Recurring Transactions FAQ

Read below for a list of frequently asked questions pertaining to the Recurring Transactions functionality in Kindful.   


This article is an FAQ about Recurring Transactions in Kindful.

Linked Articles:

- Recurring Transactions

- VIDEO: Recurring Transactions

Can I change a donor's recurring donation amount or schedule without having to cancel and start the recurrence over again?

Yes, you can. On the contact profile, click on the Payment Info tab along the top of the profile page. Find the recurring transaction you wish to edit, and click the Edit button to make changes to it. Change the amount, bill date, the next recurrence date, and more.

What is a Recurring Transaction Schedule?

The “Recurring Transaction Schedule,” is in control when a recurring transaction processes. When it is automatically processed. The schedule will tells the payment gateway that it’s time to run a charge. When using a manual recurring transaction, this allows certain filters like “With overdue recurring” to work.

How can I find a list of new recurring donors this week, month, quarter, etc?

Head to the Activities page and filter  "Activity Type: New Recurring" to isolate these events. You can also add the filter "This Month" or "This Week" to further isolate the time frame.

A donor is wanting to make a donation for multiple consecutive months. How can it be stopped after those months?

The donor cannot set an end to their recurring donation on their side; however, you can as an Admin.

If you want to give your donors the ability to state how many transactions they would like to give before it ends, use a Campaign Custom Field to ask the donor something like, "How many recurring donations would you like to make with this commitment?" and give them the option to enter a number. You can set up the answer field as text or as a select value.

It makes sense in this scenario to also ask a question like this: "Would you like this recurring donation to end after a set amount of donations?" with the answer values of "Yes, I would like this to end after a set amount of donations" and "No, I would not like this to end after a set amount of donations". Setting up an additional question like this will allow you to run a filter on the Activities page for all activities with these questions answered, using the filter "With Answer: Yes, I would like this to end after a set amount of donations". The resulting transactions would be the ones you would need to reference to see how many transactions they would like to make before ending the recurrence.

You can then take this information, and head to their profile, click on the Payment Info tab and edit the recurring donation's section titled, "


How can I edit a monthly recurring transaction to skip a month's payment?

On the Contact Profile, navigate to the  find the Payment Info tab, and scroll down to the Recurring Transactions blocks. In the block of the recurring transaction you wish to change the date, click on the Edit button. In the window that pops up, you can edit the recurring transaction and change the "Next Recurrence". This will control the next date that a payment processes, allowing a donor to skip a payment, while maintaining the original recurring schedule. Save that change, and it will be applied.

For example, a donor may have a recurring transaction that is set to run on the 1st of every month. If the donor makes a transaction on August 1, and wants to skip September, follow the steps above, and in the "Next Recurrence" block, set that to be October 1. Doing this will simply skip September's payment, but will keep the ongoing schedule in tact.

What Are the Activity Filters Related to Recurring Transactions? 

  • Automatic Recurring Transaction Schedule - Shows the recurring transaction schedules that use a payment method to automatically process the payment
  • Manual Recurring Transaction Schedule - Shows the recurring transaction schedules that require a manual entry
  • Activity Type: New Recurring, Updated Recurring, Canceled Recurring - Shows the Recurring transaction schedules that have been created, updated, or canceled
    Note: “Updated” recurring transaction activities are only created when an automatic recurring transaction schedule has been updated
  • Transaction Type: Recurring - Shows all recurring transactions that were automatically processed via a payment method stored on the contact’s profile
  • Assigned to Recurring - Shows all transactions that are assigned to a recurring schedule, both automatically processed and manually entered.
  • Expiring Recurring - Shows all created/updated recurring transaction schedules that use a payment method that will expire in the specified number of days
    Example: Using the filter “Expiring Recurring: 5” shows all created/updated recurring transaction schedules that use a payment method that will expire in 5 days
  • Recurring On - Find recurring transaction schedules that will recur on a specific date

What Are the Contact Filters Related to Recurring Transactions? 

  • Has Recurring Transaction - Shows contacts that currently have a recurring transaction schedule set
  • Has Overdue Manual Recurring - Shows contacts with a manual recurring transaction that is past due

What Are the Available Report Columns Related to Recurring Transactions? 

  • Activity Type (Activity)
  • Amount (Activity)
  • Campaign Name (Activity)
  • Date Created (Activity)
  • Recurring Payment Number (Activity)
  • Recurring Transaction Progress (Activity)
  • Recurring Transaction Frequency (Activity)

What if There Isn't a Payment Method on File for the Contact Record I Select?

First, go to the contact’s profile to add a payment method, then schedule the recurring transaction. Alternatively, you could schedule a manually entered recurring transaction if you expect the payment to be sent to you via cash or check each month.

If I merge two contacts and one of them has a recurring donation, does that recurring donation roll into the merged contact?

Yes, when you merge two records, their billing information (card profiles, etc.) and the associated recurring information merges into the primary record.

What if I have the payment details, but I don't have an email address for the contact on which I wish to create the recurring donation?

You can set this up since you are an admin user, even without an email. First, create a contact profile for this donor, via +Add New > Contact. You don't have to add any email address.

Once this is done, visit that contact profile and click the Payment Info tab. There you can add the credit card information, then create a recurring transaction.

Why don't I see an "Edit" button on my contact's Recurring Transaction Schedule?

Recurring Transaction Schedules in Kindful can be created in 2 different ways: it either originates inside Kindful, or originates outside of Kindful and is imported into Kindful in one of 2 different ways: (1) via our "Stripe Create" data integration or (2) via PayPal.

Admin users are able to edit Recurring Transaction Schedules that originate in Kindful. However, if the Recurring Transaction Schedule was created outside of Kindful, then Kindful does not have access or permissions to edit that Recurring Transaction Schedule.

In that instance, you will not see an "Edit" button for the Recurring Transaction Schedule on the Payment Info tab of the Contact profile in question.

I see a declined donation in Kindful but a successful donation in my gateway. What does this mean?

The most common explanation is your donor has setup multiple recurring donations, sometimes inadvertently. This can happen if they try and create a donor account without confirming it, which might make them want to create a new recurring transaction. The payment gateway will not show the details as clearly as Kindful will, so it is advised to check the donor profile in Kindful of the contact to see if they have multiple recurrences setup. 

How can I create a report that shows monthly donors?

For this, you could use the contact filter Has Recurring Transaction: Yes

This will show you all donors who have an active recurring donation. From there you are able to click the Create Report option on the right task bar area. This will pull up the report creation screen where you can name the report, select the page layout(portrait or landscape), and select the columns you wish to be visible on the report.

Of note here, if you select Standard Activity from the Pre-Selected Column Set dropdown, this will automatically fill in all of the donors basic info.

How many attempts are made on a declining recurring transaction before it cancels automatically?

You have the ability to edit this setting in your Settings > Fundraising Settings > Transaction Settings

If left blank, Kindful will try 6 times before canceling a recurring transaction.

By default, a declined transaction will attempt to process for two additional consecutive days. If unsuccessful, the process will start again on the next recurring date, running the same cycle. If the transaction is still declined after these two cycles of attempts (six total occurrences), it will be cancelled.

For example, if a donor has a recurring donation scheduled on 1st of every month, and it fails on January 1st, it will try again on January 2nd. If it declines on the 2nd, it will try again on January 3rd. If it declines on the 3rd, it will move to February. If the pattern of declines repeats in February, and the setting is left blank (the default setting), the transaction will cancel automatically.

If you wish to enter in a number in this field, you will want to enter in increments of 3. 

  • 3 = 1 month
  • 6 = 2 months
  • 9 = 3 months
  • etc.


Does Kindful automatically notify the donor when their recurring transaction is canceled?

Kindful does not automatically notify donors when a recurring transaction has been cancelled. 

However, you could possibly set up some communication around this through the acknowledgements tool. For example, you can target cancelled recurrings using the "Activity Type: Cancelled Recurring" filter. 

Is there a way to be alerted when a donor's card declines enough times so that the recurring charge is cancelled?

In this case, a Scheduled Report could be a great option if you only want to see when recurring transactions are cancelled. These reports would be automatically emailed to you. 

For example, this filter would let you set up a daily scheduled report: 


Still have questions?

Feel free to send our support team an email, or you can call the phone number found in the lower left hand corner of your Kindful Admin account to speak to a team member. 

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