How to create a new donation in the control panel

Whether you’re entering donations at an event, inputting data from a fundraiser, or taking a donation over the phone, you can charge a credit card or record a donation through your control panel.

This guide will take you through all the ways to manually enter a donation through the control panel. If you are looking to enter multiple donations, then importing donations can be a faster method.

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.

For example, Martha, a new volunteer, is in charge of inputting donations at a fundraising event. Tony Jones, an active supporter, decides to donate $50 to the organization. Martha doesn’t know that Tony already has a profile in the database, and goes to the Finances section to add a new donation. She uses Tony’s proper first name, Anthony. Even though a different first name is used, a match is created through his email address, so the $50 shows up on Tony’s existing profile, but his profile name also gets updated from Tony to Anthony.

To add a donation for a new donor, visit Finances > +Transaction and click on the Type of transaction drop-down menu to select "New donation."


Charge a credit card

Once you know where to charge for a donation, you can fill out the credit card information fields. Charging a credit card is different from recording a donation. Both one-time and monthly payment options are available when using a credit card to make donations.

When charging a credit card for a donation, check the "Charge credit card?" box to open the fields to input credit card information.


For a one-time payment, the donor can make monthly installment payments if your payment processor supports recurring donations.


To process installments or monthly donations, you need to select a payment processor that supports recurring donations. Only, PayPal Express Checkout, or PayPal Payflow Pro can be used.


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.

  1. 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.add_donation_form.png
  2. To record a one-time payment, go to the right-hand side of the form and click on the "Payment type" drop-down 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.payment_dropdown.png

    Note: The monthly payments feature can only be used when charging a credit card for donations and if you select a payment processor that supports recurring donations. Only, PayPal Express Checkout, or PayPal Payflow Pro can be used.

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

  4. 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.

Remember, when adding a donation for a new supporter through the Finances section of your control panel, a new profile will be created in the People section. But, if you include an email address that already exists in your database, then the donation will be matched with the existing profile. The new data will overwrite the existing profile information.

Ways to track a donation

There are several ways to track your donations -

  • Tracking code

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, Tony 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" drop-down menu to select the appropriate code, so that other organizers know where Tony’s donation comes from.


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

  •  Fundraisers

Supporters who raise money on behalf of the 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, Tony 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 Tony Jones in the Fundraiser drop-down menu.


  • Membership for the donor

For all customers on the Organization plan or above, you can indicate that a transaction is for a paid membership.

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

Decide what type of membership a donor will receive in the "Membership" drop-down menu.


If you want the membership to expire, you can select a time frame from the "Expire membership in" drop-down menus. You can choose from 1-31 days, weeks, months or years.


  • Gift 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" drop-down 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.


  • Page to include new donation in total

If you want to reflect a donation for a particular page on your site, then you type the slug in the "Page this donation was from" field. When you click the button_savedonation.png button, the designated page will reflect the donation.

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.

  • Email to include new donation in total

If you want to reflect a donation received from a particular email, you need the slug of the email to fill in the "Mailing this donation was from" field.


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

For example, Tony 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 Tony, she includes the email’s slug, bealeader_1. Once Tony’s donation is processed, the volunteer can go in the control panel to Communication > [Select broadcaster] > Email > Blasts and find Tony’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.

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.




The SwipeHup app provides a faster way to charge credit cards in-person.

Donation processing

Recurring donation processing

How to import donations

How to refund a donation

How to create a donation page

Issues and suggestions on our radar

There are some issues related to the control panel donation form that have come to our attention. We are monitoring their importance to the community on the product issues and suggestions page. You can follow each of the below issues to keep updated on their status.

Credit card address and CVV code validation in control panel

Some nations mark email field as required in the control panel New donation form

Save donation button should not change to Pay donation language on New donation form

Include notice of what's been updated on someone's profile on New donation form


If you’re unclear on how this feature works, please ask a question. If you would like to see changes to this feature, please submit a suggestion.