FundRaiser Blog

The FundRaiser Software Blog is an excellent resource for nonprofit organizations looking to learn more about fundraising, donor management, membership management, and much more.

A Pledge or a Promise?

A Pledge or a Promise?

 In Tony's blog post, Financial vs. Development, he discusses two different possibilities on pledges-- are they a firm commitment, or are they more a promise to make a contribution in the future. This might seem like semantics, but when it comes to financial tracking, you would want to handle them differently. Here's an article from previous FundRaiser lead trainer, Larry Weaver, that helps you decide how you might want to handle these two different situations. 

1.  Divide and Conquer:  Pledge or Promise?

First, it's good to know whether your pledges are better tracked through FundRaiser's Pledge Module (optional in Select, included in Professional) or not.  That will depend on the make-up of the pledge itself.  

If a person (or organization) promises to give you a particular gift in the future, and will be giving it to you in one payment, then you don't need to use the Pledge Module, necessarily.  The determining factor, in this case, might be whether you need to track promised payments as "accounts receivable" for accounting purposes.  If so, you'll probably want to use the Pledge Module, as it makes it easier to do.  If not, then you may just need to use the Gift Type Code "Later - Promise to Pay", to record a pledged amount.  

If you set payment deadlines, then you may want to set the Gift Date as the promised date (rather than the date the pledge was made), so that you'll later be able to Group together anyone with a gift/pledge due during a particular time period.  

Another reason to use the Pledge Module would be for pledges that adhere to the usual FundRaiser definition of a pledge:  A promise to pay a certain amount of money in increments over a given period of time.  This complicates things by necessitating a payment schedule, recording of individual payments, keeping track of balance due, etc., which the Pledge Module is designed to do.

2.  Use Automated Correspondence Efficiently

Whether it is considered a pledge or a "promise to pay", each gift promise can easily generate a letter of thanks, with the amount (and/or terms) and expected date of payment.  

In the case of the Pledge Module, that's taken into account when you enter the pledge information, with the total of the pledge, payment amounts, and first due date, any or all of which can be mentioned in a letter generated using the integrated word processor and special Merge Fields/Functions. 

In the case of a "Promise to Pay" gift, you can do virtually the same thing by crafting a "Thank You" letter that mentions the amount and payment date (the gift date, mentioned in #1 above).  You may even have a mix of pledge and "promise" entries, if you have no need to keep track of accounts receivable, yet have both "styles" of pledges, and then BOTH types of automated correspondence may come in handy.

3.  Explore Ways of Grouping by Gift/Pledge Information

If you have "Promises", then you'll want to group people who have made promises but haven't yet paid.  This is easy to do, since you'll have the Gift Type Code, as well as the Gift Date to use (mentioned in #1 above).  Of course, when you receive a payment, you'll need to visit that gift record, change the Type Code from "Promise" to "General", and (possibly) change the gift date to reflect the actual payment date.  

If you have the Pledge Module, you won't need to create Groupings to send reminders, as that is built into the system.  You may, however, want to be able to Group together those who have made a pledge in the past, or those who have "inactive" pledges, or those who have made gifts with a "Pledge Payment" Gift Type Code.  

For more information on how the Pledge Module can assist you

check out the Pledge training video in the Customer Portal section of our website, or contact our training office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (800-880-2997) to arrange for a Pledge Module live webinar.

Managing & Reporting Fund-Raising Campaign Progre...
Pledges on Paper

Related Posts

Wait a minute, while we are rendering the calendar
technical support Network for Good lapsed donor correspondance data conversion motivation code user spotlights annual campaign arts volunteering Cloud phoning donors volunteers GivingTuesday thank you letters donor GoFundMe project brick campaign PayPal donor source Personalizing online donations donor profile moves management grassroots campaign role of nonprofits Task List premiums reports gift acceptance policy auction relationship tracking Company culture communications community broadcasting charity golf tournaments donor advised funds Alternative Addresses merge notes spare fields SYBUNTS raffle major gift prospects training tip capital campaign general new features add ons Snow Birds word processor office solicitors understanding giving trends online donations custom page Donor Portal increasing giving amounts FundRaiser Spark Facebook on site training major donors case study annual maintenance plan ticketsales new leadership overview user interface features operating systems support building donor relationships password protection Congratulations targeted mailings security membersip benefits banquet event management prospects board members vacation endowment campaign nonprofit fundraising NCOA processing monthly giving customer service new nonprofit ROI large donations National Change of Address Constant Contact #GivingTuesday publicity materials alumni merge fields Facebook campaign texting donors legacy giving motivation memorial giving upgrading donors disaster relief Thank You Crowdfunding Campaign recurring gifts New Year mission driven announcements Thanksgiving personalizing letters correspondence donor attrition backing up data Codes customer portal small donations how-to videos Resiliency ticket sales pledges donor slip upgrade new donors donation history fundraising letters Groupings segmenting donors donor loyalty Importing Data tax summary letters advanced tab training community supported gardens community arts nonprofits direct mail development director importing csv appeal letters anonymous donors transparency donor recognition new version welcome packet data analysis letter templates budget in honor of donations change of address updating donor targeting social media fundraising tribute gifts gift notes field pictures animal rescue product news entering auction gifts spreadsheets planned giving adding personal notes to letters flash sales End of Year Letters look and feel donor contact information In-Kind gifts follow up giving history membership programs FundRaiser Hosted donor preferences Reporting to IRS donor retention rate LYBUNTS data entry government grants foundations mode code Excel corporate sponsors tech tip giving levels campaign management the Ask operational costs how to handle auction gifts Volunteer module grants updates happiness gift entry accounting software donor attrition rate Reminders membership benefits Tickles

Connect With Us

  800-880-3454 ext 3
  Email Us
  Request More Information
  Monday-Friday
      8:30AM-5:30PM CST

Customer Portal Login Form

User Name:
Password:

If you are not sure about your Customer User Name, please call 800-543-4131 and we will be able to help you.

Or you have lost your password, Request Password