Refunding, Correcting, & Reassigning Donations

Refunding & Failed Donations

For cash & check donations:

If a cash or check donation is part of a batch that is still in progress, it cannot be refunded yet. If it's part of a committed batch, you can mark this donation as refunded. Planning Center Giving doesn't issue the actual refund- you'll need to cut a check from your general ledger software or issue the physical refund outside of Giving. It's important to track that the donation was refunded in Giving though!

If a cash or check donation needs to be removed, but a refund isn't in order, you can mark the donation as failed. When you do, you'll be asked for a reason why. This will be added to the system log entry. The most common reason for marking a check donation as a "failed" is a bounced check ("non-sufficient funds" or NSF).

For ACH donations:

Once an ACH donation is initiated, the donation enters a pending state while the ACH goes through. During this time, it can't be refunded. At the end of the pending period the donation will either fail (indicating the ACH withdrawal failed) or it will succeed. Once it has succeeded, you can then issue a refund if needed.

An ACH donation can't be manually marked as failed if the transfer has succeeded.

For credit & debit card donations:

Donations made by credit & debit cards can be made at any time.

Notes:

  • Do not issue refunds directly in Stripe! They should be handled in Planning Center Giving to ensure your Giving data is accurate.
  • It's not currently possible to do partial donations in Giving. 100% of the donation must be refunded.
  • When a donation is refunded, the donation will still appear in the Giving database (in the "Donations" view or the donor's profile for example). However, it will be clearly marked as a refunded donation and it won't contribute to stats and totals.
  • A refunded or failed donation will appear in a donor's history on the donor interface but they won't appear in any statements issued to the donor.

When credit, debit, or ACH donations are refunded through Giving, the donor is sent a notification that looks like this:

Correcting (Editing) Donations

For Cash & Check donations:

If a mistake was discovered after a check or cash donation comitted (say, it was allocated to the wrong fund or there was some issue with the check), a cash or check donation can be edited. 

For ACH donations:

A successful ACH donation can be edited only insofar as the total is not changed. For example, you could edit a $10 donation to the General fund to have a split fund allocation- $5 to the General fund, and $5 to the Missions fund. The "Received date" on ACH donations processed in Planning Center Giving can't be edited. The date the transaction was initiated by the donor is the date it was received. 

For credit & debit card donations:

A successful credit or debit card donation can be edited only insofar as the total is not changed. For example, you could edit a $10 donation to the General fund to have a split fund allocation- $5 to the General fund, and $5 to the Missions fund. The "Received date" on credit and debit card donations processed in Planning Center Giving can't be edited. The date the transaction occurred is the date it was received.

Reassigning Donations

If you have a donation that was actually assigned to the wrong donor, it's easy to reassign the donation to the correct donor. Just find the donation in question, and change the donor like this:

Changes are Logged

These types of changes are obviously the type that need to be tracked. In all the above cases (refunding, correcting or reassigning donations) the changes will be logged in two places: 

  1. The donation's adjustment history.
  2. The master system log.

The only time this type of change is not recorded is when a donation belongs to a batch where the count is currently in progress. See "Making and Correcting Mistakes" in this article.

Article tags: bounced checks, refunds, nsf check, non-sufficient funds, reattribute different donor, change donor, reassign donation, edit donation

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