Although a scholarship means free money for you, it came out of someone's pocket. It is important to show your gratitude to the person who put others' needs before his own. Writing a personal note to the donor not only allows you to personally thank him, but it also lets him know that his donation is being put to good use.
If you have legible handwriting, write a handwritten note rather than a typed letter. Taking the time to write a letter with the traditional pen and paper will show the donor that you created that letter from scratch and took the time to personalize it. Use plain stationery rather than paper with designs or sayings on it. Placing a piece of lined paper underneath the stationery while you write can help you to keep your lines straight. If you do decide to type your letter, send it in the mail rather than by email.
Start by thanking the donor for the contribution and explain what the scholarship means to you. While you don't want to exaggerate how the scholarship is going to benefit you, if it has impacted you in a big way, be sure the contributor knows the magnitude of the assistance.
Describe to the donor what you plan to do in the future. Let him know how his donation will help you reach your academic and professional goals. Contextualize the scholarship in terms of how the money will help you to reach bigger and better things.
Give some personal information about yourself. Include information such as where you are from, what you plan on majoring in, and your work or volunteer experience. This will help the donor feel a personal connection with the scholarship recipient.
If you need the contact information for the donor, check with your admissions or financial aid office . It is possible, too, that they will assist you in making sure your letter gets to the right place.