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Tracking pledges

Find the best way to store different types of pledges in your account

Updated over a week ago

Storing gifts that have already happened are pretty straightforward with Payment records and Beacon's various integrations, but what about payments that are expected in the future, or promised to your charity? Pledges come in all shapes and sizes, but storing them in Beacon is still nice and simple!

Regular donors

For any donors who have set up some kind of recurring giving, record this 'pledge' as a Subscription record.

Subscription records will often be created automatically, such as for any recurring donations via Beacon donation forms, via our integrations with JustGiving and Enthuse, or from regular imports from other donation platforms. These will also have their Payments created once they happen, so you don't need to worry about creating future payments.

For any recurring donations that you can't import, such as standing orders, you can manually create a Subscription record in Beacon and tick the 'Auto-create payments?' checkbox so that Beacon will add payments as they're expected to arrive.

Non-recurring donations

Use dedicated records

For non-recurring payments or a set of one-off payments, such as trust and foundation grants, legacies, or major giving, you may be able to simply use the dedicated records for those things.

For example:

  1. A grant you applied for has approved you for £10,000 for a programme next January. The Trust and foundation grant record stores that information.

  2. A current supporter has included you in their will for £25,000. The Legacy record stores that information.

  3. A major donor has pledged to donate £7,500 towards your Families in Need programme at the end of the year. The Major gifts record stores that information.

Add expected payments

If you'd like to have more specific recording of exactly when payments are going to arrive, or more granular reporting for expected income forecasting, you can also record the expected payments as future Payment records, unchecking the 'Paid?' checkbox.

For example:

  1. A grant you applied for has approved you for a multi-year grant of £30,000 to be awarded in one payment each year for the next 3 years. Add three £10,000 Payment records for the dates you're expecting each installment to arrive, and uncheck the 'Paid?' checkboxes to indicate they're not yet received.

  2. A legator has passed away and their legacy of £25,000 has gone through probate. Add a Payment record with the date you're expecting the transfer to arrive, and uncheck the 'Paid?' checkbox to indicate it's not yet received.

  3. A major donor has pledged to donate £1,000 each quarter next year. Add four Payment records with the date you're expecting each donation to arrive, and uncheck the 'Paid?' checkboxes to indicate they're not yet received.

Filtering for expected payments

To find your pledged payments, you can easily filter your Payment records:

All pledged payments

  1. Paid? is not checked

Future pledged payments

  1. Payment date is after today

  2. Paid? is not checked

Outstanding pledges

  1. Payment date is before today

  2. Paid? is not checked

Considerations for metrics and reporting

If you're adding unpaid Payment records in your Beacon account to track pledges, it's also worth considering whether you'd like these payments to be included in the reporting that comes from metric cards, charts, rollup fields, and dashboards.

If you'd like to keep them included, you can leave your filters as they are!

If you'd like to exclude them, you can add a filter for either:

  • Payment date is before tomorrow (excludes all future payments)

  • Paid is checked (excludes all unpaid payments)

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