Send a customized year-end tax statement/receipt by email

In this article:


Sending year-end tax receipts and/or annual statements is a great way to give your donors the information they need to file their taxes, and simultaneously thank them again for their support. It's also an opportunity to let them know how they have helped your mission, which is critical for donor retention and just makes good sense.

You can create custom year-end tax receipts, or annual statements, in LGL and email them to your donors via a stepped process that will allow you to:

  • Add or remove individual recipients from your email
  • Prepare your email text, including adding LGL merge fields
  • Send yourself a test version of the email so that you can check your work
  • Define other email settings, including name and type
  • Preview the individual emails that will go out and, when ready, queue the email for sending

This article shows you this process from beginning to end.

Is there a simpler way? 

Yes, there is a simpler way to prepare a year-end tax statement (or annual statement) for every donor. Please see Quickly generate a simple annual gift statement in your account for more information. Note, however, that this method doesn’t allow customizations.

If you want to proceed with creating a custom year-end tax statement email, please follow the instructions below.

Build a search (e.g., for last year's donors)

Begin by searching for “last year’s donors” in the Advanced Search area within the Constituents tab.* This search will pull in anyone who gave a gift "last year" with a gift type of “Gift” or “In Kind”.

* We are using the example of last year’s donors, but you can search for whoever you want to send your year-end tax statement to. If those you are targeting can’t be brought into search results because they don’t meet the criteria specifically, you can create a list and use that in your constituent search.

Create your email

Click the Send email button in the upper right of the Advanced Search area.

You will be taken to the email builder, which will allow you to create and send your email from within LGL.

Here is an example of how your email content might look:

The key part of the letter is the merge tag of [[gifts.YYYY.list]]*, which pulls a full itemization of the gifts from the giving year—with dates, deductible amounts, and notes—into a list in the email.

* YYYY = the current year


The [[gifts.YYYY.list]] merge field will include in-kind gifts but will not show their amounts (it's a best practice for nonprofits not to provide a value, or deductible amount, for in-kind gifts). The table will, however, display a gift note for the in-kind gift, if there is one.

If preferred, use a total giving Smart Field to generate a list of gifts in your email

If you decide to create a total giving Smart Field to display gifts in your email, your Merge Field Reference will provide a merge field you can use that will pull a list of those gifts into your email. 

First create your total giving Smart Field. Then go to your Merge Field Reference and scroll down to the "Smart Fields" section. You’ll see the merge field there. You can copy it from here and paste it into your email content:

Or, you can double-click it from the merge fields that are available as you work on your email content:

IMPORTANT NOTE: Smart field lists require that you include at least one additional column. For example, you could add a column for the total, as shown above. Or you could add the deductible amount, so your merge field looks like this: 


Thoroughly check your work by sending yourself a test email

Be sure your email is thoroughly proofread and tested prior to sending it to your donors by sending yourself a test version first.

Inspect the content of the email, reviewing to make sure everything is correct and the gift coding is accurate. If you see errors, make edits to fix them and send another test to make sure everything looks good. Once the email is clean and correct, it will be ready to queue for sending.

Queue your email for sending

To queue your email for sending, click the Queue email for delivery button shown below.

Your email may take some time to send completely, depending on the number of recipients you’re emailing to.

Create an email template to reuse next time, if needed

If you plan to email your year-end tax receipts next year, you can copy your email’s content from the Email Content pane and save it as an email template that you can reuse next time you need it.