Dynamic Thank You Note Emails for Nonprofits

Sending Personalized Thank You Notes

When I was young, it was always important that I send a handwritten, personalized thank you note for any gift I received. It was never one of my favorite things to do, but as I’ve grown up I’ve realized how important a short, personalized note can be. With fundraising, a thank you note is a must, but you can’t hand write a thank you note for every $15 or $25 contribution you receive. You can, however, send a personalized email that tells your contributor how their money will be used and the impact it will have on the issues your organization is focused on.

A thank you email should be triggered by a gift . That said, you shouldn’t send everyone the same exact thank you note. You should split your contributors into first time, repeat, and recurring donors, excluding recurring donors from your normal thank you note segments (we’ll talk about recurring donors in our next blog post.)

Both your first time donor and repeat donor thank you notes should be formatted to fit your brand and the purpose of the email, don’t just send a receipt.

    1. Beautiful branded header

      Your email should include a beautiful, branded header with site links that direct people to your most important information. Thank You Note Email Header
    2. Personalization using dynamic content

      You should always address the email to the person who gave the donation. Your Email Service Provider (ESP) should have the ability to pull the first name from the donation data and include it in the email. An example might look like

      {{first_name}}, thanks for your contribution!

      For your repeat donors you should thank them for their continued support.

      {{first_name}}, thank you for your continued support!



  1. Next, comes the email content 

    • Tell your contributor what their donation will help to accomplish. The message should tell the donor how their dollars will help your cause. For example, “Your generous donation will help 10 turtles lay eggs in a protected environment.” Your supporters gave money to help the turtles, not the organization.
    • Include an image of the animal, person, or issue that their money will go to support. Draw a direct link between the donation and who or what the donation will help.Thank You Note Email Content
  2. Call to Action Buttons

    Finally, alert your donors to other ways they can get involved. Obviously don’t ask for more money or for them to do something difficult, but give them the opportunity to find out about volunteering or local events.
    Thank You Note Email Events and VolunteersFor a repeat donor, suggest another way that they can get involved that makes them more of a leader in your organization. For example, ask if they might be interested in hosting an event or if they’d like to join an advocacy council, anything to get your supporter more involved.

  3. The Trigger:

    These thank you emails should go out immediately after the contribution is made, so make sure your ESP can send triggered emails

  4. Keep your content current

    There’s no need to update these thank you notes every week but you should spend some time keeping your message relevant once per quarter, or per large donation campaign.

    Here is how all the different pieces fit together:

    Thank You Note Email

Get more Information About Klaviyo for Nonprofits:



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