CiviCRM 4.7.22

I am trying to send CiviContribute thank you letters by email using this workflow:

Find Contributions > Actions > Thank-you letters - print or email

Invariably, I get the following error:

An error occurred when CiviCRM attempted to send an email (via SMTP). If you received this error after submitting on online contribution or event registration - the transaction was completed, but we were unable to send the email receipt. The mail library returned the following error message: The SparkPost service is unavailable due to a sending error, and the backup mailer is not enabled or not configured. This is probably related to a problem in your Outbound Email Settings (Administer CiviCRM » System Settings » Outbound Email), OR the FROM email address specifically configured for your contribution page or event. Possible causes are: Your Sendmail path is incorrect. Your Sendmail argument is incorrect. The FROM Email Address configured for this feature may not be a valid sender based on your email service provider rules.

I am using CiviDesk SparkPost for my emails. I am able to successfully send transactional and CiviMail emails. My email address works just fine for these, and it is configured in the FROM email addresses. I am a site administrator, so full permissions.

Any clues? Thanks for helping me troubleshoot.

Update: I tested again using this workflow:

Find Contributions > Actions > Email - send now

And the Thank You emails went out without incident.

So it seems to me that my email setup is perfectly fine. This must be an issue with CiviContribute and the Thank You Letter workflow.

3 Answers 3


If anyone finds this post and is experiencing problems with the Sparkpost extension by PESC (not CiviDesk) this link may help: Event registration fatal error since v5.0.1


This appears to be a rather old bug. I opened an issue here and also a pull request.

The fix will be shipped with CiviCRM 5.12. Meanwhile, it's a 1 line patch that can be applied on top of CiviCRM 5.11.

The bug was specific to sending Thank You letters by email with the email address of the contact (even if it's an allowed domain, it was not specific to Sparkpost).


Spark post has limitation of checking from address belong to domain registered in sparpost i.e DKIM.

DKIM allows receiving email services to verify that message content was created by an agent authorized by the domain owner and that it has not been altered in transit.

The thank you letter form by default uses from address of logged in user to send email.

Solutions: 1. Submit a core patch to add from address on Thank Letter form. 2. or Update your primary email address with @domain.address.



  • The email address being used IS from the organization's domain registered with SparkPost. Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 16:46
  • But thank you letter doesn't allow you to use from address. What is the primary email address of logged in user? Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 17:19
  • I have been testing by trying to send Thank You letters to my colleagues who have donated to our own organization. My primary address IS my work address (bettereating.org), which is the website domain. So when I try to create the Thank You letters, I choose 'Send emails when possible', and that's the point of failure. I have admin credentials in Civi and in the WordPress installation. Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 18:24

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