Gain Conversions, Write a “Thank-You” Letter!

23 Feb

Everyone wants to feel appreciated. In fundraising, expressing gratitude is the key to building relationships with supporters for the long-haul. There are many methods that fundraiser’s can use say “Thank You”. But there’s nothing quite like a personal letter to show supporters how important their thoughts and gifts are to meeting your fundraising goals.

In fact, studies by Cygnus Applied Research, Inc. found the likelihood of receiving a second donation increased by 39% after a “Thank You” was received within 24 hours of the gift[1]. Convert your gifts into long term supporters using our guide to build an effective 3-section “Thank You” letter.

  1. Opening Section: Focus on Cause, Action, and Impact

The opening section of your “Thank You” letter should focus on how the gift has impacted your fundraising goals. It should address your cause, the actions of your fundraiser to meet its cause, and how their donation has helped move your fundraiser further. For example:

“Dear Sarah,

Thanks to your support, Midtown High School’s football team has new helmets and cleats to charge the field for a 9 and 10 season! The Bulldog’s will be competing in their State Championship game this Winter and would love it if you joined us.”

Illustrating the cause, action, impact will help communicate the most important information first to set-up the rest of the letter.

  1. Middle Sections: Tell Your Story

Use the middle sections to build up the important points of your opening section through a story. The purpose of this section is to make supporters feel like they are part of the action. The more vivid the story, the more invested supporters will feel in helping the cause.

Offer details in how your fundraiser took steps to accomplishing its goals. Use these questions to organize your thoughts:

  • What challenges has your fundraiser overcome?
  • Who is on the team and how did they grow from the fundraiser?
  • Are there milestones or visual markers that show progress?
  1. Conclusion: Detail New Horizons

The ending sections of your “Thank You” letter should discuss upcoming challenges, milestones, and phases of action. Use the momentum built within the middle sections to inspire your supporters for further action and describe how they can participate.

Invite Supporters to Follow-up

The postscript portion of a letter is the second most important part of your letter after the header. Most people who receive a letter will read the first few lines and the bottom-most information first, accessing whether or not to continue reading. If you have social media handles, video links, and contact information, be sure to include it at the bottom to remind readers to follow-up on your fundraiser.

Don’t forget to attach a reply envelope! According to Andrew Olsen, author of Rainmaking, “Nonprofits that include reply envelopes in their thank you letters have 2nd gift conversion rates that are anywhere from 8%-12% higher than those organizations that don’t include them”[2]. Follow these steps and you’ll convert single-gifts into fully invested supporters for the life of your fundraiser.

We at Popcorn Palace are excited to Create Joy with your new fundraising initiative! We’ve changed the design of our brochures to help your fundraiser meet its goals by speaking to your cause. For more information about Create Joy and how it will help your fundraising efforts, fill out the contact form below and one of our fundraising experts will contact you soon!

[1] Gail P. “How to Increase Donations by 39%”. Guide Star.

[2] Andrew O. “Should you include a reply envelope in your thank you letters?”.

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