Saying Thank You to Your Nonprofit’s Donors

Thank You Hand

With everything that your nonprofit has to think about in order to run successfully, there’s bound to be a few things that slip through the cracks. Forgot to order new water jugs for the water cooler? Accidentally purchased 5,000 branded pencils instead of branded pens? It’s all par for the course when it comes to nonprofits (and your overloaded plate). Fortunately, it’s easy to make the best and discover creative solutions to those situations. However, it’s hard to make it up to a donor if saying thank you to them slips through the cracks.

Why should you say thank you?

Writing thank you notes can actually make your donors happier (yes, even happier than you are about receiving their donations!).  It’s true! Your donors are expecting you to reach out to them with a receipt after their donation, so why not make it a memorable interaction?

Saying thank you can also form a bond between your organization and its donors. “Being appreciated is one of those things that really motivates us, both at work and in life, so a little goes a long way if you can offer up a genuine thank you when it’s appropriate,” said Dr. Laura Trice in a TED talk on giving thanks. It can motivate and actually make your donors excited to give again, especially when they know that they will be thanked and appreciated in the end.

How to say “thank you”

Now that you’ve decided to add “saying thank you” to your “must-do” list at your nonprofit, you’re probably wondering how to go about saying it. There are many ways your nonprofit could reach out to your donors to express your gratitude for their thoughtful gift. Here are a few that we think are very successful:

  • Have a thank-a-thon. Get your entire staff and board involved one day to thank all of your donors. Make it a fun experience for both parties, so staff will be excited to do it again and donors will be excited to receive the thanks.
  • Have a template ready to be customized. Creating a thank you template can be extremely helpful, especially if your organization is expecting a ton of donations for one reason or another. However, you must make sure that although the template is set, there are areas that allow you to customize for each individual donor and gift received.  
  • Set aside time specifically to thank your donors. Saying thank you is just as important as that meeting you have scheduled at 2pm on Friday. Put time in your calendar that you’ve dedicated just to thanking your donors.
  • It may not be feasible every time, but handwrite thank you notes whenever possible. This personalization of each thank you will make your donor feel like they matter even more than just the note would. This could be some precedent your organization puts in place for high level donors to ensure they know how thankful you are for their large gift.
  • “Treat Each Donation as the Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship.” Essentially, with every single note you send your donors you’re creating the foundation for what could potentially be a very long relationship. Keep this in mind when you’re crafting your thank you notes. Is your note something you’d ever send a dear friend? If not, try again.


Now that you know why you should be saying thank you and how to say it, you need to actually do it. That’s where the MortarStone GenD triggers come in. We make it extremely easy to set up tasks for your staff to complete based upon if an event has occurred or not. Creating a GenD trigger to alert your best thank you note writer whenever a donation is received only takes 3 easy steps. Your nonprofit will never have an excuse as to why you didn’t thank your donors again, and you won’t need one.

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