Thanking RESULTS Donors: A Great Idea for the Holiday Season

December 10, 2011
by Cindy Changyit Levin, Development Associate

‘Tis the season for donor relations! Like many charities, RESULTS sent an annual appeal letter this month to all donors from Executive Director Joanne Carter. This letter thanked donors, highlighted our national accomplishments, and asked for an end-of-year donation. What this letter cannot do is tell your local supporters (people who take action with you as well as donors) what you personally have been up to in your communities. Only you and your local group partners can do that!

Fundraising experts say the main reasons donors stop giving to organizations is that they were not thanked enough and that they didn’t hear what their donations accomplished. That’s why it’s smart to take opportunities like the end of the year and the start of the new year to tell your donors about your great local accomplishments.

Sending a holiday letter helps with our annual appeal from DC and also prepares folks for our Friends and Family letter-writing fundraising campaign coming up in late February. It will be much easier to make a personal request for donations later in 2012 if your group takes a moment now simply to thank donors and remind them of all the people their contributions are helping.

Below, I’ve provided a sample letter that you are welcome to customize and edit for your own group. Here are some ideas to make your letter or email special:

If you are from a new group or a small group, are in action alone, or want to use a national success to punch up the letter, take a look at our 2010 accomplishments or see the list below the sample letter.

Thank you for all of your hard work. It is the bedrock of our success. Think about how great you feel when you reflect on the lives we protect and transform. Pat yourselves on the back and then spread the love!



Dear (name),

As 2011 comes to a close, we at RESULTS (city name) are reflecting on what an amazing year it has been speaking out for people in need. You have been a critical part of our successes this year, and we want to share our excitement and gratitude with you!

Though the political climate has been difficult, we’ve made tremendous progress.  We’ve saved lives of people that might have been lost for want to precious medications, protected children from preventable diseases, and kept thousands of children in the U.S. and abroad in school where they can safely learn and grow.  

Here are some of the wonderful things we have accomplished this year with your help: (List 3-4 successes here)

None of these minimize the dangers ahead as Congress prepares to identify trillions of dollars of cuts in discretionary spending. You can be sure that we will be working non-stop to protect the funding that supports all critically important programs for those hardest hit by poverty in the U.S. and around the world. Should you want to join this important work, please contact us at (phone or e-mail).

As a backer of RESULTS, you can be excited and proud of the work you are supporting to advance health, education, self-sufficiency, and human dignity throughout the U.S. and the world. Your gifts have contributed to the commitments and investments that our nation is making towards those goals. We are very grateful this year for your support and your dedication to our mission of creating the political will to end poverty.

Thank you and happy holidays!

Your Name

Your RESULTS Group Name


Examples of Domestic Achievements

  • RESULTS volunteers helped protect low-income children and families who receive Head Start and child care services from reckless budget cuts. In early 2011, Congress proposed drastically cutting Head Start and child-care funding in the fiscal year 2011 budget. If these cuts had been enacted, over 350,000 children would have lost these critical services. RESULTS and our allies staved off these cuts and secured small increases in Head Start and childcare funding to preserve existing services for low-income families.
  • RESULTS volunteers helped secure an extension of recent improvements to the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. Since 2009, the EITC expansion has helped 7 million low-income people — including keeping 3 million people out of poverty — while the Child Tax Credit expansion has benefitted 13 million low-income children and their families. Without the work of RESULTS and our allies, these families would have seen their credits reduced or eliminated at the end of 2010, plunging them deeper into financial hardship.


Examples of Global Achievements

  • We protected the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and other foreign aid funding for 2011 at a time when it was indanger of being cut by 40%. This is important, because when the funding for the Global Fund gets cut, people with AIDS who are alive because they are receiving anti-viral medications can lose access to those drugs and consequently lose their lives.  Furthermore, despite doubts by other NGOs that we could achieve it, we were able to secure a multi-year pledge from the Obama administration for increased funding for the Global Fund.  This is the first time the U.S. has made a multi-year commitment to the Global Fund.  
  • This spring, RESULTS volunteers and staff, working together with other NGOs and Members of Congress persuaded the Obama administration to make a $450 million pledge over three years at the global pledging conference in London in June for the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI). These dollars will save 4.2 million children. Pneumonia and diarrhea are the two leading causes of child fatalities globally. GAVI is now working to distribute vaccines, routinely available in the U.S., which will treat the causes of those illnesses, pneumococcal disease and rotavirus.  

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