Tips on Thanking the Donor

California State University, East Bay is very fortunate to have many generous scholarship donors, and we want to ensure that our donors know how much their support is appreciated by everyone in the College. Donors appreciate hearing from their recipients and are truly interested in knowing of your interests and your progress. The reason most scholarships are created is the desire by donors to provide meaningful assistance to students. Before you write your thank you letter, review the following three questions that many donors ask; then consider the guiding questions to shape your response.

When you accept the scholarship offer, you will be prompted to complete and submit a Thank You letter to the donor(s).

Donor Questions and Guiding Questions
Donor Questions Guiding Questions

How has my support made a difference?

Tell the donor about the specific ways in which their support has helped you reach your professional and educational goals.

  • Did the scholarship allow you to take advantage of an internship, study abroad, or join a volunteer organization?
  • Did the support help you or your family deal with difficult financial burdens?
  • If you received aid because of outstanding grades, how did you feel to see your efforts rewarded?
  • Did the award help you redefine your goals and move you into a new career path?
  • Did the scholarship provide you with the ability to be successful in some way, even if the scholarship was used to fully or only partially pay for tuition expenses?

Who have I helped?

Tell the donor about you as a person.

  • What are your goals, short-term, long-term, or both?
  • If you used the award to help continue a special project, why was that important to you?
  • what are your interests outside of the classroom?
  • Where are you from?
  • Why was Penn State important to you, and how did coming here influence your life?
  • If you have met with the donor, can you make reference to the meeting? Did they give advice, show interest in your work, and if so, how did it affect you afterward? In short, what kind of person are you?

What are your plans after graduation?

Tell the donor about the impact of their gift today and as you see it potentially affecting your future.

  • Are you starting a new job, going to graduate school or volunteering?
  • Are you traveling, moving to a specific place, or starting a family?
  • Do you see your career heading in a particular direction?
  • Did the support given by the donor allow you to experience things that changed or helped shape your plans?
  • Even if you are not graduating this year, how are your future career plans being shaped now because of the financial assistance of the donor