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Recurring Gifts In Raiser’s Edge

Everyone loves their regular donors – the ones who you can expect a specific amount from once a month, or who commit to donating a specific amount at some other frequency.  These gifts are different than a promise to pay one specific amount over a period of time (a Pledge) – these are regular (and hopefully frequent) contributions that have potentially no end date, and they come from your most loyal supporters.  Recurring Gifts can be entered and tracked in the Raiser’s Edge – with or without the optional EFT module.

A Recurring Gift in the Raiser’s Edge is basically a template that indicates that future, regularly scheduled donations are expected.  The Recurring Gift keeps track of the regular donation amount, payment schedule, start date, any end date, and the payment method.  Once the Recurring Gift is created, future payments can be applied to it.  There is no “balance” to pay down, unlike a Pledge.

To create a Recurring Gift, simply select Recurring Gift as the gift type (whether you are in a Gift Batch or creating a new gift directly from the record), then indicate the Amount that is going to recur, enter a Schedule, and enter in any other pertinent fields (ex: Fund, Campaign, Appeal, etc.).  The Pay Method is also important.  If paying via Credit Card, it is important to enter the credit card information on the Recurring Gift so that future payments can be charged to it.  Similarly, if paying via Direct Debit, it is important to enter the donor’s bank information so that their bank account can be drafted automatically for future payments.

Recurring Gift

Once the Recurring Gift is saved, you have a vehicle by which to track any future payments.  Any future payment that is applied to this Recurring Gift is also tracked on the Transactions tab of the Recurring Gift.  Even Reminders can be sent for Recurring Gift payments.  The procedure by which you apply future payments will vary based on whether or not you have the optional EFT module.  Contrary to some rumors I’ve heard, you actually CAN process Recurring Gifts and their payments if you don’t use the EFT module – it just involves a few more steps.

If the EFT module is present, you can use the Automatically generate transactions/payments feature in a new Gift Batch to have the system populate your batch with any transactions that are due for processing.

If the EFT module is not present, you can build a batch of Recurring Gift payments, mark the batch as Recurring, and use that batch (making only minor edits when necessary, such as the Gift Date) to process Recurring Gift payments at the desired frequencies.

Specific, step-by-step instructions are available in the Knowledgebase solution: How to create a recurring gift and recurring gift payments.  If you haven’t already implemented a solid Recurring Giving program at your organization (or maybe you just have a few kinks to work out), the best resource for you is the Regular Supporters Implementation Guide.  If you use Blackbaud NetCommunity, you can reference How do recurring gifts from Blackbaud NetCommunity process?  Additional resources are available in Knowledgebase and the User Guides page on our website.  Happy fundraising!!
Posted by Laurel Stello on Jun 5, 2015 7:51 AM America/New_York

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