How to generate a pledge statement
Clear and consistent communication with donors is important for developing and maintaining a good relationship. This article shows you how to create periodic pledge statements to keep your donors up to date on their progress toward fulfilling their pledge commitments. These statements show pledge amounts and detail the donor's giving for the period you specify (for example, July 2013) when setting up the pledge statement. A message template is also provided that enables you to create a customize a personal message to accompany the statement you send to your donors.
To create your pledge statements, complete each of the following steps in the order listed:
Step 1. Create a signature image to insert into your statements
If desired, you can create a handwritten signature and convert it into an image that you can insert it into your pledge statements. A handwritten signature adds a personal touch and gives a custom look to your statements.
The following procedure shows you how to create a signature and save it to a file. Prior to printing your statements, you can insert the signature image into your statements.
You can create as many signature files as you need and save them to your local hard drive. Be aware that the application allows you to fill the Signature dropdown list with five files only.
To create a signature image:
- 1. Have the signer write his or her signature on a piece of white paper. We suggest that the signer use a gel pen or a marker-type pen such as an Ultra Fine Sharpie for the best results.
- Scan the signature into a file. For best results, select a high resolution setting (at least 300 dpi). Then, save the file on your computer.
- Open the image file in an image editing application.
There are a number of excellent image-editing applications available online that you can download for free. We recommend that you use an editor that allows you to make the background transparent.
Then, do the following:
a. Crop out everything except the signature.
b. Resize the file to these dimensions: 264 by 48 pixels.
c. For the best-looking image, make the background transparent.
No paper is pure white so when scanned, the background may show up as a shade of gray rather than white. To avoid this problem, we recommend that you make the background transparent. In addition, an image on a transparent background also looks good on screen and on colored papers.
The white background is now removed, and a checked pattern appears in the transparent part of the image.
d. Re-save the file on your computer as a .png, .bmp, or .gif.
- Record the exact location where you saved the file. You will need this information later when you ad the signature image to your printed statements.
Step 2. Set up your pledge statements
- Click Reports to display the Offering Reports page.
- If you manage several organizations, select the desired organization from the Organization list.
- From the Category menu, select Pledges. Then, select Statements to display the Pledge Statements report setup
The statement setup is presented in an easy-to-use, wizard-style interface that steps you through the process of setting up your pledge statements. To advance through the setup, you can either click the tabs at the top right or click Next in the lower right. At any time, you can click a tab or Previous to return to a tab to view or make changes to previously entered information.
The Statement Summary section in the lower left summarizes the selections you make on each of the tabs.
4. Starting on the Fund tab, select the fund for which you want to create pledge statements.
5. Click Filters to advance to the Filters tab. Then, do the following:
- In the Date section, select the month and year for the statement period.
- In Family Filters section, select options to determine the types of givers you want generate statements for.
- In the Pledge Filters section, select the option for the statements you want to view.
- In the Balance Filters section, select one or more of the options for the types of pledge balance information you want to include in the statement.
6. Click Template to advance to the Template tab.
On this tab, you can create a customized message to accompany your statements. You can also add a signature image to your statements. Both tasks are optional.
Although a customized message and signature typically go together, you can choose to include one without choosing to include the other.
If you are adding a signature image, you must have the file on your local hard drive that contains the image of the signature you want to use. If you do not have a signature file created, go to Step 1. Create a signature image to insert into your statements and follow the steps to create one. Then, return to this step to add it.
a. In the Statement Dates section, choose dates for each of the following:
- Statement Date: this is the date the when statement is generated or the date when the giver receives the statement.
- Payment Due On: this is the date when the payment is due or the date the remittance slip must be postmarked.
b. In the Body of Statement section, select one of the following options:
- None if you do not want to include a customized message to accompanying the statement.
- New Template if you want to create a new message to accompany the statement. In the Statement area below, type the body of the message. Apply whatever paragraph and character styles you want to format the text.
Caution: To avoid losing your message text, save frequently. You must save the template before moving to the next tab or the text of your message will be lost.
Be sure to type a name for the message, and then click to save it. The statement is added to the dropdown list so it is available for future use.
- An existing template: if you want to use a previously saved a customized message, select it from the dropdown list. The text of the message appears in the text field. If desired, you can edit the message and re-save it under the same or a different name or you can remove it from the dropdown list by clicking .
c. In the Signature section, choose one of the following options:
- None: select this option if you do have a signature image to upload.
- New Signature: select this option if you have a signature image file on your computer that you want to upload. The system will insert the image at the end of the message accompanying your contribution statements. Click Browse to search for the file, select it, and then click Open. The application uploads the image and displays it in the Image Preview box. Finally, click inside the text field, type a name for the file, and then click . The name of the file is added to the dropdown list, as shown in the following illustration.
You can upload up to five signature image files. The required dimensions for the file are 264 pixels by 48 pixels. Be sure that the image meets these requirements. The image will appear distorted if the dimensions are incorrect.
If you want to save the file for future use, click . The system adds the file to the Signature dropdown list.
- An existing signature: if you previously saved a signature image, it appears in the list. Select the file name to add the signature to the statement.
Click Givers to advance to the Givers tab. On this tab, select the names of the donors who are receiving the pledge statement.
Select the checkbox next to the Family Name heading to select the givers on the displayed page only. Select the Select all records link to select all of your givers.
To preview the statement, click View Statements to open the Report Viewer.
If the report does not display, check your browser settings to make sure that pop-up settings are enabled. Then, click View Statements again.
Each giver's pledge statement is displayed on a separate page in the viewer. The statements appear in A to Z order by giver's last name.
Step 3. Print, view, and save the statements
After you click View Statements, the statements you created are shown in the Report Viewer. Use the toolbar controls at the top of the Report Viewer to page through the report or to save, export, or print it.
Following is an example of a Pledge Statement that contains a personal message along with pledge details. The bottom of the statement contains a tear-off portion that the giver can return along with the pledge payment.
Step 4. Print mailing labels
To print mailing labels:
1. Click Givers to display the Givers tab.
2. Individually select the givers you are mailing statements to. Alternatively, click the checkbox in the header (next to the Family Name header) to select all givers.
3. In the bottom-right, click Print Labels.
The Report Viewer opens to let you preview the labels before printing the whole set. Labels are sorted and printed in A to Z order by last name.
4. To print, do one of the following:
Click to print all of the mailing labels.
Click to print the current page of labels only.