Writing Thank-You Letters Donor’s Love
Donor thank-you letters are one of the most important tools for creating donor loyalty and for acquiring that all-important second gift.
Did you know that 65% of first-time donors don’t make a second gift? 80% of donors say that a thank-you would convince them to make a second donation, which is why we put together these tips for how to write thank-you letters that 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 each donation, is essential for maximum impact. This will not only reassure the donor that their donation was received but also reinforce the fact that the organization cares about their contribution.
Include the Amount of the Donor’s Contribution in the Letter
When thanking your donors, be sure to acknowledge them for the specific amount of money they’ve donated. The thank-you letter becomes the receipt for their donation.
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. For example, if a donation was received to help the victims of a hurricane, make sure the thank-you letter refers to that situation. The targeted information that you include goes a long way toward making a personal connection.
How to Write a Thank-You Letter Donors Love
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. We recommend implementing these best storytelling strategies for fundraisers. The article dives into the importance of connecting an emotional story to how the donor’s dollars made an impact on a person or situation. Stories can convey to your donor that they have made a positive change.
Make Donors Feel Like 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 not only helping others, but they are joining other like-minded people in supporting the cause.
Thank Your Donors Multiple Times
Make your donors feel loved and appreciated by saying “thank you” more than once in the letter.
Include at least one heartwarming photo. Photos go a long way toward 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 Join on Social Media
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.
Always Include a P.S.
Oftentimes, the P.S. is the first thing your donors will read, so be sure to include a piece of important information. This is 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 with your thank-you letter, without asking for another gift. This 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 Require Special Treatment
There are two things you should consider when thanking high-dollar donors. First, consider having the executive director or president send a personal handwritten note. Second, extend a written 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 demonstrates your willingness to show others the work you do.
Thank-you letters are not the only important tool for retaining donors and creating donor loyalty. We recommend creating a welcome email series that is sent to each and every new donor who contributes by email. It creates an important bond with donors—one that will result in continued donations to your organization for years to come.
Crafting the perfect thank-you letter is a skill. Contact us if you need help creating responsive thank-you letters.
Write Choice Marketing—Helping nonprofits maximize donations through compelling copy, engaging content, and donor responsive strategies.
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