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August 08, 2015

Create Donation Tax Receipts from Salesforce

Working for a non-profit organization can be an amazing experience, but it can also be stressful worrying about all of the things that come with it.  How do we find more donors to keep the lights on?  How do we collect and track donations? The list goes on and on.

One thing every non-profit needs to do is send out receipts for all of the donations they’ve received so their donors can use them on their taxes.  This can be a very tedious task that takes up someone’s time when it could be better spent elsewhere in the organization. 

We’ve got some great news!  With Formstack Documents, you can automatically generate a donation receipt each time you receive a donation.  No more time will be wasted manually creating or sending out donation receipts.

For this example, we’re going to show you how you can use Formstack Documents to generate the tax receipt right from your Salesforce org.  Salesforce is a great way to track all of your donors and their donations.  Plus every time you save a donation, Formstack Documents will automatically populate an invoice and email it to your donor!

To get started, we’re going to setup our donation receipt template.  We’re going to use a Word document as our template.  Inside the Word document, we are going to add merge tags where we want data from Salesforce to be added.  These merge tags are just text in the document (like any other text that you type) and look like this: {$FirstName}, {$Email}, etc.  You can use letters, numbers, and underscores, but you can’t use special characters or spaces.

Here’s what our donation tax receipt template looks like:

Once we have our template all setup, we’re going to upload it to Formstack Documents.  From the Documents page in Formstack Documents, click the New Document button.  Give the document a name, then on the next step choose the Office Document type and pick the file from your computer to upload.  Click Next Step.

After you’ve uploaded the document, you’re going to be taken to the Settings tab.  Here, you can update settings like the name of the document, the type of document you want to generate, and the name of the file that is generated.  We’re going to use the current date as part of our merged file name, plus we’re going to turn on the Auto Number feature under Advanced Setting.

Once you’ve saved the Settings, we’re going to setup our email delivery so that our donor receives the receipt directly to their email.  Jump over to the Deliver tab and you should see an email delivery already there.  Go ahead and click the edit button then change the “To” field to use a merge field and pick the email field from the dropdown.

You can also update the subject of the email and the body of the email as well.

Great work! We’re all done with the setup inside Formstack Documents and now we’re ready to setup the integration inside Salesforce.

If you have not already done so, please install the Formstack Documents managed package from the AppExchange and then follow the setup instructions here.

Inside Salesforce, let’s jump over to the Formstack Documents Mappings page.  A “mapping” is the integration piece that tells Salesforce how to send the data over to Formstack Documents so that the document is generated with the information in the correct spots on the template.  Go ahead and click New Mapping.

On the mapping setup page, you’re going to be asked for a name and then you’ll need to pick the Saleforce object that you’ll want to use as the primary object.  In our case, we’re going to use a custom object called Donations.  Then, you’ll want to pick the Formstack Documents document that you just setup.  Click Save and Next.

On the next page, you’ll see a few of the same settings at the top, but we’re going to focus on the Field Mapping section.  Here, you should see a list of all the merge fields that are in your document and to the right is a dropdown of all the available Salesforce fields.  For each merge field, pick the corresponding Salesforce field.

In order to generate this document automatically, we need to turn on the triggers (if you haven’t setup triggers on this custom object, please read this). At the bottom of the page there is a checkbox setting that says something like “Automatically generate the documents given the following rule”.  Click that checkbox and you’ll see settings appear.  In the Evaluate dropdown, pick the option to evaluate the rules when the record is “created”.

That finishes your setup!  Go ahead and click the Save and Activate button to turn on your mapping.  Now it is time to run a test.  Go to your Donation object and add a new donation.  Within a minute or two (depending on Saleforce’s queue timing), you should see a donation receipt be generated and emailed!

Here’s what our receipt looked like:

That’s it, you’re all done!  Now, each time a donation is saved in Salesforce, you’ll automatically be generating and sending a tax receipt to the donor.  This will save you hours upon hours each month.  What are you going to do with all that extra time in your day?

6 min read

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