FAQ

We plan on having a weekly Zoom call for users and new users where you can see the product in action and we will answer questions. If you are interested fill out our contact form and we will send you a link. Our first Zoom call will be Friday, April 1st at 2:00 PM EDT.

These Zoom calls will be hosted by me, Jim Evans, Principal Consultant at Bradford Consulting, LLC I have been working with the Raiser’s Edge since I started working at Blackbaud in 1997 and have continually trained and consulted on all releases of Raiser’s Edge since Raiser’s Edge DOS. I most recently worked as a direct Channel Partner for 28 months performing new client conversions and implementations for Blackbaud through a firm called NPact.com. One of the reasons I began independently consulting again was because of the Word integration being removed from Raiser’s Edge and I knew I could develop EasyREmerge to help the thousands of users who I have trained to use a conditional donor acknowledgement letter.

If you are interested in my Batch Gift Entry, Reporting and Acknowledgement guide that I wrote to show gift batch entry, reporting and acknowledgement best practices you can download a copy here. I will be updating those instructions to incorporate EasyREmerge:

Bradford Consulting – Batch Gift Entry Procedures – Gift Flow Chart – Reporting – Ack Letters

Yes! EasyREmerge is designed with WooCommerce Subscription service, WooCommerce is a leader in online payments.

EasyREmerge comes with a 7 day free trial! If you are not satisfied with EasyREmerge you are welcome to cancel within your first seven days. We would also welcome any suggestions to new features you may be looking for.

If you are unfamiliar with the overall process of adding gifts in batch and coding all gifts in batch with an acknowledgement letter code you can see the old process I wrote in this document:

Bradford Consulting – Batch Gift Entry Procedures – Gift Flow Chart – Reporting – Ack Letters

Day to day best practices for using EasyREmerge, the main part is #2 below within the section, “Best Practices for Acknowledgements using EasyREmerge” and only contains three simple steps:

Below are best practices for running donor acknowledgement letters once they have been initially configured in EasyREmerge. If you need help with the following items I have listed them as separate FAQ’s

  1. I need to add more merge fields for an existing letter or new letter
  2. I need to add or edit an existing acknowledgement letter to the EasyREmerge process
  3. How to set a letter code column in Batch

Best Practices for Acknowledgements using EasyREmerge

  1. Export the data – Once you have entered the gifts in batch and assigned all gifts with a letter code go to Mail / Donor Acknowledgement Letters / “Your mailing run”. Choose filters such as batch number and then Export the data.
  2. Open EasyREmerge (Just three easy steps)

    1. Choose the data file you just exported from Raiser’s Edge

    2. Upload the data

    3. Generate Letters

3. Save your letters and EasyREmerge template into a shared folder. Typically completed acknowledgement letters are saved in a shared folder such as the one below. Best practice is to share each EasyREmerge.xlsm file into the acknowledgement folder which could be used to reprocess letters if needed and it is also useful as it contains a copy of the original gift export from Raiser’s Edge. To prepare for the next set of letters you can also save it again in a new folder for the next set of acknowledgement letters to be run.

F:\Development\Acknowledgements\2022\March

If you have emailed letters to different staff members and they have made customizations you could then save those customized letters onto the Gift Record in RE NXT

4. Print your letters – Most organizations prefer to create a single Word document for each gift. These can be printed by selecting all gifts in the folder (Cntrl + A) right clicking and choosing Print. 

If you have any installation or other questions we plan on having weekly live Zoom calls starting Friday, April 1st. Use the contact form and tell us you would like to attend and we will forward a link.

Installation Instructions

When you purchase EasyREmerge you will be emailed a download link and license key. You will also have the option to print our full licensing agreement. The EasyREmerge program download will be a .zip file which contains the EasyREmerge.exe file. You will be prompted to enter the license key one time during initial use. You can install EasyREmerge on up to three machines. (If you need more licenses please contact us)

Once you have the EasyREmerge.exe application program you can use that each time. But here are some best practices to save your work as Secured Excel files (.xlsm):

When you open EasyREmerge.exe you can save copies of the current days acknowledgement letters as a Secure Excel Worksheet file type (.xlsm). Then each time you process letters you can either run the EasyREmerge.exe or simple open the last copy you made and save it in a folder containing todays acknowledgements. Typically for each batch of gifts there is a folder created on your development / advancement shared drive that might look something like this F:\Development\Acknowledgements\March\Batch 512 and within that folder a user would save the Batch Commit Control Report along with the Mail /Donor Acknowledgement Letter data export. That folder is also where you will save your actual acknowledgement letters when they are run. Since that is the process I have trained thousands of users on my suggestion is to continue that format and also save a copy of todays EasyREmerge.xlsm file along with it. Here is a full copy of the Batch Gift Entry guide I wrote and have shared with all my clients:

Bradford Consulting – Batch Gift Entry Procedures – Gift Flow Chart – Reporting – Ack Letters 

NOTE: In order for your computer to recognize .XLSM files as Secured Excel files you need to Associate those files with the EasyREmerge.exe

To associate the .xlsm file always use the program EasyREmerge.exe to open it simply right click on the file and choose Open With / Choose Another App (Then as shown below browse and select the file EasyREmerge.exe) make sure to mark the box “Always use this app to open .xlsm files”

EasyREmerge by default allows three (3) user licenses which are included with your purchase. EasyREmerge can be installed on three (3) computers which will allow three users the ability to create conditional mail merges using a copy of EasyREmerge installed on their computer. If your business processes require additional user licenses, please use our contact form and we can discuss adding additional licenses.

Note: Change this setting on all computers using EasyREmerge. This is a one-time setting.

The EasyREmerge application download from this website will initially come as a .zip file containing the EasyREmerge.exe. The first time you run the EasyREmerge program it will open an Secured Excel file, this is how we license the product. Once you open the file you can save then save all subsequent files as .xlsm files. When you are in EasyREmerge and choose File and Save of File and Save As this will be the default. On each PC you are using EasyREmerge you should then associate the .xlsm file with the application EasyREmerge.exe. Here are some instructions and you only have to associate the file once. This lets your pc know that .xlsm files use EasyREmerge.exe as the application.

In order for your computer to recognize .XLSM files as Secured Excel files you need to Associate those files with the EasyREmerge.exe

To associate the .xlsm file always use the program EasyREmerge.exe to open it simply right click on the file and choose Open With / Choose Another App (Then as shown below browse and select EasyREmerge.exe) make sure to mark the box “Always use this app to open .xlsm files”

Set the letter code to be the first field in your data export in Mail / Donor Acknowledgement letters. You can accomplish this by using the up button I have circled below and simply move Gifts.Letter to the top. (Note this is the Gift Letter Code you are adding on all of your gifts and is what drives the EasyREmerge conditional mail merge process)

The EasyREmerge process is based on every gift you enter having a letter code. It’s best practice to use templates for your batches in RE. If you are using Batch Templates open each template and make sure you have included Letter Code. You can always add this to each individual batch but if you use a template you only need to do it once. If you are not using Batch for gift entry you can simply add a letter code directly to each gift.

  1. Press the Batch Design button (Protractor, ruler and pencil button)
  2. Add Letter Code from the left side to the right. Note the order of the fields here is the same order as batch so you can move fields up and down

One of the best features of EasyREmerge is that all of your letters are simply located in one folder, not hidden within a mail process in Raiser’s Edge. When it’s time to add a new letter one or make some edits to an existing letter just add them to your main letter folder. In the below image of EasyREmerge item #1 is the Letter Template Folder where all your letters reside. When you select that folder you will see a list of your current templates in the “Available Templates” list.

To add a new letter simply add a new document to the Letter Template Folder

Merge fields are available in EasyREmerge as Tags

Insert the {tags} just like you are inserting a Word merge field as shown below and save your letter:

Remember if you need a new tag just add a new field from the Fields to Include tab of Donor Acknowledgement Letter in Raiser’s Edge

Note that when you add new fields from the Raiser’s Edge the next time you use EasyREmerge you need to choose the Update Tags button, which will make a new {tag} for that field. The Update {tags} feature only needs to be run once when new fields are added to the Raiser’s Edge Export.

No. The only time you need to use the Update [tags} feature is when you add a new field to your export. Let’s say you have not been using the Gift Reference field in your donor acknowledgement letters. When you add that to Mail / Donor Acknowledgement Letters the next time you export that data you will have one additional field named Reference. The first set of letters you run in EasyREmerge you will need to use the Update {tags} feature to add a tag for that field. Then you can place the {Reference} field into any of the merge letters in your letter template folder. Again, you only need to use the Update {tags} when you have new merge fields.

The Update {tags} feature is highlighted below. This feature makes is easy to add a new mail merge “tag” when you have added a new merge field to your Mail / Donor Acknowledgement letter process.

I developed this comprehensive guide to Gift Batch Entry which has every screen shot needed to add new gifts in batch as well as best practices for adding new constituents and gifts. When I was completing new client implementations and conversions for Blackbaud over a 28 month time period starting in 2019 I would always share this comprehensive guide to gift batch entry. It was always well received. Over the years if your gift entry staff member needed someone to assist with gift batch entry this document has every screen shot needed and full procedures.

This document also reviews the old method for coding all gifts with a letter code in Batch and how to add a new or update an existing donor acknowledgement letter. One of the key benefits of EasyREmerge is to make adding a new or editing an existing acknowledgment letter easy!

Bradford Consulting – Batch Gift Entry Procedures – Gift Flow Chart – Reporting – Ack Letters

I hope you enjoy this document. If you would like this customized specifically for your organization to use as a procedure guide use our contact page to ask about our RE NXT consulting services.

Yes! EasyREmerge was developed by Jim Evans who founded Bradford Consulting (Bradfordllc.com) in 2001. Jim joined Blackbaud in 1997 as a Raiser’s Edge Support team member working on RE DOS. Jim has worked as an independent Raiser’s Edge (RE NXT) trainer and consultant since leaving his role at Blackbaud as a Raiser’s Edge Product Specialist in 2001. In 2019 Jim joined Npact.com and for 28 months completed new client data conversions and full RE NXT implementations directly for Blackbaud as a channel partner. Jim is familiar with the latest features of RE NXT and is capable of handling any questions or concerns your organization may have with RE NXT. If you are interested in training or consulting you can contact Jim on this website contact page or the contact page on Bradfordllc.com.

Knowledgebase Article198463

What is the Word Merge Document Exporter?

The Word Merge Document Exporter is a utility designed to export all mail merge templates stored in a database. You can access the utility on the Tools menu in Raiser’s Edge/Education Edge.

Answer:

For a short demo video of this utility, click here .

To run the Word Merge Document Exporter please follow the steps below:

  1. As a user with supervisor rights, log into the database view and go to Tools > Word Merge Document Exporter.
  2. The system will prompt you to choose a file location.
  3. Select a file location, then enter a name for the .zip file and select save.
  4. The file will then show in the file location specified

The .zip file will include all the Word templates in your database and is organized as follows:

Templates are organized in folders, first by module (Export or Mail), then by the type of Export/Mailing. There is a folder for each type of Mailing or Export that has Word merge templates associated with it. For example, in the Mail folder, there may be Donor Acknowledgement Letters, Receipts, and Quick Letters. In the Export folder, there may be a folder for Action, Constituent, and Gift. If a folder doesn’t exist for an export type, there are no Word merge templates of that type.

Note: Mail types that use the Crystal Report Viewer instead of Word merges will not produce templates. For example, preprinted receipts, labels, or envelopes.

Simple merge templates are named after the date they were created (YYYY-MM-DD format) first, followed by the first 50 characters of the file name. For example, “2022-01-03 – Donor Acknowledgement Letters.doc” indicates that the Mailing is named Donor Acknowledgement Letters and was created on January 3, 2022.

Conditional merge templates will be in a folder with the same naming convention as above. Within that folder, each condition is named using the following format:

[Sequence in template list] – [Field being compared] [Condition] [CompareTo value] (Description).doc

For example, in the screen shot below, the documents would be saved as follows:

Note: Conditional operators are shortened in the file name to the following:

blank = blank

not blank = not blank

greater than = greater

less than = less

equal to = equals

not equal to = not equal

less than or equal to = less equal

greater than or equal to = greater equal

EasyREmerge is compatible with Excel 2019, 2016, 2010 32-bit or 64-bit versions. EasyREmerge works with Office 365 subscriptions.

One client had some issues with Excel 2013, after upgrading to Office 365 was able to use EasyREmerge successfully. We would recommend the latest version of Excel.

Yes, you can use every available field in RE NXT Database view / Mail / Donor Acknowledgement letters. Below I added some of the available Event and Tribute fields. Check out page 30 in this guide for information on adding Tribute gifts into your database if you are unfamiliar with the Tribute gift data entry process: Bradford Consulting – Batch Gift Entry Procedures – Gift Flow Chart – Reporting – Ack Letters

There are event fields such these:

There are also Tribute fields like these below, there are certainly others, but I wanted to share the samples below:

Yes! EasyREmerge uses the Gift Letter code as the condition to determine which letter from your template folder will be used.

In order for the Export file to be properly formatted you just need to move the Gift Letter code to the top field using the blue arrows. Note that for Receipts there are no Blue arrows so a one time change is needed to move the Gift Letter code to the top of the Fields to Export list (Review the FAQ below this named, “I want to use EasyREmerge to create Conditional Receipts in Mail but there are no blue arrows to move Letter Code to the first field” for instructions)

EasyREmerge needs to have the Letter code as the first field in the Receipt Export file. EasyREmerge uses the Letter code as the condition to choose which letter to merge from your Template folder.

When using Acknowledgements or Reminders there are two blue arrows that can be used to move the Letter code to the top as shown below:In Receipts there are no blue arrows available to move the Gift Letter code to the top as required by EasyREmerge. To resolve this a one time action is required to remove all of the fields from the Fields to Export and add them back allowing you to add the Gift Letter code as the first field. You can see an example below in the Before (Left) and After (Right) image below:

With that one time change you can now create a conditional receipt based on a Gift Letter code!

Yes. Since the condition is based on the first column of data, normally the Letter Code, if you made Fund ID or Fund Description the first column then named your Letter Templates using the Fund Id or Description to correspond to the Fund it should work without issue just like a Gift Letter Code only in this example the fund code replaces the letter code.