Letter Box is created by Red Arc (a Blackbaud Partner) for Raiser’s Edge NXT. It allows the organization to generate constituent and gift letters in RE NXT with a built-in app editor. Letter Box can be found at the upper-left corner of Marketplace. You can search for Letter Box and connect it to RE NXT. There are two options when signing up for Letter Box, and they are described below. I also wrote another blog about using the standard Microsoft Office mail merge to generate conditional donor acknowledgment letters.
The free version allows the organization to create individual letters with a limitation of 500 letters a month with only five template letters.
The premium version costs $79 a month and allows the organization to create up to 2000 conditional letters a month with unlimited template letters. The conditional letters will enable the organization to generate bulk letters based on the conditions of the letter codes, similar to how the traditional Raiser’s Edge thank you letters were generated. The organization can also email thank you letters to the donors.
Configure Letter Box
The Letter Box is found under the Home screen under Tasks or on the constituent’s page. There are three tabs under Letter Box:
Bulk Letters - allows the generation of constituent or gift letters in batches.
Templates - set up the constituent or gift letters
Settings Panel - View account information, set up the Action subtype for recording letters, create the gift and constituent email default templates, and set up your organization email address and name.
Creating and Managing the Thank You Letter Templates
Set up all the organization’s constituent or gift letter templates under the Templates tab. The application has a built-in editor so that you can create and manage your templates in this location.
Select the Gift type if they are all for donor acknowledgment letters and enter the template name.
Copy/Paste the letters into the Type something box and use the menu bar to insert mail merge fields.
The Page Options allow the formatting for Top/Bottom and Left/Right margins.
You can convert your thank you letters with graphics to HTML using an online HTML Code Generator. Select “< >” Code View and paste the codes
Creating the Gift Acknowledgment - Conditional Type
Most organizations have numerous sets of thank you letter templates that they assign to the gift records. The conditional gift acknowledgment template allows you to set the conditions for the Letter Codes in The Raiser’s Edge to the Gift Letter Template. For each Letter Code, there should be a Gift Letter template.
Go to the Letter Box set up and choose New Template
Enter the Template Type of Conditional and the Name Conditional Gift Acknowledgement
Under Field, select Letter Code and set the condition to equals, and enter the Condition Value of the Letter Code in The Raiser’s Edge
Select another letter template and repeat this process
Creating A Gift List for Not Acknowledge Donations
Then, you want to build the gift list frequency for gifts not acknowledged today or this week. You will use this to run your conditional donor acknowledgment in the next step.
Running The Conditional Donor Acknowledgment Letters on a Daily, Weekly, or Monthly Frequencies
Go to Letter Box
Add Bulk Letters
Choose the Gift List as the Source Data
Select the delivery of Download or Email
Choose Conditional Gift Acknowledgement
Mark Gifts as Acknowledged
Create the letters
View and edit the letters as needed
Create the PDF letters
Alternative option: Creating the letter from the gift record
You can create the thank you letter from the gift record in RE NXT. First, open the record from the gift list view to get the fly-out window. Then locate the Letter Box tile and generate the thank you letter. Another option is to open the constituent record in RE NXT and click on any gift, then locate the Letter Box tile and generate the letter.
Viewing the PDF letters in RE NXT
Viewing of the Gift Acknowledgement Letters is on the gift record. If the constituent record is selected, you view the letter Giving History and set the gift record. You can also review the information under the Gift List and click on the fly-out window.
By Tom Huynh, Principal Consultant