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GIFTS Online Templates – The Option Is Yours!

In my last blog post, Jump for Joy – GIFTS Online Training Just Got Better, I mentioned I was a GIFTS Online implementation consultant in my previous position here at Blackbaud. In that role, I was frequently asked what would be the best way to complete a particular task. My answer varied based on the task and the organization, but it always boiled down to this one piece of advice—figure out what works best for you, do that, and move on!

This technique often comes to mind when creating document templates in GIFTS Online. For example, grant approval letters can be generated from the contact record, the first payment record, the organization record, or the request record itself. And those are just the options for which records to use when generating templates. What is contained in the templates can vary from contact names and dollar amounts to complex custom fields. The options you use all depend on what works best for your organization.

Options for Adding a View
One of my favorite things to add to a letter or write-up template is a view. Traditionally, when we talk about a view, we’re talking about how we display the information in a Workspace. And embedding a view in a template is kind of like taking the Workspace out of GIFTS Online and putting that Workspace right into our letter. Doing so, we can easily create tables for any of the following scenarios and more:
  • Expected requirements and their due dates
  • Upcoming payments for a grant
  • All contacts affiliated with an organization
Using tables streamlines the process of quickly communicating a lot of information—and adding views to your templates is easier than you might think.

Here are some basic steps to quickly add views to your templates!

Step 1: Create and save a view.

Run a search for the record type you want to use to create the view. You can run the search using any method you choose. The search filters don’t matter; you just need a Workspace of that request type. Then, create your view to contain whichever fields you want to include in your table. Finally, save your view as you normally would!

Tip: Apply a saved search to your view to limit the results. For example, to display only those payments yet to be paid, rather than all payments related to a specific request, add a saved search to your view with a filter of “payment status is scheduled”.

Step 2: Add the view as a merge field in your template.

In your document template manager, there are special categories for each record type with a relevant saved view. Select the appropriate record type, then choose to include the view you saved. Finally, add the view to your template outline.

Tip: Format the merge field to indicate whether to include table lines and/or column headings.
Step 3: Generate your template!

Now you’re ready to pull everything together and generate your letters and write-ups. It really is that easy!

Tip: The table layout changes when used in an email template. Either creatively use that layout to your advantage or, when first generating an email, attach a letter template containing your view.

Options to Learn More
To learn more about creating correspondence and write-up templates, join us for the new and improved GIFTS Online: System Administration course available through Blackbaud University starting May 30. This training is included in your Learn More training subscription. Not a Learn® subscriber? Find out more about Learn and chat with a representative today!
Posted by Veronica Sheppard on May 18, 2017 5:46 PM America/New_York