Migrate ongoing recurring donations into your LGL Forms account

In this article:

Background on LGL Forms and recurring donations

First, let’s review how LGL Forms manages recurring donations. We assume you are using Stripe as your payment processor. Though LGL Forms also works with PayPal, migrating recurring donations to LGL Forms is currently only possible using Stripe.  

LGL Forms manages the schedule and amounts for each recurring donation. On the designated dates, LGL Forms sends an instruction to Stripe to charge the donor. Stripe needs to have the details of the donor and their payment mechanism (e.g., credit card or ACH). As Stripe processes payments, they send a confirmation to LGL Forms. Then, based on how you’ve mapped your LGL form, the submission data will sync to your LGL database. All of these steps take place in a matter of seconds for each recurring donation.

The diagram below outlines the steps.

The key to the migration is that LGL Forms needs to be able to inform Stripe which customer to charge, and Stripe needs to be alerted to that customer and their payment method. If a donation, or recurring donation, is originally created via LGL Forms, then the connection to the Stripe customer and their payment method is set up automatically.

However, what if you originally created a customer in your Stripe account through another form service, such as Donorbox or GiveLively? In that case, LGL Forms needs to be informed about the customer (donor) and their recurring schedule and gift amount so that future payments can be triggered through LGL Forms instead of through the original form service. 

What happens during migration

Three key steps need to occur during the migration (the fourth takes place after the migration is complete):

LGL creates the form that will be used for the migrated recurring donations

LGL staff will create a new, dedicated form in your LGL Forms account, which will be used specifically for these migrated recurring donations.

There are a couple of steps you’ll need to take in this form:

LGL will tie the migrating recurring donations to this form.

You provide us with a spreadsheet containing the data

The spreadsheet needs to contain the following data for each recurring donation:

Column header Notes
customer_id The Stripe customer ID
schedule Available values: Weekly, Bi-Weekly, Monthly, Bi-Monthly, Quarterly, Yearly
email Email address of the donor
amount Amount for each of the recurring payments
start_date This should be a past date. Future transactions will run based on the day of the month provided in the start date. Days of 29, 30, and 31 will run on the 28th to ensure they will run every month
end_date The date on which the recurring donations should end (or example, if you enter 3/1/2027 and a donation falls on that date, that donation will run, but no more will run after that)
first_name Donor’s first name
last_name Donor’s last name

Here's an example of how the the spreadsheet should look:

Coordinate timing for the switchover

It is critical that you manage the timing of when these new recurring donations go live in your LGL Forms account, so you can remove them from your previous form service. We will coordinate with you on the exact date that LGL Forms will begin processing the migrated recurring donations.

Confirm the new recurring donations are running smoothly

Once you’ve reached the switchover date, watch for recurring donations to process as expected. Put a tickler on your calendar on the date you expect the first donations to process, and check in your LGL Forms account that they are processing as expected.

How to request a migration of existing recurring donations into LGL Forms


  1. To be able to place this request, you must be an Administrator in a paid Little Green Light account. 
  2. Recurring donation migrations can take up to a few weeks to complete.

To place a request: In your LGL account, click the Help link in the upper right corner of any page and then use the request form to let us know you would like to migrate recurring donations to run through LGL Forms. We will get back to you with next steps.

More complicated scenario: Migrating into a Stripe account

Little Green Light will only provide support once your customer and payment information is in the Stripe account that is tied to LGL Forms. But, Stripe can support data migration from one Stripe account to another, as well as from a different payment processor into Stripe. Below are some resources to help with these more complex migrations.

In both cases, you will need to migrate the customer details (name and email address) and the payment details (card or other payment mechanism associated with the customer). 

Do not attempt to create a “subscription” in Stripe. That is only for cases where Stripe is managing the recurring payment schedule. Since LGL Forms is the entity that drives the schedule, there is no need to create subscriptions in Stripe (nor would you want to in this case).

Resources to help you navigate the migration of customers and payment data into a Stripe account