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PDF Thank-you Letters and Email

Generate your Thank You letters as PDF Emails.

 

Enabling Module

To enable this feature in CMS, click Program Setup > Options > Custom tab and check the "PDF Capabilities" check box and click OK.

 

PDF / Email Option

There are three ways to generate thank-you letters, Build-in Letters, Word Merge and PDF Emails.

Click Program Setup > Options > Letters/Receipts tab and select the Use PDF/Email Option.

 

Without setting this option, you will not be able to generate an individual letter to PDF/Email. Also, when generating Batch Letters, having this option set makes it so that the PDF Email Output is selected by default. (see below for details.)

 

 

Background

  1. Built-in Letters: The advantage of the Built-in letters is that they require the least setup and you can specify which letter a particular Payment is associated with. When generating letters, each Payment will use the letter associated with it. The disadvantages are the limitations in design and layout, using a custom letterhead (is difficult) and the receipt stub options are quite rigid. It also doesn’t provide a way to email them (other than generating them one at a time, creating a PDF and manually sending it by email.)

  2. Word Merge: The advantage of Word Merge is that you can use whatever design you create in Word, including custom letterhead images and receipt stub. You can also easily Merge to Email. Individual Letters generated (not merge) had an option to create a link to the File (History / Files). The disadvantages are that the entire batch must use the same letter; the letter that is chosen when entering the Payment is not used at all. Also, Emails use the HTML format which doesn’t look good when received. PDF attachment is not an option (unless you have Adobe Acrobat Pro). You also cannot customize each letter when you send then by Email. Setup is complicated and knowledge of Word and Merges are required. File links only worked for individual files, but not for a batch (merge).

  3. PDF Emails: Here we implement the advantages of each of the above without any of the downsides. You can generate batch PDF attachment Emails, each based on the Letter associated with the specific Payment. You can also customize each one by adding a PS. You can use a predefined, easily configurable template that has your letterhead and stationery design, and you can use a signature image. You don’t need Adobe Acrobat Pro, Word or even Outlook, and setup is quite simple. File links in history are created whether you’re sending an individual letter or a batch.

PDF Settings - Organization and Letter

PDF Settings are the detailed instructions you enter describing exactly how your PDFs are to be created. This includes using a Letterhead Template, setting the Page Size and Margins, designating a Signature Image, and more.

 

PDF Settings are associated with an Organization. If you have multiple Organizations, each one can have its own PDF Settings.

PDF Settings can also be associated with a Letter and each Letter can have it’s own PDF Settings. In the case where a Payment is associated with a Letter that has it’s own PDF Settings, the PDF Settings of the Letter will override the PDF Settings of the Organization.

 

Start by configuring the PDF Settings for the Organization.

Click Program Setup > Options > Letters/Receipt tab and click the PDF Settings button.

The specific PDF Settings will be described in greater detail further on.

 

As you're working with the PDF Settings, you can click the PDF Preview button to see how the settings affect the resulting PDF.

The PDF preview that is generated is not based on real data, but it does show how the PDF will look based on the PDF Settings you enter.

 

Set up an Email Account

Click the Email Accounts option. Click Add Account and enter your Email account information. Passwords are encrypted for your security.

 

If needed, you can create multiple Email Accounts and each Organization (or Letter) can be associated with a different Email Account. In addition, you can create an Outlook Mail Account. This special account will simply use your Outlook that you have on your computer. The advantage of using Outlook is the speed in which CMS gets the job over with (since the actual sending of the emails are done by Outlook, outside of CMS).

 

When creating a new Email Account, be sure to click Send Test to send a test email. This will ensure that CMS is able to send email properly using the settings you entered.

 

These Email Accounts are used just for Sending Email only. Email that is sent through these accounts will show up in your Sent Mail folder. For Outlook, it will work with however you configured Outlook to send email.

 

Now that you have an Email Account, you can go back to your PDF Settings and select the Email Account.

 

Sending an Individual Thank-you Letter

On the Transaction tab, select a Payment and click the Letter button.

If you set the Prompt for PS setting (see below for details), you will be prompted to add a PS to this letter.

This will create and send it via email.

The PDF Settings of the Organization in the Payment will be used. If the Letter associated with the Payment has it’s own PDF Settings, it will override the PDF Settings of the Organization.

 

As a bonus, a link to this PDF file is also saved in your History / Files. In order for this to work, you need to have designated a Correspondence folder. This is done by clicking Program Setup > Options > Letters/Receipts.

 

Send Thank-you Letter Batches

Click Tasks > Letters / Receipts.

 

You'll notice that the Email PDF's option is chosen. "Include Primary Email" and "Only Contacts with an Email Address" check boxes are also checked.

 

The default is to send all letters that have "Not been sent yet."

As with Word Merge and the Built-in letters, we recommend this option (and not to filter by date).

 

Click OK.

 

The resulting window will show a list of Payments for which PDFs will be created, and emailed. All are checked. If you want to exclude any of them, you can uncheck to Payment. You can also click Uncheck All and only check off the ones you want.

  • Click the Create PDFs button to create the PDF files.

Each PDF is created based on PDF Settings for the Organization associated with the Payment. If the Letter associated with the payment has its own PDF Settings, it will override the PDF Settings of the Organization.

  • Optional Custom PS:

You can add a custom note (P.S.) to any individual letter by selecting the Payment and clicking the Custom PS button. This should be done after creating the PDFs; clicking Create PDFs after adding the Custom PS will overwrite the customization. You can also preview any of the PDFs by double-clicking the Payment.

  • Once your PDFs are ready, click Email PDFs.

Each PDF is emailed to both His and Her email addresses if they exist. A single email is sent and both email addresses are put in the To field. If Him or Her was chosen in the Him/Her field of the Payment, the PDF will sent to only Him or Her as applicable even if both have email addresses.

 

After the emails are sent, click Close. If there were any Payments that for some reason did not get emailed (they were unchecked, or other error), you will be prompted to remove them from the Batch. We recommend that you do. This way, those Payments will not be marked as Sent."

 

Detailed PDF Settings

The PDF Settings window click the Section to you need to access the specific settings in that Section.

When viewing any of the Sections, you can be in Letter Mode or Organization Mode. To change to different Modes, use the Mode drop-down.

When in the Letters Mode, you will see a list of available Letters. When in Organization Mode you will see a list of Organizations. Select the Letter or Organization you want to work with.
The actual text of the letter used when generating PDFs are from the Built-in Letters. This applies whether you are configuring PDF Settings for that Letter or not. The Letter you choose when entering a Payment will be the one that will be used for the body of the Letter and the PDF Settings (from the Letter or Organization, as applicable) are used when the PDF is created. The text of the letter can have fields. Fields are special placeholders in the letter that are automatically replaced with data. An example of such a field is <Amount>. When using these fields in a Letter, they need to have the < and > symbols before and after the field name. At the end of this article is a complete list of available fields.

 

General Section

This section is only applicable for the Letter Mode. When in Organization Mode, this section will be grayed out.

 

  • PDF Settings

Check the "Set Custom PDF Settings for this letter" check box only if you want this letter to have settings to override the settings of the Organization. If this is unchecked, all the other Sections will be greyed out.

  • Update by Organization

You can get use a copy all the settings from a specific Organization to this Letter. To do this, choose the Organization from the drop-down and click Update. You can then proceed to make specific changes.

 

Page Section

 

  • PDF Template

You can create a PDF Template that has your letterhead, logo, names sidebar, footer or watermark. A simple way to create such a PDF is to use Word or Publisher to design your stationery, then save it as a PDF file. When using a PDF template, CMS will copy the design of the template specified and add the specifics for the letter, data and more.

  • Has Receipt Stub

This indicates whether the Template you are using has a Receipt Stub section with Form Fields.

To set up Form Fields, you must have Adobe Acrobat Professional. Fields need to be named according to the standards set by CMS. At the end of this article are a list of support fields that can be used. Simply calling the Field by that name will make it work.

  • Page Size

This is only applicable if you're not using a Template. If you are using a Template, the template determines the page size.

  • File Base Name

This is the beginning of the file name that will be used when saving the PDF. You can use thankyou, receipt, letter, pdf or anything you choose. When the PDF is created and saved, the Base Name will be used followed by the Receipt Number. If there is no receipt number, the TransactionID will be used.

 

Margins Section

Here you set the margins of the page. If you are using a Template, you should take into account the space consumed by the Letterhead, Names sidebar, footer, and receipt stub.

Margins, as well as other settings are calculated in inches.

 

Signature Section

  • Indent By

Enter a number, in inches, that the signature section should be indented by. For a modern style, leave this as 0 so that it’s flush left. For a more traditional look, the indent is set to about 1/2 the page. Remember that 0 is not the edge of the page, but rather takes into consideration the left margin. The indent affects the Closing, Signature Image, Signature Name and Signature Title.

  • Closing

Sincerely, Warm regards, Respectfully are examples of the Closing. You must ensure that the Closing is not part of the text of your actual letter.

  • Closing Adjustment (Adj.)

If you find that you need to increase or decrease the space between the end of your letter and the Closing, add the number here (in inches). In the above screenshot, we added 1/10th of an inch (0.1).

  • Signature File

Here you can choose an image file that has your signature. This will be put on the letter after the Closing but before the Signature Name. If you are using a Template for your PDF that has a watermark, you need to use a Signature Image that has a transparent background (not white), otherwise, there will be an ugly white rectangle where the signature image is.

  • Signature Name and Title

Example Rabbi Leibel Hanoka, Director

  • PS

If you want to have a PS after the Signature, enter it here. An example would be if you want to mention a new project that is being worked on, or a reminder for an event going on.

  • Prompt for PS Override

Check this option so that whenever you generate an individual letter you should be prompted to personalize it with a PS. The is applicable only when sending an individual letter. (For batch letters, adding a PS is available regardless of this setting. See below.) Note: for PS and PS Override, the letters "P.S." are not automatically included.

 

Letter Section

 

  • Date Indent By

Specify a number (inches) for indenting the Date and Hebrew Date. For a modern look, leave this as 0 so that it’s flush left. For more traditional look, it can be set to about half the page (as with Signature Indent). Typically, if you are not indenting the signature, you would not indent the date.

  • Show Hebrew Date

Show the Hebrew Date on the letter.

  • First Line Indent

If you want to indent the first line of each paragraph of the letter, enter a number here. For a modern style, leave this ass 0. For a more traditional look, use .5 (1/2 inch).

  • Letter Alignment

Left is the most common setting. However, you might find that Justified works for you, where the right edge is not jagged.

  • Font Name / Size

While you can choose any font on your computer, it’s best that you stick to a standard font. Calibri works well. Courier New, Times New Roman, Arial are all good choices.

  • Line Spacing

Typically this should be set as 1. However, you may find that you can increase it a bit may look nicer, especially if you are not using a standard font.

 

Email Account

  • Email Account

Choose an Email Account from the drop-down. Email Accounts are set up under the Email Accounts section.

  • Email Subject

Type a subject that the email is to have.

  • Include letter in body of email

The PDF which is created will be sent as an attachment. This setting determines what the body of the email should contain. Check this box to have the email body include the text of the letter. It won’t have any of the formatting of the PDF (letterhead, signature, margins etc.), just plain text.

  • Body Text

If you don't include the letter in the email, you can have the email body include a short note. An example you might want to use for this is:
"Please see attached PDF receipt. Thank you for your support."

 

List of Fields for the Letter and Receipt Stub.

 

When in the body of the letter, you need to add <> around the field. Example: <Amount>. When used as a field in the receipt stub, simply name the field to match the name below.

 

All the fields below will work with the Receipt Stub. For the letter, they are only supported if indicated as Yes.

 

Field Name

Letter

Notes

Name

No

Full name of contact, includes Title.

CompanyName

No

 

Address

No

 

Address2

No

 

City

No

 

State

No

 

Zip

No

 

Country

No

Will only show if different than the country you are in, unless you set the “always show country” option.

NameAddress

No

This combines the name and address into one field, adding line breaks as needed.

CityStateZip

No

This combines the City State and Zip fields, adding a comma after the City.

Amount

Yes

Payment Amount

GoodsAmount

Yes

The value of the goods the donor received in return for making the donation.

GoodsDescription

Yes

The description of the goods the donor received in return of making the donation.

TaxDeductibleAmount

Yes

The Amount minus the GoodsAmount

TextAmount

Yes

The Amount written in Words. WordAmount also works but not not for the receipt stub.

HonorMemory

Yes

Text that was entered in the HonorMemory field. See end of article of an example.

DonationDate

Yes

The date the Payment was made. (example: 1/15/2017)

DonationLongDate

Yes

The date in “long” format (example: January 15, 2017)

Method

Yes

The payment method

CheckNumber

Yes

Check number or Last 4 digits of CC number

ReceiptNumber

Yes

ReLceipt Number of the payment

Category

Yes

Category of the Payment

Subcategory

Yes

Subcategory of the Payment

Purpose

No

This is the same as Subcategory

Solicitor

Yes

Name of the Solicitor for this payment

Organization

Yes

The Organization the payment is associated with

TransactionNote

No

The note entered in the Transaction

HebrewDate

No

Today’s Hebrew date

TodayDate

No

Today’s date (e.g. 6/30/2017)

TodayLongDate

No

Today’s date in “long” format (e.g. June 30, 2017)

 

For the letter, you can add a space to the beginning of the field. This makes it possible to use the fields in the case where a space only needs to be added if the field is not blank.

An example: Thank you for your donation of <Amount>< HonorMemory>.

This would work whether or not something was entered in the HonorMemory field.

If something was entered for HonorMemry, it would add the space after the amount.  Thank you for your donation of $18.00 in memory of your grandfather.

If nothing was entered, the period would follow the amount without a space. Thank you for your donation of $18.00.




Article ID: 1714, Created On: 6/22/2017, Modified: 7/2/2017