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Author: Joel Kristenson
Last Updated: 2016-11-14
This article walks through the steps to record a ‘soft credit’ for a contribution record using the contribution notifications system. It also goes through the steps to query by these types of donations to show who hasn’t been thanked yet for their soft credit, as well as how to send a thank-you notification letter to the ‘soft credit’ recipient.
Tip: Near the end of the article there is an example letter template you can copy-and-paste into your own database as a starting point for a ‘Thank-You Notification’ letter.
Navigate to your contacts (donors) list, run a search for the donor who sent in the donation, and open their record card. In my example I searched for my own record ‘Joel Kristenson’.
Navigate to the Contribute tab, and click [New].
Input all of the general donation information i.e. Date/Amount, etc., and click [Save]. (It’s important to save the contribution record before applying the soft credit – otherwise you’ll get an error message). Next, navigate to the Notify tab and click [New]. My example is below for a $500.00 donation.
Search for person in your database you need to apply a ‘soft credit’ too, click [Select], and then click [OK]. If they don’t exist in your database yet, click the [+ New] button to add them as a new record. In my example I searched for a person named “Bobbie Atkinson” who was already in the system.
Select the ‘Reason for Notification’ from the drop-down list, and then click [OK]. In my example I selected ‘contribution made on your behalf’.
Finish recording any other information you have for the contribution record, and then click [Save and Close].
That completes the steps to record the contribution, and the soft credit.
To run a report for soft credits, and to send out the thank-you letters, navigate to the Contribution Notifications list and click [Search] to populate the list. In my example it returned 38 records where a donation has a soft credit attached, and the person still needs to be acknowledged for it.
As you send out your acknowledgement letters you can check the boxes in the green column called ‘Notification Sent’ and save as you go, the steps below show how to write multiple letters at once.
On the search tool strip select File > Write Letter…
Create your Soft Credit - Acknowledgment Letter using the appropriate merge fields, your own images, text, signature, margins, etc. You can use the example below as a starting point:
--- Copy Text Below This Line ---
«MMMM dd, yyyy»
«Mail Address Block»
Dear «NickName Or FirstName»,
This letter is to let you know that a contribution of «Amount Contribution» was made in your name by «Donor FirstName» «Donor LastName».
Your support means a great deal to us.
--- Copy Text Above This Line ---
Once your template is finished you’ll want to save it for future use, click File > Save As Template…
Once you’re ready to print or run a test print, click [Print] in the bottom-right, and then select [Print Preview].
Tip: If you’re running a test print set the range of pages to print to something like 1-5 so that you don’t have to sit and wait for all the letter previews to load.
My example print preview is below:
After you print out the notification letter(s), return to the Contribution Notifications list.
Check the boxes in the Include column for the people who were thanked, and then click File > Set Notification Sent Flag… In my example I set the flag for 4 contacts.
Click [OK] to proceed.
Click [OK] again once the utility is finished running.
That completes the steps in this article. You could go a step further and record a log note in the contact’s record where you can store a copy of the actual letter that went out.
The related resources below link to a variety of articles and videos related to writing mail-merge letters through your database.
Article: Mail Merge – Write a Letter
Article: Enter Contributions
Article: Inserting Contribution Transactions In Donor Merge Letter
Article: Matching Contributions
Video: Getting Started 106a – Entering Contributions (NON PROFIT ONLY)
Video: Contribution – Employer Match
Video: Getting Started 107 – Writing Contribution Thank You Letters
Video: Write Letter – Edit Letter after Mail Merge
Video: Year End Tax Letter
Video: Thank A Person Once For Multiple Contributions
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