Subscriptions

Hello! In this lesson, we’ll talk about managing your recurring donation Subscriptions. If your organization has a monthly donation program that requires you to update or check in on subscriptions regularly—this lesson is for you!

Funraise’s Subscription features enable you to build and sustain recurring donor programs that provide financial stability and regular funding for your core programs.

If your organization doesn’t have a monthly donation program... make a plan for one and prioritize it!

Today we’ll cover:
  • Tour of Subscriptions
  • Creating New Subscriptions, and
  • Reducing Churn

Tour of Subscriptions

Alright! Let’s jump in. Access Subscriptions from the side menu. Click Supporters and then select Subscriptions. You’ll land on a table that displays important details about each subscription.

Let’s cover each column...

Subscription Name is the ID of the Subscription. Click this to open the Subscription profile (which we’ll cover in more detail soon).

Supporter is the Supporter who owns this Subscription. You can also click the Supporter’s name to open their profile. It’s worth noting here that Subscriptions can also be accessed from the Supporter’s profile.

Transacted Total is the total amount of successful Transactions that have occurred from this Subscription.

Recurring Amount is the amount of each recurring donation.

Frequency is the rate that Transactions occur. It’s most common to provide your donors with an option for monthly, but you can also offer Weekly, Quarterly, and Yearly frequencies.

Recurrences are the count of successful Transactions that this Subscription has created.

Recurrence Date is the date that the next Transaction will occur.

Status enables you to see whether the Subscription is active or not. There are a few Statuses that can be applied; we suggest referring to our written documentation to learn more.

Created is the date that a Subscription was created.

And finally, at the right of each row you can click the actions button to edit or cancel the Subscription.

Above the table, in the filter container, you can filter the list of Subscriptions.

Also in the filter container, you can open the actions menu to save a filtered list or export a csv of Subscription data.

Like other sections, you’ll be able to access your saved lists from the Lists link at top… And of course, create a new Subscription.

Creating New Subscriptions

Since we’re here… let’s talk about creating new Subscriptions.

In most cases, Subscriptions will be created by your donors on your Giving Forms. A Subscription will be created whenever a donor selects any recurring frequency when making a donation. It’s really that easy.

You can also create Subscriptions from inside Funraise’s platform. We’ll walk through the steps to create a Subscription because it’s a great way to learn how recurring donations are connected to the rest of Funraise’s platform.

To start, click New Subscription.

On the flyout, there are a few important items you’ll configure for each Subscription, including the donation details, Supporter, Payment method, Giving Form, and there are some option items you may want to configure here as well.

The details configured here will apply to any future Transactions created by this Subscription.

Let’s walk through each step… 

First, enter the donation amount.

Then select a frequency and currency.

The first payment date will be defaulted to today. This means the first donation will be processed at the top of the next hour. You can edit the First payment date if needed.

You can also add a note that will appear with each Transaction.

If you mark donations as anonymous, the donor’s name will not appear with these donations in public feeds on your Campaign Sites.

Next, select the Supporter. 

After a Supporter is added, you can access that Supporter’s payment methods.

Let’s pause here to talk about a Supporter’s payment methods.

When a Supporter makes a donation through a Giving Form, their payment method is saved. You can view any saved payment methods on a Supporter’s profile. You can also manually add a payment method.

Pro Tip: This feature enables your organization to run smart recurring donation campaigns. For example, you might call one-time donors and ask them to give monthly, and when they say yes, you can easily create their subscription using a previous payment method.

Now, back to our Subscription creation…

With the Supporter selected, choose a payment method belonging to that Supporter.

Next, select the Giving Form. Each donation receipt sent to the donor is based on the Giving Form you select.

That’s the end of the required configurations; let’s cover optional items quickly.

  • Add a page goal to have donations attributed to a fundraiser, team, or campaign goal.
  • Add an allocation, soft credit, or tags.

If the donor wanted to dedicate their donations, now’s the time to add dedication details. If a Dedicated to email address is provided, the dedicatee will receive an email with the dedication details of each donation.

Adding a company match will kick off the matching process for each donation.

And finally, you can add a comment to the donation.

Alrighty! That it’s it. Just click Save at the top to create the Subscription.

If you need to edit this Subscription in the future, click the underlined ID to open the profile and edit details.

This seamless access and control over the subscription details means you can run call or email upgrade campaigns and easily make changes to your donors’ recurring plans.

Reducing Churn

So far we’ve covered the visible parts of Subscriptions. But there are a few powerful automations happening behind the scenes that work to retain your recurring donors. A significant amount of recurring donor churn is unintentional. A common example of unintentional churn is when a donor’s card expires.

Which means that retention tools are good to know about.

Which is why it’s good to know about the tools working for you behind the scenes.

First, is a tool that automatically sends an email anytime a recurring donation fails. This is a Funraise system email that notifies the donor that their donation has failed and provides a link to a page where they can update their payment method.

Second, is a tool you can configure to avoid failed payments due to a card expiring. In the Email Campaign section, you’ll see a Campaign for Expiring Recurring Donor. This is an email campaign that can send emails to donors when their card is about to expire. You can toggle any email on or off and customize its content. When the donor successfully updates their payment method, they’ll stop receiving these emails.

Use a merge tag in the body of the email or with a button to link the payment method updater page.

These two features can make a big impact in your recurring donor retention rates.

Alright, that’s a wrap! You can do a lot with Funraise Subscriptions, so we hope this lesson inspired some new ideas about starting or growing your own monthly donor program. See you soon!

Show More
Some of the features in this lesson may not be included in every awesome Funraise plan.

Looking for Help?

Access to articles and documentation on how to be a pro Funraise-er

Go to Support