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Salutations for Donors
Some users may want to enter custom salutations for donors, for use after "Dear" in mail-merge letters or receipts. (For mail-merge receipts, that would likely only be used in a letter added to the official receipt.)
The initial letter templates delivered with DONATION use "Dear «Name»". The «Name» field is the donor's Business Name if there is one, or otherwise their first name and last name together (omitting any Middle Initial or Title), such as "John Smith".
You can of course change that in the mail-merge editor to some other name field or combination of fields, but there may not always be a perfect choice, depending on your data.
One issue that has been brought to our attention is the case when a couple with different last names are entered in a single donor record (a common choice, since in both Canada and the U.S.A. couples can claim donations on their taxes that either of them has donated). For John Smith and Peter Brown, one way of entering that (to ensure that the First Name field followed by the Last Name field reads properly, would be:
First Name: John
Last Name: Smith and Peter Brown
However, if you had chosen to change your letters to start "Dear «FirstName»" instead of "Dear «Name»", that would end up saying only "Dear John", rather than "Dear John and Peter", which would be more appropriate. So here is one solution to that problem, if you do want first names rather than the full name to appear in those letter salutations:
1.First, in the Donor Details tab of the Maintenance ⇒ Main Window Options window, give the name "Salutation", or whatever you want to call it, to one of the 6 renameable Other Info fields, and make sure that Other Info field is marked as being visible with a checkbox in the Show Fields part of that window. (We will assume you use the Other Info 1 field for that, but you can adjust the following instructions appropriately if not.)
2.For any donor where the value in the First Name field is not what you want displayed as the salutation in your mail-merge letters, fill in that Salutation field appropriately, for instance with "John and Peter" in the example above. You can leave that field blank for any donor where you are satisfied with what is in the First Name field.
3.Edit the template for any letters you want to send, and replace "Dear «Name»" with the following:
4.What that means is that if the OtherInfo1 field (the one you named "Salutation") is filled in, it will be used, and if it isn't filled in, the FirstName field will be used. That will give you what you want.