Celebrating the most innovative teachers on February 28!

Fast Company just named DonorsChoose.org one of 2019’s Most Innovative Companies — so we’re celebrating the world’s most innovative teachers!

What makes a great impact letter?

The impact letter you write to your donors is a critical piece of the thank-you package, since it’s the most direct contact your donors have with you after your project’s been completed. Here are some ways you can make sure you write a great impact letter:

  • Get specific - Saying thank you is important, but broad platitudes about gratitude can get tired quickly. It’s much more meaningful to your donors if you write specifically about your project and the impact it’s had in your classroom! Make sure to detail the materials you received and how they were used.

All the Bright Places (our first independent reading book) was a big hit with most of my kids too. We averaged reading 80-100 pages between each meeting, and came in ready to talk about what we read - from opinions on the characters and plot to discussing predictions of what was coming next. All the Bright Places also led to really great conversations about mental health and other issues that teenagers often deal with.”

  • Get personal - The more personal you can be in your letter, the better. Describing personal moments of learning with your students can transform a run-of-the-mill impact letter into an absolutely stellar one.

The second week we moved to the art room, and begin working with the art teacher, and this is when I saw students fully engage and concentrate on creating art with a political message. A number of students who had complicated designs came in on their lunch periods to continue drawing and cutting out their images. Students also wrote Artist's Statements, which were essays explaining their inspiration, artwork and how it connected to themes and issues we have studied in class. They were able to connect many complex historical issues such as immigration, racism and the current political climate in their writing and art. When one of my administrators visited the class, she commented that she was so impressed that she would like to take my class next year.”

  • Be sincere - There are times to avoid florid language, but there are also times to really express what’s on your mind. Being sincere with your donors about just how meaningful your project has been to your students can be a powerful way to demonstrate the lasting impact of their donations.

“This experience grew us as students, young men and future mentors. We were able to bond as a brotherhood and represent our student body with pride and dedication as a whole. We will continue this tradition in serving our school and giving back to the community that in which we have taken, as quoted by Tavis Smiley. We appreciate all that you have done to make this dream, thought and idea come true to us, our peers and our community while paying homage to our past.”

Having trouble posting your impact letter? Click here.