Penelope Burk | Donor Centered Thank You Letter Project
Penelope Burk, Penelope Burke, Cygnus Applied Research, Cygnus, donor research, donor survey, nonprofit, research, speaking topics, keynote speaker, keynote presenter, presenter, donor analytics, benchmarking, donor retention, donor acquisition, consulting, consultant
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Donor Centered Thank You Letter Project

Over the last couple years, a group of creative fundraisers agreed to put their best acknowledgement letters through Penelope Burk’s donor-centered analysis. She assessed each submission against her twenty characteristics of great thank you letters from her best-selling book, Donor-Centered Fundraising. Her remarks highlighted each letter’s distinct advantages and included suggestions to make them even more appealing.


The Fourth Edition of The Donor-Centered Thank-You Letter Project will be published in early 2018.


If you have an exceptional thank you letter or you would like to try your hand at crafting one, email your thank you letter to, for consideration. Fundraisers whose letters are published will receive the full compendium of annotated letter samples from the third edition to use as a stewardship resource.


To qualify, letters must follow Penelope’s twenty characteristics of a great thank-you letter, a list of attributes that donors say makes thank you letters superior.


** Please note – We will strip all branding from letters and ensure each letter is anonymously crafted, much like the sample you can view here from the First Edition.


Submissions are always accepted.


“This is such a wonderful resource! Those of us down in the trenches in stewardship sincerely benefit from the great ideas generated by sharing and collaborating with our peers. I am sitting down to write a host of thank you notes and I know the inspiration is just what I need.

Christy Moss
Asst. Director of Development
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
University of Illinois


Send your Thank-You letter to:

Accepting submissions now



“Whether donors stay loyal and give generously or drift away is dependent on the quality of the relationship. From the moment they make their first gift, donors are looking for a signal that you want a relationship as much as they do. Unimaginative, run-of-the-mill correspondence tells donors that you just want the money. But, exceptional acknowledgements send an entirely different message. Extraordinary thank-you letters tell donors that you have noticed them and that you are at their side, ready to help them fulfill their philanthropic dreams.”

– Penelope Burk


Visit Burk’s Blog to join in lively
discussions about the economy and philanthropy.