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December 23, 2015

Send Personalized Donation Receipts from PayPal

Donations are the lifeblood of any non-profit and collecting donations needs to be as simple and painless as possible.  PayPal makes it really easy for any nonprofit to collect donations from donors and streamline the donation process.

In this example, we’re going to show you how to use WebMerge to send personalized donation receipts to your donors when a donation is received through PayPal.  With WebMerge, you can automatically generate all types of documents like letters, contracts, and more without having to type a single letter.

To get started, we’re going to setup the template for our donation receipt.  For this template, we’re going to use the online document builder, but you could also use a Word document or fillable PDF as your template.

From the Documents page in WebMerge, click the New Document button.  Enter a name for your document and on the next step pick the Build Your Own document type.

Next, you’ll be taken to the document builder where you can setup your receipt template.  We’re going to add our logo, contact information, and then we’re going to add merge fields for the spots where we want the donor/payment information to be inserted. These merge fields look like {$FirstName}, {$Amount}, etc.

Here’s what our template looks like:

After you have finished your template, go ahead and save the template.  You’ll then be taken to the Settings tab where you can customize 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 include the payment id in the name of the file.

Next, we’re going to setup the delivery of our receipt so that it is automatically sent to our donor via email.  Jump over to the Deliver tab and you should see an email delivery already there.  We’re just going to edit this email delivery.

Go ahead and click the edit button and you can customize the To address to be a merge field.  Feel free to customize any of the other settings for the email.

After you have saved your email delivery, we’re done with the setup in WebMerge and we’re ready to setup the integration with PayPal.  To help integrate WebMerge with PayPal, we’re going to use our friends over at Zapier.

Inside Zapier, click the New Zap button to start a new zap.  For the Trigger, we’re going to pick PayPal as the service and then Successful Sale as the trigger.

Zapier is going to have you setup the integration with PayPal so that they can receive communications from PayPal.  Follow those steps and continue.

For the Action, select WebMerge as the service and then Create Document Merge as the action.

After you authenticate your WebMerge account, Zapier will take you to a page where you have to select the document you’d like to merge.  Go ahead and select the receipt template that you just setup.

Once you select your document, Zapier will load a list of all the merge fields in your document.  For all of the merge fields, you’ll need to select the corresponding PayPal field.  This tells Zapier how to send data over to WebMerge so that it is inserted in the correct spot in your receipt.

After you’ve mapped all of your merge fields, go ahead and save your zap and then turn it on.  It’s time to do a test!  Run a test transaction through PayPal and Zapier will automatically take that payment information and send it over to WebMerge.  Your receipt will be generated and then sent via email.

Here’s what our merged receipt looked like:

Great work!  You’re all done.  You can now generate all types of documents from PayPal without having to copy and paste.  Can you think of any other ways that you could use WebMerge to simplify your paperwork process?

6 min read

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