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Customizing Thank-you Letters
Submitted by admin on Mon, 03/27/2006 - 9:16pm.
Quick thank-you letter printing is one of the most popular features of ODB. You can select a list of recent donors, then print letters that automatically merge the donors’ addresses, salutations, lastgifts, and lastgave dates.
Thank-you letters will use the title and suffix (if turned on in settings) in the address at the top. The default salutation is the first name. You may define custom salutations on an individual basis by enabling the showtitle? field and choosing a title from the pull-down menu. This will automatically make the salutation field visible with a formal salutation using the title chosen. You may edit the salutation (to a nickname or anything you choose).
Note: If you decide to only use a salutation and wish to exclude the title (which appears on address labels), then you must change the title pull-down back to the choice. You must then type a custom salutation into the field.
For cases when you wish to formally address doctors, you should either use the title field (Dr.), or the suffix (M.D.) but not both. If you wish your letters to use the suffix in the address, but the title in the salutation, you must enable the salutation field by selecting Dr. from the pull-down title menu, and then disable titles by selecting the choice.
If you want to completely suppress the title from all labels in a particular mailing, you must turn off showtitle? in settings while you print labels. The titles for each record will not be deleted, only suppressed.
The lastgift and lastgiftdt merge fields used in the thank-you letter will automatically default to the most recent gift for each donor. If someone has given more than once recently, you must generate a thank you note right after you enter each gift, from the New Payment screen. If you have already entered the gifts, you just need to double-click the gift entry in the payment history screen, check the Print Thank You box (if you have enabled the thankyoucheckbox? in Modify Settings), and click Save. The letter will print immediately. ODB will match different thank-you notes to a particular Donation Category (also called Ledger Category). To set it up, you must modify the ODB setting called thankyoudefs to tell ODB which thank-you note to use for each category.
For example, if you had a thank-you note called webthank.txt for Web donations and mailthank.txt for Mail-in donations, you would also need donation/ledger categories of W and M. Then to match them correctly, you would type into the thankyoudefs setting (exactly as below):
After this feature is set up, ODB will include a thankyou note pull-down menu in both the Add Gift and Print screens. These menus allow you to print the default thank-you note for all selected records, the “category default” (which will match each gift to the assigned thank-you note for that category), or any other special note (whatever you have put into the mergetext folder). The default thank-you note must be named thankyou.txt.
Note that if you are using the giftcategory setting in ODB, it will not let you print thank-you notes for non-giftcategory payments. For instance, if you make a ledger category called Fee-For-Service and exclude it from the giftcategory setting (because it is not a donation), you will not be able to print thank-you notes for these payments. If you leave the giftcategory setting blank, ODB will let you print thank-you notes for payments in all 32 categories.
Please also note that ODB has three settings, leftmarginpoints, topmarginpoints, and rightmarginpoints, which define the margins to use on your letterhead when printing thank-you notes. If you use 72 (points) as your margin, this is equivalent to one inch.
ODB User Guide