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November 08, 2016

Automatically Send Thank You Letters to Donors in Donate.ly

When running a non-profit, collecting donations and communication with donors is a very important part of the fundraising process and to the success of the organization. 

With a tool like Donate.ly you can easily collect donations and then with a tool like WebMerge you can automatically generate documents like receipts, letters, and more.  You’ll never have to go door-to-door to collect donations again.

In this example, we’re going to show you how to use WebMerge to automatically generate a thank you letter to new donors in Donate.ly.  Then we’ll use Lob to instantly print and mail our letter directly to the donor.  We don’t have to lift a finger!

To get started, we’re going to setup our thank you letter template using a Word document.  Inside our Word document, we’re going to add our letter details, then for the spots that we want to insert our donor’s information, we’re going to use merge fields that looks like {$FirstName}, {$LastName}, {$DonationAmount}, etc.

Here’s what our letter template looks like:

Once we have our template ready, we need to upload it to WebMerge.  From the Documents page in WebMerge, click the New Document button and enter a name.  On the next step, pick Office Document as the document type and then pick the file from your computer.

After you upload your template, you’ll be taken to the Settings tab where you can modify various options like the type of file that is generated and the name of the file.  For this example, we’re going to generate a PDF and we’re going to include the name of our donor in the file name.

Next, we’re going to setup the delivery of our document so that it is automatically sent over to Lob for printing and mailing.  Under the Deliver tab, click the New Delivery button and select Lob from the list.  After you enter your Lob API Key, you’ll need to pick the merge fields for each part of the address.  Then enter the “From” address where you want the letter to come from.

Once we’ve finished the Lob delivery settings, we’re done with the setup in WebMerge and we’re ready to integrate with Donate.ly.  To help with the integration, we’re going to use our friends over at Zapier.

Inside Zapier, we need to create a New Zap.  For the Trigger, we’re going to choose Donate.ly as the service and then New Donation as the trigger.

Once you authenticate your Donate.ly account, Zapier will load a test donation to make sure that everything is working correctly.  Follow those steps and move on.

Next, we’re going to setup the Action of our Zap.  For the service, choose WebMerge and then Create Document Merge as the action.

Once you authenticate your WebMerge account, Zapier will load a list of all the documents in your WebMerge account.  Go ahead and pick the thank you letter document then Zapier will load a list of all the merge fields in your document.

For each of the merge fields, you need to pick the corresponding fields from Donate.ly.  This tells Zapier how to send your data over to WebMerge so that the information is populated in the correct spot on your template.

Once you have matched up all of your merge fields, go ahead and save your Zap then turn it on.  We’re ready for a test!  Go create a New Donation in Donate.ly and then Zapier will grab this donation and send it over to WebMerge where your thank you letter will be generated.

Here’s what our merged thank you letter looked like:

Congrats, you’re all finished!  You can now automatically generate all kinds of documents from your Donate.ly account.  Can you think of any other ways that you could use WebMerge to simplify your paperwork process?

6 min read

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