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Doing Mail Merges using Save As from Reports
A mail merge is when you send the same letter to a group of donors, with their names and addresses, and possibly other data, filled into the letter to personalize it.
Prior to version 2.28 of the program, the instructions further down in this Help topic were the only method by which mail merge letters could be created from DONATION. Because it requires more steps and more knowledge of the mail merge features of your word processor, and is more limited in its capabilities, this method is no longer recommended. Instead, we strongly recommend using the methods shown in Creating Letters for One Donor and Creating Mass Mailings, using the Letters menu options.
One major limitation of doing mail merges directly in your word processor, instead of using the built-in Letters menu options for mail merging, is that you cannot include the «DetailsTable» and «SummaryTable» merge fields that are available in the internal editor.
However, these instructions are still included for those that have used them in the past. They might also be helpful in the rather unlikely case where some information from an existing report in DONATION was desired in a mail merge letter, that was not available using the options on the Letters menu.
See Exporting Data from the Program to learn your options for exporting data from DONATION, which you can use in mail merging. For this purpose, the best option is to export as "Raw Unformatted Data" to Excel. (If you use Letters ⇒ Mass Mailing to do the export, which is one of the options in that Exporting topic, it exports to a CSV file, but then gives you an option to open that in Excel. From Excel, you can re-save it as a regular Excel file.)
It is beyond the scope of this manual to explain in full detail to you how to do mail merges in arbitrary Word processors.
However, if you are using Microsoft Word, there are instructions in the Help topic Generating Mailing Labels or Envelopes using Mail Merge for doing that in Word. While those instructions refer specifically to labels or envelopes, they can also be used for letters.