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How to acknowledge gift donations made in honor of someone

Posted May 9, 2024 by Virginia Davidson

acknowledge in honor of gifts

Are you confident in your process for acknowledging gifts made in honor of someone? While the process is similar to acknowledging memorial gifts, it’s also important to create thank-you templates specifically for gifts made in honor of someone.

There are 2 components to acknowledging gifts made in honor of someone

The acknowledgment letter, which goes to the donor

The acknowledgment letter serves as the donor’s record, and it fulfills the organization’s obligation to the IRS. This acknowledgment should include the customary information such as gift date and gift amount, basic language referencing that this gift was made in honor of someone, and the honoree’s name.

Here’s an example:

Thank you so much for your donation to the Ocean Point Land Trust, made in honor of Natasha Jones. Your contribution of $50 on June 5, 2024, will help protect open space in our community. Thank you for this meaningful gift.


The notification letter, which goes to the person being honored

The purpose of this communication is to notify the honoree that someone made a gift in their honor and, especially if they are new to your organization, educate them about your mission. When possible, include the contact information of the donor so the honoree can choose to thank them. However, notification letters should not include gift amounts.

Here’s an example:

Ocean Point Land Trust has received a gift made in your honor by Nancy Van Allen. This gift will help protect open spaces in our community. Should you wish to contact Nancy, you may do so at this address: Nancy Van Allen 113 Main Street Granville, OH 43023


How do you know where to send the notification letter? On your online gift form and remittance envelope, include fields for donors to provide the name and address of the honoree.


However you may be tracking and managing these gifts, it’s a good idea to create a basic draft of both an acknowledgment for an honorary gift as well as a notification letter template with standard enclosures about your organization for an honorary gift. If you’re using Little Green Light, you can use its Tributes functionality to manage honorary gifts, including the process of sending notifications.

Want to learn more about how to acknowledge the gifts your nonprofit receives? Download our free ebook: Guide to Acknowledging Gifts

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