Controlling Merge Template Clutter with Conga Composer

Most Salesforce implementations we do include recreating merge documents to be generated from within Salesforce. Many of our FoundationConnect clients have extensive merge document requirements – grantee applications, award letters, payments – and Conga Composer helps streamline the process. With a little configuration, Conga helps generate complex merge documents with one click.

But what do you do when your templates are out of control? I recently worked with a client who needed 20 (slightly) different versions of a template to accommodate various scenarios when issuing checks to Grantees. With Salesforce and Conga Composer, we were able to whittle that number down to 1.

Let’s look at some of the scenarios, and how we used Conga to reduce their template clutter.


SCENARIO #1 – The checks could potentially come from 2 different bank accounts.

One set of templates was used when the payment came from one bank account, and another set was used for the other account.

SOLUTION: We created a Picklist field called “Payment Source” with the two potential bank accounts as the picklist values. The client would select one when finalizing the payment details for that particular check, and “Payment Source” was added as a merge field to the template.

SCENARIO #2 – The checks could be mailed to the Grantee Organization directly, or to the Fiscal Sponsor Organization

One set of templates was used if the grantee did NOT have a Fiscal Sponsor, and another set of templates was used if the grantee DID have a Fiscal Sponsor.

SOLUTION: We created two look-up fields to the Organization object – one for the Grantee Organization and one for the Sponsor Organization. Then, an “IF” merge field was added to the templates to print the Sponsor Organization name and address information IF the Sponsor Organization field was not blank, otherwise print the Grantee Organization information.

SCENARIO #3 – The grant could be paid in one check or in installments. And the payments may or may not have conditions that needed to be met.

Based on the total amount of the grant, the Foundation may send just one check, or in multiple installments. If the grant was to be paid out in installments, a paragraph indicating a Due Date for a Grantee Report was included. If the grant was to be paid in one check, that paragraph was not needed. In addition, some of the payments had a “Matching” condition, meaning the Grantee had to raise a certain amount of money on their own and then the Foundation would send a check that matched that amount. There were 2 different templates to indicate if the condition was Fully Met or Partially Met (but a total of 4 templates based on Items 1 & 2 above).

SOLUTION: Here we got a little bit creative. We created a Table that listed the Payment schedule. We also made use of a “Comments” field where the Grants Administrator could indicate if the Matching Payment was Fully Met or Partially Met, and the comment would print next to the appropriate Payment Line. We then created another Table that listed the Grantee Report schedule if there was one.

At the end of the day, Conga Composer (and some “mailmerge if statement” magic) helped us reduce the 20 different templates down to 1 template that addressed all of the different scenarios. None of this would have been possible without Conga.

Disclosure: Sputnik Moment is a Conga consulting partner. We did not receive any form of compensation for this post. (We just really love Conga.)


Crystal leads most of Sputnik Moment's FoundationConnect implementations, and excels at finding creative ways to leverage apps and tools to streamline her clients' processes.  

Email Crystal to find out how we can help Conga Composer streamline your process.