Acknowledgments: Memorial/honorary gifts

In this article:


This article assumes that you will have a constituent record for the deceased/honoree. For a lighter-weight approach, in which you do not create records for the deceased/honoree, skip to the section at the end.

When a donor gives a gift in memory of a deceased constituent, it is a common (and good) practice to notify some family members. Similarly, with gifts made in honor of a constituent, you may want to send a letter to the constituent being honored.

The acknowledgment system within LGL supports both cases; but they are a bit different, so we will treat them separately below.

Memorial gifts

If you get a gift in memory of someone, the first thing you'll want to do is to set up a couple of "In memory" acknowledgment mailing templates, one for the donor and another for the family members.

Setting up the templates

See the following article for general details on how to set up an acknowledgment template:

http://support.littlegreenlight.com/kb/mailings-templates-acknowled...

The template you want to send to the donor will be like any other, but you can use a special field to reference the constituent being memorialized: [[gifts.ack.mem.honorary_name]]. This field will pull in the Honorary Name (a field from the Name Information section of their constituent page) for the deceased constituent. If Honorary Name is not defined for the deceased constituent, it will pull their first and last names combined.

In your template for the donor, the sentence describing their donation might look like:

Thank you for your donation of [[gifts.ack.amount]] in memory of [[gifts.ack.mem.honorary_name]]

Secondly, you will want to set up a template that can be mailed to the deceased constituent's family. In this template, you won't refer to any gift amounts, but rather to the number of donations you've received in memory of their family member (in the current batch) and the names of the constituents who donated.

In that template, you might include a phrase like:

We wanted to let you know that we have received [[gifts.ack.donor.count_phrase]] in memory of [[gifts.ack.mem.honorary_name]], from [[gifts.ack.donor.names]]

In the case where just one gift has been received, that would read:

We wanted to let you know that we have received 1 donation in memory of John Smith, from John Doe.

In the case where multiple gifts have been received, it might read:

We wanted to let you know that we have received 3 donations in memory of John Smith, from John Doe, George Green, and James Smith.

You can also include the donor names and addresses in a table with the merge field called [[gifts.ack.donor.addresses]].

Defining who should receive memorial acknowledgments

For each deceased constituent, you can flag any related constituent to receive memorial acknowledgments. To do so, add or edit the relationships for the deceased constituent, and check off the "Send memorial acknowledgements to ...?" check box for each related constituent who should receive memorial acknowledgments.

screenshot171.png

If the deceased is part of a joint household record, you will need to split that record into two records in order to generate the appropriate memorial acknowledgments. The easiest way to do that is to "clone" the record and then edit the original and the cloned records as appropriate. For more on that procedure, please see: Managing Data for Deceased Constituents

Adding the donation

Now you can add the donation using the standard gift entry process, making sure to add a related "In memory of" gift that is connected to the deceased constituent, and also setting that gift to be acknowledged with the appropriate template:

2012-01-31_0105.png

When you save this form, both gifts (the main donation and the related gift in memory) will be added to their respective acknowledgment queues (see below for details on how the memorial queue works).

In summary

The graphic below summarizes how it all works. There are three constituent records: one for the donor, one for the deceased and one for the surviving family member who will receive acknowledgments on behalf of the deceased.

graphic_for_memorial-honorary_gift.png

Honorary gifts

Adding and acknowledging gifts in honor of a constituent is similar and even simpler. Namely, it is customary to send the constituent being honored a letter directly, so you do not need to worry about acknowledging related constituents.

Setting up the templates

As with memorial gifts, you want to set up at least two different templates, one for the donor and one for the constituent being honored.

In the template to the donor, you can use the field [[gifts.ack.hon.honorary_name]], which pulls in the Honorary Name for the honoree constituent, if defined, or their first and last names combined if it is not.

Thank you for your donation of [[gifts.ack.amount]] in honor of [[gifts.ack.hon.honorary_name]]

Another option is to include a table of the names and addresses, which you can do using this field: [[gifts.ack.donor.addresses]].

Next, you will want to set up a template that can be mailed to the constituent being honored. In this template, you won't refer to any gift amounts, but rather to the number of donations you've received in their honor (in the current batch) and the names of the constituents who donated:

We wanted to let you know that we have received [[gifts.ack.donor.count_phrase]] in your honor from [[gifts.ack.donor.names]]

As with memorial gifts, when multiple gifts in honor of the same constituent appear in one batch, the names of those donors will be formatted into a sentence.

Adding the donation

Now you can add the donation using the standard gift entry process, making sure to add a related "In honor of" gift that is connected to the constituent being honored.

Generating the acknowledgment letters

All acknowledgment letters are available on the Mailings > Acknowledgments page. You can access/print honorary/memorial acknowledgments just as you would any other acknowledgment. See the General acknowledgments article for details.

A lighter-weight approach

You may not want to create records for the deceased/honoree. Perhaps the donor is making a gift in honor of someone who themselves never had any connection to your organization. Or, in the case of a person making a gift in honor of their beloved pet, you may well not want to create a constituent record for the pet.

In this case, we recommend using the Gift Note field to capture an "in honor of" message that you can then include in the acknowledgment letter you send to the donor. If you want to send a letter to the honoree as well, you would need to do that outside of LGL (though you could always upload a copy as a file in the donor's constituent record).

In your acknowledgment template for the donor, the sentence describing their donation might look like:

Thank you for your donation of [[gifts.ack.amount]] [[gifts.ack.note]].

If your gift note has the phrase "in memory of Tootsie", then the acknowledgment letter would read, "Thank you for your donation of $100 in memory of Tootsie.