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Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud Spring 2020 Release: Recurring Donations Deep Dive

Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud Spring 2020 Release: Recurring Donations Deep Dive

Written by

Junette Tan

Nonprofit Solutions Architect at Traction on Demand

Now more than ever, recurring revenue is critical for your organization’s success. Check out the new functionality from Salesforce that will make this easier to enable you to grow your recurring revenue stream. Enhanced Recurring Donations makes your gift processing easier and your donors happier.

Following on from last week’s blog on Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud Spring 2020 Release features, we’re taking a closer look at their Enhanced Recurring Donations update. 

What is the Recurring Donations Update?

This update is revamped (and new) code-base using the existing Recurring Donations object that supports global sustainer tracking. Most notably, you will now no longer see a collection of opportunities created before they’re paid; you’ll just see the next open pledge payment gift. This release introduces a better data structure to support payment processing and large data volume customers. 

Benefits of the Recurring Donations Update

  • Automated naming convention for easier entry and improved data quality
  • More predictable behaviour when changing Recurring Donation records – the system will no longer delete and recreate related Opportunities
  • Automatic creation of Opportunities will only generate the next open pledge instead of all future installments
  • Displays information about upcoming installments and the active schedule in two new Lightning components 
  • Included in NPSP with no additional cost

Recurring Donations Update in Action

The following screenshot shows an open-ended sustainer pledge (with $500 installments every quarter on the last day of the month) that has been changed. The donor has generously agreed to increase their installments to $800 starting August 2020! After updating the amount and the effective date, you’ll see the Lightning components show the current and future schedules, as well as the next 12 upcoming installments.

What you need to know before migrating from legacy Recurring Donations

Backup Your Data: NPSP provides a step-by-step guide for upgrading to Enhanced Recurring Donations, but there is no way to revert back to legacy Recurring Donations, so ensure you have a backup of your data.

Deprecated Fields: Some fields have been deprecated (e.g. Installment Amount) which will affect existing layouts, reports, integrations, and import templates. Ensure you have a plan for updating and modifying these prior to completing the upgrade so you can communicate to users and limit the impact.

“Multiply By” Changes: Previous functionality to choose between “Multiply By” or “Divide By” is no longer available. Enhanced Recurring Donations behaves as if all schedules are “Multiply By”. If you’ve used this to support managing pledges in the past, you’ll need to rethink this architecture and ensure the data is moved correctly.

New Page Layout: A new Enhanced Recurring Donation page layout will be available, but before assigning it to users, ensure the look-and-feel isn’t too different from what they’re accustomed to and provide training in advance.

Sandbox Testing: Data migration should be tested in a full sandbox environment to ensure all relationships are preserved prior to upgrading.

Disable Custom Automations: Remember to disable all custom automation on Recurring Donation, Opportunity, and Payment objects prior to the migration. This may mean that you need to alert users when completing the upgrade in Production and assess what business processes may need to be held while the upgrade is in process or if the upgrade needs to be done after hours or on the weekend.

Time Management: Ensure that enough time has been allocated for the migration – users should not be creating/editing Recurring Donations while migrating.

Data Migration: If you’re leveraging the NPSP tool to upgrade and you realize that you forgot something important, you can pause during the data migration, but records that have already been processed cannot be rolled back.

Our Top Tips and Tricks

  • Automatic creation of Opportunities: Analyze whether automatic creation of Opportunities is appropriate for your organization if you have active integrations from third-party vendors/payment processors. This may be a good opportunity to adjust the integration logic so you do not need to match against an existing payment which can sometimes be challenging and cause duplicate issues. 
  • Next Donation Date Match Range: If you’re leveraging automatic Opportunity creation, and you’re updating a monthly installment as paid more than three days before or after the expected close date, NPSP will generate a new installment for the same month. For example, Bob has sent us his monthly cheque a week early for his May installment. We would want NPSP to generate the next installment for June, but it will actually generate the installment for May again. To fix this, change the “Next Donation Date Match Range” in NPSP Settings.
  • Don’t Panic; Just Refresh: If you’ve enabled automatic creation of Opportunities and don’t see the Opportunity on a newly created Recurring Donation or after you’ve marked an installment as paid, don’t panic! Try refreshing your browser.
  • Naming Convention: If you need to adjust the format of the naming convention, the default automation will have to be disabled in Custom Settings. There is no option in NPSP Settings to easily customize the naming convention (like you can with Opportunities), though this is planned for the future.
  • Change History: Being able to see a history of donor upgrades/downgrades is not currently available, but this is being considered for a future release. In the meantime, field history tracking can be enabled on the desired fields (e.g. Amount, Installment Frequency). Don’t forget to add the History related list to your page layout after enabling field history tracking!
  • Changing Default Stage: If you want to change the default Stage of the generated Opportunities, modify the “RecurringDonationStageName” Custom Label in Setup. Be careful of typos – when modifying the custom label, you won’t have a picklist with the Opportunity Stage values to choose from, so you’ll have to type in the desired value correctly.

Compatibility with other NPSP features:

  • If you will be implementing Accounting Subledger, legacy Recurring Donations are not supported – you will need to upgrade to Enhanced Recurring Donations.

How Traction on Demand Can Help

As one of the largest independent Salesforce consulting partners in North America, we’re here to support you as you explore this upgrade. We’d love to talk through the features of Enhanced Recurring Donations and evaluate how they may or may not fit your unique needs. We can also help with your implementation strategy, customizations, training and enablement, data migration and more.

For more information check out the Enhanced Recurring Donations Guide on the Power of Us Hub.

Get in touch

We’d love to talk through the features of Enhanced Recurring Donations and evaluate how they may or may not fit your unique needs.

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