How to Say More than Just Thank You to Your Donors

Does your animal shelter or rescue get the most you can from your thank you notes to donors? We just received a thank you letter for a donation we sent to a no-kill shelter in response to a challenge grant. Each note from this shelter skillfully includes several features to convince donors that donations are well spent while asking for more donations and the opportunity to stay in touch. Their thank you on a legal size sheet of paper includes:

— A warm thank you for the donation.

— A tear-off form requesting “Another Gift to Help Animals in Need”; an envelope is included.

— Request on the tear-off form to sign up for the email newsletter.

— Would you like more information about gift planning/wills, volunteering, others?

— Story of how donation dollars are being spent. This time it was about Captain, a Miniature Schnauzer who was rescued from a puppy mill with sores, infected ears, worms, fleas, etc. He’s been getting “proper nutrition, medicine, and soothing baths.” (They always give details, not just “we rescued puppy mill dogs.”)

— Donor bill of rights on the back of the thank you letter. Ten points are listed, including the right to be informed about their mission, to have access to most recent financial statements, to be assured that gifts will be used for purposes for which they’re given, etc.

— Offer to debit a monthly donation from a checking account.

— Suggestion to ask employers if they match or even double their employees’ contributions.

This no-kill shelter cover several bases but the correspondence doesn’t appear cluttered or too busy. Next time you send out thank you notes, how could you say more than “thank you?”

Leave a Reply