Adding and importing donations

There are several ways to add donations in the Giving module. Once added, the donation records form the basis for financial reporting, donation statements, and accounting journals. Donation records are maintained in the local currency of your ChurchSuite account, with Gift Aid support for UK customers and Tax-Deductible support for customers in North America and Australia.

In this article

Adding individual donations
Adding donations as a batch
Importing donations

Adding individual donations

To add individual donations, navigate to a giver's profile page and add their donations using the Add donation button located on the Donations tab - this will open an Add donation pop-up with the giver pre-selected:

Or, from the Donations section of the Giving module, click Add donation:

On the Add donation pop-up, begin by searching and selecting the Giver - you can search by giver first name, last name or giver reference (couple giver first and last names are also recognised); matching suggestions filter as you type, or you can Add a new giver.

Where applicable you can optionally assign the donation to an existing Batch - the batch will be pre-selected if you are adding the donation from a batch View. This option is useful if you want to add further donations to an existing batch. Select the Fund and add the donation Date and Amount.

ChurchSuite will attempt to match the donation to a giver's existing Pledge - based on the donation fund, date and amount. Where the selected giver has multiple matching pledges, or where a definitive match can't be made, you can manually search and select the appropriate Pledge. Remember, pledge progress can only be accurately reported if donations are linked to the pledge. Next, select the donation Method. If the 'Cheque' method is selected an additional Cheque # field is provided.

For UK customers giver Gift Aid declarations are Auto-detected and a message confirms whether or not the donation is covered by an active declaration for the donation fund and date, and automatically sets the donation Gift Aid status to either Unclaimed or Not-claimable accordingly. However, you can optionally select to Override an auto-detected declaration - perhaps where a giver has expressly requested Gift Aid not be claimed on this donation, or where Gift Aid has already been claimed e.g. GAYE, CAF Voucher and Stewardship. Even if the giver has a valid declaration the donation's Gift Aid status will be set to Override and the donation will be excluded from Gift Aid claims. It's also possible to select to add a One-off declaration for the donation being added (covering the donation fund and date) - suitable for Gift Aid envelope donations where the envelope is the declaration - the donation Gift Aid status will be set to Unclaimed and will be included in a future Gift Aid claim.

For UK customers, where the giver is designated as a Couple, optionally override the couple's Gift Aid Split (the couple's default % split is set in the giver's profile). Typically this is only changed if the giver has made an explicit instruction for this donation, perhaps where the couple's tax circumstances have changed.

North American and Australian customers have an alternative option to specify whether the donation is Tax Deductible. Donations can derive a default Tax Deductible status from the Fund settings - see our related support article for "Setting up and managing funds".

You can optionally add donation Notes. Finally, click Save to add the donation.

The donation is recorded against the giver's profile and also listed within the Donations section of the module. You can further Edit a donation from the Donations section or a giver's profile if you need to. A donation change log is maintained - select View changes.

Adding donations as a batch

Donations imported from a CSV file are added in a batch - see next section. However, batches have other uses too and are helpful if you need to group donations - for example, you could group your weekly offering donations into a batch. Once the batch has been added, the process of adding donations to the batch uses the same Add donation pop-up explained in the previous section.

Let's begin by first adding the batch. From the Batches section of the Giving module, select Add batch.

On the Add batch pop-up, give the batch a suitable Name e.g. "Christmas Offering", or "Sunday Collection". Next, enter the Batch Defaults that will be applied to donations added to the batch - these defaults can be overridden when adding donations, but are helpful where there is a recurring theme to the donations to be added. All default fields are "required". UK customers have a Gift Aid default. North American and Australian customers have a Tax deductible default.

Clicking Save adds the new batch - the next consecutive Batch Number is assigned. The batch View is shown, ready for you to begin adding donations. You can return to this batch view via the Batches section at any time in the future, perhaps to Edit the batch name or batch defaults, or add further donations. To add a donation click Add donation.

The process of adding donations is as described earlier in this article - the Add donation pop-up is the same. Begin by searching and selecting the Giver - you can search by giver first name, last name or giver reference (couple giver first and last names are also recognised); matching suggestions are listed as you type, or you can Add a new giver. The donation's Fund, Date, Gift Aid/Tax Deductible and Method fields automatically default to the batch defaults specified earlier, but these defaults can be overridden as you add donations. Add the donation Amount and click Save to add each donation.

Continue adding donations as appropriate. You can return to the Donations list at any time should you need to Edit or Delete donations in the batch.

As you add donations the batch Statistics are updated accordingly. The batch totals and statistics may help with producing the journals you might process into your accounting system.

Deleting a donation does not remove the donation from the batch or the Giving module. Instead, the donation status is changed from Active to Deleted, preserving the audit trail. Note that you cannot delete a donation that has been included in a Gift Aid claim (for UK customers only), but you can process a Gift Aid Overclaim and Reverse the donation - see our related support article for further information on Handling Gift Aid overclaims and refunds. A message is shown if a batch includes deleted donations, enabling you to switch between displaying just active donations (the default view) or all donations (active and deleted). Deleted donations can be Set as active should a donation need to be reinstated.

From the Batches section, you can View, Edit and Delete batches. Batches can only be deleted if they do not contain Gift-Aided donations (for UK customers only). You can switch between viewing Active and Deleted batches. When viewing the Active batch list, the Total is the value of Active donations, and when viewing the Deleted batch list, the Total is the value of Active and Deleted donations. The Pending column shows a count of the unprocessed donations for a partial import that has been paused and not yet completed. Clicking the Pending pill counter...

...redirects you to the donation import page. At the bottom of that page is the list of Partial Imports. From here you can Resume or Delete the import. See the next section for further information about Importing donations.

Importing donations


Importing donations into the Giving module is a simple process, with each import creating a Batch. You can import donations from bank statements straight into the Giving module. During the import process ChurchSuite "learns" the bank statement reference associated with each giver so that donations are automatically matched to the givers in subsequent statement imports. And it's not just bank statements that can be imported - you can import any CSV or OFX format file - ideal where you maintain a CSV file of the day-to-day or week-to-week donations you receive, and then import them in a single process; perhaps when the related money is deposited into your bank account - the amount deposited matches/reconciles with the batch total - creating a useful accounting audit trail.

During the import process, you will be able to review each transaction in the list (only credit transactions deposited into your bank account are imported) and choose which giver to link each donation to based on the statement reference. Where a statement reference is matched to an existing giver the donation is automatically linked. Non-donation items on a bank statement (such as deposit interest) can be deleted not imported.

Get the right file format

To upload a bank statement or file of donations into the Giving module it will need to be in either a CSV or OFX format. Most banks supply their bank statements in the OFX format, however, either format is suitable.

Importing a CSV file

Spreadsheet programs like Google Spreadsheets, Microsoft Excel or make it easy to create and save a CSV file. For ChurchSuite to be able to import your CSV file of donations, it must have the file extension .csv and it must include a header line that defines which column headings correspond to the fields within ChurchSuite. Acceptable column headings are shown in the section Creating your CSV file on the Import Donations page in the Giving module.

Importing eligible small donations (UK customers)

For UK customers wishing to import eligible small donations claimable under the HMRC Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme, the Bank reference to be cited in the CSV file is shown on the SDS Giver profile. Customers with multiple Sites will have an SDS Giver profile for each site, each with a unique bank reference.

In the following example, G-0SDS-1 is the bank_reference value to be specified in the CSV file for eligible small donations being imported for the 'Nottingham' site.

Upload your donation file to ChurchSuite

From the Donations section of the Giving module, select Import donations.

Click Import file.

On the Import file pop-up, click to browse and select the file to upload or drag and drop the file into the dropzone.

The next screen displays a preview of the data that will be imported. Note the CSV Header column, which is helpful to ensure the incoming data is matched to the correct fields in the Giving module. Use the drop-down field selector under Import As to map each column from the file to the appropriate field in ChurchSuite. Once you are satisfied, select Import All Records.

The screen displays a paginated list of all the items of income (credit transactions) from the bank statement import file (debit transactions, i.e. expenditure, are disregarded). For any income entries that are not donations select Delete from the action menu to remove a non-donation item prior to processing the imported list.

Using the Bank Reference from your import file, ChurchSuite attempts to match each donation to the bank reference of your existing givers. Bank references should therefore be unique to one giver to ensure that only the correct giver will be matched. You can optionally unlink a donation from an incorrectly matched giver and then search/select to link the donation to a different giver; however, you should consider also updating the incorrectly matched giver's bank reference in the giver profile.

For each Unlinked donation, either click on the donation or select Edit from the imported donation actions to open a pop-up through which the donation can now be linked. Search by Giver first name, last name or giver reference (couple giver first and last names are also recognised) - matching suggestions are listed as you type. Or select to +Add [a new giver].

Selecting +Add [giver] will open the Add giver pop-up which gives the option to link the new giver to an existing contact In the Address Book - by searching for a Contact (this will create a new giver profile from the Address Book contact and auto-link the giver profile to that contact):

Or select not in the Address Book to add all the related giver details - you can add missing details later. The giver's First Name and Last Name are required. Click Save & return to add the new giver and return to the Edit donation pop-up:

ChurchSuite saves the Bank Reference against the new Giver profile so that when it encounters that same bank reference in a future import it will auto-link the donation to that giver. Importantly, you can add multiple bank references for a giver, perhaps for a giver that makes donations from different bank accounts (or changes their bank account), the system will keep your giver records up to date. Note that the Edit donation pop-up can also be used to make changes to other fields, such as the Fund, Method and Gift Aid status. Click Save to close the pop-up.

Continue linking unlinked donations as appropriate. You can Pause or Delete an import at any time and later return to the Partial Imports list to Resume later.

Once you've finished reviewing each of the imported donations in the list, click Save Donations and the donations will be processed into your Giving module as a batch (or added to an existing batch where a partial import is resumed). Only donations linked to a Giver will be imported. In this way, you can perform partial imports of matched and linked donations and then return to the unmatched list later.

Any remaining donations not yet imported are listed. You can either link the remaining donations or Pause the import and complete the remaining linking later.

Each donation import creates a new batch in the Batches section of the Giving module. An information message lets you know if the batch is linked to a partial import where there are remaining donations still to be imported into the batch. Click Resume to return to the partial import and continue the process. You may also wish to Edit the batch to change the auto-assigned Batch Name to something more informative.

Automatic pledge matching during the import

ChurchSuite will attempt to automatically link each giver's donations to their pledge if:

  • There's a single pledge for the fund on the donation date, or
  • There are multiple pledges for the fund on the donation date AND the donation amount is either an exact multiple of the pledge recurring amount or the exact one-off pledge amount.

Donations will not be auto-matched to a pledge where the donation could match multiple pledges based on fund and date but the amount is neither a multiple of the recurring pledge amount nor equal to the one-off pledge amount.

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