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How to Write a Thank You Letter for a Donation — From A to Z

How to Write a Thank You Letter for a Donation — From A to Z

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Throughout our lives, there are many occasions when we have to write thank-you notes or letters. For example, in a work context, you might want to thank someone for their cooperation.

If you are an employee or a volunteer for an organization or you just run an informal fundraiser at some point, you might need to write thank-you letters to the donors.

What’s most important when you write these letters is that your gratitude and sincerity comes through, but if you aren’t used to writing, that can be tough to convey!

Below, we’ve got some tips to help you tackle these thank-you letters as well as three different samples for different situations you might find yourself in.

How do you write a thank-you letter for a donation?

When you are writing a thank-you letter for a donation, accuracy and personalization is important. The recipient should not feel as though they are getting a form letter. You should include specific details about what their donation will be used for and focus on your gratitude for the donation.

Elements you should include in a thank-you letter to a donor

There are a few elements that every thank-you letter to a donor should include:

  • It should be written as soon as possible after the donation.
  • It should address the donor by name.
  • It should state specifically how the donation will be used.
  • It should mention if the person is a past donor.
  • It should not ask for another donation; this should be done separately.


The parts of a thank-you letter to a donor

Every donation letter should have certain parts.

Heading and greeting

Whether you are sending the thank-you by email or letter, your organization’s letterhead should be at the top.

You should address the person by name. This is not the right time to use “Dear Sir or Madam” or other generic greetings.

Whether you should use the person’s first or last name will vary based on your relationship to them and what type of organization you are writing on behalf of.

Most people are accustomed to being addressed by their first name, and this can feel warm and friendly. On the other hand, some people think that addressing people by their last name is more respectful.

Your organization should weigh these considerations when you are thinking about how to address your donors.

Introduction and body

Your letter should open by thanking the person for their donation. You could mention the specific amount although there should also be a separate receipt for this.

You should also specifically say how the donation will be used. This can mean reiterating the purpose of your organization, or you can use more detail and tell a little story about a person, animal or thing that the organization helps.


Your closing should reiterate your thanks. If you know the individual you’re writing to and it is appropriate, you can include something friendly and more personal, such as saying you hope you see or talk to them soon.

Although it can be tempting, this should not be the place to solicit another donation.

That can be in a follow-up contact. The focus here should be on the donor and your gratitude to them.

You can use a more formal closing, like “Sincerely,” or you can write something friendlier, like “Warmly,” “Best,” or “Warmest Regards” and then your name. The letter should include your signature.

Example of a single thank-you letter for a donation to someone you know

You might need to write just one or a handful of thank-you letters for donations to people that you know. This could be the case if you are part of a small community, such as your child’s school or a church.

If you are representing an organization, that organization might want the thank-you letters to read as though they are coming from a stranger.

If this is the case, then you should skip down to the example below this one.

However, it may be fine for you to write on behalf of the organization as yourself.

If this is the case and you know the person you are writing to, it would be appropriate to include small personal touches.

You can see this below in addressing the donor by the first name and in the closing paragraph.

Fundraising for an elementary school is a community effort, and acknowledging that you are part of that shared community in this way gives the letter a warm, personal touch:

Dear Ann,
Thank you so much for your generous donation to Pine Crest Elementary School’s student technology fund. Because of donors like you, we’ll be able to provide laptops to every student for use during the school day, allowing them to learn more about technology and computing.Our Laptops For Everyone program helps ensure that every student is able to access the same resources during the school day and not just the students whose parents can afford the tech.

This is a wonderful opportunity for students to start early at developing the skills that will remain valuable to them throughout their education.

It was a real pleasure seeing you at the fundraising dinner, and I hope we can catch up soon. Thank you again for your generosity.

Mary Smith, Volunteer Coordinator
Pine Crest Elementary Laptops For Everyone Program


Example of a single thank-you letter for a donation to a stranger

If you don’t know your recipients but you need to write one or just a few thank-you letters, you can still personalize each one.

Here’s an example of how you might write one of those letters. Note that this one also makes reference to the person’s past donations:

Dear Ms. Davis,

Thank you so much for your generous donation to Rock Hill Pet Foundation. We will be able to continue to house and foster cats, dogs and other pets until we are able to place them in forever homes because of people like you who care.

Rock Hill Pet Foundation is dedicated to finding a family for every pet or a safe outdoor space with shelter for the feral populations that we work with. A $100 donation like yours can feed an abandoned animal for several months or can be used to purchase emergency rescue supplies.

Since 2015, you have been a loyal supporter of our mission, and we couldn’t continue to provide the care that we do without your help. Thanks to caring animal lovers like you, Rock Hill Pet Foundation can continue to ensure that domestic animals throughout the county get the food, medical care and shelter that they need to lead their best lives.

John Smith


Example of a form thank-you letter for a donation

Sometimes, you may be responding to dozens or even hundreds of donations.

When this is the case, you need a basic template that you can insert individual information into.

Here’s an example of how a letter like that might be set up.

Notice that this letter is a little bit more general than the previous ones, but it does allow spaces to insert specific information, and it still feels warm and authentic:

Dear [NAME],

Thanks to your generous donation of [AMOUNT] to The Conservation Project, more trees can be planted and more land used to promote biodiversity throughout the state.

Every single donation we receive helps us in our mission of preserving healthy ecosystems and restoring the ecosystems of land that has been depleted. A donation of just $5 allows us to stock a wildflower kit, which people can pick up to turn a section of their lawn into a thriving environment for birds and insects. For $25, we can get educational materials into a classroom.

Larger donations allow us to acquire and revive land. This was the case with the former industrial park, which we are slowly restoring to its former status as protected wetlands and which your donation will help us continue doing.

With the help of others like you that are concerned about our planet, we can continue to make sure delicate ecosystems thrive and preserve land for future generation. Thank you so much for your thoughtful donation.

Mary Smith