Create or Edit Payments

Learning Objectives

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

  • Explain how Payments work with Opportunities in NPSP.
  • Create and Edit Payment Schedules.

Payments Overview

Sofia has successfully processed all the donations that she received from Robert Bullard's fundraising house party—an event that boasted a variety of No More Homelessness constituents, including NMH alumni, volunteers, and board members. When Robert stopped by the NMH office to drop off the checks from his event, however, he also dropped off a document confirming that one of his friends, Jose Figueroa, also committed to a capital campaign pledge (we should all have super-engaged board members like Robert, right?).

In fundraising, a pledge is a promise to pay a specific amount over a set period of time. Pledges can be conditional, meaning payment comes due only when a condition is met, or unconditional, where there are no strings attached. Jose pledged $300,000 to the capital campaign to be paid over three years, by installments of $50,000 every six months. In this case, Jose's pledge is conditional on the purchase of the new building.

Pledges can be a critical component of an organization's fundraising strategy and they are managed in Nonprofit Success Pack using an object called payments.

Payments let you define installments for a single opportunity, usually coming in over a period of time. We often use payments to track a single large pledge, or grant, where the full amount of the donation is distributed over time.

Create Payments for an Individual Donation

Payments allow you to split a single donation over a fixed period of time and let you track the current and future payment amounts. Payments are particularly helpful when your major donors or grant funders define a multiple payment schedule for their donations or grants.

Let's follow along as Sofia creates a new donation with 6 payments to track Jose's generous pledge.

  1. Create a new opportunity record for the total amount of the pledge. Be sure to set the Close Date to the last payment date and set the Stage field to Pledged (or any other appropriate open stage). In this case, Sofia begins by creating a new opportunity for $300,000—the lump sum amount that Jose has pledged.

    New Donation detail, including Opportunity Name, Close Date, Stage, and other fields
  2. Click Save.
  3. Open the new opportunity record just created.
  4. On the Related tab, scroll down to Payments and click the Schedule Payments button.

    Opportunity Related list, showing Payments and highlighting Schedule Payments
  5. In the Create a Payment Schedule section, set the number of payments, the starting date for the first payment, and the interval for the amount of time between payments.

    In this example, Sofia sets the # of Payments field to 6. She sets the Date of First Payment to the starting date for Jose's payments (the date when the first payment comes in) and sets the interval of one payment every 6 months. Sofia then selects Credit Card as the default Payment Method (the standard options in NPSP are Cash, Check, Credit Card).

    By default, you can schedule up to 12 payments for a single donation, but your admin may have changed the maximum number of payments available based on your organization's needs.
  6. Click Calculate Payments.

    Opportunity information and payment schedule, showing Calculate Payments
    After completing this process, NPSP creates an editable list of scheduled payments:

    A list of 6 editable scheduled payments.
    In our example, the payment calculator creates six payments with the first payment scheduled on 11/4/2018, the second one scheduled six months later (the agreed payment interval), and so on. At this point, you can adjust the payment amounts and dates on the payment schedule if you need to. 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 a different date.
  7. To save this schedule, click Create Payments.

Back on the opportunity’s Related tab, the Payments list shows the new payment schedule:

The Opportunity Related detail displays a list of the new payment amounts and statuses.

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 the changes. (Alert: this next sentence is super important!) When the final payment comes in and the full donation amount has been paid, be sure to set the Opportunity Stage field to Posted (or any appropriate closed/won stage).

Related Payments, highlighting the Edit option on a single payment

Sofia has now successfully entered the capital campaign pledge with a payment schedule. And she can plan to send gentle reminders to the donor when their payments are coming due.

You can also use payments to track installments that are part of a grant agreement or contract. The process is very similar, but begins with your team entering the grant opportunity using the grant opportunity record type. 

As we mentioned, sometimes pledges are conditional or just don't get met for one reason or another (Bah, humbug!). So, now let’s take a look at how to write off a scheduled payment.

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 (or cancel) the payments. Sad as they are, missed or abandoned payments are an unfortunate reality of nonprofit fundraising, 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.

    Related Payments on the Opportunity Record, highlighting the Edit option for a single payment
  3. Select Written Off.

    Payment Edit detail form, highlighting the Written Off checkbox
  4. Click Save.

If a donor discontinues their payments entirely, 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.

    Opportunity Record Payments detail, highlighting Write Off Payments menu option
  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 do that, too.

    Write Off Payments form
  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.)

    Payment information detail, highlighting a single payment that's been written off

These steps make it easier to track a pledged gift with a fixed number of payments, but what about regularly recurring donations that don't have an end date, such as those given by a monthly donor? In the next unit we'll explore how you can set up open-ended and fixed-length recurring donations.


Keep learning for
Sign up for an account to continue.
What’s in it for you?
  • Get personalized recommendations for your career goals
  • Practice your skills with hands-on challenges and quizzes
  • Track and share your progress with employers
  • Connect to mentorship and career opportunities