When I got my first Donors Choose project funded, I was really baffled by the Thank You package. I just wasn't sure what the Thank You letters were supposed to look like. Where they supposed to be actual notecards? Should it have a picture? Paragraphs? Letter format? WHAT????
After a bit of trial and error, I have finally settled on what seems to work for me. (I have actually gotten some feedback from Donors Choose on some of the packages I sent back so I am thinking that this is the way I should go) I thought I would share what I do, in case others are just as lost as I was in the beginning.
First off, let me tell you that I have my entire class write the Thank You letters. This way, I am sure to have at least 5 that are decent to send. I also do not edit them. I figure sending authentic writing is the way to go. I know there are some people who take these letters through the writing process. I am just not one of them. I frankly do not have the time (I have been VERY fortunate to get 23 projects funded...that is a lot of thank you notes!)
The next paragraph is all about WHY we are grateful. My students tend to get very mushy and flowery in this sections.
From there, I pick the 5 "best" and send them off. The others I keep in the writing portfolio as a sample of cold prompt writing. It actually is really nice to see how the students have grown throughout the year, just from these thank you notes.
So there you have it. I hope that this sheds a little light for those of you who, like me, were in the dark.