Thank You Letters

We feel it is important for our scholarship recipients to understand that behind every scholarship there is a person or people who have generously donated the funding to make that scholarship possible.

We want these philanthropic acts to be recognized. Philanthropy and gratitude go hand-in-hand. For every philanthropic act, there is a person or group of people who is grateful. It is a SUNY Cortland tradition and common courtesy to thank those who have been so generous. We hope that you will assist us in this endeavor.

phil-lan-thro-py (fi lan'thro pee), n.

1. concern for human beings as expressed by donation of money, property or work to the needy or to institutions advancing human welfare.
2. philanthropic act or gift.
3. a philanthropic organization

grat-i-tude (grat'i tood), n. deep thankfulness

 Writing a Thank You Letter

  • Realize that the person you are thanking knows nothing about you.
  • Be personable. Tell them about yourself. 
    • Where you are from
    • What is your educational background
    • What extracurricular activities have you been involved with
    • What are your educational and career plans
    • What it means to you to have received this scholarship.   
  • In some cases you may be thanking the donor, the donor's family or a group of people. In any case, the letter should include the same information.
  • Make the thank you letter at least a page long. Look at the samples below to get an idea of what to write. Put two double spaces between paragraphs so it formats correctly. If you are having problems writing at least a page-long letter, it may be easier to pretend the person to whom you are writing is a good friend.
  • Include a photo of yourself if you can. Donors like to see who was awarded their scholarship.

Sample Letters

View sample thank you letters (PDFs) below:

Sample Letter thank you letter

MyRedDragon Requirements

Thank you letters are now a financial aid status requirement on your myRedDragon account. Before your scholarship will be allowed to credit or pay to your account, you will need to submit a thank you letter. If you have a renewable scholarship, a thank you letter will be required every year. This is to ensure that your donor is up to date on your progress and successes at SUNY Cortland.


You may be invited to a donor appreciation gathering. When invited, this allows you the opportunity to meet your scholarship donor in person. We encourage you to attend. From past gatherings, we know that the meeting is mutually beneficial for both the donors and the scholarship recipients.

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