by Larry Weaver
The Sacred Heart Radio case study includes a reference to a fairly new feature in FundRaiser, called Recurring Gifts, and I want to point out to all of you 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 donation, including bringing the subsequent gifts 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:
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 of how much time you can save over a year if you no longer have to fill out 50 x 12 = 600 gift records. You need 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 those modules active. So you can have FundRaiser fill out those monthly pledge/dues 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, and it only takes about 30 to 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 process 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 once a month, or whatever interval works best for you and your donors.