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How to Write a Thank You Note

Updated: Jan 21, 2020

Originally published on

Showing gratitude for gifts is not only polite but also an excellent way for you to showcase your gratitude towards others. Not to mention, older gift-givers may also expect it. Even by today's standards, writing a note is necessary after weddings, large birthday parties, or extended visits in someone else's home. Don't panic. Acts 1:8 Ministry, a non-profit organization that relies upon the generous gifts and donations of its donors is well accustomed to crafting the perfect thank you letter for every occasion.

Below, the team behind Acts 1:8 Ministry provides a detailed overview of how to effortlessly write thank you notes worthy of remembrance.

How to Address Your Note

You should start your message by writing "Dear Name" at the top of your card. This is appropriate even in business or formal contexts. If you're not sure whether you should use first or last names, err on the side of caution. When writing to a relative, you should address them how you usually refer to them. For example, you don't want to write "Dear Esther" or "Dear Mrs. Potter" on a note to your grandmother.

Express Appreciation

The purpose of your thank you note is to show how much you like the gift you were given. You should specifically reference your present and how you will use it. Something brief like "Thank you for the socks. They've already kept my feet toasty this winter!" is appropriate for smaller gifts. You can write a more elaborate plan for substantial presents. If your present was accommodations at someone's house, you should mention how much you enjoyed staying with them.

An example would be "Thank you for welcoming us into your home. Your guest room is so comfortable and we greatly appreciate you making us feel relaxed and at home." Mention a specific detail about your stay like a favorite shared meal or an evening activity.

Discuss Your Visit

Your card should not focus solely on gifts. Talk about how much you enjoyed seeing the gift-giver. You can't go wrong with a generic but sincere message like "It was lovely catching up with you at the party. I hope we're able to get together soon." Other appropriate phrases include "I'm so happy you were able to join us for our celebration. We loved being surrounded by friends and family" or "I wish I could have spent more time with you. Can we get together for lunch soon?"

How to Write a Note for Cash Gifts

Writing a thank you note for cash can be tricky. How can you express thanks for the money you simply put in your bank account? You can be less focused on your plans in this situation. A simple statement like "We look forward to using your contribution for our vacation next summer" or "It is such a help to us to have extra wiggle room in our budget this month" can acknowledge the cash gift. Ideally, you could talk about fun purchases like vacation spending or household furnishings. If you used the cash for more mundane purposes, don't lie and make something up. You should never reference the specific amount of money given.

Charitable Donations

If you received a charitable donation in your name, it's still a present. That means you need to acknowledge it with a note. Follow the same rules for addressing and phrasing your thank you card. It can be hard to express appreciation for a charity you don't like or aren't familiar with. In that case, an all-purpose phrase like "Thank you for thinking of me with this charitable gift," is appropriate. You don't need to feign interest in the organization's work to be polite.

Don't be intimidated by the idea of writing thank you notes. Follow the simple formula of opening with "Dear Name," writing a paragraph of appreciation with a flare of personalization, and finishing with a comment about enjoying your chance to socialize. Once you've written a few, you'll see how easy it is to express your gratitude. You don't need to worry about saying the wrong thing. Given how rare it is to receive a thank you note in today's society, your recipients will be delighted no matter what you write.

About Acts 1:8 Ministry:

Acts 1:8 Ministry is a non-profit organization that equips Christians to care, share and connect people to Christ through Christian kindness. The Planned Acts of Christian Kindness® Program has touched thousands of lives in the US and over 100 countries worldwide. Through the Water Project, over 130 water wells drilled, blessing hundreds of thousands of lives with clean water.

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