7 Tips for Thanking Your Fundraising Partners

This PLTW Blog entry is an excerpt from the PLTW Fundraising Toolkit. You can download the full toolkit here.

One of the top reasons donors stop giving to organizations is lack of acknowledgment of the donor’s support.

Whether it is an individual, a local company, a foundation, or some other kind of entity, here are some general dos and don’ts to consider when thanking your supporters:

1. Send your thanks in a timely manner.

Whether you send a thank-you card or letter, don’t wait months to send it to the donor.

2. Write from the heart.

While it makes sense to use a template to ensure you follow proper etiquette, we strongly recommend customizing your note by using the donor’s name in the salutation line, addressing their specific gift, and detailing how the gift was used.

3. Include a picture, a thank-you note from your students, or a student success story.

Donors who give to schools almost always give because they want to help students. Hearing from or about students will be more emotionally powerful than hearing from adults.

4. Let them know when they’ll hear from you next.

5. Invite them to connect.

Let the donor know they can reach out to you with questions, and provide your contact information. Also, give your school's or district’s social media information so they can connect with you online.

6. Hand-sign the card or letter (and call, if you can).

7. Give them other ways to engage with your program, as it make sense.

For example, invite them to visit the classroom to see students in action, invite them to present on their job, or make them aware of an upcoming STEM day or design competition they could attend.