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Managing donations

You can set up your Wild Apricot site to accept donations, so visitors to your site can provide financial support to your organization. Donations can be made through a donation form on your site or recorded manually by administrators.

Donations do not generate invoices in Wild Apricot. Instead, donations are only recorded when the payment is received. For this reason, donations do not affect contact balance and are not settled.

Once a donation is processed, it can be modified, deleted, or refunded. You can view a list of donations by date or by donor, and export the donations records to a spreadsheet.


You cannot import donation records from another source into Wild Apricot.

Adding an online donation form

Donation forms – like other site content – are inserted as gadgets, in this case, a donation form gadget. The donation form displays all the donation fields you have set up. If the visitor viewing the donation form is not currently logged in, common fields will appear on the form as well.

You can customize the donation form by creating custom donation fields. You can use custom fields to allocate a donation to a specific fund or fundraising campaign, or collect information on your donors. For more information on setting up and using donation forms, see Donation forms.

To enable online donations, you need to set up online payments.

To track the success of your fundraising efforts, you can add a donation goal gadget to a page on your site. The donation goal gadget displays a progress bar that measures progress towards your financial goal.  Within the donation goal gadget's settings, you set the goal.


You can embed a Wild Apricot donation form into another website using widgets.

Manually recording a donation

Administrators can manually record a donation received from a contact, whether the payment was made by cash, cheque, credit card, PayPal, or any other tender method.

For instructions on setting up a donation page so visitors to your site can make a donation online, see Donation forms.

To manually record a donation, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Donations module.
  2. Click the Record donation button.

  3. From the Add Donation screen that appears, click the Select existing contact button and select the contact who made the donation.

  4. Enter the amount of the donation.
  5. Select the date of the donation.
  6. Optionally, choose a tender method – the way in which the donation payment was received.

  7. Enter any comments or notes regarding the donation.
  8. Complete any custom donation fields that were added to the donation form.
  9. Click the Save button.

The donation has now been recorded, and the details of the donation are now displayed. The following options are available from the donation details screen:



Preview & print

Print the donation receipt.

Donation receipt

Email the donation receipt. A donation receipt is not sent automatically when you manually record a donation. You can customize the email message before sending it.


Modify the donation details. See below for more information on modifying donations.


Refund the donation. See below for more information on refunding donations.


Delete the donation. See below for more information on deleting donations.


A confirmation email is not sent to the donor when a donation is added manually.

Displaying donations

You can display a list of individual donations, a list of donors, or all the individual donations for a particular donor.

Displaying individual donations

To display a list of individual donations, click the Donations menu. From the Donation module, you'll see a list of donations in chronological order.

The list includes donations made through a donation form on your website and donations recorded manually by an administrator. Multiple donations by the same donor are recorded separately.

For each donation, the following information is displayed:




Date of the donation, plus payment details for online payments or any internal notes recorded by the administrator.


Donation receipt number.


Donor's name and email.


How the donation payment was made. See Payment tenders.


The amount of the donation.

You filter the donations list by clicking the Filter box and selecting a filter...

...or by entering a search string in the Search field.

The following filters are available:




All donations.

Online payment

Donations submitted online, excluding those recorded manually.

Attention required

Donations that are likely abandoned. You may wish to delete these donations using the instructions below.

In progress

Donations that were initiated but not completed, typically because of payment issues (e.g. client card client, no response from payment processor, etc.)


Donations that were refunded.


Donations made using a particular tender method.

No tender

Donations made without a tender method being specified.

To view the details of a particular donation, click it within the list.

The following options are available from the donation list:



Record donation

Manually record a donation.

Export to Excel

Export the list as a spreadsheet to Excel.

Export to QuickBooks

Export the list to QuickBooks.

Donations report

Generate a graphical summary of your donations. See Donation reports.

Displaying donors

To display a list of donors, click the Donors option under the Donations menu.


Note that this is your contacts list filtered using the with Donations filter.

You can perform a keyword search to search for specific donors within the list. You can export this list to a spreadsheet or use it as the basis for an email blast. Clicking a donor within the list will take you to their contact record.

Displaying a contact's donation history

To view a list of all donations made by a particular contact, go to the contact's contact record and click the Donations tab.

To record another donation for this contact, click the Record donation button.

To view the details of a particular donation, click it within the list. From the donation details screen, you can modify, refund, or delete the donation.

Modifying a donation

To modify a donation, click the donation within the list then click either Edit button.

For each donation, you can change the donation amount, date, and tender, as well as any comments or values entered into custom donation fields.

Refunding a donation

Refunding a donation is just like refunding any payment. Recording a refund through Wild Apricot doesn't actually return the donation to the donor – it only makes a record of it in the system. To return an online refund, you need to do it from your payment gateway.

To refund a donation, click the donation within the list then click either Refund button.

On the donation screen, you can enter the amount and date of the refund, and the tender – the method by which the refund was issued. You can issue a full or partial refund.

After you click Save, the refund details screen appears. From here, you can print or email a refund note. Refund notes are not automatically emailed when you refund a donation.

Fully refunded donations will still appear in the contact's donation history. You can click the entry within the donation history to view the details of the original donation. An entry for the refund itself will appear on the Payments & refunds screen within the Finances module.

Deleting a donation

Deleting a donation erases the donation record. To delete a donation, click the donation within the list then click the Delete button.

The deleted donation will no longer appear in the contact's donation history.

Tracking donation changes

Any and all changes to donation records – additions, modifications, deletions, and refunds – are automatically recorded in the audit log. You can filter the audit log to display just donation changes by selecting the Donations filter.

Donation reports

From the Finances module, you can display a graphical summary of your donations.


The donations report is essentially the payments report filtered to display only donations.

To generate a donations report, click the Donations option under the Donations menu then click the Donations report button.

The donations report shows a graphical breakdown of all donations by payment tender.

You can filter the report by date, by online vs offline payments, and by payment status.

Managing multiple donation types

Your organization might want to distinguish between different kinds of donations, or direct donations towards different funds. For example, you might be soliciting donations for both a maintenance fund and an expansion fund. To manage multiple donation types, follow these steps:

  1. Set up a donation field to distinguish between the donation types. The field should be a required field, and should be a drop-down, radio buttons or multiple choice field, with the choices being the different donation types.

  2. Add a donation gadget to a page, and add a content gadget instructing your donors to select the donation type.

  3. To keep track of the fundraising progress for each donation type, add separate donation goal gadgets and point the Include in Collected setting to the appropriate donation type field value.

  4. To keep track of the amounts raised for the different donation types, you can go to your donations list and export the list to an Excel spreadsheet. Within Excel, you can sort the spreadsheet by the donation type field value.

Recurring donations

Currently, Wild Apricot does not support recurring donations. As a workaround, you could create a dedicated membership level for donations, and enable recurring payments for that membership level.

Managing pledges

There is currently no way to properly track pledges in Wild Apricot. A donation is treated like payment received, without any accompanying invoice. Once you record a donation, it's considered received in full at that point.

One workaround you can use:

  1. Create manual invoices and use them to track pledges.
  2. Once the donation payment is received, record it as usual, then settle it to the previously created pledge invoice.

The downside of this approach is that these invoices and payments will not be included under donations in reporting but will be reported separately under payments.

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