As a nonprofit professional, you know how important it is to send each of your donors a “thank you” after receiving a gift. These types of messages can take many forms – a phone call, an email, or a written message – and are designed to provide a personal note of gratitude and remind each donor that their contributions matter to your mission.
The “Acknowledgements” feature in Donor Management makes it easy to create, send, and track acknowledgements sent to your contacts, no matter what type of acknowledgement you choose to send.
Some organizations choose to send acknowledgements to their donors externally – like through a handwritten note.
Even if the acknowledgements you’re sending your donors aren’t generated in Donor Management, you can still track them! That way, you can be sure that you’ve sent everyone who deserves to be recognized a personalized and detailed thank-you.
To mark a donation as acknowledged manually, you’ll want to go to the “Giving” tab and locate the specific donation you’d like to acknowledge.
You’ve probably noticed that each donation record has a yellow exclamation mark icon next to the donor’s name and date. This indicator reflects whether that specific donation has been marked as “acknowledged”- or not.
If you click on the drop-down arrow next to the exclamation mark, you should see an option to “mark as acknowledged.”
If you select this option, that orange exclamation mark should now change to a green check mark – and the donation now will reflect as “acknowledged” in Donor Management moving forward.
Acknowledgements via Email
Some organizations choose to send their acknowledgements via email, particularly if they have a large amount of donations – or a younger, tech-savvy audience.
If you click on the orange exclamation mark next to a donation, you should see an option to “send email.” Selecting that option will then bring you into our email acknowledgement editing tool.
The editing tool should automatically generate a basic acknowledgement letter using an “acknowledgement template.”
You’ll have the option to edit the text of your template by clicking on the blue “Edit” button in the top left corner of the email’s text.
You should then be able to type into the text box and make any changes you need to – as well as add photos, adjust the formatting of the message, or add merge fields.
You’ll also have the option to edit the “setup options” for the letter, such as the subject of the email or whom the email reflects as being “from.”
You can access this by clicking on the orange “Edit Setup Options” text towards the top of the draft acknowledgement, below the “to,” “subject,” and “reply to” fields.
Once you’re happy with the edits you’ve made to your acknowledgement, you can send yourself a “test” version of the email acknowledgement you’ve created by clicking on the “Send a Test Email” button.
You should then receive a test copy of the acknowledgement to the email address that you used to sign into Donor Management.
We strongly recommend sending a test email, so that way you can make sure that the email looks exactly how you’d like it to before it gets sent to your donor.
Once you’re ready, you can then press the yellow “Send Now” button in the top right corner – and voila! Your acknowledgement has been emailed to your donor, and you should now see that green check mark next to the acknowledged donation.
You’ll also see a banner at the top of the page confirming that the acknowledgement email has been sent.
You also have the option to view the email acknowledgement that you sent – you'd simply click on the drop-down menu next to the green checkmark icon, and select “View Sent Email.”
Acknowledgements via “Snail Mail” Letters
Other nonprofits prefer to send acknowledgements via “snail mail” - especially those organizations whose donors are used to a more traditional giving approach.
You can easily create these types of “direct mail” acknowledgements in Donor Management by clicking on the orange exclamation point next to a donation, and selecting “Write Letter.”
Our direct mail editing tool should then load a basic acknowledgement letter from one of the available direct mail acknowledgement templates.
You can make any edits to the text (including formatting edits) by clicking on the blue “Edit” button in the top left corner of the template’s text. You can also adjust the margins of the letter by clicking on the “Edit Margins” button – that way, your images or text won’t get cut off when the letter is printed.
You can also adjust the “setup options,” such as the subject of the email, by clicking on the “Setup Options” button towards the top right of the screen.
Once you’re satisfied with how the mailing looks, you can click on the orange “Download” button in the top-right corner, then selecting “Download letter PDF.”
This will download a copy of the letter to your computer as a PDF, for you to review and make sure it looks perfect! (If not, you can always go back and edit the draft, then re-download the updated copy.)
Once you’ve printed out the final copy of your acknowledgement letter, you’ll want to check the “Mark as acknowledged” box, before pressing “Save & Exit” at the top of the screen.
By checking that box, that specific donation will reflect as being “acknowledged” in Donor Management – and then you can send that letter off to your grateful donors!
Acknowledgements “In Progress”
Let’s say you’re in the middle of building an acknowledgement, and you have to step away from your computer for a few minutes. You can click “Save & Exit” in the top right corner of your screen, and Donor Management will save any edits you’ve made to your acknowledgement so far.
Then, when you return to that acknowledgement, you’ll be able pick up right where you left off!
You can tell if an acknowledgement is “in progress” by checking out the icon next to the corresponding donation. Instead of the exclamation mark or the checkmark, you should see an orange icon with three small dots.
We all can get a little bit behind sometimes, especially on continuous tasks like sending acknowledgements.
Not to worry - you can easily design and send a bunch of acknowledgement letters or emails to your donors at once in Donor Management, if the need arises! We've created a guide on how to set up and send out a group of bulk acknowledgements here.