Quickly generate a simple annual gift statement in your account

In this article:


Overview of Annual Gift Statements

The Annual Gift Statements feature allows you to create an annual gift statement simply and quickly, addressed to each of your organization’s “can send mail” or “can send email” donors who gave either in the current or previous calendar year.

This feature provides a process in which donors who have given a gift to your organization over the previous year are automatically pulled into a mailing and email, based on the status of their contact information. Once you have updated the placeholder text for the mailing and email so that it suits your purposes, you can download and mail the letters and send the email from LGL. 

Is it possible to customize who will receive the annual gift statement?

No, it is not possible to customize which constituents are pulled into the annual gift statement process using this method, beyond the basics of which ones will receive a mailing and which ones will receive an email. If you want more control over who will receive the mailing or email, you will need to use either or both of the custom methods described in these help articles:

What comprises an LGL annual gift statement?

Two pillars make up an annual gift statement: 

  • The donors who should receive the annual gift statement (the constituents)
  • The letter or email that will be sent to them (the communications)

On the Annual Gift Statements page, once you have generated it you’ll see the two columns where you can access these items: Constituents and Communications

Once you have generated the annual gift statement, you’ll be able to change the position of the segments (if that suits your purpose), add/customize the content of the letter and email you will be sending, and then send them.

NOTE: It is not possible to create additional or different segments for the annual gift statement. If you want to have more control over the recipients for your annual gift statement mailing or email, you will need to use a general LGL mailing or a general LGL email. You can also follow these instructions to create an annual gift statement (also known as a year-end tax statement) mailing or email.

Which donors are included?

Near the top of the page, you’ll see how many donors you had for the year, broken out in segments by how they can be contacted. 

This account had 207 donors who gave gifts in 2021 with a gift type of “Gift”. This data is presented in an itemized list broken out by which donors can receive mail, which donors can receive email, and which can receive neither. Within these segments are the numbers of donors who can receive only physical mail or only email. 

A note on the use of the term “segments”

Segments are used in LGL Appeals as well as here, but in the context of LGL Annual Gift Statements segments are not buildable or customizable as they are in LGL Appeals. In this context, segments are pre-built and not possible to customize except in their position in terms of priority, which you can change by clicking on the up or down arrow for either segment.

How customizable is the recipient list for your annual gift statement?

It is possible to change the priority order of the recipient segments, as shown above. It is not possible to customize or segment the recipients you are sending or emailing to, beyond selecting the send method you are using (mail or email). If you want to have more control over which donors will receive these annual gift statement letters or emails, you will need to use an LGL mailing or an LGL email instead of this method. You can also follow these instructions to create an annual gift statement (also known as a year-end tax statement) mailing or email.

Is an annual gift statement the same as an acknowledgment? 

No. In LGL, annual gift statements are distinct from acknowledgments, and each has a separate purpose.

An acknowledgment is used to immediately acknowledge and thank a donor after they have made a gift to your organization. It is not designed to serve as a full year-end summary letter. Also, it is not possible to create an annual gift statement using an LGL acknowledgment mailing or email. However, you can use a general LGL mailing or general LGL email for this purpose (if you want more control over who among your constituents will be the recipients).

Generate a simple annual gift statement

To generate your simple annual gift statement, go to Fundraising > Acknowledgments > Annual Gift Statements. When you view this page for the first time, you’ll see the Generate annual statement for 2021 button shown here. 

You can choose the current year or the previous year to generate your annual gift statements for, by selecting from the “Annual Statement for calendar year” dropdown menu.

Then click the Generate annual statement button to generate your annual statements. The page will repopulate with your simple annual gift statement data, the relevant segments of the statement, and the mailing and email.

The position of the segments

The segments are set based on the communication tags in the constituent record. To be included in the “Printed statement” segment, a constituent record must have a valid mailing address and must not be tagged with the “do not mail” communication tag or set to “Deceased”. The same requirements exist for those constituents who are included in the “Email statement” segment, except the communication tag can’t be set to “do not email”.

By default, the printed statement is the top priority. Anyone who can receive mail will go into the “Printed statement” segment. Whoever remains and can receive email will go into the “Email statement” segment. Those in the “No mail or email” segment can’t receive mail or email. 

You can change the segment position by clicking the down or up arrow, as shown here:

NOTE: The acknowledgment preference setting has no effect on these values.

At this point, you can make updates to these constituents’ physical addresses or email addresses, if you have that information. If you do make changes, you will then need to click the Update recipients button to cause the donor records to be included in whatever segment their updated contact information pulls them into. 

The summary is an overview of your donors for the year in question, broken down by how you can communicate with them. 

Whichever segment is in the first position, you should see that the numbers match between who can receive whichever communication and how many are categorized that way in the summary. 

As an example, those who can only receive email are in your email statement, because the email statement by definition doesn’t have precedence. If you move this up by clicking the arrow, all the constituents who receive email will receive email, and those who can only receive mail will be left in the printed statement. The statements are mutually exclusive, so constituents who will receive the printed statement won’t receive an email, even if they could receive it, and vice versa.

Working with your letter and email content

Before sending out your annual statement mailing or email, you will need to customize your content for each one–in essence, replacing the default text in LGL with the text and information you want to provide to your donors in your annual statement.

When you update your letter and email text, you’ll be taken through stepped processes that look like an LGL mailing or an LGL email, but they work a little differently because the recipient list and the mailing and email name and category are locked down. When your content is added to both and your gift table is updated and ready, you can download your letters to send them, and you can queue your email for delivery. The article sections below explain how to complete these steps.

Adding your letter content

You can access the content for your annual statement letter and email from the Communications column on your Annual Gift Statements page:

Read instructions for building your email.

For a quick orientation, the first time you land on the Annual Gift Statements page, you can try clicking the Sample button for the mailing. This will download the first five letters from the annual gift statement, which you can look at if you like. And when you click Review for the mailing, you’ll be taken into step 4 of an LGL mailing. 

Adding your own letter and email content is required in the Annual Gift Statements feature. You wouldn’t want to use the placeholder text that is present by default, because it doesn’t say anything about your organization and doesn't include the sender's name (the email does, but the letter does not). You will likely also want to include a statement about your organization being a 501(c)3, if that is in fact the case. This is, in addition, an opportunity to add your organization’s logo to your letter and any other aspects of the communication you want to include.

When you’re ready to customize the mailing’s letter content for your annual gift statement, click the Edit button:

You’ll be taken to step 2 in the mailing. If your letter content has not yet been customized, you’ll see help text outlined in the screenshot below, prompting you to customize it:

You can use either an MS Word letter or an LGL Simple Editor (PDF) letter for your mailing. Make your selection by clicking the one you want to use:

MS Word Letters

If you select to use an MS Word letter, you can follow these instructions:

  1. Download the existing MS Word file to your computer.
  2. Customize the letter to your needs.
  3. Save the revisions.
  4. Upload the revised MS Word document into your annual gift statement mailing by clicking the Upload revised file button shown below.
  5. Then save the change:

You can read more about working with MS Word letters here.

Once your MS Word letter has been customized and uploaded, the help text on the page will change, as shown here:

LGL Simple Editor (PDF)

When you select the LGL Simple Editor (PDF), your task is to customize the text in the Letter Content pane, as explained in the help text shown here:

You can read more about working with simple LGL letters here.

Now proceed through the additional steps of the mailing. In the final step, click the Download all button to download the document that will contain your letters. 

NOTE: If there are more than 50 letters in your annual gift statement, instead of a “Download” button there will be a "Generate" button that you’ll need to click before you’ll be able to download the mailing.

Adding your email content

To add content to the email version of your annual gift statement, click the Edit button, as shown below. 

If you’re familiar with sending LGL emails, you’ll recognize this screen. Add your annual gift statement text to the Email Content pane, clicking the merge fields to the right to select and add them to the text where needed. 

You also have the option, at any time, to proceed directly to the "Send" step of your email by clicking the Review & send button:

When you are ready to send your email, navigate to the email’s fourth step and click the Queue email for delivery button:

Working with the annual gift statement table

This is the merge field you can use to pull the gift table into your mailing and email:

[[annual_statement.gift_list]]

This merge field is included in the default content for the mailing and for the email. You can leave it in place when you add your organization’s content, or you can replace or delete it. If you delete it accidentally, you can easily add it back by either typing it into your MS Word document or clicking the merge field so that it is inserted into your letter content or email in your Letter Content or Email Content pane.

The default view of the gift table has three columns. You have the option to add additional columns for gift campaign, fund, appeal, event, category, or payment type, which you can add by clicking the relevant checkboxes to the right.

It’s also possible to include in-kind gifts in the gift table, under certain circumstances. You can read more about that here.

How to add the gift table to your annual gift statement

Here’s where to add the annual gift statement merge fields, depending on the communication type that you’re adding it to:

In your mailing, if you’re using an MS Word document for your content:

In your mailing, if you’re using a simple LGL letter:

In your email:

Including in-kind gifts in your gift table

If any of your constituents gave in-kind gifts in addition to gifts, those can be pulled into your gift table in your annual statement. However, if they gave only in-kind gifts, those constituents won’t be pulled into the annual gift statement and their in-kind gifts won’t be pulled into the gift table in your letter or email. 

You can look on the right side of the Annual Gift Statements page to see how many donors gave in-kind gifts but not regular gifts. 

If you have a donor who gave only in kind gifts, they’ll need to be thanked outside this Annual Gift Statements process, such as via a general LGL mail or LGL email.

For donors who gave standard gifts and in-kind gifts, it is possible to pull the in-kind gifts into the gift table by selecting your choice/s in the “In Kind preferences” section of the gift table options. 

The gift type column will be added to your table, as shown in the graphic. It’s not possible to remove the gift type column in this case because it’s important to differentiate the gift type. It is a good idea to include the gift note whenever you thank donors for in-kind gifts, to remind them of what they gave. When you include the gift note, a description column is added, but only for the in-kind gifts.You can optionally include the in-kind amount, though we don’t recommend this.