Donation Receipt Letter

A donation receipt letter, also known as a donation acknowledgment letter or donation thank you letter, is a written document issued by a nonprofit organization to acknowledge the receipt of a donation from an individual or entity. This letter serves as a proof of donation, and it is commonly used for tax purposes by donors when claiming deductions.


Donation receipt letters are essential for both the donor and the nonprofit organization. They provide a formal record of the contribution made, ensuring transparency, and enabling donors to claim tax benefits. These letters also facilitate effective communication and foster a positive relationship between the donor and the organization by expressing appreciation and gratitude.


A well-crafted donation receipt letter typically includes specific information to comply with legal requirements and to serve as solid evidence for tax auditing purposes. The letter should contain the following key elements:

  1. Date: The date when the donation is received and the letter is issued.
  2. Nonprofit Organization Details: The complete legal name, address, and contact information of the nonprofit organization. This includes the organization’s tax-exempt status, such as its tax identification number (TIN) or employer identification number (EIN).
  3. Donor Information: The full name, address, and contact details of the donor, allowing for easy identification and verification.
  4. Donation Details: A clear and concise description of the donated item, monetary amount, or any other form of contribution. It should include the date and method of the donation, such as cash, check, online payment, or in-kind donations.
  5. Donation Purpose: A brief explanation of how the donation will be used by the nonprofit organization. This helps donors understand the impact of their contribution and reinforces their trust.
  6. Tax Deductibility: A statement indicating whether the donation qualifies as tax-deductible. Nonprofits with tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code can offer tax deductions to eligible donors.
  7. Compliant Language: Use appropriate language to comply with legal requirements, ensuring the acknowledgment clearly states that no goods or services were provided in exchange for the donation unless there was a specific exception.
  8. Gratitude and Recognition: Express sincere appreciation to the donor for their generosity and highlight the importance of their support. Additionally, nonprofits can include a statement regarding their commitment to providing ongoing updates on their work.

Formatting and Delivery:

To maintain professionalism, donation receipt letters should be formatted neatly and printed on the organization’s official letterhead. Additionally, the letter should be signed by an authorized representative of the nonprofit organization.

In today’s digital age, nonprofit organizations often choose to send donation receipt letters via email, making it convenient for both the organization and the donor. However, if a physical copy is preferred or required, the letter can be mailed directly to the donor’s address.


A donation receipt letter is an essential document for both nonprofits and donors, providing proof of philanthropic contributions while allowing donors to claim tax benefits. By acknowledging donations and expressing gratitude, nonprofit organizations strengthen their relationships with donors, paving the way for continued support and fostering a sense of partnership in making a positive impact on society.

This glossary is made for freelancers and owners of small businesses. If you are looking for exact definitions you can find them in accounting textbooks.

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