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Create or Edit Donations

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Describe how NPSP uses Opportunities to track donations.
  • Create a donation from an individual.
  • Create a donation from an Organization.
  • Explain how donation rollups work in Salesforce.

Donations and No More Homelessness 

Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) helps fundraisers operate more effectively, and that’s something all of the teams — development, program management, and communications and advocacy — at our fictional nonprofit, No More Homelessness (NMH), can appreciate. 

  • On the development side, it’s not uncommon to find NMH’s Director of Development, Aniyah Thompson, brimming with excitement over the next fundraising event she’s planning. She especially loves nurturing new and prospective donors to deeper levels of engagement with NMH.
  • The program management team, meanwhile, often works with former NMH clients, now alumni, to organize speaking events where they can share their success stories. These events almost always inspire interest in NMH — either through volunteering, donations, or both.
  • And communications and advocacy team members see that same inspiration generating deeper interest when they work with volunteers, helping them organize and lead NMH advocacy community events. There are opportunities galore!

That’s why it’s key for all teams at NMH (and any nonprofit organization) to understand the donation management process. 

Let's follow along with NMH Development Associate Sofia Rivera as she enters a batch of donations from a board member's recent fundraising house party to discover more about how NPSP helps with the donation management process. 

Donation Management with NPSP

Sofia drops bundled stacks of cash into her laptop.

Remember, in Salesforce, we track all donations and grant information using the standard Salesforce object called an opportunity — for a quick review of how Salesforce objects are used in NPSP, check out the Constituent Data Management with Nonprofit Success Pack module on Trailhead. Often, when we refer to an opportunity in NPSP, we're referring to a donation or grant (revenue), but there are several types of opportunities which you can select from when you create a new record:

  • Donation
  • Grant
  • In-Kind Gift
  • Major Gift
  • Matching Donation
  • Membership

When you choose a type, you're starting down a specific process and path defined by that record type. Depending on what type you choose, you may see a different page layout or different fields. This helps make data entry and reporting more efficient. Your admin can also customize the record type list by adding or removing record types depending on your needs. 

And, in addition to opportunity record types, it's helpful to have a basic understanding of a few key concepts related to donation management in NPSP. Let's go through those now:

Opportunity Rollup

A summary of the accumulated totals from several fields over a period of time. Some examples include the Total Number of Gifts, Total Household Gifts, and Soft Credits This Year. You’ll see opportunity rollups in the Donation Information sections of the account and contact objects, though they are not explicitly referred to as such. Total Gifts, for example, is a total of all the gifts over a period of time rolled up into one field value. These fields provide a summarized giving history for a contact on their contact detail page.

Recurring Donation

A donation that occurs more than once over a period of time. Recurring donations can be open-ended and continue in perpetuity, or they can be fixed-length donations (for example, monthly, yearly, and so on), with a start and end date. At No More Homelessness, recurring donations are often received from donors who want to sponsor services for one (or more) person(s) each month for a year. We'll learn more about recurring donations in the next unit.


In NPSP, payments is an object that allows you to split a donation over a period of time. So if a donor pledges $1,000, but indicates they will pay half now and half in 3 months, you can track this using payments. By default, NPSP creates a single payment for each donation since the majority of donations are paid all at once, but you can create multiple payments whenever you need to, and track upcoming payments. You can even write off payments if a donor is unable to fulfill their commitment.

Add a Donation From an Individual

Now that we've had an introduction to those key terms, let's get back to basics and enter a donation. Sofia created contact records for all of the new donors on this batch of checks. Now she's ready to enter the gifts they made. There are two ways to enter a donation in NPSP. You can either use the New Donation button on the contact record or go to the opportunity tab and click the New button.

For a simple donation, we recommend entering the donation from the contact record. Let's try that now. Follow along as Sofia enters a one-time donation from Candace Evans.

  1. Enter the contact's name in the Global Search box and then click on the contact record for that donor.

Global Search with list of results

2. On the Contact Record, click New Donation.

 Contact Record, showing New Donation button

3. Fill in the form fields on the opportunity record. By default these are:

  • Opportunity Name: Fill in the field name if it’s not already prefilled (your admin may have prefilled the opportunity name for you).
  • Stage: Each opportunity has its own set of (sometimes overlapping) stages that reflect how far a donation is in the fundraising pipeline. Remember, this is Salesforce, so the language may be a bit different than what you are used to. In the sales world, opportunities are “closed,” so we’re also using that lingo for our donation. If you have a check in-hand, enter any stage that is similar to “closed” or “won”—something that indicates you have the payment.
  • Close Date: Depending on the stage, it can be used to indicate:
    • If the opportunity is NOT yet closed/won, you can change the Close Date to indicate when you expect to receive the money. This is typically used for major gifts or grants.
    • If the opportunity is closed/won, the Close Date indicates when you received the money. This is often the recorded date of the gift for tax receipt.
  • Amount (not required).
  • Primary Campaign Source (not required): We won't dig into campaigns here, but they can be an effective way to group opportunities (and other activities) together, uniting a nonprofit’s teams/departments under one common initiative. Organizations often use this field to track donations raised by their annual fund appeal or other types of fundraising campaigns. New Donation form with required fields

4. Click Save.

5. Click on the Related tab on the contact record to see the opportunities Related list. Then click the opportunity name to view the new donation.

Contact Record Related list, highlighting Opportunities

When you open the new opportunity record, you'll see many more fields than what you were shown when you clicked the New Donation button. That's because the New Donation button is what Salesforce calls a Quick Action. It's a kind of short-cut. It includes just the basic fields required to quickly create an opportunity record. If you want to choose a different opportunity record type or enter more data about an opportunity, create a new opportunity using the “New” button on the opportunity Related list on the contact record.

Contact Related Lists highlighting New Opportunity button

Okay, Sofia has successfully created a record for a gift from an individual donor. But as Sofia works through her batch of checks from her board member's house party, she comes across a check from local business Cloud Kicks (the owner is a friend of her board member). As we mentioned, the opportunity object is used to manage donations from individuals as well as organizations, so now let’s create a new donation from a company or organization.

Add a Donation From a Company or Other Institution

Creating a donation from a company or other entity is almost identical to creating a donation from an individual. Let’s follow along as Sofia creates a donation from Cloud Kicks:

  1. Open the account to which you want to associate the new donation.
  2. On the Organization account record, click the Related tab.
  3. On the Opportunities list, click New.

Account Record Related detail, including Opportunities and highlighting New

4. Select the Donation record type and click Next.

New Opportunity form, highlighting Donation selection

5. Fill in the required fields. By default these are:

  • Opportunity Name
  • Account Name
  • Close Date
  • Stage


Opportunity Name is required, so there must be a value in that field. If your admin set up NPSP to pre-populated that field, you don't have to do anything. You must, however, enter a value if the field is empty.

New Opportunity: Donation form, including Opportunity Name, Account Name, Primary Contact, Amount, and other fields

6. Click Save. You can then click on the Opportunity name in the Opportunities related list to see the donation record.

 Account Record Related list, highlighting Opportunities

Sofia was able to enter a single donation from both an individual and company pretty quickly, but the real power of NPSP comes in being able to get a complete view of a donor. What if, a few months from now, Sofia needs to review a broader giving history for Candace Evans and some of the other donors whose gifts she just entered? Enter opportunity rollups!

Opportunity Rollups

Opportunity rollups display information from related records, including aggregate totals. In other words, rollup fields allow information from one record to automatically “roll up” and appear on another related record. For example, the Total Gifts field on a household account record displays the total value of all the donations from that household—it’s the total value from across all the associated opportunity records rolled up into one. Aniyah, NMH’s Director of Development, loves opportunity rollups because she is able to see a donor's complete giving overview on their contact or household detail page, making it easy for her to understand each donor's level of engagement at a glance (rock on, opportunity rollups!). 

Three separate donations add up to one Household total.

In NPSP, account and contact records include dozens of rollup fields that display totals based on their related opportunities. They are often grouped into sections on your page layout including Membership Information, Total Gifts, Soft Credits, Household Donations, and Donation Metrics.

Donation Totals detail, showing Total Gifts and Total Number of Gifts

Note that the Donation Totals section includes a Total Number of Gifts (two opportunities) and a Total Gifts amount of $1,200. To determine the exact opportunities and their details included in this rollup, you would need to take a look at this account record and examine at the opportunities individually. The rollup, however, gives you aggregate information about all opportunities.

Depending on what your admin has chosen to display on your page layout, you may see these roll up summary sections on your account and contact pages.

Donation Information
A quick, high-level overview about donations (opportunities) associated with a particular household or organization account. Here you’ll find information about donation dates, the average, largest, and smallest donation amounts.
Donation Totals
Running totals of donations received from an account over different periods of time. For example, you can see the donation totals from this year, the previous year, and from two years ago. Your admin can also configure a custom period by setting a value for N in the Total Gifts Last N Days.
Membership Information
Contains the rollup information if your organization is using memberships. More information on using memberships is available in the NPSP documentation available in the Power of Us Hub online community.
Additional Rollup Information on Contacts
In addition to the sections mentioned here, contact records include rollup information about soft credits and household donation information, which is itself a rollup of the total donations made by everyone else in the household.


Consider rollup fields read only. You may find that you can edit the fields directly, but they are recalculated and overwritten nightly from other input fields.

Sofia has now successfully entered a donation from an individual and an organization. In this case, the donations were simple, one-time donations. What happens when Sofia needs to enter a pledge? Or a recurring donation? Good news: NPSP supports those scenarios and you’ll learn how in the next unit!


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