Donation receipts

How donation receipts work

When a donation is submitted on your website or added through your control panel, two receipts are created: 

  1. An email receipt is sent immediately to the donor. 
  2. A PDF receipt is attached to the donation. You can access this receipt from Finances > Donations within a profile.

Here is an example of where to find a PDF receipt in a donor's profile:


These receipts will reflect the total amount donated on a one-time donation. If a recurring donation is processed, you will see a separate PDF for each recurring donation payment.

Timing of email receipts

When a donation is made on your website, a receipt is sent via email to the donor. This email is handled like other autoresponse emails created by your nation. When the donation is marked successful, the receipt is placed in a queue and then sent. Most of the time, the email is sent immediately.

PayPal as payment processor

When using PayPal Express as your payment processor, a donor will receive two receipts via email for an initial donation: one from your nation and one from PayPal, since the payment is completed on PayPal's website. Keep in mind that if you have “Automatically send recurring donors an email: For All donations” turned on, the user will receive a receipt for the recurring donation from NationBuilder (based off of your autoresponse) and from PayPal (acknowledging the successful PayPal transaction).

Receipts for recurring donations

Every donation page allows you to give your donors the option to contribute on a recurring basis. If your donor contributes monthly, you can select whether or not you want them to receive an an autoresponse email for every payment or just the first of the series. This option is configured within your donation page under Donation settings > Autoresponse.


If you select to automatically send recurring donors an email “For all donations,” the same language in your autoresponse email template will be sent to the donor with every contribution.

Each payment will be listed in your control panel with a PDF receipt reflecting the transaction. In addition to the autoresponse email, you can also manually send this non-customizable receipt to a donor if desired. For a customizable PDF receipting option, check out our Facturly integration.


Autoresponse email

The default wording of autoresponse emails can be changed. A donor's credit card will be charged on the same day every month for a recurring donation. You can explicitly call the date with the liquid variable: 

{{ donation.succeeded_at | date_to_string }}

You can edit how the date is displayed by what changes what comes after the trunk ( | ) - a full list of date-based filters is available.

For example, on a donation page accepting one-time payments and installment payments, you could use the following if statement in the autoresponse:

{% if donation.is_recurring %}
Thanks for making a recurring donation.

Your card will be charged on the {{ donation.succeeded_at | %d }} day of every month.
{% else %}
Thanks for making a donation on {{ donation.succeeded_at | date_to_string }}.
{% endif %}

How to create a donation page

How a donation is processed

How a monthly donation is processed

What is the difference between listing donations and monthly plans?

How to find yearly donation totals

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.