When you submit your student thank-yous, we can get them to your donors - and update your account! - faster if you follow these guidelines:
- 5 thank-yous for each qualifying donor. Not all donors require student thank-yous, so double-check your thank-you package instructions to find your donor list for each project. For small classes, it's okay to have each student write multiple letters.
- Use the donor salutations (when available). Your donors asked to be addressed a certain way, so ask your students to address their thank-yous accordingly. For instance, one donor might request to be addressed as "Mary," another as "Mrs. Smith," and a third as "Mary Smith."
- Mention the specific resources funded. Donors love learning exactly how their funds were used, so the more specific your thank-yous, the more likely a donor may be to come back and support another classroom (or yours, again!).
- Review thank-yous before mailing them to make sure they don’t contain student last names, your school address or classroom number, or any inappropriate content.
- Don’t send media items such as CDs, DVD, flash drives, etc.
- If you have more than one donor, separate the letters for different donors using paperclips, then send the whole bundle in one single envelope with our pre-paid label.
Different types of student thank-you’s by grade-level:
We encourage your students to be creative with their thank-yous and/or artwork! Depending on the students, we recommend a written note, a piece of artwork, or both. Your donors will love seeing the finished products, and it might inspire them to support your classroom again! Remember: regardless of grade level, a minimum of 5 individual student thank-yous must be sent for each donor who qualifies to receive student thank-yous.
Pre-K and Kindergarten Students:
- Individual drawings, posters, or artwork, made separately by each student (using the materials funded for your project, if possible!)
- Thank-you templates you prepare for each student, including the donor’s salutation and space for the student to draw a picture or write an individual note. You can always write captions on each letter to help explain what the student was trying to express!
- Coloring cut-outs: for example, if your classroom received books, you can print out basic coloring images of books for students to color or decorate. If possible, they can sign their first name!
Note: if students can’t yet write and only artwork will be sent, we encourage you to include a personal note to help explain how your classroom created their thank-yous and express the learning opportunities the donor helped make possible.
Students who are comfortable writing can include short thank-you notes along with their drawings.
For developing writers, a short thank-you can be accompanied by artwork that displays how the new materials were used or how the student felt about the donation.
Students who are unable to write can still show their appreciation by creating art using crayons, markers, finger-paints or other media. You can then include a brief description or caption for each piece explaining what the student was trying to express. In this example, the students sent in adorable paper bag puppets!
- Short thank-yous (roughly ½ of a page) written to the best of the students’ abilities
- Drawings to supplement
This thank-you is a little light on text, but more than makes up for it with incredible drawings. This student wrote a short message expressing his gratitude, and then drew some of the animals he learned about using his class’ new iPad.
Middle/High School Students:
- Notes that specifically mention the project or experience that the donation made possible (roughly ¾ to 1 page)
Students in middle and high school often write their thank-yous on computers, but hand-made thank-yous are still the gold standard. This student wrote a primarily verbal thank-you, but decorated her letter with artistic designs.
Even a thank-you without any artistic additions can still pack a punch. This particular letter has a grammar goofs, but the sentiment is clearly expressed and authentic.
Students with Special Needs:
- Please have students write notes or draw pictures to the best of their abilities. You might find useful ideas in the suggestions listed above for pre-k and kindergarten students. We’ve also seen teachers help students, who may not be able to draw or write, decorate thank-you cards with stickers, etc (with the students’ input). You can then write a short description on the cards of what each student was trying to express.
- We also ask that you accompany the students' thank-yous with a personal letter to briefly explain how the unique thank-yous were created, and to provide some insight into the learning opportunities made possible by the donor.
In this example, the teacher created a template that their students were able to personalize with a short message, their name, and a drawing. Something along these lines is a great option for students with special needs who might need a bit of help creating a thank-you.