A Nonprofit’s Guide to Acknowledgements

Timely and meaningful acknowledgments are essential to donor satisfaction and retention. They demonstrate that a donor’s generosity is appreciated and that his or her gift will advance the mission of your organization. Good acknowledgments affirm to the donor that has made a worthwhile investment. They set the stage for ongoing strategic communication about a donor’s gift that will deepen his/her connection with your organization.

A Nonprofit's Guide to Acknowledgements

There are few faster ways to turn off and lose donors than to fall down on the job of thanking them. It essentially says, “You’re just one of many, we took your money and moved on.” That’s a shame, when a thank-you letter that lets donors share the excitement of what you’re working toward can help cement their loyalty and increase their interest in getting further involved.

Let’s take a closer look at how to make a nonprofit donor feel that your organization truly appreciates a donation, and that it makes a difference to the cause you serve—all while fulfilling your obligations to the IRS and CRA. (We’re talking here about average-size donations. Major gifts should receive an even higher level of personalized response.)

Issue Addressed:

  1. Tax Receipts vs. Acknowledgments
  2. Acknowledgment Policies
  3. Acknowledgment Processes
  4. Acknowledgment Timing
  5. Acknowledgment Signatories
  6. Acknowledgment Salutations
  7. Tailoring Acknowledgment
  8. The Zen of Acknowledgments or Highly Personalized Acknowledgments
  9. Memorial and Honorific Gifts
  10. Beyond the Page or Supplementing ―Thank You Letters


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