Year Comparison Solicitation Letter

Click here for a video tutorial (2:30 in the video)

Click Tasks > Year End Letters.

This feature allows you to select complex summary criteria based on date range and categories to generate a solicitation letter that has the Total Amount contributed in any two years. This tool can be used toward the end of a year to solicit those whose contributions this year did not yet meet last year's mark. 

Choose Criteria

  • There are two tabs in the Year Comparison Letters window. Dates and Amounts, and Categories. If you don’t make any changes to these options, you will get contacts that have contributed anything last year but this year have contributed less than what they contributed last year.
  • You can adjust these default settings as needed. For example: you can…
    1. Change the definition of Previous or Current Year to include a different year. (Use this if you're generating the letters after January 1).
    2. Adjust the Total amount limit of the “previous year” to $100.
    3. Adjust the Total amount for the “current year” to a fixed amount. For example: < $100.
    4. On the Categories tab, you can click Clear All and then check the Donation category. This will exclude all other payment categories such as Tuition. 

Generate the letters

  • IMPORANT: before clicking OK, you must be on the "Dates and Amounts" tab, or an error may occur.
  • After specifying the criteria click OK.  This will open the “MS Word Templates and Documents” window.
  • Click the Select Template button and select the Year End Letter template (that was saved to the CMS\Templates folder -. Or choose another template that you created.
    Alternatively, you can use an existing Word Document or create a new document from scratch (not based on a template).
  • Click OK.

Executing the Merge

  • When Word opens, you'll be on the Mailings tab. (Word 2003 has a Mail Merge toolbar, instructions below are for 2007/2010 but the same principles apply in 2003).
    If you want, you can click the Preview Results button to View the Data and then navigate between the records using the navigation buttons.
  • Click the Finish the Merge button and choose Print Document to print the letters. (Do not use the regular Print button. That will print just one page!)
  • Or, click Finish the Merge button and choose Edit Individual Documents to create a new document with all the letters and then click the regular Print button.
    If you want to customize individual letters by adding a P.S. or some other personal note, you must merge to a new document.
  • In some cases, you may want to use Word’s “If” field (click Rules > If...Then...Else...) to display different text in the letter depending on the Amount contributed. For example, you can tell Word to put “Generous” if the amount is over $500, and put “Kind” if it’s less than that. Or, if Amount is “empty” (there were no contributions), put “we did not receive your contribution for this year yet” and if Amount is not empty, put “thank you for… would you like to increase your gift to equal or exceed last year…”

General: Customizing the Templates

  • If you double-click a template file, it does NOT open the file; rather, a new document is created with the same design as the template. To open the Template for modification, right-click the file and choose Open.
  • Make sure that whatever changes are made to the template, the fields remain intact.
  • You can insert your letter head and any logos as needed.
  • Fields cannot be put into a Text Box. Use Tables instead.