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3 Thank You Emails that Land Every Time

It’s no secret that donations are the lifeblood of any nonprofit organization. While raising funds is important, so is thanking those who contribute to your cause. This motivates both new and returning supporters to donate again, while also spreading the word about your cause.

This may seem to be a lot to remember, so let’s look at some instances to understand how it all works. But first, a word about email design.

The give and take between distinct text and graphic components is an essential component of email design. None of the following examples are intended to be prescriptive. They’re better suited to inspiring new thoughts and possibilities for your own emails.

1. Charity: water

The nonprofit charity: water works to provide access to safe drinking water in poor nations. Because private contributors fund running expenses, all public contributions go directly to water projects in the field.

Charity Water

Important takeaways:

  • The involvement of the donor—rather than charity: water—is emphasized right away with a large line of text: “YOU DID IT!”
  • The exact target of $1.7 million attained is clearly stated.
  • The huge photograph of a kid gleefully sipping a glass of water exemplifies both the organization’s aim and the outcomes of its capital drive for Rwanda.
  • The last line is written in the second person (“you” and “your”) and contains further facts regarding the September Campaign for Rwanda. This adds to the story’s focus on the donor’s involvement.
  • The last “thank you” is not for the contribution itself. It is instead for assisting with the broader problem at hand: transforming lives.
  • The overall design is also effective since it departs from the typical thank you letter structure.

2. Feeding America

Feeding America is the country’s third-largest nonprofit. It is made up of over 200 food banks that provide more than 4.3 billion meals every year.

Feeding America

Important takeaways:

  • Clip art should be used carefully, but it fits here to indicate the time of year when this email was delivered.
  • Rather of thanking supporters for a particular donation, this is a more general Thanksgiving holiday thank you note to honor the year’s total contributions.
  • The email’s body is written in the second person, using “you” and “your.”
  • Feeding America has recognized the amount of persons served (37 million).
  • Unlike the other two emails we examined, this one is personalized with a signature and comes from an official within the company.

3. Love146

Love146 was founded in 2001 with the objective of putting an end to child abuse and trafficking throughout the globe.


Important takeaways:

  • Because “Love146” isn’t as descriptive of the charity’s work as our previous examples, mention its purpose (stopping child trafficking and exploitation) beneath its logo at the top of the email.
  • The young student Sam’s simple but effective graphic underlines Love146’s emphasis on assisting children.
  • The four paragraphs of text that follow are substantially longer than what we’ve seen so far, and they enable the message to cover numerous critical areas. A descriptive anecdote is provided in the opening paragraph. The following one employs the second person to underline the donor’s contribution. The third honors all presents, big and small. The last paragraph outlines the programs that have benefited from these donations.
  • This communication, like Feeding America’s, comes from a particular official inside the organization.

Something intriguing is going on at the last portion near the bottom. It gives exact numbers for the campaign, which has already surpassed its $60,000 objective. At the same time, it is requesting yet another gift, despite the fact that most contributors only make one contribution each year. This strategy may work in this case since the email stresses how #GivingTuesday is one of Love146’s primary funding sources. However, we recommend that you use this strategy of requesting for a follow-up gift sparingly, if at all.

Wrap up

A thank you email is different from a thank you letter. I understand the paradox. However, it should also strengthen the relationship with each donor in order to promote future fundraising. At the same time, you must be genuine in your thanks and less concerned in making money.