Create an acknowledgment letter template

In this article:


Why do you need to create an acknowledgment letter template?

The LGL acknowledgment process relies on an acknowledgment template that uses LGL merge fields, whether you are acknowledging via a letter sent in the mail or via email sent through LGL.

Note: This article shows you how to create an acknowledgment letter template. Read this article if you want to create a letter template for a general mailing. Refer to this article if you want to create an acknowledgment email template.

Once your acknowledgment template is created, assigning it to the gift record causes an acknowledgment letter or email to be dynamically generated and stored until you are ready to send it. Assigning the template to multiple gifts generates a batch or queue of acknowledgment letters or emails that you can send when you are ready.

Create your acknowledgment letter template

To create your acknowledgment letter template:

  1. Go to Fundraising > Acknowledgments and click on Ack. Letter Templates.

 

2. Choose your acknowledgment template type from among the two, described below, that are available:

  • The LGL template, a simple letter template that offers limited options for design or formatting.
  • A Microsoft Word template, which allows you to use a Microsoft Word document as your template. This template type offers greater flexibility in designing and formatting your template but is a bit more complicated to work with.

To create an LGL template, follow the instructions immediately below. To create a Microsoft Word template, follow these instructions.

Create an LGL letter template

a. Click the Add LGL template button:   

b.  Type the template name:

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c. You can either use the default content that appears in the Letter Content pane, or change it. To make changes, click into the Letter Content pane and type your letter:

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d. To add merge fields, place your cursor in the spot within the Letter Content pane where you want the merge field to appear and then click on the name/s of the merge field/s you want to add:

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e. Add additional options.

  • You have the option to make updates to the Address Block. For example, you can bring in the constituent’s organization name by typing or copying and pasting in the [[org_name]] merge field. Please remember that the merge field must match what is shown in the Merge Field Reference character for character:

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  f. Click the Save button in the bottom right of the page to save your changes.

Create a Microsoft Word letter template

Note: In order to use a Microsoft Word template, you must be running Microsoft Word 2007 or later.

  1. Click the Add MS Word template button, as shown here:

This template choice requires that you create a Word document that contains either your letter content and your LGL merge fields or the [[letter_content]] merge field.

Keep in mind that the merge fields in your Word document letter template must match those in the Merge Field Reference character for character.

2. Add the template name, as shown in the top section of the screenshot below.

3. Upload your Word document, which should contain the letter content and merge fields you want to use in your acknowledgment letter:

  • Make sure the document is saved to your computer and that you know its location.
  • Click the Upload a new file button:

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The button name changes to “Browse”:

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Navigate to the document on your computer and select it to bring it in as your LGL acknowledgment template document:

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The LGL acknowledgment template now displays the name of the Word document you have selected:

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Pulling the text from the “Letter Content” pane into your letter

This option, which is available by default in case you don’t create your own Word document, lets you compose your content in the Letter Content pane.

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You can update your letter content in the Letter Content pane and add merge fields by placing your cursor in the spot within the Letter Content pane where you want the merge field to appear and then clicking on the name/s of the merge field/s you want to add:

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This content will then be pulled into your acknowledgment letters using the “basic_word_template.docx” Word document (see the item boxed in red in the image before the one just above). This document is attached by default in your acknowledgment (if you don’t make any changes to it) and contains the [[letter_content]] merge field, as shown below:

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4. Add additional options to your LGL acknowledgment template:

  • Make updates to your Address Block (for example, type in the [[org_name]] merge field if you want to bring an organization's name into the Address Block):

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5. Click the Save button in the bottom right to save your changes.  

Populate your acknowledgment letter template with LGL gift acknowledgment merge fields

You can bring data from the gift record/s you are acknowledging into your acknowledgment letters by using LGL merge fields. Please make sure you refer to the Merge Field Reference to find the relevant merge fields for your acknowledgment template.

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Important note: To merge the data properly, the merge fields in your acknowledgment template must match those listed in the Merge Field Reference character for character, including the double brackets on each end.

The merge fields listed in the Merge Field Reference are available to use in your acknowledgment template as part of a gift acknowledgment mail merge.

You can open the full Merge Field Reference from the Mailings > Ack. Letter Templates page within your LGL account as shown below, or you can view a sample copy.

Once you have that file open, scroll down to the "Gift Ack. Information" section, where you'll see the merge fields that are available to use in your acknowledgment letter template:

Keep in mind these two critical merge fields that you will likely use in every acknowledgment template:

  • [[gifts.ack.amount]] - The gift amount
  • [[gifts.ack.date_phrase]] - The date of the gift, written out, as in January 7, 2017

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