Donation Acknowledgment Letters – Best Writing Tips to Keep Your Charity Coming

Donation Acknowledgment Letter
By Anindita Dey Updated

Donors are the mainstay of any non-profit organization. They deserve to be showered in acknowledgments and appreciations for being the kind-hearted souls that they are. The least that we can do is provide them a perfect donation acknowledgment letter every time they do some charity.

What is a Donation Acknowledgment Letter?

A donation acknowledgment letter is a letter to thank the sender for the charity that the party/individual has made. However, an acknowledgment letter for donation is not only a thank you letter for the charity done by the recipient, but it also serves as the legal information source for the recipient to claim a tax reduction.

Thus, a decent gift acknowledgment letter must have the combined effect of thanking the donor as well as meeting the legal requirements.

Why is a Donation Acknowledgment Letter Important?

A charity acknowledgment letter is a vital part of the working format of any non-profit organization to carry out their functions for the long term.

  • Donation acknowledgment letters act as an official statement or proof that the charity has been made with all details such as the date of contribution, the amount or material goods donated, etc.
  • A tax rebate is allowed on donations above $250. Thereby, the acknowledgment letter not only allows the donors to donate to noble causes but also file their taxes easily. This feature will attract more donors to your organization.
  • Legitimize your organization through the acknowledgment letters for donation. Since your letter will allow the donors to get tax redemption, it will also legitimize your organization’s existence as trustworthy and authentic charity group.
  • A donor acknowledgment letter has the ability to work as a marketing tool. Since philanthropists will receive tax benefits from their charity, it is understandable that more givers may be motivated to work with you in future. Moreover, acknowledging the donation in an official manner and promptness of action might also ensure a life-long donor.
  • Although non-profits are not required to file taxes but official documents are often asked for government audit. Any donor may also ask you for an audit to check how wisely the donations have been spent. Acknowledgment letters are official proofs for such cases which can be retrieved any time.

What are the Vital Elements of a Donation Acknowledgment Letter?

A donation acknowledgment letter has two vital elements. The first being a letter of gratitude towards the donor for his charity. Bear in mind the donors are one of your most important assets; so, the gratitude must be genuine from your side.

The second being the unfaltering legal documentation of the receipt that the sender has bestowed upon the organization/individual; legal documentation of a receipt is required because most of the donators avail a tax redemption. The IRS has mandated all public charities to file an acknowledgment receipt for charities more than $250.

What are the Points to be Included in a Donation Acknowledgment Letter?

Since it is a formal letter for your donors, it has to have the coverage of a certain number of points.

  • The name of your organization and the name of your donor.
  • A statement which says that you are a 501c3 tax exempt organization.
  • The date on which the contribution was received.
  • The details of the contribution. Whether the contribution was made in cash or non-cash gifts. The exact amount of the cash is to be mentioned and the detailed description of the non-cash gift.
  • Good-faith estimates of gifts or services if received by the donor: a perfect example would be a fundraising dinner where a small amount of the donation made by the donors actually pays for the food while the rest goes into donation.
  • A statement stating any intangible or inconsequential gift the organization has gifted the donor as a keepsake or a token of appreciation in return for his/her charity.

How to Make the Donation Acknowledgment Letter to Retain Donors in Future?

If you wish to continue working with your donor in the future, then it is suggested that you invest a little more into the letter rather than simply putting down the legal details and a thank you.

  • To make that possible let your donor know more about how his donation has been put to use or has been planned to be used. To what noble cause has the donor’s money been served is of utmost importance to the donor and will inspire him to make future contributions.
  • Tell him about the aims and objectives of your organization. Discuss with him the bigger picture you are looking forward to. The reason behind mentioning the details is everybody wants to be associated with something grand. Once your donor understands and realizes the enormity of the actions of your organization, it is likely that you may have gained a lifelong donor.
  • Keep your donors quite engaged, so that they are always in the loop. Organize sports, dinners and different activities so that your donors are in touch with you. Invite them to the next program right in your acknowledgment note.
  • Inspire them with personal stories. People can more aptly relate to personal stories and that moves them to make donations.

The Format of a Donation Acknowledgment Letter

Along with the information, the donation acknowledgment letter also needs to cherish your donor. To achieve the desired effect, you can follow the following format.

  • Letterhead: The letterhead of your organization must include the logo of your organization prominently. The upper left-hand corner should include the return address while the upper right-hand corner must have the date on which the letter was sent.
  • Salutation: Even though this is a formal letter, yet the salutation must be warm enough. Address your donor by the name. The salutation must not be stiff.
  • First paragraph: The first paragraph is the place for official matters. Thank your donor for the gift, and make the tax-exempt statement and state the official name of the person sending the letter in behalf of the organization.
  • Second paragraph: In this paragraph include the details of the contribution made by your donor. The cash value or the details of the non-cash gift(s) must be meticulously mentioned.
  • Third paragraph: State whether any token of appreciation or material goods has been received by the donor in exchange for his donation.
  • Last paragraph: This paragraph is the part where you state to what use has your donor’s donation been put and thank him again for his generosity.
  • Valediction: Courteously wish your donor the very best and include an important post holder of your organization as the main signatory. The reason behind doing so is that your donor feels that he is valued by your organization.

Other Important Points While Drafting a Donation Acknowledgment Letter

  • Send out customized and unique gift acknowledgment letters to your donors so that they don’t feel that they have been sent a generic acknowledgment note and their donations are easily interchangeable with other donors.
  • The technicality of the language should be kept in mind. Since the letters are official tax rebate statements, the language framework for that particular point must be drafted by an expert in that area, which can be later used widely.
  • It is not necessary to send out the gratitude acknowledgment letters by mail. Most of the donors nowadays prefer the letter to be sent via email with a pdf copy attached. This allows them to easily file it as their tax return official statement.

Donation Acknowledgment Letter – Free Templates, Formats, and Samples

Yes, we understand the fact that you are extremely busy and will hardly manage time to sit down and apply all the tips and craft a fresh letter of donation acknowledgment. But on the other hand, you also want a fine acknowledgment to be sent to the donor. Under such circumstances, our sample acknowledgment letter of donation will come in handy. Have a look.

Sample Donation Acknowledgment Letter

You could follow the sample letter provided below and copy and use it in the text format. It is also downloadable in MS Word format.

Sample Donation Acknowledgment Letter

Larry M. Mitchell
Executive Director
Education for All Foundation
1784 Sycamore Fork Road
Deerfield Beach, FL 33442
United States

10th January 2019

Harriet L. Hall
4162 Fairfield Road
Kenosha, WI 53140
United States
Ph: 262-653-7170

Re: $2000 Amount Received as Donation

Dear Harriet L. Hall,
On behalf of ‘Education for All’ Foundation I, Larry M. Mitchell sincerely thank you for the generous donation that you have made today. We are a 501c3 organization and your contribution can be utilized as a tax-exempt statement.
The donation of $2000 that you have sent to our charity shows your genuine concern towards enlightening the lives of thousands of people who shall be benefiting from your noble gesture.
I wholeheartedly invite you to the charity dinner that we have scheduled on 15th January 2019. 1% of your charity shall be utilized for the dinner while the rest of the amount shall be directly transferred to the respective department.
We welcome you to our family of beneficiaries and thank you wholeheartedly once again.

Best wishes,

Larry M. Mitchell
Executive Director

Donation Acknowledgment Letter
Download Sample Donation Acknowledgment Letter Word Template
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Donation Acknowledgment Email Sample

The same letter can be oriented in an email as well. Since the world’s going through a digital evolution, the acknowledgment of charity also has the possibility to be sent online through an email. Have a look at our donation acknowledgment email sample and use it to fulfill your purpose.

Donation Acknowledgment Email Template

Subject: $2000 Amount Received as Donation

Dear Harriet L. Hall,
I am delighted to welcome you to the family of ‘Education for All’ Foundation. Your generous donation of $2000 will go a long way in enlightening the lives of thousands of people. Since we are a 501c3 organization, you can utilize your contribution for tax redemption.

I wholeheartedly invite you to the charity dinner that we have scheduled on 15th January 2019. 1% of your charity shall be utilized for the dinner while the rest of the amount shall be directly transferred to the respective department.

Thank you for your noble gesture and welcome to our family once again.

Best wishes,

Larry M. Mitchell
Executive Director

As much it is important for your organization to continue receiving contributions for your noble cause to continue, it is equally important for you to reach out to your beneficiaries and show that you value their time and intention. Do it with an efficient charity letter.

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