Galvin’s Favorite Functions for Nonprofits: Recurring Donations

When it comes to Nonprofit Fundraising, recurring donations are vital, but managing these donor relationships can be an administrative challenge. Salesforce’s Nonprofit Success Pack comes with Enhanced Recurring Donations to make managing these repeat gifts easier – so you can spend more time fundraising and less time on admin. Read on to discover how Galvin can transform Salesforce automation into mission actualization for your nonprofit.

About the Author: Jennifer Stefero

February 16, 2024

When it comes to nonprofit fundraising, recurring donors are key. A person who sets up recurring donations gives 42% more per year on average than a one-time contributor. This donor type often gives across multiple years and tends to grow their donation amount.   

Yet managing this type of donor relationship is often challenging. Issuing monthly reminders, adjusting payment schedules, and processing alternative gift amounts can create a lot of extra work.  

 Fortunately, Salesforce’s Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) comes with Enhanced Recurring Donations to make managing these repeat gifts easier.  

 What Is Enhanced Recurring Donations? 

Enhanced Recurring Donations helps you track gifts efficiently inside Salesforce that are issued in regular intervals. The system supports two types of recurring donations:  

  • Open-ended – This type of donation has no defined end date and continues until the nonprofit or donor elects to stop it.  
  • Fixed-length – These donations have a specified number of installments, such as six months or two years, determined at the start of the contribution. NPSP supports total flexibility for length of time and interval.  

 Setting up a new recurring donation on NPSP looks like this:  

Each recurring donation is associated with a contact, includes a gift interval, and shows the dollar amount. Once established, NPSP provides a big-picture overview of the donation schedule and upcoming payments.  


How Does Enhanced Recurring Donations Work? 

Let’s say a donor wants to contribute $25 per month for the next year. They’d like the donation to be an ACH transfer on the 16th of the month after they get paid. They want to start giving next month. Their donations are to be allocated toward the nonprofit’s scholarship fund.  

With Enhanced Recurring Donations, the fundraising team can set this up in less than 60 seconds for the entire year. The team plugs in the information for the contact on the recurring donation record as established by the donor. The record updates dynamically as fields are completed. Once all the required information is provided, the system establishes an active schedule and upcoming payments for the life of the donation, as well an opportunity record for the next expected installment. When a payment arrives, the team updates the opportunity as closed won or the work can even be automated with online payments. The system automatically opens another pledged opportunity for the next installment.  

Now, you might be thinking, things rarely go this smoothly in fundraising. NPSP accounts for variances as well.   

Should a donor want to change their monthly amount on future donations, it’s a quick switch. So is adding one-time donations without disrupting the existing installment plan. Users can stop a donation temporarily by hitting the pause button and selecting the duration. Changing details like the day of the month or allocation amount are simple switches that update future donations without altering past ones. It’s that simple. 

Why Is Enhanced Recurring Donations a Galvin Favorite Function?  

Here’s the top three reasons why we recommend using recurring donations in Salesforce:  

  1. The views are helpful. With recurring donations, you can click on a contact and see all the donation information within one screen including amounts, intervals, and the upcoming installment schedule.  
  1. One-and-done workflows. Using the donor example above, you only need to enter the information once—not 12 separate times—for the system to automatically create the full installment plan with all the details. This is a huge timesaver for busy fundraising teams.  
  1. Opportunity automation. NPSP makes donation tracking easy. The active opportunity stays open until the donation arrives. When the user closes the opportunity, Salesforce automatically turns the next scheduled installment into an open opportunity. Should a donation be late, the past-due opportunity status alerts the team it might be time to reach out to the donor to get things back on track.  

Do More with Your Donations 

Enhanced Recurring Donations lets you spend more time fundraising and less time on tedious administrative tasks. Galvin partners with nonprofits of every size to help them fully leverage Salesforce. Let’s chat about how our team of experts can put the Nonprofit Success Pack to work for you, your donors, and the constituents who benefit most. Go even further with automated donor campaigns and contribution acknowledgments through Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (formerly Pardot). Galvin transforms Salesforce automation into mission actualization for your nonprofit. Connect with us to learn more.    


We’d love to work with you on your Salesforce needs. Our team of certified Consultants can work closely with your team to close more deals. Call us at 317-297-2910 or complete the form below.

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