I'm sure I'm missing something basic, but following the various documentation and examples I've seen I can't get {$contribution_aggregate} to actually output the aggregate contributions for a donor, it just outputs literally that text.

Steps I'm taking:

  1. Find contributions, select the ones I want to include in a thank you letter
  2. Select "Thank You Letters - print or email"
  3. Select Group contributions by contact
  4. Separator: Vertical table cell
  5. Print and email options: Generate PDFs for printing (just don't want to email until it's correct of course)
  6. Document body: to test I'm literally just putting {$contribution_aggregate} in the body
  7. Click "Make Thank-you Letters"

And the resultant PDF literally just has {$contribution_aggreate} in it.

I'm on CiviCRM 5.9.0 on WordPress 5.0.3.

Thanks for any guidance anyone can provide!

1 Answer 1


Look in your civicrm.settings.php (in wp-content/uploads/civicrm). There's a line that says:

define( 'CIVICRM_MAIL_SMARTY', 0 );

Change it to

define( 'CIVICRM_MAIL_SMARTY', 1 );

See https://docs.civicrm.org/user/en/latest/common-workflows/tokens-and-mail-merge/#smarty

  • D'oh! Thank you so much. Overlooked that clearly very important tidbit. Looks great now! Thanks again. Jan 24, 2019 at 2:41
  • Great! . . . . . . . .
    – Demerit
    Jan 24, 2019 at 2:50

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