There’s a common dislike of writing thank-you notes. It’s not at the top of our to-do lists. But getting it right can be the difference between a one-off gift and a lifelong giver.

As an example of this, when the leader of an organization I was mentoring used the concept I’m about to share, the results were astonishing. I’d encouraged him to send a handwritten thank you within 24 hours of receiving each gift, as per my post last week. A few days later, he received feedback from the donor which gave us such satisfaction. 

‘After decades of giving away millions of dollars,’ the donor said, ‘this was the first time I received this kind of genuine, personal and warm appreciation.’ And it took us just 10 minutes to write!

There’s a simple three step formula that will help you: ‘Thank Like a Pro.’ 

You’ll need to tell your donor…

  • How you appreciate his gift 
  • How you appreciate what his gift made happen 
  • How you appreciate him

So let’s run through these one by one.

First share ‘how you appreciate his gift.’ 
Say the words ‘THANK YOU’ and express your thanks a number of times. And say it early on. 
e.g., ‘Thank you for your generous gift. It’s so appreciated!’

Next, tell him ‘how to appreciate what his gift made happen.’ 
Be specific – this makes your thanks directly related to his gift. 

e.g., ‘Your generosity will allow us to give ten new student leaders an experience this summer that will make a real difference in their lives, as well as give them the tools to impact the communities they’ll return to.’
And finally, tell your donor ‘how you appreciate him.’  To do this, mention specific values and traits that shine out in this particular donor.

e.g., ‘Your support shows real understanding of the issues these students face on campus and a genuine concern for our next generation. Thank you for your partnership.’

That’s the three steps to ‘Thank like a Pro.’ Let me know how you get on.

B’hatzlacha Raba Raba,

P.S. If you run your own kiruv project or Mosdos Torah and want to grow your fundraising to the next level, my private mentoring program might be for you. Contact me at to begin a conversation.

Avraham Lewis guides leaders of Mosdos Torah to raise more funds, more simply. 

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