Getting started with Donations

You can set up your Wild Apricot site to accept donations, so visitors to your site can provide financial support to your organization. Donations can be made through a donation form on your site or recorded manually by administrators.

If you are using Wild Apricot Payments to accept online payments on your site, you can allow donors to set up recurring donation subscriptions, so that donations are automatically processed on a regular schedule.

Donations do not generate invoices in Wild Apricot. Instead, donations are only recorded when the payment is received. For this reason, donations do not affect contact balance and are not settled.

Once a donation is processed, it can be modified, deleted, or refunded. You can view a list of donations by date or by donor, and export the donations records to a spreadsheet.

You cannot import donation records from another source into Wild Apricot.

Adding an online donation form

Donation forms – like other site content – are inserted as gadgets, in this case, a donation form gadget. The fields appearing on the donation form will be a combination of common field and donation fields. 

You can add new donation fields and modify existing ones from the Donation settings screen. You can choose the donation fields you want displayed on the donation form as part of the settings for the donation form gadget. 

The Amount field and Payment frequency fields are donation fields that cannot be deleted. The Amount field cannot be excluded from the donation form.

If the visitor viewing the donation form is not logged in, common fields will appear on the form as well. You can choose the common fields you want to appear on the form as part of the donation form gadget settings, but you cannot exclude the Email field.

Common fields that are set to administrator-only access will not appear.

You can create custom donation fields to allocate a donation to a specific fund or fundraising campaign, or collect information on your donors. Also, you can set the Amount field to accept any amount and/or predefined amounts. For more information on setting up and using donation forms, see Donation form gadget.

To enable online donations, you need to set up online payments.

To track the success of your fundraising efforts, you can add a donation goal gadget to a page on your site. The donation goal gadget displays a progress bar that measures progress towards your financial goal. Within the donation goal gadget's settings, you set the goal.

You can embed a Wild Apricot donation form into another website using widgets.

Customizing the donation emails

When a visitor to your site makes a donation – submits the form and makes the payment – a confirmation email is sent to the donor, followed by a donation receipt. To customize the donation confirmation email, click Donation confirmation email under the Donations menu. To customize the donation receipt email, click Donation receipt under the Donations menu then click the View/edit donation receipt template link. 

On the screen that appears, click Edit to enter edit mode. Using the content editor toolbar that appears at the top of the screen, you can customize the template by adding or removing text, graphics, and macros.

To choose a previous email or an email template as the basis for the email, click the Copy from button. To restore the original pre-modified version of the email – the factory default – click the Restore default button.

When you are ready to save your changes, click the Save button. After you have saved the confirmation email, you can test it by clicking the Send test email button. A sample of the email will be sent to you containing sample data – not actual data from your database – to give you an idea of what the email will look like.

Making a donation

To make an online donation, a visitor to your site fills out the required fields on a donation form gadget and clicks the Pay button.

If the donor is not logged in, the form will show the common fields selected within the donation form gadget settings, and the donation fields selected within the donation settings. If the donor is logged in, the form displays only donation fields (since the system already has contact information for the logged-in donor).

When someone makes a donation without being logged in, their email is used to match them against your existing contacts database. If there is a matching contact, the donation details are linked to their contact record. If there is no matching email, a new contact is created.
Once your payment processor confirms the successful processing of the payment transaction, it will communicate with our server and the donation will be marked as Confirmed in the database. A confirmation email and a payment receipt will then be sent to the donor. The donation receipt can be re-printed or re-sent at any time. For instructions on customizing the donation receipt, see Customizing receipts.

If the payment fails or the visitor abandons the transaction without completing payment, the donation record will have an In progress status, and after 24 hours, it will be automatically marked as Likely abandoned. You can view these records from the Donations screen using Attention required and In progress filters.

Manually recording a donation

Administrators can manually record a donation received from a contact, whether the payment was made by cash, cheque, credit card, PayPal, or any other payment method.

For instructions on setting up a donation page so visitors to your site can make a donation online, see Donation form gadget.

To manually record a donation, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Donations menu to display the donations list.
  2. Click the Record donation button.
  3. From the Add Donation screen that appears, click the Select existing contact button and select the contact who made the donation.
  4. Enter the amount of the donation.
  5. Select the date of the donation.
  6. Optionally, choose a payment type – the way in which the donation payment was received.
  7. Enter any comments or notes regarding the donation (maximum of 200 characters).
  8. Complete any custom donation fields that were added to the donation form.
  9. Click the Save button.

The donation has now been recorded, and the details of the donation are now displayed. The following options are available from the donation details screen:

  • Preview & print
    Print the donation receipt.
  • Donation receipt
    Email the donation receipt. A donation receipt is not sent automatically when you manually record a donation. You can customize the email message before sending it.
  • Edit
    Modify the donation details. See below for more information on modifying donations.
  • Refund
    Refund the donation. See below for more information on refunding donations.
  • Delete
    Delete the donation. See below for more information on deleting donations.

A confirmation email is not sent to the donor when a donation is added manually.

Viewing donations

You can display a list of individual donations, a list of recurring donation subscriptions, a list of donors, or all the individual donations for a particular donor.

Viewing individual donations

To display a list of individual donations, click the Donations menu. You'll see a list of donations in chronological order.

The list includes one-time donations and recurring donations, and both donations made through a donation form on your website and donations recorded manually by an administrator. 

You can filter the donations list in a number of different ways. You can:

  • Select a date filter
  • Select a status filter
  • Filter by donation field value
  • Type text to be matched in the search field

For each donation, the following information is displayed:

  • Date
    Date of the donation, plus payment details for online payments or any internal notes recorded by the administrator.
  • Number
    Donation receipt number.
  • Donor
    Donor's name and email.
  • Frequency
    The frequency of the donation. Possible values: One-time, Monthly, Quarterly, Semi-annually, Annually
  • Payment type
    How the donation payment was made. See Payment types.
  • Amount
    The amount of the donation.

To view the details of a particular donation, click it within the list.

The following options are available from the donation list:

  • Record donation
    Manually record a donation.
  • Export
    Export the list as a spreadsheet to Excel.
  • Export to QuickBooks
    Export the list to QuickBooks.
  • Donations report
    Generate a graphical summary of your donations. See Donation reports (below).

Viewing donors

To display a list of donors, click the Donors option under the Donations menu. Your contacts list will appear filtered using the with Donations filter.

You can perform a keyword search to search for specific donors within the list. You can export this list to a spreadsheet or use it as the basis for an email blast. Clicking a donor within the list will take you to their contact record.

Displaying a contact's donation history

To view a list of all donations made by a particular contact, go to the contact's contact record and click the Donations tab.

To record another donation for this contact, click the Record donation button.

To view the details of a particular donation, click it within the list. From the donation details screen, you can modify, refund, or delete the donation.

Modifying a donation

To modify a donation, click the donation within the list then click either Edit button.

For each donation, you can change the donation amount, date, and tender, as well as any comments or values entered into custom donation fields. For recurring donations, you can also adjust the frequency of donations and the next payment date.

Refunding a donation

Refunding a donation is just like refunding any payment.

Recording a refund through Wild Apricot doesn't actually return the donation to the donor – it only makes a record of it in the system. To return an online refund, you need to do it from your payment gateway.

To refund a donation, click the donation within the list then click either Refund button.

On the donation screen, you can enter the amount and date of the refund, and the tender – the method by which the refund was issued. You can issue a full or partial refund.

After you click Save, the refund details screen appears. From here, you can print or email a refund note. Refund notes are not automatically emailed when you refund a donation.

Fully refunded donations will still appear in the contact's donation history. You can click the entry within the donation history to view the details of the original donation. An entry for the refund itself will appear on the Payments & refunds screen within the Finances module.

Deleting a donation

Deleting a donation erases the donation record.

To delete a donation, click the donation within the list then click the Delete button.

The deleted donation will no longer appear in the contact's donation history.

Tracking donation changes

Any and all changes to donation records – additions, modifications, deletions, and refunds – are automatically recorded in the audit log.

You can filter the audit log to display just donation changes by selecting the Donations filter.

Donation reports

From the Finances module, you can display a graphical summary of your donations.

To generate a donations report, click the Donations option under the Donations menu then click the Donations report button.

Alternatively, you can access this report by selecting the Reports option under the Finances menu.

The donations report shows a graphical breakdown of all donations by payment tender.

You can filter the report by date, and by online vs offline payments, and group the results by tender, or by any donation field of the dropdown or radio buttons type.

Managing multiple donation types

Your organization might want to distinguish between different kinds of donations, or direct donations towards different funds.

For example, you might be soliciting donations for both a maintenance fund and an expansion fund. To manage multiple donation types, follow these steps:

  1. Set up a donation field to distinguish between the donation types. The field should be a required field, and should be a drop-down, radio buttons or multiple choice field, with the choices being the different donation types.
  2. Add a donation gadget to a page, and add a content gadget instructing your donors to select the donation type.
  3. To keep track of the fundraising progress for each donation type, add separate donation goal gadgets and point the Include in Collected setting to the appropriate donation type field value.
  4. To keep track of the amounts raised for the different donation types, you can go to your donations list and export the list to an Excel spreadsheet. Within Excel, you can sort the spreadsheet by the donation type field value.

Recurring donations

You can set up recurring donations so that donations can be automatically made on a regular schedule. 

To enable recurring donations on your Wild Apricot site, follow these steps:

  1. Hover over the Donations menu and choose the Donation settings option.
  2. Within the Donation settings screen, check the recurring donation options you want to appear on your donation form, in addition to the one-time donation option.
  3. Click the Save all changes button.

Donors can now choose to make a one-time donation or a recurring donation.

For more information, see Recurring donations.

Managing pledges

There is currently no way to properly track pledges in Wild Apricot. However, a workaround is available.

A donation is treated like payment received, without any accompanying invoice. Once you record a donation, it's considered received in full at that point.

One workaround you can use to record a pledge:

  1. Create manual invoices and use them to track pledges.
  2. Once the pledge payment is received, record it as usual, then settle it to the previously created pledge invoice.
The downside of this approach is that these invoices and payments will not be included under donations in reporting but will be reported separately under payments.

Creating personal fundraiser pages

Some organizations have multiple fundraisers raising money at the same time – working on separate projects or in competition with each other on the same project. In this case, you might want to create separate personal pages showing how much each fundraiser has raised.

To set up personalized fundraiser pages, follow these steps:

Step 1: Customize the donation fields

Suppose we have 3 fundraisers. Create a new donation field with a field type of Radio buttons – listing the names of the 3 fundraisers – and set it to be a required field.

To customize your donation fields, hover over the Donations menu and select the Donation fields option.

Step 2: Customize the fundraiser pages

  1. Add 3 new web pages, one for each fundraiser.
  2. Add a donation goal gadget to each fundraiser page.
  3. Modify the donation gadget settings to only count donations for that particular fundraiser.
  4. Use a content gadget to add text, links, or images above and/or below the donation goal gadget.

Using the donation form

When your donors complete the donation form, they would select the appropriate fundraiser name:

Viewing donations on member profiles

Members can view their donations, whether one-time donations or recurring donations, on the Donations tab of their member profile. Recurring donation subscriptions appear in a separate section at the top.

To stop a recurring donation subscription, so that future donations do not take place, the member clicks the Stop button beside the subscription.


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