Year-End Communications

Contents

Introduction

At the end of the year, many organizations want to send messages to their constituents who have donated summarizing their donation history. Additionally, organizations may want to request one final donation before the end of the year. No matter which one of these tasks (or both!) you want to accomplish, this guide will help you understand what to do.

First, a couple of questions:

  • How do you want to send these messages?
  • Do you already have the letter made in an external program and simply need constituents' information from Neon?

This guide details how to send year-end communications. For more information on how to run reports related to Year-End, click here to view our Year-End Reporting guide.


Appeal and Receipt Letters

NeonCRM Internal Merge

If you would like to create the letter, identify the recipients, merge the recipients' information with the letter, and track your progress toward sending out the printed maling in Neon, use a Campaign Letter.

Go to Communications > Material/Letter Tracking > New Campaign Letter.

Select your letter template.

Create the content of your letter using the WYSIWYG editor. Use tokens such as:

  • Prefix (Mr., Mrs., etc)
  • Full Name (F) - this includes the donor's full name, including First, Middle, and Last
  • Salutation
  • Address Full Street (F) - this includes the donor's full address, including address lines 1-4
  • City
  • State
  • Zip Code
  • Donation Amount - select the appropriate column for what data you would like to include in your letter; Neon offers several Amount and Count columns that sum transaction data

Select your recipients by running either a Mailing Report or a Household Report.

Use the Search Criteria to narrow down who your recipients are.

Tip: Don't worry too much about configuring the Output Columns. The report is only meant to generate the list of recipients; you won't be using it to create merge fields.

For help in getting the right report results, click here.

From the report results page, click "Add All to Letter/Material Tracking."

Check the checkbox for one or more letters. Click "Preview and Print" to view and print the letter(s). After printing the letters to your satisfaction, select "Mark Complete."

The list of recipients will update as you mark letters as complete.

External Merge

If you already have the letter made in an external program, you can use Neon to a) identify who should receive the letter and b) download an Excel file of those constituents' information. You can use that information to do an external Mail Merge and personalize each letter.

Begin by creating a report. Click here to learn how to run a report that includes annual donation totals.

Once you've loaded your search criteria, edit your output columns to include the necessary information for a mailing. To do this, click Edit under Output Columns. For more information on Columns, click here. These columns will determine your options for merge fields in Microsoft Word. For a print mailing of this type, you'll want to include the columns such as:

  • Prefix (Mr., Mrs., etc)
  • Full Name (F) - this includes the donor's full name, including First, Middle, and Last
  • Salutation
  • Address Full Street (F) - this includes the donor's full address, including address lines 1-4
  • City
  • State
  • Zip Code
  • Donation Amount - select the appropriate column for what data you would like to include in your letter; Neon offers several Amount and Count columns that sum transaction data

edit_columns_for_mailing.png Selected_Columns.png

You can also use reports to send an itemized receipt to your current donors. Click here to learn how to run a report that includes itemized donation information.

Once you have selected the proper columns, click Save Changes and Run Report. Now, you'll need to export the data and complete your letter in another program by using the Excel, CSV, or Create Mailing options.

export_to_excel_see_create_mailing.png

Information about these options are detailed in our comprehensive guide to mail merging.

This article from Microsoft explains how to use Excel and Word to create a merged letter. Note that you must perform an external merge with this type of data.


Appeal and Receipt Emails

You can also use Neon to send year-end email blasts. To do this, first create an Email Audience of who you wish to send to by going to Communications > Email Audiences > New Audience.

Give your audience a name and select Standard Email Audience. Then, click Next.

We will now build our list by searching the database for constituents who meet our criteria. Under the Component List section, click Add New Search.

This brings up a version of a NeonCRM reporting screen. Click the Edit under search criteria to add your search.

edit_criteria.png

To limit our search to constituents who have donated in the current calendar year, add the criterion This Calendar Year Total Greater Than 0 in the Donation category. Click Load Criteria then Run Report.

On the search results page, click Save Email List.

save_email_ist.png

This will save your search criteria and take you back to your email audience. Your audience now consists of all constituents who have donated in the current calendar year.

Next, you need to draft your email content. To do this, go to Communications > Email Campaigns > Build New Campaign Email.

A full guide to drafting an Email Campaign is available here.

NeonCRM includes tokens for end-of-year emails that make it easy to send personalized emails to a large number of people. To send an email that contains a constituent's donation total for that year, create a campaign email as you normally would. To insert a piece of personalized constituent data, find the token menu on the right of the content editor.

Neon offers a wide variety of tokens, including donation totals. Select the token you want to add from the menu by clicking on it. In this example, we have added <<Constituent First Name>> and <<2016 Calendar Year Donation Amount>>. You can also add a token specific to fiscal years, or for an all-time donation amount.

When you send out this email, NeonCRM will populate these tokens with information from the database. If you send an email to a constituent who is missing a piece of data that is normally populated by a token (for example, they have never donated), there will be a blank space instead. The best way to avoid this problem is to avoid sending emails to constituents who are missing this data. This is where building the correct email audience comes in.

Once you have completed your Email Campaign draft, you can send it to the Email Audience that you created by going to Communications > Send Campaign Emails.

A full guide on sending campaign emails is available here.

Itemized Donation Table

Neon has a set of email tokens that generate an itemized donation table that includes the total donation amount in the last row. These tokens are for the current and last calendar year as well as the 3 most recent fiscal years and are available for Campaign Emails, Campaign Letters, Donation Appreciation System Emails, and Donation Appreciation System Letters.

NOTE: Only successful donations and pledge payments are included in the itemized donation table.

These tokens can be used in a Campaign Email or a Campaign Letter to send out itemized receipt emails to your donors at the end of the year, as shown in the example below.


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