membership-thank-you-letter

How To Write a Membership Thank You Letter

Emilie

As a nonprofit, membership drives are always a priority. And yet, sometimes the most effective solutions are the simplest. Thanking your members for their involvement in your nonprofit encourages them to renew their membership after it expires as well as attend events, make donations, and otherwise support your mission. In this guide, we will explain why, when, and how to keep your members engaged with the power of a thank you. We hope you find it useful!

Let’s go! 

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membership-thank-you-letter-why

Why Membership Thank You Letters Matter

Before we get into the best practices for drafting the perfect membership thank you letter, let’s touch on why they are so important for your nonprofit’s success. 

They Allow You To Express Gratitude

First and foremost, writing a thank you letter is one of the best ways to express your gratitude to your members. They are the lifeblood of your organization, so share how important they continue to be to your mission.

They Make Members Feel Valued

We have all been there at one time in our life — a small gesture from an individual or group brought a smile to our face and made us feel truly special. A well-written thank you note can do that for your members. You want your members to have a positive emotional reaction when they think of your organization, and they will if they know you value their participation. 

They Inspire Future Engagement 

An important point on the business side of all these good feelings is that a member who feels valued and appreciated is more likely to continue to support your organization. They need to know you see their investment before they consider future engagement. 

membership-thank-you-letter-whyEva is feeling great about optimizing her membership thank you letters!

They Increase Member Retention

In today’s fast-paced world, people are pulled in a thousand directions. From grocery stores to gas stations, everything has a membership. With all of that competition for attention, it can be difficult to avoid some membership churn. However, if your members feel like you know and appreciate them, you will find it easier to keep them around. 

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5 Opportunities To Thank Members

Thanking a member is not just a one-and-done thing. There are many opportunities to show your gratitude, and you should take advantage of every one of them. Here are some common occasions that require a thank you letter. 

New Member

Start off your relationship right by welcoming new members with a warm thank you. With a new supporter, keep it simple. Do not overwhelm them with too much info — you will have plenty of opportunities to get them in the know over time. Simply greet them, tell them how glad you are that they are here, and give them the chance to get involved in an upcoming activity. 

Many organizations also follow up the welcome letter with a membership welcome pack that contains organization resources, gifts, and more. 

Member Renewal

You should express the same amount of excitement for a renewal as you do for a new membership. These are individuals who have decided your mission is important enough to them to continue offering support. This is a huge deal! Take some time to acknowledge the ways they have helped your nonprofit mission over the previous year. 

Event Attendance

After an event is another great time to show your gratitude. Keep those participation numbers high by letting your members know how much their support matters. 

Event Sponsorship

Also send a note to your event sponsors. It not only allows you to thank them for their generous contribution, but it also gives you an opportunity to ask for feedback. Additionally, you can feel out whether they would be interested in participating in any upcoming events. 

Donation/Gift

All of these opportunities to thank your members are important, but a thank you for a donation is essential. This individual found enough value in what you do to go above and beyond membership fees to support you with a personal gift. When thanking a member for a donation, make it personal by mentioning how much they donated as well as specifying how it was used to support the mission. 

Pro Tip: Let your member base guide what type of thank you letter you send. Some may prefer something physical in the mail, while others like the convenience of an email. However, if you are writing to an event sponsor or a large donor, we recommend sending a handwritten note or card. 

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9 Best Practices for Writing Membership Thank You Letters

Now that you have a better understanding of the situations that call for thank you letters, here are some tips for ensuring you send ones that truly engage your members. 

Send It ASAP

Grandma’s childhood advice applies to the nonprofit world as well: do not wait to send a thank you letter. Immediate thank yous demonstrate to your members that you are an efficient organization that values their efforts

The best way to stay on top of your member communication is to have a membership management software. It keeps track of a variety of parameters, such as supporters who have attended an event, and automatically sends out personalized thank you emails. 

Make It Personal

Personalized communication is important for nonprofit organizations — you cannot forge a connection with a form letter. Make sure your salutation includes your recipient’s name. Also mention how much they donated or what event they attended in the introduction. When you sign off, do so with your founder’s name and your organization’s email address and phone number, not just the name of your nonprofit. You can even have one of your directors add a handwritten note if the thank you is for a particularly generous contribution, such as a large donation. All of these little touches go a long way toward making your thank you letter feel personal. 

Reinforce the Mission

Of course, the main message of any thank you letter is to show gratitude. However, it is always a good idea to tie this thanks to the nonprofit mission. Remind the reader of your purpose to let them know what their time, donation, or effort supports. 

membership-thank-you-letter-best-practicesCorinne loves showing gratitude to her members with thank you letters!

Include Stories

To really drive home the importance of the mission, use storytelling in your letter. For example, include photos or quotes from the beneficiaries to show your members how they have improved the lives of real people. Storytelling can not only create an emotional impact that gives your members a feeling of pride and value, it can also drive enthusiasm for the mission in general and the next project in particular. 

Avoid Jargon

Just because a person is a member of your nonprofit, does not mean they are familiar with industry terms. Do not inundate your thank you with a bunch of corporate speak. The voice of your letter should be casual and friendly, as though you are writing to a friend or family member. 

Treat All Members Equally

A huge frustration for anyone who has ever been a member of an organization is when new members are showered with attention, while longtime members are all but ignored. Do not allow your enthusiasm for new members to overshadow the great work your veteran members have done over the months or years. Continue to thank and recognize all of your members equally. 

Along those same lines, even those who make the occasional donation, those who donate a small amount, or those who buy a low membership tier deserve to be thanked. All forms of participation — whether big or small, new or old, frequent or infrequent — keep your nonprofit's mission alive.

Mention Upcoming Events

While you do not want to harangue your members with too much information in a thank you letter, use the opportunity to share exciting upcoming events. This can be woven into the body of the letter in a natural way to build enthusiasm for the upcoming year. You can even personalize this bit by listing events that are similar to the ones the member has attended in past years. 

Avoid Upselling

People are always on the lookout for sales tactics. When you are reaching out to thank a member for something they have done, do not use it as an opportunity to request a donation or membership upgrade. Fundraising letters are a completely separate category of communication. Just focus on your mission and the way they have supported it. Upselling can sour even the most sincere thank you. 

Ask for Feedback

Finally, a thank you letter is the perfect way to get some feedback from your members. Depending on the type of thank you, you can ask your recipient about their experience with the membership signup or renewal process, event, or volunteer work. Give your members a voice, and watch engagement grow. 

Pro Tip: The best way to check off all of the techniques on this list is to invest in a nonprofit member management software, such as Springly. This software will allow you to group recipients based on certain parameters to help you personalize your communications; it will also allow you to create communication templates to streamline the process. Your organization will save both time and money while sending out more personalized emails that will make your recipients feel truly appreciated. 

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Final Thoughts 

A simple thank you can go a long way in keeping your nonprofit’s members engaged in your mission. You can use them for expressing gratitude in addition to building long-term support. Just remember to keep it personal, engaging, and, most of all, heartfelt.

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FAQ

💡When should I send a membership thank you letter?

There are many circumstances when a membership thank you letter is appropriate. Some of the most important are: welcoming a new member, thanking a renewing member, and acknowledging a donor, event attendee, or event sponsor. Find out more. 

🔑 How can I make a membership thank you letter more personal?

Making a membership thank you letter personal is all about having the right information. With a membership management software, you can compile the member’s contact details, attended events, donation amounts, and more. Add this information to a letter template to create a truly personal note without a lot of time or effort. Find out more. 

📝 Why should I write a membership thank you letter?

Your membership base is the lifeblood of your organization and the driver of your mission. In addition to just being the right thing to do, writing thank you letters also increases engagement and decreases membership churn. Find out more.



Member Management
Emilie
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