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What to include in a memorial notification letter

Posted July 3, 2019 by Virginia Davidson

What to include in a memorial notification letter

When your organization receives a memorial gift, it is best practice to notify the family of the deceased. A memorial notification letter differs from a gift acknowledgment letter, so we’ve put together some sample language to help you craft a letter of this nature.

Here’s an example of a notification letter we’ve drafted to send to the surviving spouse when gifts have been made to the local land trust in memory of a deceased spouse:


Please accept our condolences on the loss of your husband. We feel privileged to be able to honor Ryan’s memory, and his commitment to land conservation, thanks to donations received in his memory. To date, we have received the following gifts in his memory:

John Smith                     12 Main St. Plymouth, NH 03876

Michael Douglas             1 South Washington St Bristol, CT 06010


We have thanked these generous donors on behalf of our organization. We are sharing their addresses in case you wish to contact them directly. We will send you additional donor names and addresses periodically, as gifts are received.


As you create your own memorial notification letter template, keep the following in mind:

  • Notification letters to family members should not include gift amounts
  • When possible, include the contact information of the donors
  • Clarify the process for the family so they understand that these gifts have been acknowledged by your organization, and let them know you’ll keep them informed of subsequent gifts


If you’re looking for more in-depth guidance on handling memorial gifts, check out this article: Acknowledging memorial gifts: What you need to know.

For a comprehensive guide to acknowledging gifts your nonprofit organization receives, download our free ebook: Guide to Acknowledging Gifts.

5 thoughts on “What to include in a memorial notification letter

  1. why do you not include the donation amount? Most all non profit organizations to include amount in their notifications. Just trying to understand.

    1. It is fundraising best practice to not include the amount of a gift when notifying the family of a gift that has been made in memory of their loved one. It is, however, perfectly acceptable (and recommended) to include the gift amount when you are sending an acknowledgment (or tax receipt) to the person who made the gift.

  2. Your periodic tips and reminders are always appreciated and help with CRM work. and learning fine points of what’s best practice.

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