Recurring donations: everything you need to know

Patricia Buss -

Donors can subscribe to recurring payments through RaiseNow, either weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually, depending on the means of payment and, of course, the donor's wishes. The value of a subscription can be either freely selectable or stipulated by the organisation. The supported payment methods are the use of Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club, Discovery, PostFinance Card, Cymba, and PayPal.


Where is the card information kept for subsequent payments?

The credit card information is only saved after the completion of a donation subscription, as this is necessary for the automatic repeat transmission of the fixed donation amount.

  • For once-off donations: no sensitive payment data is stored
  • For donation subscriptions: RaiseNow stores an alias of the credit card number. The Payment Service Provider authorizes this alias for the respective amount upon completion of the donation.

All data is stored on our servers in Switzerland and the UK. Our servers are PCI-DDS3 certified and protected by firewalls and various other security measures to guard against unauthorised access.


How and when will regular donors be informed if a donation has not been successful?

The donors receive a message by email after an unsuccessful transaction, which resulted from any number of causes.

As a rule, the unsuccessful donation will be processed again as soon as possible. The unsuccessful charge does NOT mean the end of the subscription. The donation subscription is still active and the payment will be processed again as soon as possible. (See also "Expiration date")


The credit card is no longer valid - what happens with the donation subscription?

If the donor's credit card has expired or the donation charge cannot be carried out for other reasons (for example, the account limit is exceeded or insufficient funds etc.), the system will send a message to the donor reporting the situation. The message contains a link which will allow the donor to enter new card details.

The organisation also receives a copy of the email, as a blind copied BCC email, and can contact the donor if necessary. The RaiseNow Manager also shows when the credit card expires.


When is a donor informed about the next donation instalment?

The donor is informed by RaiseNow via Webhook and will also have the possibility to change or terminate his donation subscription, via email. This email is triggered after the transaction.

Normally, the first charge is made immediately after completion of the subscription and the recurring debit email is sent shortly after the confirmation of the subscription. However, it may be that the payment means must first be verified, resulting in a delayed charge. This is determined by the specific beneficiary organisation.


Does a recurring donation have an expiration date?

No. The donation process is executed automatically for as long as the payment amount and method is valid; there is no expiration date.

The recurring donation is only interrupted if the charge was not possible as a result of, for example, an expired credit card or exceeded banking limits.

If you only want to donate regularly for a certain period, you need to cancel the donation subscription at the desired time.


How and when can a recurring donation be cancelled or altered?

The recurring donation can be terminated at any time and takes effect immediately. You can unsubscribe via the link received in the confirmation message sent after each donation.

This link takes you to your current personal data, where, in addition to cancelling the subscription, you can also load a new credit card or update card details, if the previously used card has expired.

If you want to change the donation frequency, the amount and/or the donation goal, you must first cancel the old donation subscription. Thereafter a new subscription with the desired details can be created.


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