives to the organization and that these help strengthen the non-profits relationship with less frequent donors. It also show that donors had a positive emotional response getting a thank-you and the opposite when the acknowledgement of their gift was forgotten.

In short, thank people makes them more likely to help you out again. They might even offer to help without being specifically asked. Giving feels good. It feels better when you’re thanked because it gives social value and the feelings of being part of a team working towards a worthy goal.

Writing a GOOD Thank You Letter

Make sure to write a proper subject line and send it to the right person. Use their first name. Do not say something like “Dear Friend” or “Dear Donor”. Make sure the sender email and name is one from your organization so they recognize it in their inbox and don’t just delete it.

An example of a good subject line would be: Thank you Steve for supporting Camp ABC!

Your letter should be casual and personal, but not unprofessional. Write it out to their actual name, make sure it’s spelt correctly and start with an engaging opener. After the opener tell the donor what amazing things you’re going to do with their money.

Make sure you give them non-generic contact information, it should be your personal information, so they can get in touch with you and continue to build that great relationship.

Tell them when you will be in touch with them again and how you will reach them, and why.

Sign off with your real name, your position at camp, and include a nice photo.

Include links to your blog and social media sites, images, buttons to video and other interactive components. It’s also okay to include a “P.S”. In your postscripts you can include an invitation to watch a video, links to free resources, an invitation to visit the camp, and one final thank you.

Thank You Example Letter

Dear Steve,

You’ve just sent a child to camp this summer!

Your generous gift of $XXX will help us send a child from a low-income family to Camp ABC. Your donation will allow them to learn new skills, gain confidence, make friends and have a great adventure they’ll always remember. Thank you for benefiting the lives of children and youth in our community!

If you have any questions about Camp ABC or how you can become further involved please contact me at myactualname@campABC.com or call me directly at 780-555-5555.

We will be having an open house on May 5th and would like to invite you and your family to join us! There will be free activities, barbeque and door prizes. I will be contacting you in April via email to give you the details.


 General - smiling man

Joe Shmo, Director of Fund Development

Camp ABC

 PS. Want to see your donation in action? Check out this video! Thanks again for your support!

 General - fake video

More writing tips:

  • Keep it short, clear and concise. It doesn’t have to be fancy.
  • Use more “you” and less “we”
  • When using photos in an email thank you, make sure to enter the photo description in the alt-attribute tag. This is what will show up before the images download. Some people won’t download the photos unless they have an idea of what it might be.
  • Send yourself a ‘test’ email first to make sure it looks okay. Pretend you’re the donor and check all the links click through properly.

Follow up

When you send them their tax receipt, send it with a postcard or brochure from you camp or an invitation to your next open house or fundraising event.

Categories: Camp Resources, Communications And Marketing, Fund Development