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Manual donations or pledges

A big selling point for my board in adopting WA is that I promised them that we could accommodate all kinds of payments for new and renewing members. I have found two areas where WA does not currently do what I expected:

* for donations, there is not manual payment option, only online. My most financially capable donors are older and really, really like getting an invoice and mailing in a check On the whole, I love WA! These, and a few other little feature/functions are the only issues I've got. And, user support has been fantastic. I'm in the e-commerce business (when I'm not being the volunteer web meister for my neighborhood association) and I know how hard it is to build and support a product of this complexity. Overall, much applause for you!

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    xockxock shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Alex YaroslavskyAlex Yaroslavsky shared a merged idea: Tracking donation pledges  ·   · 

    14 comments

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      • susanonbisusanonbi commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I would like to allow for donations that can be fulfilled off-line; that is the donation is made, and acknowledgement sent of the "pledge" with instruction on where to mail the check and a subsequent "receipt" when the check is posted and the "pledge" is fulfilled.

      • mcordenmcorden commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I also agree with both Alex & Xock.

        We need a facility whereby members (and others) can fill in the amount and comment (as they currently do) but then have the system generate an Invoice (just like memberships) and give them the option to pay by Cheque or Internet banking.

        Currently the only option of online (PayPal) will deter some to donate.

      • Evgeny aka Apricot KernelAdminEvgeny aka Apricot Kernel (Product Manager, Wild Apricot) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        So how do you envision the process? A donor comes to the site, sees that donation form will all the fields (like email, etc.), fills it in including amount and then presented with a choice if he wants to pay online now or send a cheque later? Looks a little bit too complex for a simple cheque donations, doesn't it? Do you think people want to fill in forms just to make cheque payments?

      • Alex YaroslavskyAlex Yaroslavsky commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I absolutely second that - I was recently very surprised that while an event registration allows for manual payment, the donation section doesn't.

        For effective fundraising, it is critical for us to be able to capture the information of a person who intends to mail a check, even if s/he didn't get around to it. This info would allow us to follow up and gently remind the person.

        Currently, our only option is to put up an address on our web page and hope that they remember to mail the check. If they are a potential donor, but never get around to becoming an actual donor, we would never know.

        -Alex

      • Dmitry ButerinDmitry Buterin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Thanks for posting.

        I would appreciate comments/more details from everyone on manual donations. Our original thinking was that for manual donations people do not need to fill out the online form, can simply send a check.

      • epgremill3epgremill3 commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        We would also use pledge functionality. Like alexyaronyc posted, we could see this as being largely similar to an unpaid donation. The only thing I would add is that the pledge should have a "due date" or "pledge date" and not be too up front for the contact (or us) until that date gets closer.

      • Nancy ScanlanNancy Scanlan commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This is what we would like:

        For pledges, online self-service pledges and pledges entered by admins

        Automatic email that says thank you for your pledge. Should have option to attach a pdf file of a form for the person to fill out and send in with their check or credit card info

        Record online donations against pledge (both by self-service and by admins)

        Automatic followup email in 2 weeks (option to go to admins only or to pledges) that says we have not received the pledge (if that is the case).

        Pledges are a separate function from online donations

      • Alex YaroslavskyAlex Yaroslavsky commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        OK, sure.

        In my view, all donations should be initially treated as pledges. Some are fulfilled immediately (via credit card, etc.) and some remain as pledges. The processing of [cash] donations should be the same as that of event registrations or membership dues: self-service or by an admin.

        In self-service cases, the donor would obviously have to create a contact record. Then, when the same person logs in, they would be able to see any unfulfilled pledges just like a member would see unpaid fees.

        In terms of reporting, the same Finances interface can be used to track aging pledges. In fact, I would bring together Membership dues, Event revenue and Donations under Finances for a complete reporting picture.

        The only way in which Donations differ from other sources of funding is that some donations are "in kind" (as opposed to cash). For example, someone may offer their space for an event, or donate food, etc. These transactions would have to be processed by an admin.

        Also, some donations are anonymous, so the donor would not be known. These, too, would only be handled by admins and would not require a contact to be associated with the donation.

        It would probably be important to give the option to enter a cash value of the donation and to choose whether to include that transaction as part of a report. In some cases, it would make sense to list the item on a report, but not the cash value. In other cases, it may be necessary to hide the entire transaction or to report the entire transaction with the amount.

        Hope this helps.
        Alex

      • Dmitry ButerinDmitry Buterin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I would appreciate more details on what would be the ideal functionality to work with pledges, e.g.:

        - recording original pledges (self-service, by admins)

        - recording actual donations come in and have them recorded against pledges

        - repoting

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