Donation Receipt

What Is a Donation Receipt?

A donation receipt is basically the official receipt used to document a donor’s gift to a charity or any recipient. And this receipt is detailed enough to answer questions like who is the donor, who is the recipient, or what type of gift is given in the first place. Donation receipts benefit both the sender and the receiver since the donor can confirm that his or her charitable donation was received by the recipient. Meanwhile, the recipient will be aware of whom to express his or her gratitude to. Thanks to these receipts, acknowledging gifts will be legally and properly processed.

Based on a survey, American individuals and foundations donated $427.71 billion to charities and organizations back in 2018.

Meanwhile, the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS) said that there are more than 1.5 million registered nonprofits in America.

On another note, Nonprofits Source reported that 41% of Americans who donate respond to concerns involving natural disasters.

Why Are Donation Receipts Important?

The quickest way to answer why donation receipts are important is to say that it is for proof. Just like an acknowledgment letter, you can state who donated for a certain fundraiser, sponsorship, church, and other causes. The same goes for acknowledging what a certain gift is for. Also, documenting donations must be taken seriously to avoid scams. A donor might be shocked where his or her cash donation went when the recipients did not actually receive the gift.

Moreover, a donation receipt can answer why some groups receive less because of a tax deductible, additional payment, and more. And if you were part of the recipients in a donation, don’t you want to say thank you to your donor too? So down from the names, type of gifts, date of donation, etc., you can depend on a donation receipt’s details anytime. Also, don’t forget that Americans are quite known to respond to charitable work, specifically with how 41% of Americans would respond to concerns of natural disasters. Thus, process those donations legally by incorporating receipts.

What Are the Elements of a Donation Receipt?

What can be found inside a donation receipt? Remember that different regulations and content apply to what should be present in a standard receipt for a donation. Standards may vary from where you live and what laws or rules apply there. A smart idea would be to check your local government’s websites for a list of those rules. But generally, standard donation receipts would contain the following elements:

Title and Official Statement: First of all, the document you use should have a clear title ‘Donation Receipt’ on top. That label will immediately give a heads-up about what the purpose of the form is. And don’t forget to input an official introductory statement about what to expect from such a receipt. This official statement can also be where you confirm if an organization is registered with a federal tax identification number.Donor’s Name: Who is donating in the first place? Write it down in the donor’s name section. The complete legal name should be stated for formality’s sake. But if the name doesn’t refer to one individual but a group, foundation, or an organization, state it appropriately. Nonetheless, this part should confirm the donor’s details.Recipient’s Name: Since the donor is identified, the same thing applies to the receiver. Jot down the recipient’s full legal name or the complete name of the organization. And whoever is named here should get the donation as promised in any gift agreement. Otherwise, conflicts would arise.Unique Serial Number: Any receipt is expected to have a unique donation ID or serial number. This detail makes it easier to track a specific donation receipt from any other donation receipts produced already. So when you consider tracking a donation receipt from a program or software, you just input the serial number and see the receipt pronto.Type of Contribution: One of the significant parts of a donation receipt is to describe what type of contribution was given. Was the donation in a form of cash, product, or service? Note it down. While cash gifts are common, there are also non-cash gifts out there. Specify it so that it will be easy to determine the contribution type.Value of Contribution: To be more specific about the contribution, do not forget to recognize that gift’s value. If the gift is cash, then it will be easy to know the value by simply writing the amount of the money in numbers and in words. But when the contribution is non-cash, you still have to determine how much the goods or services are worth. This value will be used in case there is a need to return or prove that the value is true.Date of the Donation: When was the donation made? And when is this receipt issued? You have to make the full date visible from the month, day, and year. Otherwise, you might have a hard time knowing how long a donation was already given or if a new contribution was actually made. More so, you can make the schedule more specific by mentioning the time.Signature Line: Finally, confirm all the details in a donation receipt with the signature line. Just like what you see in any award certificate, the receipt can have the donor’s print name and signature, including the recipient’s signature if necessary.

How to Make an Excellent Donation Receipt

You might think that creating the donation receipt itself will be one of the vexing processes to come up with. But no, the process is quite easy. And in case you haven’t noticed, have you already checked our sample donation receipt templates above? Those are the answer to making excellent receipts easily! Also, allow us to guide you in ensuring the outcome is impressive. Kindly follow these five basic steps in creating a donation receipt:

Step 1: Select a Sample Template to Tweak

Start exploring our sample donation receipt templates now until you can choose your preferred template to work with. Rest assured, framing a donation receipt gets easier with professionally made templates. Each template is premade so you never need to work at the very start. Thus, it saves time. Meanwhile, you can also edit the template at any time. So start deciding if you want your receipts printed, sent as an email, or in any other format. And most importantly, store many copies of donation receipts so documenting future donations runs smoothly.

Step 2: Add the Elements of a Donation Receipt

To complete your donation receipt, be sure to insert all the elements we discussed earlier. You already know those parts from the title down to the signature line. But what you should watch out for in adding all the elements is to arrange them accordingly. There should be a sensible format in the receipt until everything is easy to read. You can create tables and other visual organizers so your document won’t become hard to follow anymore.

Step 3: Incorporate Your Organization’s Branding

Part of designing a donation receipt or any receipt, in general, is to incorporate your company’s branding. Make your organization become known by putting your company’s logo, signature colors, contact information, and other significant details. That way, any donor will learn a thing or two about an organization’s brand in case they look at the donation receipt for specific details. Also, add some creativity because donation receipts don’t have to be dull-looking documents.

Step 4: Don’t Forget a Short Message of Appreciation

As a representative of the organization, be sure to input a short thank-you message in the donation receipt. That is the best way you can offer in appreciating a donor’s gift. Like writing a letter, you mention your deepest gratitude because of the donation. “Thank you for your trust,” is also a good showcase of appreciation. And don’t forget to promise that the proceeds will really go to the designated purpose. You can add other important details here like if there is any tax deductible or any other warning for the donor to be aware of.

Step 5: Keep It Simple and Organized

Simple words and sentences will guarantee you that anyone who plans on reading this receipt will understand its content right away. There is no need to use flowery words and complicated sentence structures because making your audience understand is more important. Or better yet, you conduct a survey if most people who read the receipt can understand immediately. If the answer is no, make necessary changes. But if it’s a yes, launch your receipt!


What are the types of donation receipts?

It is essential to determine the main purpose of your donation receipt according to its specific type. And the common parts of donation receipts are the following:

  • Charitable donation receipt
  • In-kind donation receipt
  • Cash donation receipt
  • Stock gift donation receipt
  • End-of-year donation receipt
  • Silent auction receipt

To whom do you give a donation?

Anyone can be a recipient of a donation but, most likely, donations come with a cause. An example is when you donate to the poor, those who were affected by natural disasters, and more. Hence, the recipients are the registered non-profit organizations or charities. And fun fact: NCCS’s research survey confirmed that there are more than 1.5 million registered nonprofits in the US. They are the initial recipients until they will eventually use the donation for its specified use, whether it involves feeding the hungry or any other cause.

Can you deduct cash donations without a receipt?

No, it is not allowed to claim for any cash deduction without reliable proof, specifically the receipt. That explains why donation receipts matter because most of the time, you will be asked for a receipt regarding deductions in donations.

Whether you are preparing for tax season, you need evidence of a donation, or you just want a reliable reference that contains valuable details regarding a donation, use donation receipts! All the answers from previous, present, and future donations that were recorded will all be there. And what is even better? You can make the best results of such receipts using our sample donation receipt templates to help you save time, effort, and money in crafting receipts. Download now!