It is always appropriate to thank a granting entity for the money they give to your school. Foundation boards are pleased to know they have chosen grateful schools with worthwhile projects, but state and federal grant contact persons like to receive a school’s positive feedback, too.
When you first receive grant money, it is a good time to acknowledge the gift. Another good time for a “thank you” is when you complete your grant program or it is nearing completion.
Always remember when you are thanking a grantor that it is not about the money. Grants are about student achievement, student growth, and student change. When you first receive your grant money, it is good to write a short letter thanking the grantor for the funds and reminding them of the changes you will be able to make because of their gift. Although the details of your program will have been listed in your application, reminding a grantor of the good that their funding will accomplish is always a plus. Make sure your excitement is evident. Your program would not have been possible without the support of that grantor.
As a grant program is winding down, you should also send a thank-you letter to your grantor. The details of the growth and change that have taken place because of the grant program should be sent in an evaluation report, but a thank-you letter can express your appreciation and enthusiasm for the positive impact the grant had on your students in a way that is not possible in a formal report.
Thanking a grantor can help in other ways. By creating a positive relationship with a grantor, you may very well be able to apply for more grant money from this same granting entity. By the end of the grant program, you will have demonstrated your gratefulness for their gift, but you will have also shown them both formally and informally that any money they give to your school will be put to excellent use. You should let them know that the grant they gave you was not just more money thrown at a problem, but it was used in ways to improve the education and the lives of your students.
Would you be more likely to give additional money to a school that thanked you as a grantor at the beginning and end of the program you funded and showed you positive results or to a school that just sent in a required evaluation report?
Send thank you letters to any grantor that gives you money. First, it is the right thing to do. Second, it gives you a chance to show appreciation from both you and your students. Third, it may very well help you receive more money in the future from that same grantor.