Email Thank You Letter Examples for Donors

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How to Thank a Donor Through Email

Young women reading an email.
Ariel Skelley/Blend Images/Getty Images

Most emailed thank yous are terrible. They are not much more than a receipt. And that's just not enough. The same rules that apply to mailed thank yous apply to emailed ones.

Here Are Some Basic Guidelines

  • Put your organization's name in the "From" line of your email. The donor wants to know who you are if she is going to consider even opening your thank you.
  • Be clear in the "Subject" line. Say exactly what this email is about. Something like "A warm thank you!" works. Or, "Thank you for your donation." Don't use more than 45 characters so it will show up well.
  • Get personal. Start your message with the donor's name. First names are powerful, so use them. "Dear Joanne" or Dear Fred and Louise." Use a comma rather than a colon. You want to be informal.
  • Start with a warm "thank you" mentioning the amount of the donation and the name of the campaign or fund to which the donation was made.
  • Tell a story about how that donation will help someone or solve a problem. Be specific and descriptive.
  • Add a photo. TPhotos are easy to add in an email. Make it heart warming and a reminder of whom your donor is helping.
  • Tell the donor when he will hear from you next. Will you be able to report results of a particular campaign? When? Will you be sending a newsletter or a report?
  • Give the donor specific contact information in case they have questions or want more information. Give a name, phone number and email address of a person.
  • Use the signature of someone who is important. That could be your Executive Director, Development Director, or the chairperson of this particular campaign.
  • Do include a P.S. People are used to it. The beginning and the P.S. are the first things your donor will likely look at. The P.S. is a good place to invite more engagement. Encourage the donor to visit your website, view a video, sign up for your newsletter, or follow your organization on Facebook or Twitter. Take advantage of the fact that you can include live links in an email.
  • Include a disclosure such as "Please consider this letter a receipt for your contribution of $50 on 4/16/13. This confirms that no goods or services were received for this contribution, which is completely tax-deductible." (Read more about disclosures)

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Email Thank You From Helen Keller International

Helen Keller International Website

After I responded to a Million Mom's appeal to help promote sweet potatoes in Africa to boost vitamin A consumption, I got this email thank you from Helen Keller International (the organization that received my donation). My donation was processed by GlobalGiving, and I did receive a brief email receipt from that organization. Within two days I also got this thank you from the communications coordinator at Helen Keller.

I was impressed by the organization's responsiveness, but the email is too short and terse to really build a bond with me beyond this donation. The story of a specific child or family whose lives were made better through my donation would be more effective. It's true that I can link to a video and a newsletter that tell the story more fully. But, never depend on a reader to do that. Tell the story in the letter as well.

Some things that this thank you gets right are: 1. the subject line which tells me right away what this email is about, 2. the use of my name in the salutation, 3. the invitation to take further action by subscribing to a newsletter, 4. the link to a video, and 5. good contact information.

The email's subject line read: "Thank you for your recent donation!"

Dear Joanne,

Thank you very much for your recent donation on Global Giving to Helen Keller International's "Eating Orange for Better Health in Burkina Faso" project.

As you now know, this humble root can have a major impact on women and children by providing them with sight- and life-saving vitamin A. I would like to now invite you to subscribe to our e-newsletter, WorldView, sent once a month, so you can learn more about how your support is helping HKI prevent blindness and reduce malnutrition for the most vulnerable around the world.

Our most recent edition on our orange-fleshed sweet potato program can be viewed by clicking here. You can sign up for the newsletter by clicking here.

I hope you will decide to stay in touch with us.

Best regards,

Maggie
Maggie Jacoby
Communications Coordinator
Helen Keller International
352 Park Avenue South, Suite 1200
New York, NY 10010
Phone #
Fax #
www.hki.org

Until the great mass of the people shall be filled with the sense of responsibility for each other's welfare, social justice can never be attained. - Helen Keller

Watch videos from ABC World News about our orange-fleshed sweetpotato and vitamin A programs.

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Doctors Without Borders Sent This Video Message for a Recurring Donation

Doctors Without Borders Thank You YouTube Video

Doctors Without Borders pays particular attention to recurring donors. For instance, one month they sent this video thank you. You can see the entire message here.

Here's what it said:

"VIDEO: FOR ALL YOU'VE DONE, THANK YOU"

"While you are watching this video, MSF teams are saving lives in crises all over the world, from Central African Republic to Yemen, the Lake Chad region to the Aegean Sea. It’s because of your generosity that we’re able to respond when disasters, wars, and epidemics strike. On behalf of our patients and staff: Thank you!"

For more about using video, see Action! 10 Ways Nonprofits Can Raise More Money With Video

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Camfed's Email Thank You Letter for a Monthly Donation

Camfed Website

Camfed sends a thank you email each month after my monthly donation is made. The bottom of the email is a history of my transactions that I can use for tax purposes. This letter is quite short, and I think Camfed misses an opportunity to engage with me more deeply. Something about the organization's most recent work or a link to a recent press release or news story would be helpful. If you're fortunate enough to have a recurring donor, make sure that you do everything you can to retain her.

Dear Joanne,

Thank you for your donation to Camfed.

Thank you for supporting Camfed’s work with your generous regular donations. Your valuable gift is helping us provide long-term support to girls and young women in Africa.

If you have any questions about your order or about our work, we would love to hear from you. Please email info@camfed.org or call 415-963-4489.

Sincerely,

The Camfed Team
Camfed USA
369 Pine Street, Suite 420
San Francisco, CA 94104
Telephone: +01 415-963-4489| usa@camfed.org

Please print or save this message for your personal records. You can use this page as a receipt for tax purposes.

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Thank You for Online Donation in the Wake of a Disaster

Convoy of Hope Website

Notice how this thank you letter is specific to the disaster that I wanted to help. Plus, there is a testimonial from a disaster victim. I did not receive a mailed letter from this organization but did receive a phone call later to thank me again. Nice touch! 

Dear Joanne,

Thank you for your gift of $___. Convoy of Hope has deployed trucks and teams to Joplin, Mo. "Our prayers go out to the families in Joplin who lost loved ones, homes and businesses, says Hal Donaldson. Because of friends like you, Convoy of Hope was able to immediately deploy teams and emergency relief supplies to aid victims of these massive storms. Thank you!

Your financial gift helped people like Rachael, who lost her home and had no food for her children. Convoy of Hope workers supplied Rachael and her family with food, water, and hygiene products at one of our distribution sites just outside Birmingham, Ala.

"When you have kids and you don’t know how you are going to feed them, it means so much to know there are people here to help," says Rachael.

Thank you again for your rapid response that enabled Convoy of Hope to help thousands like Rachael across the southeast in the wake of this disaster.

Thank you for your gift of $____ to Convoy of Hope. It is the donations, such as yours, that equip us to help in Japan, continue our work in Haiti, and all our other outreaches as well.

Because of friends like you, our disaster responders have deployed to the region where they will purchase and distribute life-saving food, water, and supplies in cooperation with our in-country partners.

With your help, we will reach even more families and children in need here at home and around the world this year.

Below is a summary of your gift.You can also access a receipt online by clicking on this link: xxxxxx

Amount: $xxxx
Payment Method: Mastercard Credit Card, ************
Date: 5/24/2011
Designation: US Disaster Response

Thank you for your compassion.

Sincerely,

 

Hal Donaldson, President

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Email Thank You Letter From International Aid Agency

Partners In Health Website

Here is a thank you letter that I received from one of my favorite international aid organizations, Partners in Health (PIH). I responded to an email fundraising plea for additional help to aid Haitians in weathering a hurricane and dealing with a Cholera outbreak. 

The letter is brief and a bit general, addressing the overall work of the organization, rather than the specific need to which I was responding. One problem with this letter is the formal and stiff language used to describe PIH's work. An example is this phrase, "...we work to disseminate our model to others..." Public health organizations often speak in the jargon used in professional public health circles. That's not what appeals to most donors. 

What is good about this email is that the "from" line specifies exactly who sent the email, and the "subject" line states what the email is about. How these fields are handled is very important to ensure that the donor actually opens the email. It's best to just be specific rather than coy or cryptic.

To: My Name
From: Partners In Health
Subject: Thank you for your donation to Partners in Health

Dear My Name,

On behalf of Partners In Health, I would like to thank you for your donation of $xx.xx. Every dollar that you contribute is deeply appreciated by the communities in which we work. Your gift will be designated to support our work in Haiti, or if you selected, to support our work worldwide.

Over twenty years ago, when Partners In Health was first founded in Haiti, we vowed to provide the very best medical care in places that had none, to accompany our patients through their care and treatment, and to address the root causes of their illness. Today, we work in twelve countries with a comprehensive approach to breaking the cycle of poverty and disease — through direct health care delivery as well as community-based interventions in agriculture and nutrition, housing, clean water, and income generation.

Our work begins with the patient before us but extends far beyond to the transformation of communities, health systems, and global health policy. We have documented and disseminated the successes of our integrated approach in the midst of tragedies like the devastating earthquake in Haiti, in countries still scarred from war, like Rwanda, Guatemala, and Burundi, and even in inner-city Boston. Through collaboration with leading medical and academic institutions like Harvard Medical School and the Brigham & Women’s Hospital, we work to disseminate our model to others; through advocacy efforts aimed at global health funders and policymakers, we seek to raise the standard for what is possible in the delivery of health care in the poorest corners of the world.

It is your generosity and belief in our mission that enables us to perform this work, and we are deeply grateful for your partnership.

Thank you,

Ophelia Dahl
Executive Director
Partners In Health

You can login to view, download, and print your online donation history here: XXXXXXXXX

Partners In Health, a 501 (c)(3) not for profit organization, has not provided any goods or services, in whole or in part, to you in consideration for this voluntary cash contribution. If you wish to claim the tax deductibility of this gift in the U.S., please retain this acknowledgment letter for your files. Partners In Health's EIN number is xxxxx.