Can I collect offline payments using an online LGL donation form?

In this article:

Simple way to collect pledges and credit card donations using LGL Forms

Our recommendation is to create and publish two separate forms on your website, offering donors a choice up front whether to give 1) online (by credit card) or 2) offline (make a pledge to give at a later time).

The language on your website donation page can describe which form donors should use, depending on what they want to do. The page could say, "Click here to register and pay by credit card" and then "Click here to register and pay by check later" or something similar.

You can set up the confirmations and internal email notifications separately so that they are specific to each form.

We recommend this approach because it works best for your donors and your organization. Here are some key benefits:

  • You will have a much easier time crafting a confirmation email that is specific to the form’s purpose, without needing to use conditional logic
  • Each form is geared to the point of the action you want donors to take
  • The mapping is much more straightforward because it’s basic; you also won’t need to worry about conditional logic

Creating the forms

The credit card donation form should be a payment form that uses whatever fields you want to collect data for.

The pledge form should be a nonpayment form that collects one or more pledges for the gift amount/s, along with contact information fields so you can contact the donor. The gift type should be “pledge”.

Recording amounts in your offline payment form

If you want your non-payment form to be able to record amount totals, you can create a field to collect "Payment Amount" using a regular radio button dropdown option. This acts more like a regular text entry and allows the user to complete the form without providing any credit card details.

You can then map the “Payment amount” field to the “Gift amount” field, the same as you would for a payment form “Amount” field.

NOTE: If you're including multiple amount fields, they'll be treated as individual amounts. It will not be possible to see a grand total for them.

Why you shouldn’t try to collect both pledges and credit card gifts in one LGL form

It is not a good idea to try to set up pledges and credit card gifts in the same form because it often causes the following problems:

  • You wouldn’t be able to require donors to fill out a payment amount; the payment field has to be an optional field
  • A different set of fields, requiring more complex form logic, is required for the fields to display properly
  • Multiple confirmation emails requiring conditional confirmation, depending on the scenario in which the donor is giving, are required
  • Any problems in the form are more difficult to troubleshoot

The less obvious but possibly more impactful issue is that completing all of the tasks required to build such a form typically amounts to double the work for you, compared to the simpler option described in the top section of this article.

Is it possible for an LGL form to collect a pledge, set up the pledge installments, and then attach donations to those pledge installments?

No, it is not possible for one form to do all of these things simultaneously. Additionally, no credit card donation made through an LGL form can be automatically connected to a pledge in your LGL account. If a donor makes a pledge payment on a payment form with their credit card, you will need to manually connect that gift to the pledge in LGL.

It is possible, however, to build and map a non-payment form that sets up installments for the pledge being created by that form.