Request a Demo Search

How to Write a Memorial Donation Family Notification Letter

This guide offers tips for writing acknowledgement letters to families for donations made in memory of a loved one.
Topics -

See How Bloomerang Can Have a Bigger Impact on Your Mission!

Schedule a Demo

After someone passes away, their family members and friends might be motivated to donate to a nonprofit organization in their honor. Memorial donations are a beautiful way to honor someone’s life and carry on a positive legacy.

As a nonprofit, it’s your responsibility to properly manage these donations, just as you manage any other type of donation. But memorial donations require special care and attention. Specifically, your organization must properly notify families when you’ve receive donations in honor of their loved ones.

Sending family notifications for memorial donations helps build positive relationships with families and strengthen your memorial giving program. In this guide, we’ll review best practices for sending these memorial notification letters. Here’s what we’ll cover:

Keeping families in the loop is essential to respectful memorial donation management. Let’s start by taking a closer look at what a memorial donation acknowledgement letter is.

What is an acknowledgement letter for donations made in memory of someone?

A memorial donation acknowledgement or notification letter is a message that your nonprofit sends to the family of someone who has passed away to acknowledge that your organization has received donations in memory of the individual.

Your organization might receive these gifts because the person who passed away had a special connection to your cause. Another reason you could receive these donations is that the reason the person died is related to your nonprofit’s mission. For example, if your organization raises funding for Alzheimer’s research, people might be motivated to donate because their loved one passed from Alzheimer’s.

Why should you send memorial notification letters?

Memorial donation notification letters improve your supporter stewardship efforts by keeping families informed about the impact of memorial gifts. Here are a few reasons why your nonprofit should send memorial donation notifications:

  • You can let families know who is giving on behalf of their loved one. Families may wish to know who is giving in memory of their loved one if they want to send their own thank you messages to these individuals.
  • You can show the impact of memorial gifts. Summarizing the number of gifts your organization has received in honor of someone can be very powerful for family members. When you describe the positive change that has resulted from these donations, families can see the positive legacy that their loved one has inspired.
  • You can build relationships with families. By keeping families in the loop, you show them that you’re dedicated to building a relationship with them. This can encourage them to stay involved with your organization and maybe even become dedicated supporters themselves.

Memorial donation letters are slightly different from other types of donation acknowledgements, so let’s explore a few best practices for writing them.

How to write a family notification for memorial donations

Keep these tips in mind when drafting your memorial gift notification messages to families:

  • Track family and donor relationships in your donor management system. Using robust donor management software, you can track relationships between donors and families to ensure that you’re notifying the right people. For example, Bloomerang’s software automatically syncs these relationships, helping you save time when you start drafting your notification messages.

This screenshot shows how Bloomerang logs tribute donations in the donor management system.

  • Offer your condolences. Your memorial donation letters should lead with sympathy. Offer your sincere condolences for the family’s loss and acknowledge the individual’s relationship to your nonprofit. For example, highlight your gratitude for the person’s tireless volunteer efforts over the years.
  • Highlight impact. Describe how the donations received in memory of the individual will have a lasting positive impact on your mission. For instance, you might explain how the donations will help purchase much-needed supplies for your volunteer program, allowing the program to function more effectively.
  • Make it easy for the family to thank donors. Import donors’ names and contact information into your memorial donation notifications to give families an easy way to get in touch with and thank donors. Bloomerang’s tribute notifications feature makes it easy to generate this list using information from your donor management system and online donation form.
  • Keep it simple. Ensure your memorial donation notifications are focused and concise. The time after someone passes away can be challenging and busy for families, so your letter should be straightforward and quick to read. Avoid highlighting multiple aspects of your nonprofit’s mission — keep the information limited to the impact of donations and your list of donations received in honor of the person.

In your letters, you can also let families know that you’ll send occasional updates if your organization continues receiving in-memory gifts. Lastly, be sure to include the contact information for a representative from your nonprofit who can answer any questions families may have. This provides an easy way for families to stay in touch with your organization.

Memorial donation letter templates

While you should personalize memorial donation notifications using your donor management software, you can still start by using a template to simplify the letter-writing process.

Sample #1: 

Dear [family member name(s)],

We would like to offer heartfelt condolences on the loss of [name of the deceased]. Their unwavering commitment to [your cause] will live on through donations made in their honor.

[Your nonprofit’s name] has received gifts from the following individuals in memory of [name of the deceased]:

[donor name] [contact information]

[donor name] [contact information]

[donor name] [contact information]

These gifts honor [name of the deceased]’s incredible legacy and will allow our organization to better [describe the impact of donations on your mission].

We have sent personalized thank you messages to each donor from our organization. Should you wish to reach out to each donor and personally thank them for their contribution, you can use their provided contact information.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to our memorial donations coordinator, [donation manager name]. You can reach them at [email address] or [phone number].

Sample #2:

To the [last name] family,

On behalf of [your nonprofit’s name], please accept our deepest condolences for the loss of [name of the deceased]. We are so honored that your family has chosen [your nonprofit’s name] to receive gifts made in their honor. These donations will help others facing [the issue your nonprofit helps fight] and are a beautiful way to memorialize [name of the deceased]’s life.

[Your nonprofit’s name] has received gifts from the following individuals in memory of [name of the deceased]:

[donor name] [contact information]

[donor name] [contact information]

[donor name] [contact information]

Our organization has already sent personalized thank you messages to each donor, but if you’d like to reach out to each donor and personally thank them for their contribution, you can use their provided contact information.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our memorial donations coordinator, [donation manager name], if you have any questions. You can reach them at [email address] or [phone number].

These templates are effective for a few reasons:

  1. They clearly display donors’ names and contact information for families to easily follow up with them.
  2. They acknowledge that your nonprofit has already thanked each donor.
  3. They connect families with an individual at your organization that they can reach out to with any questions.
  4. They’re simple and straightforward, leaving out any unnecessary information.

You can customize these templates to your nonprofit’s needs, adding information about your mission and your nonprofit’s brand elements.

Wrapping up

In-memory fundraisers are growing faster than any other type of peer-to-peer fundraising. That means your nonprofit must create a dedicated strategy for managing and acknowledging memorial donations.

With robust donor management software and a clear template, your organization can quickly generate thoughtful memorial donation notifications that keep families informed throughout the process.

For more information about donation management best practices, start with these resources:

Bloomerang's tribute notification feature makes it easier to write family notifications for memorial donations. Learn more about this feature.

Exclusive Resources

Related Articles


Leave a reply