Thank Your Scholarship Donor

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The Importance of Thanking Your Donors

Scholarship donors are generous and caring people who unselfishly give to support your education. Thanking them is a way for you to let your donors know that their scholarship is greatly appreciated. Your gratitude shows them the impact of their generosity and inspires them to continue supporting other students like you.

As a scholarship recipient, you can thank them by writing a letter of appreciation. You can also share with your donors about the impact of their scholarship on your education and life by recording a brief video message. In addition, you may have an opportunity to meet your donors in person at an annual scholarship donor appreciation event. If your donors attend the event, you will receive an invitation as well.

Below you’ll find information on submitting thank-you letters, recording videos, and attending the scholarship donor appreciation event.

Submitting a Thank-You Letter

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As a recipient of a scholarship at SIU Carbondale, you have two options to submit your thank-you letter.

  1. Submit your letter via our online form.
  2. Email your letter to DonorRelations@foundation.siu.edu.

submit your thank-you letter here

Please submit your thank-you letter no later than two weeks after you receive your scholarship award notification. Failure to submit a thank-you letter may delay the disbursement of your scholarship award. 

Please note that the SIU Foundation reviews all letters and reserves the right to refuse any letter that is not appropriate.

All accepted thank-you letters are mailed to the respective donors.

Writing a Thank-You Letter

  1. Write clearly and concisely.
  2. Double-check for typos and grammatical errors.
  3. Express enthusiasm and be sincere.
  4. Make the letter personable and meaningful. Your donors are interested in learning about you and how their gift made a difference in your education and life.

If you have any questions regarding thank-you letter submissions, please email DonorRelations@foundation.siu.edu.

Recording a Thank-You Video

On occasion, you may receive an invitation to record a brief video to thank your scholarship donors. While writing a thank-you letter is a requirement for all scholarship recipients, recording a video for donors is not mandatory but highly encouraged.

Unless specified, videos are about one minute in length. Please see a sample video below.

Tips for recording a great video:

  • Please wear your SIU-themed shirt, if possible, and choose a neutral colored background.
  • Place your recording device on a sturdy surface and do not hold it in your hand.
  • Turn your cell-phone horizontally if recording on cell-phone.
  • Please have your camera at eye level (you can place your cell-phone on a stack of books if needed).
  • Place a light source (window or an overhead lighting) in front of you so that your face is well-lit. 
  • Avoid having moving objects on the background (e.g. working ceiling fan).
  • Find a quiet location. No music or distracting sounds in the background. 
  • Focus yourself in the frame so that you are waist up with your head fully in the frame.
  • Preview your video before submitting. Check for sound quality and correct messaging. Re-record it if necessary.

dinner-slider.jpgThe Annual Academic Scholarship Event

Every fall semester, the SIU Chancellor and SIU Foundation host an Annual Scholarship Donor Appreciation event to recognize scholarship donors and celebrate the impact of scholarships.

This event is by invitation only. Once your scholarship donor’s attendance is confirmed, SIU Foundation Donor Relations staff will reach out to you personally to invite you to the event.

If your scholarship donors are unable to participate, we will advise you that your attendance is no longer necessary.

Traditionally, the event is held on the Carbondale campus and the event program includes a reception, a sit-down dinner and a short program. Additional details about the event (e.g. time and location) are provided in the invitation.


“I have gotten to know my donors so well over the past few years by attending the scholarship event. This scholarship event allows students and donors to establish a professional relationship that we can continue to grow. It also helps the donor feel recognized and I know they feel a sense of excitement and honor when their scholarship recipient attends the event.”