Thank Yous on Donors Choose

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!)
When we are beginning our Thank You note process, I have the kids create a divided Circle Map.  Divided into three sections, they have one space for "What we got", then another for "How we are using it", and still a third for "Why we are thankful".  Then, they begin to brainstorm the information from the particular project into those sections.  You can see just how this was done in the picture.  I then bring them all together and we fill it in fully (so those who don't quite have the information can get it)

5th grade blog   upper grades
Next, we do a semi-guided writing. Combing the first two divides into one paragraph, the kids let the donor know what they gave us and how we are using it.  I always ask my kids to be very thankful and grateful with their words.

The next paragraph is all about WHY we are grateful.  My students tend to get very mushy and flowery in this sections.

Mrs. Moorman    5th grade   education
Finally, I ask the kids to decorate the letter with a colorful border related to what it is that we received.  They LOVE doing this (I mean, who wouldn't love to color after all the writing??)

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.


  1. That's awesome. Are you at a school that gets double impact points or help from Bill Gates Foundation? I love DC!

  2. Very helpful because I am about to have to do this for my first project that was funded!


  3. Oh my gosh... THANK YOU! for this wonderful post. I just had my first project funded and need to get started on my thank you package. I wasn't sure how to get started until now. Awwwesomme! ~Amanda @ The Teaching Thief

  4. Wow! 23 projects already? You need to post about how you make that work! I've got one project up right now with no donations. I'm not sure what I'm doing.

    Fun in Room 4B

  5. I second what Elizabeth said - 23 projects!!! I wish Canada had something like this (I'm the only donor in my classroom). ;)
    LOVE the letters! They look fantastic!

    Runde's Room

  6. Yeah...23 projects. I am so very lucky to get all of them funded. I really am on the look out for codes, or matching offers all.the.time. I also have been lucky in that I have been able to hook up with some wonderful philanthropists (like Stephen Colbert and the Wasserman Foundation) They just happened to be donating when I had projects up!

    1. Thanks, Stephanie. I'll start looking out more for codes. Is this at Donor's Choose? I really need to explore that site more.

      Fun in Room 4B

  7. Thanks - I have to do this by the end of May, and I wasn't sure how to approach it. I'm hoping to have actual projects to print (with our Donors Choose printer) by then, but I may be pushing it. Getting ready for the TEST is proving to take much more time than I thought it would. It's my first project with them.

  8. Cool! My letters for my first project are due soon, so I've been in a scurry to gather everything! :)

  9. Congratulations on getting the donations, but also on such a great way of scaffolding your students' writing.

    Your students are twice-lucky!

    The Learning Curve

  10. I thanks admin to do a post like this. Our teacher do a lot of things to make us successful, we all should respect them. by saiful


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