All three of my donors were totally anonymous. My first donor was such a sweetheart. She wrote me a heartfelt letter as that was the clinic's suggestion, and I wrote her a long response. The therapist for the clinic passed on to me that she was tearful when reading my letter and really wished me success. After transfer, I had selected a couple of books I thought she would be interested in and some chocolates, never heard anything back, asked the nurse if she had gotten them and she said yes, but that she acted as if it was a strange gift. ? I felt terrible! In retrospect, based on my donor's sweet and caring follow up, I think it was just the nurse who had a problem communicating effectively and not that the donor didn't like the gift. I'm a nurse and I'd NEVER say something like that to a recipient! A couple of weeks after the transfer, my donor called the clinic to ask if I had gotten pregnant and when they told her it failed, she expressed dismay and that she was sad for me. I, in turn, asked the donor coordinator to please reassure her that it didn't mean anything was wrong with her eggs, but that I had been having some issues with my endometrial lining and that was probably the reason. The donor coordinator expressed that it was very touching to see TWO people who had never met consistently express such caring and concern for each other. None of the embryos from that donor worked. The donor used the money to take a trip around the world and met her future husband on that journey so I feel good that I was able to help her achieve something wonderful. I told the clinic that if she should call again, it was okay to tell her that none of the eggs had worked because I didn't want her to be thinking about having a genetic child out there somewhere since that wasn't the case.
Second donor was kind of a bimbette who couldn't follow instructinos and the doctor was a lunatic (seriously) and the nurse/coordinator was loopy as well so needless to say, there was no hope of any kind of communication there and I was going through a rough time so didn't push for it, just went with the flow. It also was not suggested that I get a gift or anything. Something about the situation made it seem as if it was not desired by the clinic and since I couldn't trust the nurse coordinator to do anything right, I wasn't about to risk it and waste money.
Third donor, I did not write a letter and neither did she as I got the distinct impression she didn't want that kind of contact. A gift was figured into the donor fee, about $100, and I have no idea what it was. The agency owner seemed to want to be in control of that. I did feel compelled to write her a heartfelt, long letter when my boys were about 6 months old and she never responded and the agency owner said that she didn't say anything about it to her either. I'll never know what she thought!
After all that, here's my opinion: don't do expensive gifts like jewelery. I know Shelley Smith (gag) makes her recipients buy jewelery for her donors but I think that is in poor taste. For one thing, you don't know that the donor will want such a permanent reminder. A material gift is really not necessary and a brief letter of thank you on a beautiful greeting card is really sufficient. But if you want to go further and get a gift, I'd get something that does not have lasting permanence, like a gift cert to a restaurant, a bookstore, or a massage or spa, and make the decision based on something that you know about her from her profile so you don't get a restaurant gift cert for someone who is a raw foodist and never eats out, for example!
Okay so anyway, long winded reply (sorry) but I don't think it is unreasonable to expect a donor to pass a message through the donor coordinator that she got the gift or got the letter and that it was most appreciated, enough said. To totally ignore is kind of odd to me, poor manners or maybe just a reflection of not knowing any better.