Document merge is Beacon's version of mail merge. With document merge, you can automatically generate documents for records in Beacon, at the click of a button.
You can generate just one document, or thousands of documents in seconds - which is most commonly useful for sending letters to your supporters, such as:
- Donation acknowledgements
- Welcome packs
How it works
In Beacon, you need to set up a document "template" - this is just a regular Word document, but with "merge tags" in the relevant places. For example:
You can then automatically generate Word documents using this template. In this example, we're sending donation acknowledgements, so we'll want to create one document per payment in Beacon.
Generating individual documents
To generate a document for an individual record, click the document merge icon in the top right when viewing a record:
Choose the template you'd like to generate a document with, and then click generate.
Tip: Don't see a template in the drop-down list? It's likely that the template's record type is different to the record you're currently viewing.
Generating in bulk
You can also generate documents in bulk. That is - if you had a list of payments that you wanted to generate acknowledgements for, you could generate a ZIP file containing all of the generated documents.
After generating, you can download a ZIP file containing all of the documents:
Optionally, you can choose to auto-log activities to the timeline, with the attached file, when documents are generated: (works for single and bulk generation)
To create your document template, head over to Settings > Documents in your Beacon dashboard, and upload any word document you like as your template.
Beacon will automatically detect the merge tags in your template, and allow you to set "default values" for each tag - which will be used if the data isn't saved on a record in Beacon:
Tip: you can use the "cheat sheet" to get a list of all merge tags available.
Optionally, you can choose an activity type that you'd like to automatically log to the timeline when the document is generated:
Note: the activity is logged to the timeline of the record you generate the document for, which isn't necessarily the associated person record.