Institute for Charitable Giving

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How to Say Thanks

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Richard Grant is Director of the Dan Murphy Foundation (Los Angeles). He tells me he can’t recall ever receiving a thank-you letter from an organization that his Foundation felt they had to turn down.

Richard spends a great deal of time crafting letters of regret he sends to organizations where the Foundation has to decline the grant. He knows how painful this can be.

But imagine, never receiving a note in return. To begin with, that’s rude.

But more than that, think of the positive impact of a letter to the Foundation that would go something such as this: “We are, of course, disappointed that you have decided not to provide us funding this year. We know how many requests you get. I just want you to know how grateful we are that you reviewed our material and considered us for a grant . . .”

You can be certain the Foundation will remember that kind of a letter the following year. And it almost certainly will go in a file the Foundation maintains on each organization that writes for help.


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