Tomorrow (Thursday, 2/3/11) I’m presenting a webinar I call “Writing Thank You Notes That Inspire Future Gifts.” I firmly believe that the thank-you note after the first gift is the first step in getting the second gift. The standard, boring, impersonal form letter or email receipt doesn’t cut it. During the webinar, I’ll share lots of tips and examples about how to do it right.

Here are three recent thank yous I’ve received that I really love and why . . .

From One Warm Coat

One Warm Coat entered one of those contests that required them to hit up their supporters to click to vote, click to vote, click to vote. (Can you tell I find these contests annoying?). For all the requests I see to vote, I rarely see a thank you after the contest is over, especially from the “losers.” One Warm Coat does a very nice job here of thanking their supporters for helping them get the second-place prize and explaining the impact that the prize will have on the organization.

But here is my favorite part: They graciously congratulate and heap praise upon the winner, all in a personal, heartfelt way. Very classy Sherri!

One Warm Coat Thank You Email

From The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy sent out an email Thanksgiving week with a video from their scientists.

Nature Conservancy Thank You Email

The video is so simple, and simply wonderful. Hearing and seeing real TNC scientists around the world — not polished spokespeople — in all of those different accents, say Thank You for helping to save the (fill the blank) and giving credit for their work to their supporters is very powerful stuff.  And this is so easy to pull off! No fancy production values, just going out and shooting the videos and editing it all together. (I wonder if there’s a blooper reel somewhere . . . .) No need to wait until Thanksgiving to copy this idea!


Advocacy and “rights” organizations like PETA are constantly telling their supporters to protest this and boycott that. When all of that advocacy actually pays off, too often the nonprofit takes credit, thanks their supporters, and moves on. PETA breaks out of that mold with this thank you by asking supporters to thank Lipton Tea directly for its “prompt and compassionate decision” and recommends that we buy products “such as Lipton tea that are not tested on animals.”

Advocacy groups come down hard on Big Bad Corporations, as they should. But it’s also refreshing to see those same groups spreading some of the love when corporate leaders do the right thing.

PETA Thank You Email

Have you received a nonprofit thank you that’s out of the ordinary? Share in the comments.

P.S. Here are some more posts on writing thank you letters.

Published On: February 2, 2011|Categories: Fundraising|