I’m republishing one of the most popular posts ever on this blog. Read to the bottom for the 2019 update!
I have seen the ideal appeal letter. I haven’t yet seen the ideal thank-you letter. But it went out today. Did you send it?
If you wrote the ideal thank-you letter, you:
- Called me by name.
- Confirmed how much I gave you.
- Told me how my gift would make a difference.
- Illustrated my impact with a story.
- Included a photo or image to make my impact real.
- Told me about how else I can help: by volunteering, or liking you on Facebook, or spreading the word to my friends.
- Signed it by hand, and wrote something just for me.
Most important: it’s the ideal thank-you letter because it went out today.
The sooner you acknowledge my gift, the more likely I am to remember it, and give again. Within 24 hours of your receiving my check is ideal. Within a week is acceptable. But no matter how long it’s been, don’t put it off any longer. Send that letter today.
Nearly every nonprofit sends an automatic acknowledgment for online gifts. That’s a step in the right direction–but a) if your message sounds more like a tax receipt than a thank-you, you may lose the donor right there, and b) auto-thanking is not enough. There are so many other ways to say thank you!
Aside from sending the ideal thank-you letter, you could thank your donors online, make and send a thank-you video, send a card or a gift, write a poem, make a toast, or remember the donor when they are going through a hard time and do something to help.
See my Thank-You Thursday posts for more ideas! (Type TYThursday into the Search box at the bottom of this page.)