Thanking Your Benefactor
Writing thank you notes and letters can make all the difference to donors, who appreciate hearing from recipients and are interested in knowing how their awards have affected the students' lives. When donors know that their contributions are making a difference, they are encouraged to continue their support.
Please consider the following when composing your letter:
- Be attentive and thoughtful. UNB donors are some of the most important individuals and organizations associated with the institution, and they have high expectations of you. They want to see evidence that their contribution is being put to good use.
- Run spell check and grammar check, but do not rely solely upon those. Spelling and grammatical errors reflect badly on you and may offend a donor. Write with the same attention to detail you would use in a job application. Common errors we have seen over the years: spelling the addressee's name incorrectly; wrong salutation (example: Mr. George C. Smith is correctly addressed "Dear Mr. Smith," not "Dear Mr. George C. Smith"); and other spelling and grammar problems. Asking someone else to proofread can be helpful.
- Aside from setting the eligibility criteria for an award, donors rarely have a hand in the selection of the recipients. Thank them for SUPPORTING the award and avoid saying “thank you for choosing me.”
- Do not use abbreviations or references the donor may not be familiar with – make the letter as clear as possible.
- Avoid using slang. Attempt to make your letter sound professional yet personal.
- Be sure to let the donor know something about yourself – your interests, ambitions, history – our donors enjoy knowing who they are supporting. Some suggestions: Where are you from? Where did you go to school? Have any of your experiences significantly affected your life and your goals? What are your main interests, academic and otherwise? What is your major, or your intended major? Why? Do you have a favorite course or extra-curricular activity? Why is it special? What are your plans for life after UNB (or what different careers appeal to you)? Is there a special reason why you appreciate the scholarship?
- If you wrote to the same donor in the past, please write about developments in your life since your last letter.
- Mention the name of the scholarship and say thank you!
Remember, you are representing yourself and UNB, who has secured these funds on your behalf.
A donor will appreciate the time and effort it took to produce an attractive, well-written letter.
Thank you for the time you are investing!