Good thank you letters are an incredibly important  and savvy marketing and fundraising strategy. Why? Because so many nonprofits do a terrible job with them. By expressing your gratitude frequently, on time, and in a personal way, you will rise above many other nonprofits in your supporters' hearts and minds.

20 Dos and Don'ts for Nonprofit Thank You Letters

This free list will tell you what you should (and shouldn't) do when creating your nonprofit thank you notes. Just fill out the form below to receive this pdf.

How to Write a Nonprofit Thank You Letter

I devoted an entire chapter of her book, The Nonprofit Marketing Guide: High-Impact, Low-Cost Ways to Build Support for Your Good Cause (Amazon) to thank yous. See Chapter 11, "Adopt an Attitude of Gratitude." (It's a fitting place in the book, since without good thank-yous, you could end up facing your own version of Chapter 11 bankruptcy!)

Several times a year I teach a webinar called Writing Thank-You Notes That Inspire Future Gifts for CharityHowTo.com. You can attend for free if you are an All-Access Pass Holder or register through CharityHowTo.com. If it's not currently on the schedule, the most recent recording is most likely available in the recording archive for All-Access Pass Holders.

I've also written several articles you'll find helpful:

Nine Clever Ways to Thank Your Donors

The Formula for Powerful Nonprofit Thank Yous

Nonprofit Thank You Letter Dos and Don'ts

Examples of Great Nonprofit Thank Yous

Rock Stars of Nonprofit Thank You Notes

(For more on how Epic Change has built its entire fundraising strategy around gratitude, read their blog.)

Nonprofit Thank You Letters – 3 I Love

Best Response So Far to End of Year Gifts

The Thank-You Experiment

At the end of 2008 and 2009, I gave online donations via a giving portal  to about a dozen national nonprofits (I cashed in miles with Capital One, who partners with Network for Good for charitable giving). My original intent was to analyze the followup communications provided after an unsolicited online gift, but the response was so underwhelming that it turned into an experiment on thank you notes.

I am repeating the experiment now, with 20 year-end gifts made on December 30, 2011.

Here are the related posts:

After the December 2008 Gifts

The Dismal Results of My Online Giving Experiment

Saying Thanks Even When It’s Inconvenient or Time-Consuming

After the December 2009 Gifts

How Many Thank-Yous Will I Get This Year?

10 Donations. 3 Thank-Yous. 7 Failures to Communicate.

Why You Must Work with Network for Good and How to Follow Up with Donors

After the December 2011 Gifts

Best Response So Far to End of Year Gifts

Additional Thank You Letter Resources

The November 2011 edition of the Nonprofit Blog Carnival, hosted by Pamela Grow, focused on thank you letters. You'll find links to lots of great advice and examples.

Here are a few of my personal favorites from the round-up:

When Saying Thank You is an Art, Not a Process (Good real-world examples of what to say -- and not)

3 Simple & Impactful Ways to Thank (and Steward) Your Donors (Getting your system in place)

 7 Ways to Say Thanks (More easy ways to build gratitude into your work)

The Thank You Letter Clinic at SOFII (More good examples)

How to Thank Your Foundation Funders (it's a little different than individual donors)

 Here are lots of other articles on writing thank yous that I've bookmarked for you.