Your Thank-You Note Plan

Your Thank-You Note Plan

For years, I’d been using an automatic reminder to make sure every financial ministry partner received an annual thank-you note. Or so I thought. My consistent monthly donors were never flagged for a thank-you because their amount never changed. My records showed that these folks had not been thanked for years of faithful giving. A few years later, I realized I sent thank-yous to some people for only their fund appeal responses. I wanted to also thank them for their faithful monthly gifts. I started a plan.

Your Questions

I check my thank-you note plan at the beginning of every year. Here are the questions I’ve asked myself. Choose one or two and set up a plan to be more consistent in sending your thank-yous.

  • Do you have an automatic reminder set up for thank-yous every 12 months?
  • You may need to override the automatic system:
    • Do you thank your team for faithful gifts, or are they only receiving thank-yous for fund appeal responses or dinners?
    • Do you want to give two thank-yous per year for people giving over a certain amount?
  • Do you need to learn about how and when to send thank-yous, as well as whether they should be handwritten (see NOTES)?

My Habits

  • I have on hand:
    • nice thank you notes and stamps.
    • a supply of gel pens.
    • small enclosure gifts (see NOTES).
    • a few very nice thank you cards for large donations.
  • I make sure everyone giving $100/month (minimum) will receive two thank you notes in the year ahead.
  • Every week, I keep up with my thank-yous. I “always” catch up before we mail our prayer letter.
  • I thank someone who takes us out for dinner or sends a present. Then, I write a manual reminder for when to send their faithful-giving thanks. If I don’t, my automatic reminder won’t alert me for a year from that dinner. That means it may even be close to two years before I thank them for their giving.
  • I check my plans once or twice during the year to make sure I’m still on track. I also might do some tweaking on planned dates so I SPREAD OUT:
    • when our friends are hearing from us. (Because I also send regular greeting cards to all donors.)
    • my writing throughout the year. (If a ministry partner “never” gives to a summer or end-of-year fund appeal, I thank them in the spring or fall.)
  • Also, see the habits I mention in the Free Downloads section.

During the year, I’m aware of when a phone call, text, or email is an okay response. This post can help you decide: When It’s Best to Thank Someone with a Text, Email, Call, or Handwritten Card (The Etiquette School). When in doubt, do your thanks in a handwritten letter.

Yes, initial reminders and set-up take time, but do a little bit each year. In a few years, you won’t have to make the big adjustments you make now because they’ll be a part of your plan. You’ll just need to look over your names and your plans for these friends.

We all have different reminders for tasks. Take some time to decide on your new habits and set up your reminders.

Free Downloads

I recommend reading my post from last year, How Often Should You Send a Thank-You Note?, for more ideas and two free downloads.

I explain how and why I rotate text for my thank-you notes and what my ministry story insert is.

The downloads are:

  • My thank-you note texts. Make this document your own. I’ve been tweaking mine every year I use it. It also includes special-situation wording.
  • Our ministry story enclosure for 2021.

I hope what I’ve learned is helpful to you.


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