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Why, thank you!

11 Jul 2012 Voices

Sometimes a charity says thank you, and well, you can just tell that they really mean it. Rachel Brown got one such thank you letter last weekend from Kids Company.

Sometimes a charity says thank you, and well, you can just tell that they really mean it. Rachel Brown got one such thank you letter last weekend from Kids Company.

It read..

Dear Rachel,

I was so touched by your generous donation of £25. Fundraising has become even harder. I find myself working late into the night seven days a week just trying to generate resources for our kids. So when donations like yours arrive believe me I bounce off the ceiling with delight!

(This is a letter to me, sent from a person. Not from an organisation, but from an individual. It shows passion for the charity and makes me feel that I have really done something extraordinary.)

Your help means so much to all of us who work at Kids Company, because we become a witness to your kindness but also to the positive impact it has on the children’s lives.

(Wow – these are people that are passionate about their cause and will steward and use my money wisely.)

We’ve just opened our exhibition at the Royal Academy, Childhood, so I’m hoping we can encourage more of the public to donate.

(This is timely information –  they must have updated their thank you letter recently.)

One of the girls exhibiting was living on the streets since the age of 12 having run away from home where she was being sexually abused. When she arrived at Kids Company she was so undernourished, looking like a 12-year-old, despite being 17. She hadn’t been to school since she was ten but we found she wrote amazing poetry so we sent her to Goldsmiths University for an interview and they’ve offered her an unconditional place on the creative writing degree course. Before our eyes has emerged a young girl who is glowing and full of hope for the future.

(What a wonderful story. I feel proud to support this charity and want to give more to their work.)

It’s for children like her that your unique support is precious and powerful. Thank you for kindness that touches the heart.

With love and best wishes,

(Not yours sincerely or some other stuffy sign off. I am now part of this charity’s family.)

Camila Batmanghelidjh
Chief Executive

(with hand-signed signature)

So what do you think? Would your organisation’s thank you letter stand up against this? I know that this is a mail merged letter – but it is still brilliant, personal and touching. I want to give again.

Does your thank you letter:

  • Come from a person, not an organisation
  • Demonstrate the passion of your work
  • Make the donor feel that they have genuinely made a difference
  • Include timely information
  • Talk about you and your, not we and our
  • Say thank you more than once
  • Arrive hand-signed
  • Make the donor feel proud to have given

Donors are the most precious resource a charity can have. Just in saying thank you well, this charity has made me feel like a critical part of their mission.

Now we must make all our donors feel the same way.

Rachel Brown is the development manager for Edinburgh's University's Edinburgh Fund and all-round fundraising enthusiast

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