Collecting donations from for you non-profit cannot be easier when you use a tool like Donately.  With Donately, you can build campaigns around different fundraising needs, track your donors, and even collect recurring donations to simplify the donation process.

One way that you can improve your donation experience and save your staff time is to integrate with Formstack Documents to automatically populate donation receipts, thank you letters, and other PDF and Word documents. 

In this example, we’re going to show you how to automatically send a customized donation receipt (PDF) to donors when we receive a new donation on Donately.  To help with the integration, we’ll be using our friends over at Zapier.

To get started, we’re going to setup our receipt template using a Word document as our template.  Inside Word, we’ll add our boilerplate receipt information like our logo, contact information, etc.  Then, for the spots that we want to put our donation information, we’re going to use merge fields.

These merge fields are just like any other text in our document and look like {$DonorName}, {$DonationAmount}, etc.  Go ahead and add your merge fields (you can name them anything you’d like).

Here’s what our receipt template looks like:

Once we have our template ready, we need to upload it to Formstack Documents.  From the Documents page in Formstack Documents, click the New Document button then enter a name for your document.  On the next step, pick Office Document as the document and then pick the file from your computer.


After you’ve uploaded the file, you’re going to be taken to the Settings tab.  Here, you can change options like the type of file that is generated and the name of the file.  For this example, we’re going to generate a PDF and we’ll include the Donation ID in the name of the file.


Next, we’re going to setup the delivery of our document so that the donor is automatically emailed the PDF receipt when they made the donation.  On the Deliver tab, you should see an email delivery there by default.  Go ahead and edit that email delivery.

For the “To” we’re going to use a merge field for the donor’s email address.  Feel free to change any of the other settings of the email delivery and then save.


Once you have saved the email delivery, you’re done with the setup process inside Formstack Documents and we’re ready to setup the integration with Donately using Zapier.

Inside Zapier, go ahead and create a new Zap.  For the Trigger, we’re going to pick Donately as the service and then New Donation as the trigger.


After you authenticate your Donately account, Zapier will load a test donation.  Follow those steps and continue.

Next, we’re going to setup the Action of our Zap.  For the Action service, choose Formstack Documents and then choose Create Document Merge as the action.


After you authenticate your Formstack Documents account, Zapier will load a list of the documents that are in your Formstack Documents account.  Go ahead and pick the receipt document that you just created.  Once you pick a document, Zapier will load a list of the merge fields that are in your document.

For each of the merge fields in your document, you need to pick the corresponding Donately fields.  This tells Zapier how to send the data over to Formstack Documents so that it is populated in the correct spot on your template.

Once you have all of the merge fields matched up, go ahead and save your Zap and turn it on.  It’s time to run a test!  Login to Donately and add a new donation.  Once you add the donation, Zapier will detect the new donation and send the information over to Formstack Documents and your receipt will be generated.

Here’s what our receipt looked like:

Congratulations, you’re all done!  You can now automatically generate receipts, letters, and more from your Donately account.  Can you think of any other ways that you could use Formstack Documents to simplify your paperwork process?

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