How to Write Donation in Honor of Letter
Churches often receive memorial gifts or donations in honor of a deceased person, sent by their family member as part of a fundraiser. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 states that Christians should give thanks in all circumstances, so we should write an appreciation letter to show gratitude for these donations.
Read on for a guide to writing memorable thank-you letters.
What Is a Donation in Honor of Letter For?
A donation in honor of letter, often called a thank-you letter, is a letter showing your gratitude for a gift made in a deceased person’s name.
The donor makes donations to your church because the deceased was a cherished member of the church family, and their family or company wanted to carry on their legacy. As the recipient of this donation, it’s a good idea to show gratitude to the donor and explain why you’ll cherish their donation.
Additionally, sending these letters fosters stronger relationships with the donor. In time, they may also become important members of the church family.
Reasons to Write a Donation in Honor of Letter
As stated in the Bible: “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17) People who give memorial donations in a time of grief honor the deceased’s relationship with the church, and it’s your responsibility to return the favor.
Here are two reasons why you should write a thank-you letter for memorial donations:
Express Your Gratitude
Naturally, the primary reason to write these letters is to show gratitude to the donor. Saying “thank you” might feel like a small thing, but it encourages people to do more good, as written in Scripture: “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
Writing a thank-you letter to the deceased’s family shows your church is committed to keeping a great relationship with them. If the donors don’t attend your church, this can help persuade them to become part of your church family.
How to Write a Donation in Honor of Letter
Well-written donation in honor of letters can build stronger relationships with the deceased’s family. Here are some great tips for writing memorable thank-you letters:
Send It as Soon as You Can
Don’t keep the donor waiting on your letter. The best time to send your letter is within two days of receiving the memorial donation.
Express Your Genuine Gratitude
Most people can tell if a thank-you letter feels insincere. Express gratitude, but remember to be genuine and not go overboard. Focus on why the donation is important, and thank the deceased and their family for still thinking of the church in times of grief.
Share Stories About the Deceased
A thank-you letter for memorial donations shouldn’t look like it came from a template. If the deceased was a valued member of your church family, include anecdotes or stories of what they contributed to the church. Sharing these personal stories reminds the donors that the deceased was a cherished member of your church family.
Handwrite the Letter if Possible
Thank-you letters for memorial donations should be personal, so handwrite these letters if you can. It shows you appreciate the donation so much that you took the time and effort to write a letter for the donors.
How to Open the Letter
A strong thank-you letter opening gives a good first impression and encourages the recipient to read more. Follow these tips to make great letter openings:
Start With a Greeting
The first thing in your thank-you letter should be an appropriate greeting. Depending on your familiarity and closeness to the donor, you can use their first or last name. Use the company's name if the donation came from the deceased’s workplace.
Some good greeting examples:
- “Dear [First name],”
- “Dear Mr/Ms. [Last name],”
- “To the [Last name] family,”
- “To the team at [The deceased’s company or organization],”
Say Thank You Early On
Thank the donor early in the letter so they know what the message is for. Show your gratitude, but don’t go overboard.
Here’s an example of how to show gratitude in your letter:
- “Thank you for donating to [Your church name] in memory of [The deceased’s name].”
Explain Why Their Donation Is Cherished
Your donors will appreciate knowing where their money is going. If the deceased had certain causes or parts of the church they supported in life, it’s a good idea to mention them here.
You can mention how their donation will be used like this:
- “[The deceased’s name] was a vocal supporter of our choir since its inception. To that end, we’ll use this donation to improve our choir program.”
How to Close the Letter
Thank-you letters are a way to show appreciation and an opportunity to comfort the donor in times of grief. Here are two tips for memorable letter closings:
Build Connections With The Donor
Building connections with donors is always beneficial, even if you don’t know them personally. It’s a good idea to show the donors that your church will be there to support them in these tough times.
Here’s an example of how to reassure donors of your presence:
- “[The deceased’s name] is like family to us, and we hope to keep the tradition going. Feel free to contact our pastor if you or your family need assistance.”
Reiterate Your Appreciation and Sign Off
Close the letter by showing your appreciation one more time, like:
“Once again, thank you on behalf of [Your church name] for the donation made in [The deceased’s name]’s honor.
Donation In Honor Template
To make writing thank-you letters easier, we’ve included a “donation in honor of” sample letter here. No matter your approach, there’s a “donation has been made in your name” template you can use today!
This sample thank-you letter is best used if the deceased was a close friend of the church since it’s the pastor writing directly to the family.
“Dear [Donor name],
I want to thank you for the donation you made to [Your church name] in [The deceased’s name] honor. [He/she] was an important part of our church family, and [he/she] will be missed.
[The deceased’s name] has always supported our [church program]. In honor of [his/her] memory, I want to inform you that we’ll use this donation to further build the program.
[The deceased’s name] is like family to us here at [Your church name], and I hope to extend the same courtesy to you. Feel free to contact me if you or your family need any assistance.
Once again, thank you.
Pastor [Your name]”
This example letter is more professional and best used if the donor is an organization or company.
“To the team at [Donor’s company],
On behalf of the [Your church name] family, we would like to sincerely thank you for your generous donation in honor of [The deceased’s name].
[The deceased’s name] was a patron and a vocal supporter of our [church program]. In honor of [his/her] memory, we’re planning to use this donation to fund [the program’s upcoming initiative].
We are grateful for your support and honoring [The deceased’s name]’s memory. If you have questions about how we’ll use these funds, please contact [Church treasurer] at [treasurer number or email address].
Once again, we send our sincerest gratitude for this generous donation.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor [Your name]”
Donation in honor of letters show gratitude for a donation made in the name of deceased church members. In addition to thanking the donor for their contribution, they help you build relationships with the deceased’s family or colleagues and keep their legacy alive.