Contributions are stand-alone financial records in your database. Contributions can be:
- one-time donations keyed into the back office (check, cash, EFT, non-monetary)
- one-time event payments (credit card or pay later)
- payments nested under an ongoing pledge
- payments nested under an ongoing recurring credit card subscription (automated)
There are many ways to submit contributions, but not all of those ways will result in a balance being reduced on a pledge. Below is a screen shot of a contact record's Financial Summary tab and the different payment options offered - the numbers in the screenshot correspond to the numbered explanations that follow.
- Pay Balances will cancel the existing pledge and replace it with a recurring contribution. If paying in full, the pledge will be cancelled and a completed contribution will be created—if paying off multiple pledges with a credit card contribution (whether in full or by recurring installment), this option should be used.
- Using the credit card hyperlink under the pledge will record a credit card contribution against the pledge—if you are only making a payment against a single pledge, or not setting up a recurring contribution, this option should be used.
- Use this option ONLY if you are recording a cash/check contribution or an adjustment against a pledge—clicking on the “submit credit card contribution” hyperlink within this form will result in a credit card contribution that is NOT linked to the pledge (more detail on this option follows below).
- This option can be used for one-time credit card contributions and to set up recurring contributions, but these contributions will not be linked to any pledges.
- This option should be used for all non-automated contributions (e.g. cash, check, adjustments, etc.) - like with option #3, there is a link to get to the credit card contribution form, but like with option #4, these contributions will not be linked to any pledges.
Now, let's say, out of habit, you clicked on the Record Payment or Adjustment Button (option number 3), you will be presented with the "Pledge Payment" window as shown in the top screen shot below.
What you really needed to click on was the "Credit Card" hyperlink (option #2), but you notice a convenient link to "submit credit card contribution", so you click to use that instead - it is logical to assume that the hyperlink offered from within the "Pledge Payment" window would also be considered a pledge payment, but, unfortunately, this is not the case. After clicking on the hyperlink from within the "Pledge Payment" window, you will be presented with a different screen titled "Credit Card Contribution" - note the absence of “Pledge Payment” in the blue header, as well as the pop up warning at the top right-hand corner of the screen indicating that to submit a pledge payment, the link should be clicked (although this will return you to the cash/check form, it is meant to make you aware that you are currently NOT recording a pledge payment regardless of payment method). It is important to note that if you want the contribution to be paid against the pledge, you must cancel out of this window and select either options 1 or 2.