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Donation Appreciation Letter

One way to encourage past donors to give to a cause again is to send a donation appreciation letter. When donors are properly thanked and shown that their donations make a difference in people’s lives, they are more likely to give to the cause again. Everyone likes to be thanked for the nice things they do and donors are no different. An appreciation lettercan energize one-time donors and encourage them to become regular donors.

Format and Content

Appreciation letters are sometimes sent to every past donor, the highest donors or the most frequent donors. It usually depends on the organization’s budget. The donor appreciation letter format should include information on how the donation furthered the successful work of the organization. It is important to make the donor feel like more than just a source of checks for the organization, but like a partner in a quest for a common goal.


Organizations writing appreciation letters to donors must make sure verbiage required by IRS rule 1771 is included in their letters. The verbiage depends on the type of organization and the particular donation. This donation appreciation letter sample is from a children’s shelter and is written to a frequent donor.

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Roberts,

I want to take this opportunity to personally thank you for your extremely generous contribution of $5,000 to the ABC Children’s Shelter. Annual donations like yours have helped keep the shelter going during tough economic times and enabled us to provide a safe haven for children in crisis.

Parents who, for whatever unfortunate reasons, are unable to adequately care for their dependents leave these minor children in dire circumstances. Donations like yours to the ABC Children’s Shelter provide these kids with a warm, secure place to stay where they receive nutritious meals, a comfortable bed and bathroom, transportation to and from school, help with homework, exercise and organized recreational activities, spiritual guidance and therapy.

The professionals operating the shelter also work with willing parents, child protective services and the court system to help parents and children be reunited and make families whole again. The ultimate goal is to help parents heal, help them provide loving and secure homes for their children and get the children out of the shelter and back into a healthy home environment with their biological families.

Some of the items for which your generous donation was used include food, school supplies, clothing, toiletries and grooming products, utility costs and insurance. Our building has been paid for by past generous donations and all our staff are volunteers except those who live at the shelter as house parents. The tutors who help the children with homework and studying after school are volunteers as well and many are retired teachers. Our licensed therapists volunteer their time too. It takes many different types of donations to keep ABC Children’s Shelter running and your monetary contribution is an important one that is greatly appreciated.

With Sincere Gratitude,

Paula Miller

Dr. Paula G. Miller

(verbiage required by IRS 1771 rule for non-profit organizations receiving monetary donations)