Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
I don’t know about you, but last year flew by for me.
It is hard to believe we are already in a new year!
With the end of the holiday season comes a new year with much to do in the local church.
One thing that is probably on most to-do lists this January is drafting that thank you letter for committed donors.
Taking the time to draft, sort, and send giving letters is well worth the effort as a thank you to the generous people who support your church.
We all know that there is no church without the sacrificial giving of members.
Now is the time to thank them and attach it to their year-end giving statement.
6 Tips to Make the Donor Thank You Letter Great!
1. Reflect On The Last Year
The end of a year is a good time to reflect and think about all the things that were accomplished in the prior year.
This is a good exercise because it helps you appreciate all the hard work and successes of the prior 12 months.
We often get lost in the day-to-day and fail to see the forest through the trees (as they say).
It is healthy to climb back up for a 50,000-foot view of all the great things that your church accomplished.
For instance, members may be interested in learning how many kids you serve in Children’s Church, how many people were served through your outreach programs, the number of people who came forward at an altar call, or the number of volunteers who faithfully served the church.
At the same time, it is good to reflect on those things that need to be done in the next 12 months.
You can do this by reviewing your church goals for next year.
2. Summarize the Information
Church members love to hear churches report on the great things being accomplished. This report summarizes the events, activities, and accomplishments of the year.
Hopefully, you have a structured system for collecting and reporting data for your church so it can be easy to pull information for the giving thank you letter.
For instance, pull contribution, program attendance, and volunteer involvement records.
People who give to the local church do so because they share a passion for its mission.
This passion makes donors interested in the specifics of what the church is accomplishing.
Summarize those things that matter and help donors see the big picture of the mission and those things their generous donations support.
For instance, if your church has an outreach that helps the homeless, share some facts about the number of lives affected and the program’s outcome.
3. A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words
Try to include pictures or graphics, if possible. Show a graph of where funds went and the programs that were supported.
Also include pictures of outreach, kids ministry, or major church events.
This visual account for funding helps donors see that their financial sacrifice is making a difference.
4. Personalize the Letter
People like to know they are part of the team helping a church fulfill its mission.
Take the time to personalize the letter. Write a thank you letter, but personalize it by including the donor’s name.
If possible, spend some time handwriting a simple “thank you” on the letters as they are stuffed in envelopes.
For instance, randomly pick people as you stuff the envelopes and write, “Thanks, Jim, for all you do,” near the signature line.
This handwritten note will bless the recipient and show your gratitude.
Personalizing the thank you is an effort to solidify the giving relationship.
5. Be Timely
Most tax documents should be in the taxpayer’s hands by January 31st.
Be considerate of members and ensure they receive their giving record and thank you letter before the end of the month.
This timeliness demonstrates your commitment to church members.
Begin the process now of collecting information for the letter and prepare for printing.
6. Make it a Party
Most churches have a significant number of donors to thank.
Gather a handful of people who can help prepare and stuff the envelopes.
Find a well-lit room, put on some worship music, and make the task fun.
People work hard for their money and appreciate knowing that their donations are managed properly and make a difference.
Take the time to write a well-thought-out letter and thank your donors for their contributions. This effort will let donors know you appreciate their generous support.
We have done the work for you!
If you are a member, you can log in to access an edible copy of a donor letter here.
If you want an example of a donation letter, you can access it here.