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

Save Time and Minimize Errors using Recurring Gifts in FundRaiser Software

The Sacred Heart Radio case study includes a reference to a feature in FundRaiser, called Recurring Gifts, and I want to point out to everyone that you don't need the Donor Portal version of the program to take advantage of it.  It is particularly helpful for those with Donor Portal, since it not only allows a donor to set up their own regularly-scheduled donations, including bringing them into FundRaiser, but also allows for special "thank you" letters dependent on whether a payment is accepted, rejected, a card is expired, or about to expire.  But even if you don't have the Donor Portal, recurring gifts can save you a lot of time, if you have one of the following situations:

  • Donors on a payroll deduction
  • Donors who supply credit card or bank info for regular withdrawals

If, for instance, you have 50 people who give on a monthly basis, regular as clockwork, the same amount each time, you can save a lot of time by entering the donation only once per person (as a Recurring Gift setup) and then have FUndRaiser produce the actual gift entry each time it comes due.  You can offer each of the donors a preference on what day of the month they'd like their gifts processed.  Once a Recurring Gift is established, it's just a matter of running the utility to process Recurring Gifts to have FUndRaiser build the gift records.

Now, without Donor Portal, you still have to process the cards themselves to get your payments, but think how much time you can save over a year if you no longer have to fill out a slew (50x12=600) of gift records.  You neet to set up the 50 recurring gifts, but you save about 550 gift entry sessions.  The more recurring gift givers you have, the more of a benefit this time savings becomes.

Recurring Gifts can even be set up for Pledge payments, or Membership Dues, if you have either of those modules active.  So you can have FundRaiser fill out those monthly payments, and the donations will be applied to the pledge or membership, just as if you had entered each gift manually.

We offer a FREE Recurring Gift Setup class (video version available in the Customer Portal section of our website) and it only takes about 30-45 minutes to get the facts on how to go about creating the recurring gift template, and how to print out reports as well as processing the gifts on a regular basis.  Remembering to process them is probably the most difficult part, but you can always set up Staff Ticklers to remind you each week, or month, or whatever interval works best for you and your donors.

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