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Create or record an individual donation
Create or record an individual donation

Learn how to manually enter and track offline or credit card contributions through the control panel

Updated over a week ago

📌 Note: Memberships are available as add-ons. For more information on adding new features please see the add-ons page in your nation.

Table of Contents

Where to add a new donation

When you are adding a donation for an existing donor, you need to start in the People section of your control panel since the donation is connected to a person. The best way to locate a donor’s profile is to do a quick search. Because you are adding a donation in the profile, the changes you make on the donation form will automatically update the profile.

Once you’ve accessed the appropriate profile, click on the Donation tab from the Dashboard.

You can also create a new donation by accessing Finances > New donation within the profile.

When you are adding a donation for a new donor, you can create both a new donation AND a new profile through the Finances section of your control panel. Once you save the new donation, you will find the new donor profile in the People section. If you add a new donation through the Finances section for an existing donor, the new information will overwrite the existing data. The overwrite happens when a match is created through email address.

To add a donation for a new donor, visit Finances and click the New donation button.

Record a donation

Once you know where to add a new donation, then you can continue to input the donation information. Recording a donation is different from charging someone for a donation as you are just making note of a donation already received.

When you land on the donation form, you are required to fill in the "Amount" and "Payment type" and additional details based on selected Payment type.

To record a one-time payment, select the one-time payment radio button on the right-hand side of the form and click on the Payment type dropdown menu to select the method of payment your donor made. The different payment types we offer: cash, credit card, check, money order, EFT, in-kind, wire transfer, Square, ActBlue, customer credit, prepaid, or other.

After filling out the remaining fields of the form, click the Pay donation button to complete the transaction. When possible, we highly recommend that you choose a method to track the donation for your records.

Now, if you look at your supporter’s profile in the People section, you will see the added donation under [Select profile] > Finances > Donations. All donations are listed in chronological order. You can also record the actual date a donation was received.

Process a credit card donation

You can choose to charge a donor’s credit card when entering a one-time or monthly donation. After selecting Credit Card from the Payment type dropdown, check the "Charge credit card?" checkbox that appears to open the fields to input credit card information.

Ways to track a donation

Tracking your donations will help you stay organized over years of fundraising activity. There are several methods you can use to categorize your donors:

  1. Tracking codes

    When you are doing a fundraising campaign or an event, Tracking codes help you keep an eye on all the donations tied to that specific fundraising.

    For example, Anthony attends a fundraising dinner event and is inspired to make a donation to the organization. He goes to a volunteer to make a transaction. As the volunteer completes the donation form, she goes to the "Tracking code" dropdown menu to select the appropriate code, so that other organizers know where Anthony's donation comes from.

    This method becomes extremely useful when aggregating data for accounting purposes.

  2. Fundraisers

    Supporters who raise money on behalf of your organization are called fundraisers. If you are entering a new donation from someone who was recruited by a supporter, you can note the supporter as the fundraiser. If you don’t select a fundraiser for a donation, the donor will automatically be considered the fundraiser.

    For example, Anthony talks to his friend, Sara, about his favorite organization. Sara is inspired and calls the organization to make a donation. A volunteer completes the donation form and finds Anthony Hook in the Fundraiser dropdown menu.

  3. Assign a Membership

    📌 Note: Memberships are not available on all plan types.

    In order to add a membership on a donation form, you first need to set up memberships in your nation.

    When enter a new donation, click +Add membership, then decide what type of membership a donor will receive in the "Membership" dropdown menu.

    If you want the membership to expire, tick the Expire membership checkbox and use the controls to set their membership term length in days, weeks, months or years. 

  4. Gift a membership

    Supporters also have the option to gift a membership, which can only be done through this form in the control panel. Once you check the "Gift this membership" box, the "Membership for" dropdown menu becomes available and you can select the supporter who will be receiving that particular membership.

    Remember that the person receiving the gifted membership must already exist in your people database.

  5. Track a donation through a page

    To attribute a donation to a particular page, enter the slug of that donation page into the Page this donation was from (slug) field. When you click the Save donation button, it will be as though the donation was processed through that page: the donation count towards any goals and the donor will receive an autoresponse email.

    For example, Sara’s donation is for a specific fundraising campaign, so the slug of the campaign page, leadership_campaign, is entered into the field.

    After Sara’s $100 donation is saved, the progress bar on the leadership_campaign page reflects the donation.

    The "Page this donation was from" field comes in handy when you are using progress bars on your website and want donations made through the control panel to automatically reflect on your webpage.

  6. Track a donation through an email

    If you want to reflect a donation received from a particular email, enter the slug of that email blast into the Page this donation was from (slug) field.

    Once you click the Save donation button, the donation will be reflected in the email statistics.

    For example, Anthony makes a donation over the phone because he was so moved by a story from an email. As a volunteer completes the donation form for Anthony, she includes the email’s slug, bealeader_1. Once Anthony's donation is processed, the volunteer can go in the control panel to Communication > [Select broadcaster] > Email > Blasts and find Anthony's donation amount included in the total amount of donations collected from that particular email.

Keeping donations secure

Our encryption technology makes all donation pages and control panel pages highly secure for you to input personal information. You can also tell if you’re on a secure site when the lock icon is displayed in the browser. Donations processed using the NationBuilder payment processor are both PCI and SCA compliant.

Printing out a donation receipt

With donations, you are able to easily print out a donation receipt by clicking on the PDF icon next to the donation. Please note that once these PDF's are generated, they cannot be changed. This is to keep financial consistence for donation receipts within your nation.

Delete a donation

We do not recommend deleting donation records from a nation. This will make the nation's financial history incomplete and can cause problems when doing financial reporting for an organization.

Some customers inadvertently delete donations from their nation by deleting the people associated with those donations. To prevent this from happening, the Delete button is not available on a user profile if donation records are attached to that profile. Similarly, if you batch delete a list of people, any people on that list who have donation records will not be deleted.

While we do not recommend it, if you truly want to delete people and/or their donation history, you will need to use the following process:

You need to manually delete each donation record associated with the person. You can do this by clicking on their profile > Finances > hover over the donation and click Edit to edit the donation.

At the bottom of the page you will see delete donation. Once you click this button, you will receive a pop up that asks you if you're sure you'd like to delete the donation. Click OK.

A person's record can then be deleted individually. If you have a large number of donations you need to delete, please reach out to our Support team at [email protected] for assistance.

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