Get notifications about donations you are receiving through PayPal

In this article:

NOTE: This article does not cover how to use PayPal as the payment provider for your LGL Forms account; instead, it describes how to bring your donation data from PayPal into your Little Green Light account. To enable PayPal in your LGL Forms account, see how you can enable your LGL Forms account to accept PayPal payments.

If you accept online donations through PayPal using its Donate buttons, you can set up your LGL account to receive notifications about those donations and automatically add them to your Little Green Light database. Notifications are sent from PayPal via its Instant Payment Notifications feature (IPN), and there are a couple of steps involved with getting this set up.

  1. Activate your IPN Handler URL in LGL
  2. Configure PayPal to use this IPN URL

Once you have the integration set up on both sides, all of your PayPal donations will be automatically saved into your Integration Queue in LGL. From there, you can review them, make small updates (override constituent matching, for example), and then save them to the database.

Activate your IPN Handler URL in LGL

The first step is very simple. Log in to your LGL account, go to your Integration Settings page, and click on the PayPal Integration menu.

Click Activate IPN Handler URL, and then copy the URL to your clipboard.

Globally set your IPN in PayPal

To have all PayPal payments sent to your LGL account, enable IPN notifications and set the URL to be your LGL IPN Handler URL. Here are the basic steps for setting that up:

  • Make sure that you have enabled the PayPal IPN within LGL (see the screenshot in the previous section for reference)
  • Log in to your PayPal account and go to Account Settings > Notifications > Instant Payment Notifications
  • Click the “Update” option, and then follow the instructions to edit or add your IPN.
    NOTE: If you do not have IPN enabled, you will see a screen where you can set your IPN.
  • Click the Choose IPN Settings button, and then paste your LGL IPN Handler URL into the "Notification URL" field. Click the Receive IPN Messages radio button, and then click Save

NOTE: PayPal’s user interface is subject to change, and these instructions might not be accurate. If this is the case, you can use PayPal’s help tools to find instructions on setting up your instant payment notifications.

If you want to have LGL receive all donation requests to your account, this is all you need to do. The next donation you receive will then flow through to your Integration Queue, where you can review it prior to saving it into your LGL database.

Mapping PayPal fields to LGL

The default settings offered in the PayPal integration field mapping are a standard set of fields PayPal collects and stores for every transaction. View the field mapping by clicking the Customize Field Mapping button:

Here you can map a few additional fields. And example includes setting a default for a campaign or fund, in this case on the "mc_gross" field (e.g., the gross amount of a donation):