Pay Balances is a feature that allows for the automatic replacement of pledges with one time or recurring credit card or ACH subscriptions, and hence requires the recurring billing feature be active in your payment processor account (if not currently active, there may be additional fees associated with this feature payable to your payment processor vendor).
The first step near the beginning of a new fiscal year is to review your current member records and make adjustments to your memberships. Do this in three steps:
- Review your membership type settings. Make adjustments as needed. Make sure your membership type duration is set to "lifetime." Most important, make sure the relationship type(s) covered by your membership type(s) are correct.
- Complete the a search to confirm your primary members are correct. To do this, from your top back office menu go to Members/ Find Members/ Filter on "Primary Member" = Yes"/ Click Search.
- Make sure your primary billing contacts all have an active relationship type "head of household for" with their household. Make sure your member spouses all have an active, permissioned relationship type "spouse of" with their spouses.
- As needed, batch add memberships or hand update memberships so your member records are up to date. Batch billing membership dues does not effect the membership record status. Maintenance of membership records and their status is done by hand in the back office.
Once directed to the "Pay Balances" contribution page on your website:
- The donor chooses which obligations to pay off by an automated, recurring credit card subscription
- The total amount due is the sum of the balance of all the obligations selected
- The last payment date is based on the due date of the last installment of the peldge as determined by the information entered when the obligation is created in the back office and as explained in the following examples:
- If a pledge was created for 12 monthly installments begining July 1, 2014, the last payment date will be May 31, 2015 - the day before the due date of the last installment of the pledge
- If a pledge was created for 1 installment due July 1, 2014, the last payment date of the pledge will be June 30, 2014 (the day before the installment is due)
- If a donor selects to pay for both pledges as listed in examples a and b above, the last payment date for both pledges is determined according to the pledge that is due soonest, so the last payment date for both pledge will be June 30, 2014
TIP: For organizations using cash basis accounting and who want to allow donors the flexibility of paying up to the last day of the fiscal year (e.g. fiscal year starts July 1, 2014 and ends June 30, 2015), pledges should be created for one installment dated June 30, 2015 - the last payment date will be calculated as June 29, 2015 and will allow congregants to select the highest frequency desired. Organizations using accrual basis accounting should consult with their CPA as to whether this method is acceptable given the impact it will have on financial aging.
- The donor chooses the desired payment plan (e.g. weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually, or all at once) - if the donor attempts to select a frequency that will not allow for the pledge to be paid off by the due date, the system will inform the donor that a shorter frequency must be selected.
- Based on the selections made, the system calculates the maximum number of installments allowed and shows the amount of the periodic payment
- The donor enters in credit card details and clicks save