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Why should you send thank you letters to donors?


Focus group research constantly turns up comments like the following:

"I sent them some money but I never even got a thank-you"

"The thing that burns me up is getting a thank-you about two months after I send a check - after they've already asked for more money."

Why? Because so many charities do not send thank you gifts to acknowledge donors and their contributions.

The average response time for a donor to receive a thank-you - if they do at all - is FIVE TO SEVEN WEEKS. This is not an acceptable way to thank those that keep your organization running - no matter how small the contribution.

Charities that cut costs by refraining from mailing thank-you letters - or by sending preprinted postcards that are not personalized - are missing the boat. It's not simply enough to send a thank-you, it must be sent quickly and it must be personalized.

Here is a list of why you need to send thank-you letters.

  • It reassures donors that it was a good idea to send a contribution.

  • It welcomes them to your "family"

  • It lets them know that they have joined with other supporters and it has an impact on your work.

  • It gives them a reason to continue to support your organization.

Here is a sample thank you letter.

Many direct mail pros argue that a thank-you is the best time to solicit another contribution. If you're sending the thank-you for a membership gift or giving club, a small flyer about all the levels of giving could encourage a donor to upgrade to a different level based on the incentives they would receive.

At the very least your Planned / Deferred Giving materials should be included so that the donor is aware of other ways to give.

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