How We Handle Recurring Transactions

We believe the donor should have as much control over their recurring gifts as possible. As such we’ve designed BlueFire’s recurring system with this in mind, attempting to be as clear and functional as possible.

Managing Recurring Transactions

Recurring transactions can be viewed and edited from the BlueFire website by going to Reporting > Recurring. In the top right you can search for recurring transactions and filter the results based on a number of criteria: Active transactions, failed, user-ended, expired cards, etc.

Certain failed or stopped transactions can be restarted by the organization. Any transaction that was set to run less than 30-days ago and was ended by an administrator, an expired card or repeated decline/error messages is eligible to be restarted. Other recurring transactions, such as ones ended by the donor themselves, may not be restarted by an admin. When a recurring gift or payment is restarted, the donor will receive an email notifying them.

An organization administrator may also make changes to a recurring transaction’s dollar amount, fund selection, recurring period, next-run date and end date. We do not send out emails to your constituents for these type of changes.

Lastly, you have the option of requesting that a constituent replace a recurring gift or payment by selecting the “Request Replacement” in the Action drop down. This will send an email to them with a link that will direct them to a pre-filled giving or payment form. Most of the fields will be set to match the recurring gift previously setup (e.g., same funds, recurring period, billing name & address, etc.). This is especially useful in situations where a card has expired and the recurring transaction stopped but the donor would like to setup a new recurring gift.

Emails Sent Out

BlueFire sends out email notices for recurring gifts on a regular basis. First, after the initial gift or payment is setup, the constituent will receive an email confirmation. Second, they will receive a reminder 7-days before their gift is processed. While most people find this reminder helpful, people are able to unsubscribe from them by using the links in the email footer. Lastly, the constituent will receive a email every time the transaction processes.

Transaction Declines and Errors

Whenever there is a transaction decline or an error in processing the recurring gift or payment, the transaction is set to be retried the following day. The donor is notified of the error message received (e.g., “declined” or “insufficient funds”) and that BlueFire will attempt to process it one more time.

If the transaction fails the second time the recurring transaction will be stopped. Both the constituent and the organization will receive email notices of this action.

After both the first and second failure of a recurring transaction, the email will contain links allowing the constituent to modify their billing information or end their recurring gift.

Canceling Recurring Transactions

Recurring transactions can be cancelled one of three ways: (1) Every time the donor receives an email reminder or receipt about their recurring gift or payment there will be a small, gray note at the bottom. This note will contain a link the donor can use to end their gift.

(2) The second way the constituent can manage their recurring gifts or payments is by visiting any one of the organization’s payment or giving forms and clicking the “Update recurring transaction link.” This link will lead them to a form asking for their email address. If their recurring transaction is found, they will receive an email with two links allowing them to either modify their recurring gift (by replacing it) or end their recurring gift.

(3) The third way is by contacting you, the organization to which they give. All account administrators (and accountants) are able to view recurring transactions and make modifications (including ending the gift).