Why aren't my PayPal donations coming into LGL?

NOTE: This article assumes that you have set up the integration to accept online donations into LGL from PayPal.

If you have set up the PayPal IPN and are still not receiving the submissions in your integration queue, it is almost always the case (we've never seen it happen otherwise) that the IPN notifications are not actually being sent to LGL. Reasons for this include: 

  • An update to your PayPal account has removed the LGL IPN URL; we recommend reviewing your IPN settings to see if this is the case.
  • Some other software (a third-party donation, form, or shopping cart tool) is "taking over" the IPN. You can verify this by looking at one of the transactions' "IPN History" in PayPal. You will see a notification_url value that is not your LGL IPN URL.

PayPal can send only one IPN per transaction. In cases where you use PayPal in combination with Wufoo or something like Gravity Forms or EventBrite, those services need to know when a transaction is processed and so they insert their own IPN URL.

The end result is that the LGL IPN URL gets overridden. LGL doesn't receive the notification that this has happened, which in turn means that those donations no longer automatically appear in your LGL account.  

There is no good solution to this problem, unfortunately. You can stop using the software that is taking over the IPN, but there are usually good reasons to move to a better donation front end than just a plain old PayPal button, and these reasons often outweigh the convenience of the integration moving the donations into LGL automatically. Another option is to export the donations directly from PayPal and import them into LGL, but it is not possible to automate that process.

If you want increased flexibility in terms of the forms you are using and you're not fully committed to using your current solution, you may want to try using LGL Forms with payments enabled.