So, January has rolled around. You just finished tackling your year end appeal, and now it’s time to get busy generating year end receipts and statements. Don’t stress out, here’s everything you need to know:
Year End Statements
If your organization issues receipts after each donation, then you may not have to send anything at the end of the year, but it’s not a bad idea. An end of year statement is a simple letter that reminds donors what they contributed over the year. It’s really easy to produce and it’s just one more opportunity to thank them for their support.
A year end statement can be as simple as this:
We are so grateful for your support throughout 2011.
Here is a summary of your contributions:
[optionally, list details of each donation]
Total contributions for 2011 = [amount]
Here’s to continuing to make great things happen in 2012.
[signature of someone with authority]
Year End Receipts
The year end receipts, which you’ll have to create if you don’t issue receipts after each donation, is a little more complicated. Chances are, even if you do issue receipts after each donation, you’ll start getting some requests in January for year end receipts from donors who have misplaced them.
The receipt or the written acknowledgment required to substantiate a charitable contribution must contain certain information. Here’s what must be included for receipts issued in both the U.S. and Canada:
Requirements for the U.S.
Requirements for Canada
Don’t forget to include a short thank you note with your year end receipts.
Now that you know what to include in your year end donation statements and receipts, you can create a template. Your database software should allow you to define what information to include and where it goes, so if you need to show the original pledge amount along with what’s been donated, or add a statement like “no goods or services were provided by the organization in return for the contribution”, you can do that. And if you want the address to show through a window envelope, you can do that too.
Once you’ve got the template done, you’ll just need to select your donors, do a mail merge and then print or email. Be sure to set the date range for donations made between January 1st, 2011 and December 31st, 2011.
If you use Sumac, here are some donation receipt templates for both the U.S. And Canada. If you send paper receipts, you can generate them as word processing documents, then print them. If you want to send electronic receipts, on the other hand, you can generate them as unchangeable PDF documents, which satisfy government requirements for electronic receipting.
Written by: Sumac Research. January, 2012.
This article is brought to you by Sumac – helping non-profits do more with less.
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