Sending a Donation Acknowledgement by Snail Mail

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Sending a Donation Acknowledgement by Snail Mail

Postby Deb McGinley » Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:26 am

We send letters to our donors acknowledging receipt of their contribution. How can we continue to do this via CiviCRM?

Before CiviCRM, I've tracked donations via an XL spreadsheet then merged the information into a letter template . . . here's how the letter starts . . .

«LETTERDATE»

«AddressBlock»

Dear «FIRSTNAME»,

On behalf of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Centre County (HFHGCC), I would like to thank you for your recent contribution of «CONTRIBUTION». Your donation will help us to continue our mission of building simple, decent, affordable houses for qualified people in need.


I've looked through CiviCRM but haven't found this feature. Any suggetions?

Deb
HFHGCC
Deb McGinley
 
Posts: 90
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Re: DONATIONS - ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Postby Conrad » Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:29 am

Hi Deb,

It is the same as sending an email:

  1. Go to the individual record
  2. Click the 'Actions' button
  3. Select ' - Print PDF Letter - '

For a longer explanation see: http://www.booki.cc/civicrm-4/postal-mail/

Remember that you can send a one-off email, or you can send from a saved template that you created. Also can use tokens as in your example.

Cheers,
Conrad
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Re: Sending a Donation Acknowledgement by Snail Mail

Postby Deb McGinley » Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:06 am

Hi Conrad,

All of our monetary donations receive a snail mail acknowledgement. Also send a letter to ReStore donations who valued their donation $200.00 or more. I have the basic template set up.

Now I need to edit the basic template to add more info into the body of the message. After the donation amount, I'll need to include "for PA14", from our Annual Appeal, in honor/memoriam of ______", etc. But I can't seem to find how to incorporate this into the template (via token?). I've been including additional information about a donation under Additional Details tab in the NOTES field. :?

We also need a letter for ReStore donations basically saying "Thank you for your donation to ReStore of _____ which you valued at _____". But the letter won't always include "which you valued at". The material(s) donated are listed under Additional Details tab in the NOTES field.

I presume we will have a number of templates based on the additional information required.

As always, thanks for your help.

DEB
HFHGCC
Deb McGinley
 
Posts: 90
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:50 pm
 

Re: Sending a Donation Acknowledgement by Snail Mail

Postby Conrad » Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:07 pm

Hi Deb,

The email and snail mail templates in CiviCRM are just places to store prepared letters.

The first way to use templates is to have one written for every situation. You have a new situation, you write a new letter, you store it as a template to make rewriting it really easy. This is a manual solution, and every time you would go to send an email or letter, you would have to manually edit it to customize the letter for the recipient. It's good, and it saves time.

The second way of using templates, adds the idea of 'tokens'. You can write an email, replace the recipient's name with a 'token', and save the template. Now when CiviCRM goes to create the letter, it sees the 'token', and it fills it in with the appropriate info. It puts a first name into a {contact.first_name} token, a last name inta a {contact.last_name} token, and so forth.

Tokens only work if the program supports them. And specific tokens only work if the program specifically supports them. CiviCRM has a list of available tokens. The list includes the default tokens supplied by CiviCRM and it includes tokens for custom fields that you have created.

Tokens like:
  • State
  • Street Address
  • Street Name
are supplied by CiviCRM as default options.

Tokens like:
  • Bookkeeping :: Volunteer Skills
  • Concrete Work :: Volunteer Skills
are tokens that created from custom fields.

One use of custom data is to create a custom field that you are planning on using to hold info that you will insert into emails and letters.

In addition, there are tokens that have been custom programmed by GingerFeet into the option list.
They are:
  • civitoken.contributionLast
  • civitoken.contributionList
  • civitoken.contributionTotal

A single template cannot do everything. Templates are not smart, they don't use any kind of decision making or logic.

In your example, you will need to set up several templates.
  • A template with 'in honor/memorium of ___'
  • A template without 'in honor/memorium of ___'
  • A template with 'which you valued at ___'
  • A template without 'which you valued at ___'
  • and so forth

Once you have your templates made, you can add the tokens. The 'note' field on the contribution is not on the list of default fields. This gives you 2 choices:
  1. Create a custom data field and use that for entering the notes for the contribution.
  2. We can probably program a custom token that would be an analog to civitoken.contributionLast something like civitoken.contributionLastNote. Ask us for a quote on getting the programming done.

For more on tokens read:
http://wiki.civicrm.org/confluence/disp ... ntact+Data

Cheers,
Conrad
Conrad
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Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:20 pm
Location: GingerFeet LLC
 
 

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