Fund raising, for any purpose, is one of the hardest jobs for an individual, organization, corporate body or even government. This is so much so because donors are scarce and demands are multiplying daily. So, if you got one, we say ‘Congratulations’. However, do not forget to show appreciation to your donor/donors in the form of a “Thank you”. Thank you email to donors can be an incredibly powerful pair of words especially if it is with a good and right timing.
The longer you wait before you send an expression of appreciation, the smaller your chance of scoring sincerity points from your donor. A timely word of thanks makes you look thoughtful and professional. It is a courteous way to appreciate the donor for their money and time. In all ramifications, it is a key strategy for creating loyal relations. A simple note of thanks can engage you on a personal level with your donor and also increase your chance for subsequent funding. However, there are some rules to the game if you want to send a thank you email to your donors.
Essential Rules for Writing a Thank You Email to Donors
- Professionalism matters a lot such that it can never be over emphasized. For every thank you e-mail, always use your professional email address even if you are writing as a body. Ideally, every organization, as a matter of importance, must have a website which has a proper domain name and email address under it. This helps your organization look more professional to donors. Therefore, it is better and more professional if your e-mail address is as firstname.lastname@example.org instead email@example.com. Apart from appearing professional, the donors will immediately remember you and your organization, and your mails will not get to appear as spam mails.
- Give your mail an appropriate title. It should be as simple as possible yet capturing enough information about the purpose of the mail. Your donor’s inbox may be receiving hundreds of e-mails daily, so it is important that your subject line is to the point. In fact, a study has revealed that 47% of email recipients decide whether or not to open an email based on the subject line alone. Your subject can read like “Thank you for choosing to donate towards our Girl Child Project Fund”. It is very bad to send an e-mail without a subject and worse if the subject is not in an appropriate structure.
- Use an appropriate salutation. Remember that it is someone that will attend to and read your mail even though you are writing to a department or an organization. So, commence your “thank you” letter by addressing it to a person. This person, except otherwise advised, should be someone who has been in constant contact throughout fundraising process. For instance, Dear Aniekan Benson appears and sounds better and more personal than Dear SchoolUpdate or Dear Sir/Madam. So, always remember to make your salutation personal but not unprofessional.
- Genuineness matters. You need to avoid all manners of frivolities and start by thanking them right away. It is essential and more professional to be specific about what you are grateful for. There is need to mention the exact amount of the donation received by you and the name of the project to which the donation was made. Donors are always encouraged where and when transparency is displayed in appropriating the funds they have committed to something. So, you will earn more trust and recognition by showing your transparency on how their money is being or will be spent.
- Tell them why their donation is valued. To do this, write a brief but descriptive paragraph on how their money will change lives or solve a problem for which it was demanded and donated. If you have a case study or a verifiable positive feedback from the beneficiary, bring it to their knowledge as well.
- Pictures speak more than words so attach an image to your “thank you mail”. An appropriate image of your project in action can be one of the best ways of demonstrating both your appreciation and the donor’s impact through the project. However, even though a picture is worth a thousand words, remember to resize the image (to a maximum of 500KB) before attaching it to the mail.
- You need to keep the channel of communication open so tell the donor when they will hear from you next. They would always want to hear from you regarding the progress of the project. So, it is always nice to give donors a time frame of when you will be able to send a progress report of the project. You can take it a step further by inviting them to your organization to see the work first hand.
- Thank them once again. Letting them know you appreciate them one last time registers it more in their mind. So, always end your “thank you” letter with one last quick thank you.
- Proper closing is a necessity. Close the letter with your name, signature and contact information. I mean give a name, phone number and email addresses of real persons not those of the organization but not in an overly familiar way, like ‘Ani Ben, Nigeria’. If you or your organization is active on social media, include the information in your signature as well. A proper closing can be like:
Uyo, Akwa Ibom State,
Do apply any marketing tool to gain more engagement with your donors. You can ask them to subscribe to your newsletter, follow you on Social Media and so on.
Sample Thank You Email to Donors
Subject Line: Thank you for supporting our Girl Child Project Fund in Uruan
Dear Adrian Noonday,
On behalf of SchoolUpdate and the good people of Akwa Ibom State, Nigria, I would like to thank you for your worthy donation of US$10,000 (N3,650,000) towards our Girl Child Project Fund. Your financial support has gone a long way to empower us on our mission of providing secure future through education to every girl child in rural communities of the state. With the amount, we will be able to successfully construct a hostel block of twenty rooms for female students whose parents cannot afford the boarding charges in the state owned modern secondary school for the girl child in Uruan. Many faces beamed with smiles that had eluded them for decades when our community leaders, parents, youths and other opinion leaders of the community heard the news about your generosity. They variously expressed joy and happiness because, at last, hope had come for all and the rich and the poor girl child can have equal access to education. The youths, through their leader, promised to partner with us through selfless voluntary services during the construction stage of the project.
Speaking for the women, Mrs. Iquo Edet, the community woman leader said, “the hostel will not only enable us send our female children to school but will also help us have a better tomorrow for our families and our community”.
With the land already donated by the community and the necessary paperwork completed before applying for your support, the construction of the hostel block will be completed by December, 2020. We will update you on our progress on the project on monthly basis starting from the ending of April 2020.
The community leaders asked us to inform you that they would like to invite you to Uruan to thank you in person at the completion of the project in January 2021. It will also be a great honor for us at SchoolUpdate to host you and your team in Uruan and take you round to see the things for yourself.
Thank you once again for your kind support.
Uyo, Akwa Ibom State,
P. S. We are working in Eket too on another Girl Child Project. For updates kindly subscribe to our newsletter here.