Discipling people in the area of stewardship and their personal finances is often a challenge in churches. To help you we've included "pledge" functionality to your Giving module, allowing people to make non-binding stewardship commitments to the work and ministry of the church they attend. Pledges are extremely helpful to churches in planning and projecting income in order to steward resources wisely and to produce budgets.
In this article
Every church will have its own processes for administering how pledges are solicited. Once pledges are received they can easily be recorded in ChurchSuite (and even added by church members through My ChurchSuite if you wish).
Recurring online donation pledges
In addition to the pledge functionality describe in this article, a pledge is also created when a giver makes a recurring online donation through ChurchSuite Donate (either by card or direct debit). The "Method" column will help you distinguish recurring online giving pledges from your other pledges. Pledges in respect of recurring card or direct debit donations cannot be deleted; but in certain circumstances they can be edited or cancelled. For further information see the related support article Accepting online donations.
Adding a pledge to a giver in ChurchSuite
On any giver profile in the Giving module, select the Pledges tab.
Simply click "Add pledge" and fill in the details. A pledge must always have a start date. An 'enduring' pledge can be created by leaving the end date blank. A pledge is always for a selected Fund. Enter the pledged donation frequency and the amount - note how pledges may comprise a recurring and one-off donation amount.
Save your changes before navigating away from the page.
Now, as you process a giver's donations for that pledged fund, the progress indicator on the giver profile will update accordingly.
You can edit or even delete a pledge at any time. Donations made will not be affected by pledge changes.
Pledge reporting in ChurchSuite
ChurchSuite provides two pledge-related reports in the Giving > Reports section. Scroll down to the bottom of the list of reports to the Pledges section.
The Pledges Active report is ideal for reporting progress on your church member pledges. By filtering on Fund and % Donated, you can easily generate reports of pledge progress - perhaps to identify pledges that have yet to be started; and then follow up with communication or adding those people to a Tag for further action. Or perhaps you want to filter those givers who have completed 100% of their pledge so that you can send them a 'thank you' note. Helpfully the report can be ordered by Giver, Date, Amount Recurring or Amount One-Off. Click "Generate" each time you change the filter parameters.
The Total Pledged report calculates the amount pledged over a range of dates, and displays all the related pledges underneath.
Managing pledges in My ChurchSuite
Your givers can easily see a visual record of their active (and expired) pledges and the progress they are making; helping them to stay on track. Pledge management is included within the My Giving section within My ChurchSuite. To use this functionality it must first be enabled in the Giving module options (on the My ChurchSuite tab in the module's settings). Scroll down the settings page to the Pledges section and tick to enable Pledge Management. An optional custom message can also be added to provide explanation to your church members.
Whenever you're planning a financial giving campaign, it's then really easy invite your church members who respond to add a new pledge in My ChurchSuite. They can even specify which fund(s). Pledges are colour-coordinated according to the fund colour you specify in ChurchSuite in "Giving" > "Funds". Expired pledges will continue to show for two months after expiry, after which time they are hidden (but still accessible in your Giving module).
Church members can create a new pledge by clicking "Add pledge" on the My Giving page. A pledge must always have a start date. An 'enduring' pledge can be created by leaving the end date blank. A pledge is always for a selected Fund. The giver will enter the pledged donation frequency and the amount - note how pledges may comprise a recurring and one-off donation amount.
Remember to set your Fund(s) as "visible in Donate" in order for your church members to be able to pledge to it (and give online too, if you have enabled online donations).
To check the visibility of each of your funds, head to Giving > Funds. Funds that are visible will be listed with an 'eye' icon in the list. To make any changes, click to "Edit" from the fund's 'action' cog on the right hand side of the page.
Whilst pledges can be added or viewed in My ChurchSuite, your church members are unable to edit active or expired pledges here. To do this, these changes would need to be communicated to someone on your church's finance team who can update pledges in the Giver profile within the ChurchSuite Giving module. This prevents churches experiencing unexpected changes in projected income that could otherwise go unreported if members were able to alter their pledges without notification.