Refunds

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Occasionally, a situation might arise where you need to issue a refund for a donation and send money back to your donor.

Here is important information to know before issuing a refund:

  • Many aspects of a donation can be edited.  A donation's fund allocation, check number, check date, label, or even which donor the donation is attributed to can all be edited without having to issue an actual refund.
  • Processing fees are typically not refunded by Stripe.
  • 100% of the donation must be refunded; partial refunds are not supported.

Be sure to issue refunds from within Giving – not in the Stripe dashboard. Otherwise your data may get out of sync.

If you need to issue a refund, the process is slightly different depending on the payment method of the donation.

Refund a Card Donation

A donation made by credit or debit card can be refunded for as long as the cardholder's bank allows. After a refund is initiated, your donor sees the refund as a credit approximately 5-10 business days later, depending upon their bank. Once issued, a refund cannot be canceled.

To refund a card donation, go to the donation and click Issue Refund.

refund card

Choose the reason that the donation was refunded, and then click Refund Donation.

Refund an ACH Bank Transfer Donation

ACH transactions are much slower to process than cards. The ability to issue a refund depends on where the ACH transaction is in its lifecycle:

  1. Awaiting Transit: Right after the donor gives, there's a two-hour window where the donation hasn't been sent to the banking system. During this time, you can cancel the donation using the Cancel button. This won't issue a refund, but it will delete the donation outright, preventing Stripe from ever seeing it.
  2. In-Transit: The donation is locked in transit at the banking system for the 2 to 7 business days it takes for the transaction to settle. Clicking the Initiate Refund button now will initiate a reverse ACH transaction that will begin after the transaction settles.
  3. Successful: After the transaction settles, clicking the Initiate Refund button will start a new, reverse ACH transaction.

ACH donations can be refunded for 90 days. After that, refunds must be issued by check. If you issued a refund by check and need to mark a donation as refunded, please contact support.

To issue an ACH refund, go to the donation and click Initiate Refund.

Choose the reason that the donation was refunded, and then click Refund Donation.

Refund a Check, Cash, or Batch Donation

Check, cash, and any donation belonging to a batch are donations where the payment was processed outside of Giving. Since Giving never processed the payment through Stripe (our payment processor), it can't initiate the refund through Stripe either.

If you issue a refund outside of Giving (for example, you mailed the donor a physical check), you'll still want to make a record of the refund in Giving.

If a batch is uncommitted and the count is still in progress, there's no need to mark a donation as refunded. Just delete the donation.

To mark a batched donation as a refund, go to the donation and click Mark as Refunded.

pending button means no refund

Choose the reason that the donation was refunded, and then click Refunded Donation.

After a Donation is Refunded

When a donation is refunded, it's no longer considered a successful donation.

Refunded donations do appear:

  • On a donor's profile on the admin side of Giving (with a red eraser icon next to it).
  • On a donor's profile on Church Center (web and mobile app).
  • On the main donation listing in the Donations tab.
  • On CSV exports.

Refunded donations do not appear:

  • On the dashboard (as a part of the bar charts and stats).
  • On donor statements issued by you.
  • As a result when generating People Lists. For example, if a donor only has one donation and it's refunded, they wouldn't appear in a list that searches for donors.

The moment a donation is refunded, a log entry will be added to the donation's Adjustment History at the bottom of the donation record. The action will also be noted in the main application logs.

adjustment history
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