Donor thank-you letters are one of the most important aspects of creating donor loyalty and for acquiring that all-important second gift. This is why we put together tips on writing thank you letters donors love.
Did you know that 65% of first-time donors do not make a second gift?
80% of donors say that a thank you would convince them to give a second donation, which is why we put together these tips for writing thank you letters your donors will love.
Get the letters out quickly
Keep in mind that it’s important to get every thank you letter, for each and every one of your donors, in the mail quickly. A fast turnaround, preferably no more than 48 hours after the donation, is essential for an effective thank you letter. It will not only reassure the donor the donation was received, but a fast response reinforces the fact that the organization cares about the contribution.
Include the Amount of the Donor’s Contribution
When thanking your donors, be sure to acknowledge them for the specific amount of money they donated. The thank you letter is essentially the receipt for their donation.
Personalize the Letter
Personalize the thank you letter with the donor’s name. Also, include specific information about the donor, such as an event they attended or a volunteer effort they participated in.
If a donation was received to help the victims of a hurricane, for example, make sure the thank you letter refers to that situation. The targeted information that you include goes a long way in making a personal connection.
Tell a Story
Write a heartfelt and emotional story about a particular person who was helped by the donation or better yet, have the letter come from the person who has been helped. Connecting an emotional story to how the donor’s dollars made an impact on a person or situation will let your donor know that they have made a positive change.
Make Donors Feel They are Part of Something Bigger
Donors want to know that they are a part of something bigger than themselves. Let them know that they are joining others in supporting the cause and are needed to keep the momentum going.
Thank Your Donors Several Times
Make your donors feel loved and appreciated by saying thank you more than once in the letter.
Add a Photo
Include at least one heartwarming photo. Photos go a long way in creating an emotional bond. A closeup of someone smiling, two people hugging or a group performing a task can help paint a picture. It helps if the subject(s) are facing the camera to allow their emotion(s) to show through. Be sure to use clear high-quality photos.
Give the Donor Opportunities to Get Social
Invite the donor to follow and like all your social media sites and make sure your social media addresses are readily apparent in your letter. Donors like to feel they belong and the comradery found on social sites can help do just that.
Don’t Forget the P.S.
Oftentimes the P.S. is the first thing your donors will read so be sure to include a piece of important information. It’s also a great place to invite the donor to visit your website and sign up for your newsletter.
Include a Reply Envelope
Consider including a reply envelope in your acknowledgment package without asking for another gift. It can act as a reminder that future donations are welcome. Oftentimes the donor will keep that reply envelope and use it at a later time.
High-dollar donors often require special treatment
Here are two things you should consider when thanking high dollar donors.
Utilize Hand-Written Notes
When thanking a long-time donor or a very high-dollar donor consider a handwritten note rather than a typewritten letter. If appropriate, ask the Executive Director or President to write a personal note.
Extend an Invitation for the Donor to Visit
An invitation to high-dollar or frequent donors to take a tour of your facilities is often appreciated and shows your transparency for the work you do.
Thank you letters are an important factor in retaining donors, but they are just one aspect of donor retention. Consider using these retention tips to increase response. They will help you maintain a strong and responsive donor base.
Thank you letters, however, are one of the most important things you can do to create donor loyalty. If you’re not sending them out, you’re missing out on creating an important bond with your donor – one that will result in continued donations to your organization.
Contact us if you need help creating responsive thank you letters. If you find our monthly newsletters informative, Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter and share this article with all your colleagues!