When you’re new to using donor management software, one of the things you will do is create your first thank you letter. Even if you’ve been using the software for a while, you’ll probably create new letters, so a lot of what we’ll cover will apply to long-time users of the software as well. One of the biggest tasks of writing a thank you letter is deciding what to say. You want to strike a balance between conveying your organization’s mission and thanking the donor, while being personable, yet professional.
Within our software we provide a template to get you started. While we call this our “Generic Thank You Letter”, there certainly will be nothing generic about it once you’ve followed our lead. We provide the template, including automatically adding in merge fields for the gifts and the donor’s address. And more importantly, we provide pointers to give you an idea of what to write.
Before you even begin with creating your letter in the software, it’s important to know what you want to say. For a thank you letter, starting off by thanking the donor is a good first step. Next, tell the donor a little bit about what their donation has allowed your organization to do. It might seem obvious, for example donating money to an animal rescue allows the purchase of food or medical care for animals, and yet, putting concrete outcomes into the letter helps the donor to visualize what is happening. Saying that for each $5 donated, you can purchase 10 pounds of food or enough food to feed 50 hungry animals, is something that the donor can understand and hopefully respond to. Finally, it’s good to advise ways for the donor to keep connected, whether through a website, a newsletter, social media, or through other means. A way to learn more about your organization’s work is always a nice touch.
When you’re ready, open up the word processor and the generic thank you letter, if you’d like to work from our template, and start editing. If you wish to build your thank you letter from scratch, the word processor will open up to the default template, and you can begin typing. When you’re done, give your letter a code (for example TY001 or TYGENERAL) and click on FILE > SAVE AS to save your letter with its new name.
Now, every time you enter in a gift, select your new thank you letter from the drop down box. When you use our automated correspondence feature to send your thank you letters, it will send the selected letter to the donors.
Within FundRaiser, you’re able to have as many thank you letters as you need, which means you can customize them for any occasion. Need help? Reach out to our friendly support staff.