Moving to a new giving platform can be daunting for your staff and your congregation, so we’ve created tools to help you onboard your people to Faithlife Giving and minimize missed gifts due to lapsed recurring gifts.
You can import recurring gifts from your previous giving platform and then send a customized email series to givers, prompting them to provide a payment method in Faithlife Giving. If givers miss a regularly-scheduled recurring gift during the transition, you can encourage them to make up the missed gift as well.
Note: Learn more about importing historical gift data from your previous giving platform.
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Import Recurring Gifts
You can import recurring gifts from your previous payments process from the Recurring Gifts tab in your Finance Team.
1. Prepare your CSV file
Start by exporting your gifts from your previous platform. Faithlife can interpret CSV data from most giving platforms, but taking a few minutes to prepare your exported CSV file will make a cleaner import process. Here are a few general rules to follow:
- Provide a header row for each column if your export doesn’t include it automatically. The title should be descriptive of the column content.
- Ensure each column contains only one piece of data (e.g., fund, amount, etc.), with the exception of name which can either be formatted as a first name column and a last name column or full name in one column.
- Include an email address for each recurring gift, as this is a required field when importing recurring gifts and Faithlife uses email addresses to link imported gifts to existing givers. (See the note below for more details.)
- Your file must include both a:
- Start date (the date the recurring gift should process first in Faithlife Giving)
- Frequency schedule
Set the frequency value for each import to one of the following:
- Every other week
- Every 3 months
- Every year
Note: If your previous payment platform does not provide the next scheduled gift date, you may need to infer this start date based off of each giver’s historical gift frequency and your planned transition to Faithlife Giving.
We’ve created a sample CSV with all available field names for import. For best results, use this file to structure your CSV.
Note: The import tool uses email addresses to link imported gifts to existing givers. In other words, records in your imported CSV file with an email address that matches the email of an existing person record will apply the imported gift data to that person record. If the provided email address does not match an existing person record, a new person record will be created. Additionally, if multiple gifts within the imported file share the same name, email, and physical address, Faithlife will merge this giving data under a single new person record (assuming the email does not match an existing person record). After importing giving data, you can merge duplicate records if the import process results in duplicate records for the same person.
2. Open the Recurring Gifts tab.
Go to Faithlife.com, sign in, and select your Finance Team from the Groups Panel. Click on the Recurring Gifts tab in your Finance Team.
3. Import your CSV.
Click Import, select your CSV file from your machine, and click Open to begin the import process.
4. Finalize the import.
The import process will show three columns:
- File Header: the names for each column in your CSV file.
- Sample File Values: the column data for imported data
- Recurring Gift Field: the suggested import field for the gift
Scan through each gift field to ensure it matches the data from your import. Ensure the frequency is set to the right value for each imported recurring gift. Any field not mapped to a Gift Field will be skipped on import, so ensure all crucial data is mapped to a field.
Note: If your .csv file includes the givers' full names in one column (rather than separate first and last name columns), you may initially see an error message upon import which states that you must have a valid first name and last name. However, once you select Full Name as the Gift Field for your full name column, these errors will be resolved.
Note: You can also upload a new CSV file or re-import the file if there was an error by clicking Re-upload CSV.
Once you’ve finished mapping the data to the gift fields, click Import recurring gifts. Before clicking, confirm the number of gifts shown reflects the number of gifts in your file.
Once Faithlife imports the CSV, an indicator will show your import completed. The imported gift(s) will show in the table, marking the source as “File Import.” For security purposes, processors typically do not provide a giver’s banking information in exports, so a red warning indicator signals that the gift cannot be run because it is missing payment information.
Customize Recurring Gift Email Series
By default, the giver will be sent an email series and asked to update their payment information. You can change this default behavior or customize the email messages by following the instructions below.
1. Open the email series settings.
Click the Settings icon to view the default email series.
Note: By default, the email series will be sent to imported recurring gifts only. If a recurring gift set up through the online giving form has missing payment information, they will not receive these emails, as they are meant for givers switching from your previous giving platform to Faithlife Giving.
To prevent the email series from sending automatically toggle off Send upcoming gift reminder emails.
2. Customize the email content.
The email series includes five pre-written emails which you can customize to fit your church. The emails are sent to each customer based on the start date of their recurring gift. Once a giver provides a payment method for the gift, the emails will no longer be sent.
- Email #1: 14 days before first gift date
- Email #2: 7 days before first gift date
- Email #3: 1 day before first gift date
- Email #4: 3 days after first gift date
- Email #5: 7 days after first gift date
You can change the subject or body of any email, adding customized details for each giver using the Insert dropdown menu. The formatting bar enables common text formatting features, links, images, and more in the body for each email. All changes you make save automatically.
Note: To reset any changed subject line or body back to the default text, click Reset.
Remove an Imported Recurring Gift
If your givers no longer want to give to your church on a recurring basis, you can stop the email series from continuing to send to that individual by deleting their imported recurring gift.
1. Select the recurring gift.
Click the row in the recurring gifts report.
2. Delete the recurring gift.
Click Edit to open the editing modal. Click Delete to remove the recurring gift.
Note: You may also delete a recurring gift by going to the giver’s record from the Givers tab and editing the gift in the Recurring Gift section.