If you’ve exported your list of donors to thank to an Excel spreadsheet, you can use that to create Thank You letters in Microsoft Word via the Mail Merge feature.
First, make sure to confirm the data in the spreadsheet is prepared for the mail merge. For example, if you want to address the letter recipients by first name only, you’ll want to be sure the first and last names are separated into their own columns.
Step 1: New Document
1. Click the Mailings tab, then Start Mail Merge.
2. In the group of options that appears, select Letters.
3. Next, click Select Recipients, then Use an Existing List.
4. You’ll then be prompted to select the Excel spreadsheet from the location you saved it to. If you are prompted to select from the table, choose “Sheet1$”.
5. Now click Edit Recipient List.
6. In the list of recipients, you can remove individuals by deselecting the box. You can also refine the recipient list using sorts, filters, and more.
7. Click the Ok button.
Step 2: Insert Mail Merge Fields
The Mail Merge fields are for address information so the document knows who to address the letters to.
1. Still in the Mailings tab, click Address Block.
2. In the window that appears, select the name format you want for the letter. You can also preview the address on the right to ensure it is how you prefer it.
3. When you’ve selected your preferences, click OK
For safety sake, save the work you’ve done so far. Click File at the top, then Save, then name the document and save it to a location you’ll remember.
Step 3: Letter Greeting
1. Click the Greeting Line option.
2. In the window, select your greeting preferences, as well as preview your choices.
3. Click OK when ready.
4. Click to save the file.
Step 4: Insert Data from Excel Spreadsheet
1. Click Insert Merge Fields.
2. In the list that appears, select the name field, which will be the column name from the spreadsheet.
3. Repeat the process with other merge fields in the list, using only the fields you prefer.
You can now preview the letter prior to finishing by clicking the Preview Results option. You can also click through each letter by using the preview options to the right of the Preview Results button.
Finally, when ready, click the Finish & Merge button and select from one of the three options. You can either edit each individual document, print the document, or send it in an email message.
Once again, make sure you save the document after you finish the mail merge. This will allow you to re-use the document for future mail merges.