US-based non-profit organizations that effectively manage donor interactions are more likely to generate leads and raise more money in the future. This is especially true during Tax Season. The question is, what are some of best practice steps and Salsa CRM tools you can use to astutely manage the interactions that you have with your donors? This article walks you through the process of...
- Creating a year-end summary letter of all donations for your supporters.
- Printing from Salsa CRM or using Salsa CRM's email function to email your supporters.
If you are a US-based organization and interested in a Video presentation of this process, please click here to go to Salsa Scholars.
Note: If you are a Canadian organization and you want to use the Summary Letters/Receipt Wizard, you must apply summary receipts to gifts as you enter them into CRM. By doing this, the receipt numbers Salsa CRM assigns to those donations will be sequential.
The process has three phases:
- Create and upload a form letter (if you have already uploaded form letters, you can skip this step).
- (U.S. organizations only) Find and group donors using the Advanced Query Wizard. Salsa CRM will perform best if your groups contain no more than 800 constituents each.
- Apply year-end summary letter to the donors and donations and print. Processing or queueing this number of letters for your printer might take several hours (especially if your letter has extensive or large graphics); do not re-start the process if a previous process is still running.
Summary Letter Donation Table
Summary Letters or Receipts contain a special table that includes the following columns of information regarding the previous year's donations, in a table format,
- Received Date
- Amount Received
- Non-Deductible Amount
- Tax Deductible Amount
- Fund Name
When you generate your summary letters, Salsa CRM will auto-populate the table with that donor's yearly donation information. You may modify the table column headers by changing the wording, but do not modify the number of columns or the number of rows. Leave it as a single-row table; do not attempt to add rows to the table.
Create and Upload a Form Letter
Using Salsa's templates to start designing your Form Letters or Receipts will be easier and help to ensure success. Our summary letter template files have tables in them that will populate with all the donations for that donor for the previous calendar year. To create a summary letter...
- This page contains templates that you can modify and then upload into Salsa CRM via Google Docs.
- Read the best practices section.
- Select and download the template that you want to use. Note that there are different letters for organizations in the United States and Canada.
- Open the downloaded template in Google Docs.
- Edit the template by modifying the text and adding your corporate artwork as needed.
Note: You'll find a table at the bottom of each template. When you generate form letters, Salsa CRM will auto-populate the table with donor information. You may modify the table column headers by changing the wording, but do not modify the number of columns or the number of rows. Leave it as a single-row table; do not attempt to add rows to the table.
- Save the template using a new filename that you will remember and which will be easy to find.
- Open Salsa CRM.
- Follow the instructions for uploading a file via Google Docs here.
- Save your modified template file as a form letter as described here. Select Donation as the Type of Form Letter.
NOTE: Canadians will want to choose Receipt. Receipt Form Letters appear in the Receipt drop-down field on the Donation screen. Canadians will want to choose the appropriate tax deductible designation. Ensure that Summary Letters is selected.
- Select Mail as the delivery method. (Alternately, you can choose Email. If you choose to email, you will have to have a TXT file that contains your email content, that can be uploaded to provide the body of the email. Your Google Doc file will then be an attachment to your emails. You will also be given options for necessary email fields.)
- Click the Select Document button to open the file browser.
- Find the edited template that you want to use (which you uploaded earlier in the process). and double-click it. You'll be returned to the Add form Letter to Screen window, and the filename will be listed beneath the Delivery Method.
- Click Save.
Find and Group Donors (U.S. organizations only)
In this phase, you'll want to organize your constituents into easily manageable groups of 500-800, using the Advanced Query Wizard. You can find additional help in the application itself. Click Help > Tutorials to access Advanced Query Wizard walkthroughs.
Before you complete the steps below, ensure that you have a Group ready into which you will put constituents. Click here for information about adding groups.
- Click Reports > Queries > Advanced Query Wizard.
- For Query Type, click Constituent.
- For Purpose of Query, click Assign Constituent to Group/SmartGroup.
- Click Next. The Wizard will advance to Step 2.
- With the Output radio button selected, double-click First Name and Last or Org Name. These will be added to the Output Fields frame. You can add any additional fields (for example, Postal Code) that you want to use the help you to create smaller sets of constituents.
- The Salsa Scholars training video linked above uses postal code to filter constituents into manageable groups. For these directions, we'll filter using the first letter of Last or Org Name. Click Last or Org Name so it is highlighted in the Output Fields frame.
- Click the cog icon at the top of the Output Field frame, and then click Filter from the drop-down list that appears. The Add Filter Criteria dialog box appears. This is where you will define the criteria according to which your constituents will be divided. For these directions would create two groups, A-K and L-Z. You may create as many groups as you like and/or sort on different values (such as Postal Code). For the sake of brevity, we will create only one of two groups. In real life, you will create as many as you need.
- For the filter Operator, select begins with.
- Enter the value A for your filter and click OK.
- Repeat steps 7-9 to create new filters with the value B and so on until you reach the letter K.
- Add an opening parenthesis ( to the first filter on Last or Org Name and add a closing parenthesis ) to the last filter on Last or Org Name.
- For each filter after the first Last Name filter, change the AND/OR value of that filter to OR by highlighting the filter and clicking the OR button.
- Click Next. The Advanced Query Wizard will advance to Step 3, where you will see a list of all of the constituents that meet the filter criteria (in this case, everyone with a Last or Org Name beginning with letters between A and K).
- Review the list to ensure that you've captured the constituents that you want, and then click Next. The Advanced Query Wizard will advance to Step 4.
- Click Global Update, and then click Assign to Group. The Assign to Group dialog box will appear.
- Select that group that you want to use, and then click OK. Salsa Recommends that the group name references that it is a summary letter group and the appropriate letter range, for example, 2018 Summary Ltr A-K.
NOTE: It's best to print your labels now for the summary letters, since there is no label printing functionality in the Summary Letter generation screen.
Print Summary Letters Using the Summary Letters/Receipts Wizard
In this phase, you'll bring everything together to create your summary letters (or receipts).
- Click Manage > Documents > Summary Letters/Receipts.
- This step is different for U.S. and Canadian organizations,
- U.S. organizations...
- Select may not have been a Summary Form Letter.
- Select the Summary Form Letter was for donors in this group.
- Select the first group you created above.
- Canadian organizations - Select was a summary form letter.
- U.S. organizations...
- Ensure that the Donation Received date range is correct.
- (U.S. organizations only) Include Donations even if a Letter or Receipt was already printed should remain checked if you want constituents to receive a comprehensive summary letter even though they received individual letters for each donation.
- Click Search. Search results frame will appear.
- Click Process Letters. Your letters will appear in a new browser tab (make sure that pop-up windows are not blocked).
- At this point, you can click Print to print individual letters or click Print All to print all letters.