Enhanced Recurring Donations in Salesforce NPSP

By Mariana Mazzeo

Originally published on Tribo in Spanish. Translation from Spanish done by Nicholas Fiorendi.

The Recurring Donations feature in the Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) lets you keep a track of gifts from donors over a period of time. In the Salesforce Summer ’20 release, the Recurring Donations package will bring a series of changes and improvements.

How Do These Changes Affect You?

If your organization is just starting to use Salesforce, we recommend that you choose this new model. Keep in mind that in a few months, any new org will have only this option in the configuration.

If your org is already using Recurring Donations, you may not want to migrate to the new Recurring Donation Type. Whether or not you should migrate will depend on the custom configuration you have created.

If you are an organization creating applications or integrations with the Nonprofit Success Pack (or are about to integrate with any application), we recommend migrating to the new format because that is where Salesforce will continue to invest in the future.

Why the Change?

Recurring Donations have been part of the Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) for several years. The team has been receiving feedback from many non-profit users regarding its operation and has found some new ideas to improve it.

Among the new ideas that they collected, the team arrived at these conclusions:

  • Need for the package to be more intuitive from the names of the fields, to its operation in the different types of Recurring Donations (Open and in Quotas).
  • Greater clarity and predictability in what happens to opportunities when there are changes in a Recurring Donation.
  • Easier ways to create changes in dates, donation amounts, put them on standby, etc.
  • Improve the way changes to Recurring Donations are viewed in page layouts.
  • Improve the programming code.
  • Need to create one opportunity at a time by default, instead of many (although this will still depend on the org Admin).

Before we tell you what changes are coming, it is important to know that these changes are not automatically activated in Salesforce. Going forward, two versions of Recurring Donations will coexist:

  • The old Recurring Donations, which are now called Legacy Recurring Donations.
  • Enhanced Recurring Donations (the new version).

All new changes to the package will be made on the new Recurring Donations (Enhanced Recurring Donations).

Recurring Donations vs. Enhanced Recurring Donations

1. Only one future pledged opportunity will be generated

This is the biggest change that these improved Recurring Donations will deliver. Although, previously, the Admin could control this from the NPSP settings, by default the configuration created 12 future opportunities with the intention of making income projections.

Now in NPSP, you will create only one Future Engaged opportunity and wait for the next month to create one more.

If the Admin specifies that they need to make future projections, they will be able to continue controlling how many committed Opportunities they want to create in the future from the NPSP settings.

2. New Fields

We love these fields. You have probably already seen some of them that were incorporated in previous updates – now they will actually start functioning.

They have much more accurate names and are more practical to use since they allow covering many more scenarios:

  • Type (Picklist): This field improves upon the open-ended ‘status’ field and indicates whether the donation will be open (no end date) or will have a payment limit (in installments or for a specified period).
  • Status (Picklist): With this field, we will be able to know whether the Recurring Donation is active, has been closed, or it is on hold.
  • Established date (Date): the date which the donor expressed their intention to donate. For example, the date of the event on which the person decided to donate to us, which may not be the same as the one on which they actually started to donate.
  • Effective date (Date): the date which the first opportunity is By default, when creating the DR, the date of that day will be entered, but the user can change it either when the payment is deferred to the date of the commitment or when they need to make changes and skip some months (we will explain this later).
  • Payment Frequency (Picklist): Define the payment schedule for this Recurring Donation along with Payment Frequency. For example, if the Payment Period is monthly and the frequency of payment is 3, it’s defined as “every 3 months”.
  • Payment Method (Picklist): In this field, you can indicate the payment method chosen by the donor. We used to do this manually, but now it is automated.
  • Day of the month (Picklist): This refers to the day of the month when the Opportunity Closing Date is
  • Current Year Value (Currency) This is a read-only field that calculates the total amount of Recurring Donations for the current year. It includes the calculation opportunities won plus future deliveries for the rest of the year.
  • Next year’s value (Currency): Again, this is a read-only field that calculates the total amount of Recurring Donations for the following year.

3. Fields Removed or Replaced

  • Open-ended state: Replaced by Type.
  • Type of programming: This field has been eliminated, and now the Recurring Donations will always have the value of the installments and not the total accumulated donation.
  • Total: This field has been removed and not replaced. The purpose of this field was to make the total sum of opportunities won only in the donations of defined time (fixed or quotas); now the type of donation will not matter to make those calculations.
  • Always use last day of the month: It has been removed and not replaced. Now users can choose on the day of the month on which the closing date of the opportunities is scheduled.

Here’s an example of an Open Recurring Donation:

4. New Page Format and Registration Page

New Recurring Donations will have a new page layout where the new fields will be displayed and those that are no longer used will be hidden.

Additionally, for the new Registration Page, two components will be added for greater visibility:

  • 1. Active Schedules: show the details of current and future scheduling. For example, we see in the image that the current donation schedule is for $50 and will end on May 31, and the next begins for $100 on June 1.
  • 2. Upcoming Installments – This component lists all future In the image, we see that in the current month the donation is $50 and will increase to $100 per month, going forward. It is important to note that this component calculates future payments based on recurring donation fields and that they are not already created opportunity records. This component also shows how the automated process will create them. Finally, if the users change values manually in the future opportunities created, they will not be reflected in this component.

The Author

Mariana Mazzeo

Tribo Co-Founder, Nonprofits and cooking lover. Working to bring Salesforce closer to Latin-american NGOs.


    Katie Frederick
    July 21, 2020 7:57 pm
    Hi there, Where are you seeing this once ERD is enabled? ("If the Admin specifies that they need to make future projections, they will be able to continue controlling how many committed Opportunities they want to create in the future from the NPSP settings.") All I am seeing is "create next installment" or "disable first installment on create," but no option that I can see in Settings to specify the number of installment opportunities created. Thank you!
    Mariana Mazzeo
    August 31, 2020 10:25 pm
    Hi Katie, you are right, the only option that we have to control the opportunities that create a Recurring Donation are "create next installment" or "disable the first installment on creating". When I wrote this article - in May-all ERD Documentation said that an admin could control the number of future installments created on a Recurring Donation, but then when ERD was alive it changes and I forgot to update my article. We are upgrading both articles (here and in my blog) and I hope it helps to clarify. Thanks again for your comment and remember that NPSP Documentation is always updated in case that it happens again.
    Lynn Carr
    October 18, 2022 3:52 pm
    Having trouble as new Recurring Donations are not carrying over the Payment Method's field text to their related opportunities. In other words, the Payment Method in the Recurring Donation is populated by, say, Credit Card, but the Opportunities in Pledged status have nothing in their Payment Method fields.

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