4 donation follow-up emails that build donor loyalty


Individual donations are vital to any nonprofit’s success. But fundraising professionals know that their work isn’t done after a gift is made. In fact, the opportunity may only be beginning.

Luckily, with digital communications and automation, many of the follow-up tasks can be made simple. Here, we look at four donation follow-up emails that should be sent after an online gift is made to build a donor’s trust and confidence in your nonprofit:

An immediate acknowledgement

Once an online donation form is submitted, your supporters expect to see that their donation has successfully reached your organization. What better way to accomplish this as well as begin to build a donor relationship, than by sending an acknowledgment from your organization as soon as possible. This email should include the donor’s name, donation amount, and an acknowledgment of where the donation is going.  It should be clear to your donor how much you appreciate their gift - no matter the size or type. 

To help your donor feel secure, you should ensure that this email follows your organization’s branding and design guidelines. For some unique ways to say ‘thank you’ in your emails, click here.

A tax-compliant receipt

Some organizations will send receipts attached to their acknowledgment emails, while others will send it in a standalone message. Either way, it’s a crucial part of the donation follow-up.

Not only does the receipt summarize all the donation’s information for a supporter’s financial records, but it is also commonly used for income tax purposes. That means it’s crucial to get it right the first time.

Different countries and jurisdictions can have different standards for what data must be included in a donation receipt. This can be simplified with a donation processing tool like Causeview, which automatically generates tax-compliant receipts for your region’s guidelines and sends them to your donors. With a fully tax-compliant receipt, your donors can trust that your organization is on top of things!

Share more ways to get involved

While the first two follow-up emails should be sent as soon as a donation is made, the third can wait a few days. This email is the first step in continuing a donor relationship past the initial donation. It may even be the step that has the largest long-term impact for your cause.

In almost all cases, a supporter who has made a gift has demonstrated interest and passion in your organization. This often means that they would be willing to stay involved. By engaging with a donor after a short period of time, you have the ability to create a deeper connection based on these similarities. 

The most effective way to build donor loyalty through a follow-up email, is by providing useful information on where their donation is going and your nonprofits mission. Other topics your follow-up email might include are:   

  • How they can help spread your messages on social media
  • Upcoming events in their area
  • Volunteer opportunities that they may be a fit for
  • The impact they can have with a larger or recurring gift

Explain how the gift is helping

A little bit further down the road, it can be very effective to show your donor the ways their gift is making a difference. Not only will this help your contributor avoid the chance for donor remorse, but it can also boost the likelihood that they give again.

There are several ways you can go about this.

  • You can share an infographic with a breakdown of where funds have been distributed.
  • You can share a letter from an organizational executive that explains some of the biggest projects the donation has gone towards.
  • And you can provide a testimonial or story from someone who has directly benefited from the gift.

Of course, this step can be more than just one email! The goal is donor loyalty.  Sending a few different messages over time making it clear that a donor's gift is having a long-term impact, can go a long way in achieving this goal.

Follow-up automatically 

Book a free coaching call to see how Causeview's email automation, along with other specifically designed Salesforce feature can help make fundraising easier and strengthen your donor's loyalty. 

Book a Free Coaching Call for Causeview today