What Is The Difference Between Recurring Donations Vs Simple Donations?
- October 21, 2020
- 4 minutes
The term “Recurring Donations” in the nonprofit world often brings to mind a donor who has committed to giving a financial gift to your organization multiple times.
In the Nonprofit Success Pack, you can track this type of donation in different ways.
Should you use an NPSP Recurring Donation to track a recurring gift over time, or a standard Salesforce Opportunity with multiple payments?
By asking a few questions the decision can be simple:
Is the donation open-ended?
If the donation is open-ended, you can’t use a standard Salesforce Opportunity with multiple payments, because the number of payments on an Opportunity in the NPSP is fixed. You must use the Recurring Donation process.
While standard Salesforce Opportunity Payments have a fixed end date, Open-Ended Recurring Donations, through the use of the Opportunity Forecast Months setting, do not. The Opportunity Forecast Months setting uses the number you specify to continuously generate new donation records.
Is the donation fixed-length?
If the donation is a fixed length, then does your nonprofit organization use cash or accrual accounting?
Cash accounting: All income and expenses are recorded when the income is received or the expenses are paid.
Accrual accounting: All income and expenses are recorded when they are incurred, not when they are received or paid. For example, you would report your income when the money is pledged—not when it’s received. Likewise, you would report your expenses according to the date of the bill, not the day you pay the bill.
For cash accounting, use a Fixed-Length Recurring Donation, which has multiple close dates corresponding to each “child” donation received. Tracking recurring donations in this way gives you a record date for each donation.
For accrual accounting, use a standard Salesforce Opportunity, which lets you have multiple “child” payments, but which has one close date for the entire opportunity. The single close date gives you the single accounting record date you need when using accrual accounting.
Summary of Enhanced (upgraded version)Recurring Donations Functionality
Enhanced Recurring Donations
- Uses the same Recurring Donations object already in NPSP.
- Provides an in-app tool for upgrading to Enhanced Recurring Donations, including migrating your data to the new data model.
- Creates only one open, pledged Opportunity at a time per Recurring Donation. This Opportunity represents the next donation installment.
- Supports both open-ended and ﬁxed-length Recurring Donations.
- Supports mapping ﬁeld data from the Recurring Donation to related installment Opportunities.
- Makes it easier to change an existing Recurring Donation without requiring that you close or delete any records.
- Displays information about upcoming installment Opportunities and the active Recurring Donation schedule in two Lightning components.
- Retires some of the more confusing elements of the Legacy Recurring Donations data model.
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