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Create Payments and Recurring Donations

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Attention, Trailblazer!

Salesforce has two different desktop user interfaces: Lightning Experience and Salesforce Classic. This module is designed for Lightning Experience.

You can learn about switching between interfaces, enabling Lightning Experience, and more in the Lightning Experience Basics module here on Trailhead.

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:
  • Explain the difference between a payment and a recurring donation in the Nonprofit Success Pack.
  • Create payments and recurring donations.

Payments and Recurring Donations Overview

OK, so you’ve entered some donations . . . you’ve received checks from individuals and organizations, and you’ve entered the amounts for those checks into the system. But we all know that donations aren’t always that straightforward. Sometimes they arrive in bits and pieces. Sometimes they come in over long periods of time. And sometimes, unfortunately, they might be promised, but not come at all.

The Nonprofit Success Pack helps you track donations in a number of ways. Namely, with Payments and Recurring Donations.

Payments let you define installments for a single donation (Opportunity), usually coming in over a period of time. We often use Payments to track a single large donation (or grant), where the full amount of the donation is distributed over time. For example, the ABC Foundation donates $1200 to Cradles to Crayons, with 4 payments of $300 every quarter.

Recurring Donations let you define installments for multiple donations (Opportunities), always coming in over a period of time. We often use Recurring Donations to track donations from an individual who gives the same amount repeatedly over time. For example, Tim McFadden might donate $100 every month to Cradles to Crayons, forever. (There can also be end dates to Recurring Donations. More about that in a minute . . . )

In the next sections we’ll take a closer look at Payments and Recurring Donations individually. We’ll begin by looking at Payments—the simpler concept of the two. Then, once we’ve entered a Payment, we’ll move on to Recurring Donations.

Sound good?

Thumbs up

Create Payments for an Individual Donation

Payments allow you to split a single donation over a fixed period of time (a year, for example), and let you track the current and future payment amounts. Payments are particularly helpful when your donor Households and Organizations set up a multiple payout schedule for their donations or grants. For example, you might have a donation from an individual for $1200, but the donation will be paid out quarterly (every three months). In Salesforce, you can set up four $300 payments for the total donation that you can track as paid or not paid, over time.

Payment schedule

In this section, we’ll see how Zakk deals with a very common scenario at Cradles to Crayons—receiving a donation, but having to wait for a period of time before the entirety of the donation comes in. Zakk’s donor has confirmed that he will donate $100 quarterly this financial year ($400 total). Follow along as Zakk sets up a donation with four payments.

  1. Begin by creating a new opportunity for the lump sum amount that the donor has pledged (for example, the full $400).
    • Go to a Contact record and click the New Donation button.
    • Set the Close Date to some time beyond the anticipated last payment date. For example, in our quarterly example, if the first donation comes in on 11/13/2016, set the payment date to 11/13/2017.
    • Set the Stage field to Pledged (or any appropriate open stage).
    • Enter the donation amount and click Save.

      Pledged Opportunity
  2. Open the new Opportunity record you just created.
  3. On the Related tab, scroll down to Payments and click Schedule Payments.
  4. In the Create a Payment Schedule section:
    • Set the # of Payments fields to 4 (quarterly). By default, you can schedule up to 12 payments for a single donation.
      Note

      Note

      Depending on the needs of your organization, you can change the maximum number of payments from the NPSP Settings page (Donations | Payments | Max Payments).

    • Set the Date of First Payment to the starting date for your quarterly payments (the date when the first payment comes in).
    • Set the Interval to the amount of time between scheduled payments. For quarterly payments, this value is 3 months.
    • Select Credit Card, Checks, or Cash as the default Payment Method depending on the mode of donation.

    Create payment schedule
  5. Click Calculate Payments.

    Salesforce creates an editable list of scheduled payments. For our quarterly donation example, the payment calculator will create four payments with the first payment scheduled on 11/13/2016, the second one scheduled three months later (payment interval) on 2/13/2017, and so on. At this point, you can adjust the payment amounts and dates on the payment schedule, if required; this is helpful, for example, when you know that the final payment will be a different amount, or if the third payment will come in on different date.

    Create payments
  6. Click Create Payments.

    Back on the Opportunity Related tab, the Payments related list shows the new payment schedule.

    Payments
  7. When a payment comes in, return to this list of scheduled payments, click Edit in the dropdown list next to the payment you want to edit, enter the Payment Date, select Paid, and then save your changes.
  8. When the final payment comes in and the full donation amount has been paid, set the Opportunity Stage field to Posted (or any appropriate closed/won stage).

Great! You’ve entered your payments and closed an opportunity. But sometimes, in the real world, those payments don’t always come, so . . .

Write Off One or More Scheduled Payments

When donors pledge a certain amount and cannot keep the payment schedule, or are unable to send in one or more payments, you can write off (i.e., “cancel”) the payments. Sad as they are, missed or abandoned payments are an unfortunate reality, so we’re going to show you how to handle them.

  1. Search for the Opportunity that contains the payment you want to write off.
  2. On the Opportunity record, on the Related tab, click Edit in the dropdown list next to the payment.
  3. Select Written Off.
  4. Click Save.

If a donor discontinues their payments entirely (horrors!), you can write off all of their scheduled future payments.

  1. Search for the Opportunity that contains the payment you want to write off.
  2. In the Payments related list, click Write Off Payments.

    Writeoff payments
  3. On the Write Off Remaining Payments page, look at the date in the Write Off Payments section. By default Salesforce shows you the current date, and will write off all remaining payments after that date. If you want to choose a later date after which you want to write off payments, you can enter it.
  4. Click Write Off Payments. Back on the Opportunity record, you’ll see that Salesforce has automatically summed up the remaining unpaid payments and displayed them as a single unpaid write off. (Click the new Payment Number to see the details of the write off.)
  5. Lastly, click Edit on the Opportunity, and change the Opportunity amount from the original pledge to the actual amount you received. You should also change the Opportunity Stage to Posted to close out the donation.
Sad piggy bank

Recurring Donations

Note

Note

In this video, Zakk talks about the Nonprofit Starter Pack, which we've renamed to the Nonprofit Success Pack.

As Zakk says, Recurring Donations are the “life blood” of an organization, so understanding them and how they work in the Nonprofit Success Pack is extremely important. The Nonprofit Success Pack supports two kinds of Recurring Donations: Open-Ended Recurring Donations and Fixed-Length Recurring Donations.

Open-Ended Recurring Donations are single donation amounts given over and over again, with no ending date defined. For example, John Smith gives your organization $100 every month through his workplace giving campaign, and has not specified an end date for the donation. The donation will continue until you close the Recurring Donation. This is very different from a standard Opportunity Payment, which demarcates a specific number of Payments for a single donation.

Fixed-Length Recurring Donations are single donation amounts given over and over again, but for a defined period of time. For example John Smith has pledged to give $50 a month for 3 years. Thus, the donation continues for three years, and ends at that point. This type of donation is similar to a standard Salesforce Opportunity with multiple Payments attached to it. The specific differences between Payments and Fixed-Length Recurring Donations are fairly complicated. If you’d like to know more, see the Resources section at the end of this unit.

Recurring Donations Settings

We haven’t spent a lot of time dealing with Nonprofit Success Pack settings in this module. But the settings for the Nonprofit Success Pack’s Recurring Donations are very important. Before we move on to create our first Recurring Donation, we just want to make you aware of these settings, because they can dramatically affect how Recurring Donations work.

The NPSP provides a set of default values that might suffice for you, but you can change these values at any time. Take a quick look at the settings and change some if you want. We’ll meet you back at the start of the next section.

  1. Click the App Launcher (App Launcher icon) in the navigation bar at the top of the page, then click NPSP Settings.
  2. Click Recurring Donations | Recurring Donations.
  3. Click Edit.
  4. Make changes as necessary, then click Save.
Here’s a list of the available options:
Opportunity Forecast Months Number of months’ worth of open opportunities created for Open-Ended Recurring Donations. The default is 12, so after every month, Salesforce creates another month’s worth of open opportunities (i.e., the total months’ worth of open opportunities is always 12). If you reduce this number, Salesforce will delete any existing open opportunities beyond the number of months you’ve specified. If you increase this number, Salesforce will add that many months’ worth of opportunities to match the number you’ve specified.
Open Opportunity Behavior on RD Close Tells Salesforce what to do with any remaining open opportunities when you mark the status of a Recurring Donation as Closed.
Maximum Donations Restricts the total number of donations (installments) for Fixed-Length Recurring Donations. Default is 50.
Add Campaign to All Opportunities If selected, adds the campaign that you’ve specified for the Recurring Donation to all related (i.e., “child”) opportunities. If this option is not selected, the campaign appears on the Recurring Donation’s first opportunity only.
Opportunity Record Type The opportunity record type assigned to the Recurring Donation’s child opportunities.

Create an Open-Ended Recurring Donation

OK . . . Zakk’s Recurring Donations settings are in place (he mostly just uses the defaults), and he’s ready to create a recurring donation. Follow along with Zakk and create a recurring donation in your own organization.

  1. In the Nonprofit Success Pack, click the Recurring Donations tab.
  2. Click New.

    New recurring donation
  3. In the Recurring Donation Name field, enter a name for the recurring donation. Zakk’s going to call this Tim and Cynthia Recurring Donation.
  4. Enter EITHER the Contact name or the Organization name, but not both. You can use the lookup field to locate existing contacts and organizations in Salesforce.
  5. Enter the Recurring Donation’s details.
    • Amount—The amount for each child donation.
    • Open Ended Status—Select Open.
    • Date Established—Date you opened the recurring donation.
    • Next Donation Date—The date on which you want the next donation to occur. This date also determines the date of all future donations. For example, if you enter 11/13/2016 for the Next Donation Date, and the donation is a monthly installment, then Salesforce will create donations for 12/13/2016, 1/13/2017, and so on.
    • Last Donation Date—Do Not Enter. The NPSP calculates this value automatically based on the last time a child donation was marked as Posted (i.e. it records the date of your most recent child donation).
    • Installment Period—How often you’ll receive the donations.
    • Installments—Do Not Enter. This option is for Fixed-Length Recurring Donations only. For Open-Ended Recurring Donations, the NPSP automatically calculates the installment number based on the Opportunity Forecast Months setting in the Recurring Donations Settings.
    • Schedule Type—Do Not Enter. For Open-Ended donations, the value is always Multiply By.
    • Campaign—If you want to attach the Recurring Donation to a campaign, use the lookup field to select the campaign here.
      Note

      Note

      If you want the campaign to be placed on all of the donation records in a Recurring Donation, use the Add Campaign to All Opportunities checkbox in the Recurring Donations Settings.

    • Paid Amount—Do Not Enter. The NPSP calculates this value automatically as the donations are made and marked Posted.
    • Total Paid Installments—Do Not Enter. The NPSP calculates this value automatically as donations are made and marked Posted.
  6. Click Save.

On the Details tab of the Recurring Donation record, you can see the information for the new open-ended recurring donation.

Recurring donation pledged

On the Related tab, you can see that the NPSP has created the appropriate number of child donations, and marked each donation with a status of Pledged.

Posted recurring donation

As you change child donation stages from Pledged to Posted, the NPSP recalculates some of the fields described above.

Recalculated paid installments
Recalculated posted donations

Create a Fixed-Length Recurring Donation

Recurring Donations are great, but they’re not always open-ended (unfortunately). Lots of times Recurring Donations come with an end date in sight.

Follow along with Zakk in your own org to create a fixed-length Recurring Donation.

  1. In the Nonprofit Success Pack, click the Recurring Donations tab, and then click New.

    New recurring donation
  2. In the Recurring Donation Name field, enter a name for the recurring donation.
  3. Enter EITHER the Contact name or the Organization name, but not both. You can use the lookup field to locate existing contacts and organizations in Salesforce.
  4. Enter the details of the recurring donation.
    • Amount—Enter the amount for each child donation, or a total amount if you want the NPSP to divide installments up for you accordingly.
    • Open Ended Status—Select None.
    • Date Established—Date you opened the recurring donation.
    • Next Donation Date—The date on which you want the next donation to occur. This date also determines the date of all future donations. For example, if you enter 12/13/2016 for the Next Donation Date, and the donation is a monthly installment, then Salesforce will create donations for 12/13/2016, 1/13/2017, and so on.
    • Last Donation Date—Do Not Enter. The NPSP calculates this value automatically based on the last time a child donation was marked Posted (i.e. it records the date of your most recent child donation).
    • Installment Period—How often you’ll receive the donations.
    • Installments—Enter the number of installments (donations) you expect to receive. You can specify the maximum number of installments in Recurring Donations Settings.
    • Schedule Type—Select either Multiply or Divide. The option you choose tells Salesforce how to compute the amount for each child opportunity. Let’s say your donor has pledged $100 a month for 12 months. If the number in the Amount field is $100, select Multiply. If the number in the Amount field is $1200, select Divide. The NPSP will calculate the donations evenly, taking into account the necessary pennies to meet the total donation amount.
    • Campaign—If you want to attach the Recurring Donation to a campaign, use the lookup field to select the campaign here.
      Note

      Note

      If you want the campaign to be placed on all of the donation records in a Recurring Donation, use the Add Campaign to All Opportunities checkbox in the Recurring Donations Settings.

    • Paid Amount—Do Not Enter. The NPSP calculates this value automatically as the donations are made and marked Posted.
    • Total Paid Installments—Do Not Enter. The NPSP calculates this value automatically as donations are made and marked Posted.
  5. Click Save.

On the Details tab of the Recurring Donation record, you can see the information for the new fixed-length recurring donation.

Fixed recurring donation pledged

On the Related tab, you can see that the NPSP has created the appropriate number of child donations, and marked each donation with a status of Pledged.

Updated stage: Pledged

As you change child donation stages from Pledged to Posted, the NPSP recalculates some of the fields described above.

Recurring fixed donation posted
Updated donation stage

Zakk has now taken you through Payments and Recurring Donations—some of the most important functionality in the Nonprofit Success Pack. We encourage you to check out the NPSP Documentation on these topics as you build your experience with donations. And don’t forget to ask all your friends in the Power of Us Hub if you get stuck or need any help.

Conclusion

Congratulations! You’ve now made your way through some of the core functionality offered by the Nonprofit Success Pack. You’ve created Contacts, Households, and Organizations; entered donations, Payments, and Recurring Donations; and created Relationships and Affiliations between various Contacts and Organizations. You’ve even learned a thing or two about the Salesforce Account model—no simple task.

Now it’s time to take what you’ve learned from Zakk and this trail, and go out and change the world. We’ll have more nonprofit-focused trails and modules coming your way soon, so keep checking back as we continue to build this library.

Happy Zakk
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