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Year End Thank You Letters: Creating Templates

It’s that wonderful time of year when you get to recognize and thank all of the people who funded your organization this year. If you missed our last post about finding those donors who gave in 2016, please click here to view that post. The next step in the process of sending end of the year letters is creating the template for your letter. You’ll want to spend a fair amount of time designing your template to be sure that the messaging and layout accurately convey your gratitude to the 2016 donors.
Let’s start with some terminology that we use in eTapestry when working with Communications templates:
  • Template: the outline for your end of the year letter
  • Merge Field: this is a section of the template that auto-fills with the value appropriate for the donor/donation; for example, we can create merge fields for the donor’s name, the Fund they donated to, or the date. The template will show a word with a gray box around it, but when you run the letters, that outlined work will be replaced with the value that corresponds with the value for that specific donor
  • Widget: a pre-designed table that itemizes and summarizes Journal entries
The basic steps to create a Communications template are available here. In step 11 of the article listed above, you’ll select a layout for the template. When we select a layout, we’re not looking for the text or photos to match exactly what you’re looking for, we just want to find a layout that presents the information in the way you’d like to see it. For example, maybe you want an image on the side of the template or perhaps you’d prefer a template that includes a receipt stub at the bottom. Keep in mind, we can add photos, edit the text, include merge fields and add widgets to any of the layouts.
Once you’ve selected a layout, the fun begins. We can edit the text in the template to reflect the exact message you’d like to send to your donors. You might consider sharing some of the successes over the past year or maybe a few photos along with your text. For convenience, we’ve listed a few help articles to guide you through a few of the most common processes:  
Remember to have fun and be creative when you’re creating the letter template. This is your opportunity to sincerely thank your donors for all of their support and tell them how their donation impacted your mission. If you have really great examples of thank you letters that you’d like to share, or if you have any comments, let us know in the Comments section below. In our next article, we’ll discuss the best methods for generating the letters in both print and email format. Happy Holidays!
Posted by Alyssa Rudner on Dec 12, 2016 12:36 PM America/New_York

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