Creating Annual Donor Letters in PowerBase

Do you want to send your donors an annual donation summary letter? You can easily do this in PowerBase. Donor summary letters are printed letters listing the total tax deductible contributions for a given year. They are provided to donors so that the donor has a record for their tax filings.

The IRS has some additional recommendations and requirements for donor documentation.

Note, if you are providing your donor with a list of their individual donations that are $250 or greater, you'll probably need to run the Donor Thanks Routine described elsewhere.

Also there are instructions in the CiviCRM manual that might be useful.

In CiviCRM, acknowledgment letters for tax-deductible donations are produced as pdf files that can be printed and mailed to your donor. To do this select a donor or donors using Advanced Search, select a template, and create the pdf letter. You can also print mailing labels using the same process.

Here are the steps below.


In CiviCRM you can go to Administer>CiviContribute>Financial Types to see if your Contributions such as Donations and Member Dues are set up as Tax-deductible. Your organization's financial or administrative staff should be able to decide if the financial type is tax-deductible. To make changes to a Financial type's tax-deductible status, click edit and change the status and save. If you have further questions as to the mechanics of how to enable changes please call or email the PowerBase support team.

Before printing acknowledgment letters, you’ll want to set up a message template with your default settings. While you can create Acknowledgment Letters on the fly, this approach will standardize your work and save you time in the long run. A properly configured template can be reused with little editing. Using the provided template, you can make your own template in advance of the first time you create Acknowledgment Letters.

Templates can be accessed at Mailings>Message Templates. They are configured using the html editor that is used for all online pages and emails in PowerBase, the only difference being that they will be printed and not sent as email or displayed in a web browser. They work in conjunction with the default pdf letter size that is set by default. You can override the default size by creating your own Print Page (PDF) format from the option on the System Configuration menu available by going to Administer>Administration Console.

The special tokens available for Acknowledgment Letters for Deductible Contributions are: * Total Deductible Contributions last Year * Total Deductible Contributions this Year * Total Deductible Contributions Year Before Last

Since these tokens are generated on a summary field based on a calculation, a unique number will identify them. In the example below, the xxx is where the unique token id number would be.


Remember to adjust font size for best readability. You can either insert your organizational logo in the template or you can create a letter without a logo but leave enough space so that you can print your letter on your organization stationary. Once you have created your template and tested it, you are ready to use it. The PowerBase Support team is available to help with setting up your basic pages if you need it.

Searching for Donors and Printing Acknowledgment Letters

To find Donors and print Acknowledgment Letters,

  • Go to Search>Advanced Search and scroll down to Custom Fields>Summary Fields.
  • Make your selection by choosing from either of the following options:
    • Total Deductible Contributions last Year
    • Total Deductible Contributions this Year
    • Total Deductible Contributions Year Before Last
  • In whichever Total Contribution Field you select, enter a number 1 in the “from” box and leave the “to” field blank in order to give you everyone that contributed at least 1 dollar in that selection. For example, if you wanted a list of all your contacts that gave a tax-deductible contribution last year, you would enter “1” in the FROM field of the Total Deductible Contributions Last Year and leave the “from” field blank. Click on SEARCH.
    • The results would be a list of contacts that gave Tax Deductible contributions last year.
    • Select All Records, and take the action of “Print PDF Letter for Contacts.” (NOTE: If you were printing mailing labels you would choose as an action “Mailing Labels.”)
    • Select the template that you created for Acknowledgment Letters.
    • Add the date in the body of the mail.
    • Click Make PDF Letters.
    • Modify or tweak your letter until it's right.

We recommend that you NOT select the “Update thank-you dates for these contributions” until you have run the thank you letters enough to know that you are comfortable with how the look at print. When the pdf file is created, open it in acrobat. Select print. Select the option to print the document actual size.

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