Nonprofit thank you notes get creative and strategic

I, like many people, do my share of year-end giving to my favorite nonprofits in December. Of course, December and January are usually super-busy times of year for folks who process all of those donations!

I was pleased to receive some very grateful and thoughtful thank you notes from the organizations I supported. I wanted to share one specific letter that stood out. It comes from my local food bank, the Alameda County Community Food Bank, to be exact. You can see a copy of it below:

CCF01252016_0004It starts out expressing gratitude and welcoming me to their community, and goes on to briefly  explain what my contribution will do.

Notice that it has a large photo of a child in the upper-right corner and the letter talks a bit about her, a representative of their clients.

This one-pager is short, simple, sweet, and to the point. It also lists the tax ID number at the bottom, as well as the address and affiliations.

That’s all pretty standard best practice.

The most interesting part was the PS and the insert that came with it. I read:

“PS: Can we interest you in a tour? Please call…”

That line refers to the color insert in the same envelope:


It shows the food bank’s warehouse and the Executive Director invites me to tour it, so they can:

“show what 4 months’ worth of emergency food looks like; have you experience the chill thrill of a 5,500-square foot cooler and freezer; or let you watch volunteer groups hard at work packaging food for our clients….you have to see it to believe it!”


Talk about showing and not just telling about their work (one of the good writing themes I like to share)! This creative and strategic way to express their work and engage donors (whether they visit or not) is brilliant.

I wonder what YOU can do in your next thank you letter to bring your work to life in such a real way. Feel free to let me know by leaving a comment.

PS: You can find more information about strong thank you letters in a Writing Wednesdays recording I made.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *