Pledges in LGL are designed for use with formal commitments made by donors wherein those donors have a) committed to a certain level of philanthropy over b) a certain amount of time with multiple gifts ("payments") being made by the donor (not by another party) in fulfillment of their commitment. It is usually best not to use pledges for small, one-time commitments that may be delayed a short while.
Please note that if the pledge was made earlier than when the first payment will take place, you will need two date fields: use a) the "Gift date" for the date the pledge was made and b) the "Pledge start date" for the first payment date. If these dates are the same, you can use just the Pledge start date field. If you need to do this, you will also either need to set a default telling the Flex Importer that all of the records being imported are pledges or include a Gift Type column and be sure these gifts are labeled "Pledge" in that column.
Like gifts (a pledge is a type of gift record in LGL), the only required field is the amount of the pledge: Pledge Amount. If no date, or an unreadable date, is provided for the pledge, the Flex Importer will assign the date of import as the pledge date.
The Flex Importer features a special field relating to pledges: "Auto-generate installments?" This field can, and should only, be used in combination with telling the Flex Importer a) how much the first payment will be; b) what the frequency of installments will be and c) when the pledge start date will be. For example, if Donor X has pledged $5,000 over 5 years with yearly installments and their first payment will be for $1,000 in Dec. 2015, the Flex Importer can generate the next four installments for $1,000 in Dec. 2016; Dec. 2017; Dec. 2018; Dec. 2019.
Uploading Gifts as payments against Pledges
You can upload gifts as payments against pledges by using the "Parent gift id" to identify the pledge.
Excerpt from the Data Dictionary
Use one of the parent gift IDs to identify the pledge, and then include information about the payment. Each row below represents a pledge and then a payment against the pledge:
The result in LGL shows the two gifts and indicates that they are pledge payments, and shows the Source (parent gift) information:
If you want to upload pledges and payments you want to make sure the pledges are processed by the Flex Importer prior to the payments. You can ensure that by listing the pledges in rows above the payments in your spreadsheet.
Note: It is not possible to upload pledge payments to Installments.