When to Send a Thank You Note

Wondering when to send a thank you note?

We have compiled this list of common occasions when you might consider sending a thank you card.

The second column will help you determine whether or not a thank you note is necessary, and the third column will give you an idea of the acceptable time frame for sending your thank you cards.

Click on any occasion for a full overview of etiquette, as well as thank you note examples for that particular occasion.

Common Occasions to Send Thank You Notes

(Click for Overview)
To Send?
Must, Should, Could
Time Frame
After a Job Interview Must Within 24 Hours
For Wedding Gifts Must Within 6 Weeks
For Christmas Gifts Must if giver wasn't
present at Christmas
Within 4 Weeks
For Birthday Gifts
(when opened in front of the giver)
Nice, but not necessary Within 4 Weeks
For Birthday Gifts
(when opened in private)
Should Within 4 Weeks
For Baby Shower Gifts Must Within 4 Weeks
For a Dinner Party Not Necessary, Unless you
were the guest of honor
Within 4 Weeks
For Those Who Helped
With a Funeral
Must Within 4 Weeks
For Baptism Gifts Must Within 4 Weeks
For Baptism Attendees Not Necessary, But should
if special baptism service
Within 6 Weeks
For Bridal Shower Gifts Must Within 4 Weeks
For Graduation Gifts Must Within 4 Weeks
For Donations Must, (If you'd like
another in the future.)
For a Recommendation Letter Should Within 4 Weeks
For a Scholarship Must Within 4 Weeks
For an Internship Should Within 4 Weeks,
Or upon completion
For an Award Should Within 4 Weeks

More Possible Occassions

Here is a list of less common occasions and people that you may consider sending a thank you note.

Though not necessarily dictated by etiquette, it is always a nice idea to write a thank you note for someone if you think they deserve it.

(Click for Overview)
Why You Should Consider Sending a Thank You Note
To Teachers Teachers are instrumental in shaping our children's minds. Despite all of the responsibility, teachers are often undercompensated and underappreciated. If a teacher has done a good job, you know they will appreciate a written thank you.
When Saying Farewell It can be a good idea to send a thank you note to those who have been helpful, when leaving a job or moving to another city.
To Your Pastor Pastors deserve our thanks They play such a pivitol role in our communities, and ask for little in return.
To Your Mother or Father Consider writing thank you notes to your parents. No need to wait til mother's or father's day.
To Coaches Similar to teachers, coaches often go above and beyond to help our children.
To a Mentor It's a good idea to take the time to thank someone who has mentored you.
To Hospital Staff Hospital staff have some of the hardest jobs immaginable, working long hours in stressful situations. Thank the Doctors and Nurses who have worked hard to keep you well.

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