When should you send a thank you card?

There was a time when etiquette required that you send a thank you card or note after receiving a gift or being shown hospitality. While it is no longer considered necessary, it is still very much appreciated by those who receive them. Here are some reasons you might want to send a thank you.

You receive a gift

This is the most common time to send a thank you card. Although not considered mandatory as it once was, it is still customary after some events such as weddings. In a thank you card for a gift, mention how you used the gift, or how you have benefitted from it.

For hospitality

Hospitality includes someone inviting you to stay at their home, giving you a tour of their city, or inviting you to a dinner party. In your note, compliment the person on their home, their graciousness, their knowledge of their city history, their cooking, or something relevant to the time you spent with them.

You receive a scholarship or other award of money

Donors love to hear from the recipients of scholarships and other grants. If you write to them, keep it brief, but tell them about your studies or whatever you are using the money for and thank them for making it possible.

Someone does you a favor

When someone goes out of their way for you, their help is often more valuable than a gift. This may be especially true from their perspective, if they have more money than time. Let them know how much they helped to you, and how much you appreciate it, as you understand it was a sacrifice for them to give you their time and energy.

For sympathy

It is not expected for a grieving family to send out thank you’s, but it is sometimes done. Thank you notes can be sent to anyone who helps with food, making arrangements, driving, or otherwise provides other special assistance after a death. It is not customary to thank the people who attend the funeral.

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