Now you need to thank your donor and acknowledge any grant conditions.
Be prompt. Write within a week of receipt if possible; if that’s not practical, telephone or email to acknowledge receipt and follow-up with a formal letter.
Write to an individual correspondent whenever possible. Follow the funders lead - if the gift letter salutation is “Dear John’ then use the correspondent’s first name, otherwise “Dear Mr Smith”.
Include the gift amount and date received. The trust will need confirmation of the gift you received for accounting records.
Confirm acceptance of any conditions attached to the grant e.g. that it will be spent on a particular project; you’ll send an update in 9 months.
The rest of the letter content can be more conversational and warm in style.
Three to four paragraphs is an appropriate length.
Be specific about the difference the funding will make to your beneficiary group and give a real example whenever possible.
Include a relationship building element if appropriate, e.g. invitation to an event.
Open and close your letter by saying thank you - let them know you’re appreciative.
Never include another request for funds - it will make your thanks look insincere.
Donations from charitable trusts are not eligible for Gift Aid
Hand-sign all of your thank you letters
After you’ve thanked your funder
Your Area Fundraiser (England, Scotland and Wales) or fundraising team (Northern Ireland) will also want to know about your success.
If the donation is for a particular project it is important to assign the gift as restricted funds in your accounts - it must be spent as agreed by the donor.
Will you need to update the funder on the project? If so, be sure to diarise when it needs to be sent and give yourself plenty of time. Make sure you monitor the progress of your project so you can demonstrate to them that the project is meeting the needs of local people affected by MS.
Developing your relationship with your funder
Consider appropriate ways to build up a relationship with your funders.
Send relevant press stories, reports etc
Invite them to a branch event
Offer to mention their donation in your branch newsletter – there are strict regulations around using a logo, which are outlined in the treasurers’ handbook.
- Back to applying to a local trust