If you have a current giving platform that is managing your recurring donors and you desire to migrate those schedules and associated payment profiles (credit card and/or ACH) to RaiseDonors and Authorize.net, this article will guide you through the process.
Please note, there is technical work and effort involved with this process. You are free to use the RaiseDonors API and complete these tasks yourself, or you can enlist professional services at RaiseDonors to create a billable statement of work, and work directly with you.
Step 1: Check out our FAQs
Read up on the general FAQ’s about how this process works and what to be ready for. Seriously, there is a lot of information there. Check it out!
Step 2: Contact your current vendor
Contact your current vendor and start the conversation of, “How can you transfer all of my donors’ schedules and payment profiles into Authorize.net securely for me?”. They may or may not have a defined process for this.
- You DO NOT want them to send YOU the raw information. This will bring risk and compliance issues to your organization that are unnecessary. You want your vendor to maintain all of the sensitive information and for them to send the data securely to Authorize.net.
- Regardless of their specific answer, a key point is to ensure the vendor’s Schedule Number is sent to Authorize.net. You want to retain the vendor’s Schedule Number through this process, you’ll see why later below. We recommend sending the vendor’s Schedule Number to Authorize.net in the field “CustomerId”.
- Ensure the vendor is aware that if they are providing an email address with the schedule, the email address must be unique per donor.
- Request a timeline and any potential costs from your vendor for this request.
- At this point, let us know you've made it this far in the process.
- If the vendor does not have a formal process to send information to Authorize.net or has never done this before, you have two options.
You can copy the email template below (be sure to include the two attachments) and send this to your vendor.
[BEGIN EMAIL TEMPLATE]
We are needing to transfer all of our donor's recurring schedule and payment profiles from your system into Authorize.net in a secure and compliant manner. We are requesting your help to do this.
We’ve outlined some steps we believe will help you through this process, but please let us know if you have any suggestions or modifications.
Migrate all of our donor's recurring schedules and payment profiles (credit card and/or ACH) from your secure system into Authorize.net’s secure system as ARB’s (Automated Recurring Billing).
- We will rely on you to securely and accurately migrate this data for us. We do not want to receive, transmit, or touch any of our donor's payment information—ensuring this process is wholly contained between you and Authorize.net.
- We will need to coordinate the date and time of this migration.
- After the migration to Authorize.net is complete, we will need you to disable the old schedules locally in your system, so that our donors are not double charged.
We anticipate that all active schedules in our account will be successfully enabled in Authorize.net (credit card & ACH), maintaining the same frequency, billing day of month, occurrence, amount, etc. There is typically some loss/churn when moving credit cards between gateways, even if they are currently active and successful, so minor tolerances in failures and errors are certainly acceptable.
Authorize.net provides documentation on how to build a CSV for uploading to their system. They also provide information on what a successful upload into Auth.net looks like, with details to verify and approve.
We will provide you with temporary access to our Authorize.net account, granting you the ability to create new ARBs through the CSV upload process. If needed, the CSV can be shared with us, but we request that any PAN information is removed.
The following list of items are requirements to ensure success, between our website and other integrated systems.
- Subscription names must all be unique
- Invoice numbers must all be unique.
- Your unique subscription ID needs be placed into "Customer ID" (Column S)
- Customer Email (Column AE is required). If an email is not available, please generate a unique and fake email address per donor. If a donor has more than 1 schedule, please ensure the same email address is used in each schedule.
Please provide any summary reports or analysis by your team and Authorize.net upon successful upload of all schedules.
Please coordinate delivery time-frames to us ahead of time so we can make appropriate accommodations. Our team needs to perform additional work as soon as the schedules are loaded into Authorize.net. For this reason, our preference is that the upload take place around 9am CST, allowing time for our team to perform necessary actions afterwards.
FYI / GENERAL INFO
We believe you have the right team and technology to make this happen. However, we have been informed by Authorize.net of some "best practices" that we wanted to share with you. Just wanted to share this in hopes it can be useful and helpful.
- It is recommended to not wait until the end (complete file) to test the upload. Instead, after 1-2 profiles and schedules have been created in the Auth.net CSV, go ahead and do the upload to Authorize.net. Ensure the process works and the schedules are successfully created. After verification, those schedules can be immediately terminated and suspended. This test proves the process is working, which minimizes any risk for the final upload at the end.
- When dealing with the CSV to upload to Auth.net, please read the instructions carefully and thoroughly in the .xls tab "Instructions". There are some nuances to consider.
- The second tab "file template" has all the information related to formatting, data-types, max lengths, etc.
- After you export from .xls to .csv, you'll want to remove the header row so that the only data in the .csv are the data rows. This stumped us in the past. I've attached a .csv example (missing PAN info) that we have used that has previously worked for us.
- The Authorize.net upload tool will not accept any credit cards that contain an expiration date of "this" month -- or "next" month. If credit cards are expiring "this" month or "next" month, please remove them from the CSV to be uploaded to Auth.net - and inform us of which schedules & donors they are.
- If you are receiving errors when uploading the CSV to Authorize.net - there is ambiguity from Auth.net regarding how to format the "start-date". The instructions from Auth.net call for a start-date format of MM/DD/YY, but changing the format to be MM/DD/YYYY, has sometimes yielded success.
- There is a limit to the size of the file that can be uploaded when uploading ARB's via CSV. It is not clear if it's particular to the number of ARB's in the file or if it's the literal size (kb) of the CSV being uploaded. But we've heard others have steady success with 2,000 rows or less.
[END EMAIL TEMPLATE]
Step 3: Build a CSV with metadata
We've provided a template for you to begin building a spreadsheet of schedule information which contains metadata relevant to your donor's recurring schedules. Metadata includes items such as Fund allocations, attribution codes, etc. This spreadsheet will be used to associate this metadata to each schedule created in RaiseDonors.
To help you get started, we recommend creating an export of schedule information from your current vendor and using that data to begin populating the spreadsheet. That export will not provide all of the information needed to completely populate the spreadsheet, but it will get you well on your way.
Also, you will not need to fill out any information labeled "New-Gateway".
As noted above, your vendor will provide the current Schedule Number to Authorize.net. Be sure to include that Schedule Number in this CSV—in the column "OldGateway.Schedule.Number". This is the key piece of information that will allow RaiseDonors to match the recurring schedule from your current vendor with the new schedule Authorize.net.
When complete, please send us the CSV. We will review it and make sure it's ready.
Step 4: Go-live Import
When the vendor schedules the upload, please be sure to let us know ahead of time so that we are prepared. When the upload is complete, RaiseDonors will communicate with Authorize.net to build a CSV file which contains the newly uploaded schedule information from Authorize.net. With this information, the CSV you created from step #3 can now be completed.
RaiseDonors will merge the two files, creating one completed file. This file will be uploaded to your RaiseDonors account and create all of the local recurring schedules. When this is complete, everything is finished!
You will be able to login to RaiseDonors and view all of the donors associated with the imported schedules. You can also make any changes to the schedules—and they will be reflected in Authorize.net in real-time.
Step 5: Communicate with donors
The Donor Portal
The first time a donor makes a gift through one of your RaiseDonors donation forms, they automatically have a donor account created for them. Donors can access that account via the Donor Portal. In the portal they can update their contact information, view their giving history, and manage their recurring gifts.
Donors access their account anytime by clicking the "Access Your Account" button that is available on all receipts and Thank You pages. The portal recognizes them based on their email address. If it is the first time they've tried to access their account, they will be presented with an opportunity to create a password. If they have done this before, they will be prompted to enter their password.
However, for the donors you just uploaded to RaiseDonors, they have never received a receipt or accessed the Donor Portal before. So you'll want to reach out to inform them of how they can now manage their recurring gifts via the Donor Portal.
What to communicate
We suggest you create an email campaign to your donors inviting them to access their account. In that email you'll need to provide a link for them to activate their account. The way this works is by having them "reset" their password.
To get the link you'll need to do the following:
- Login to your RaiseDonors account
- Go to your Account Settings
- Under "Organization Information", scroll down to find your, "RaiseDonor URLs"
- Open a new tab and paste in the url for the Donor Portal
- When the login page appears, click "Forgot Password"
The URL to your "Forgot Password" page is the URL you will want to share with your donors. Because the donors associated with the imported schedules have never accessed the Donor Portal the process of "resetting" their password will give them access.
You have options to customize the Donor Portal experience. Below are two pieces of custom content that you may choose to provide to help guide and communicate with your donors.
- Custom content for your login screen
- Custom content in the donor portal
Custom Content for your Login Screen
You can supply a custom welcome message on the login screen to your Donor Portal. Consider explaining how a donor can access their account for the first time. This can be phrased however you'd like, but here's an example you can use to get started:
We’ve improved our donation platform to better serve you. As part of this transition, returning donors need to reset their password.
Note: Please be sure to use the same email address you have before.
Here's how to add custom content to your login screen:
- Go to Account Settings -> Page Options -> Donor Portal
- Scroll down to "Content for Login Screen"
- Provide your content
Custom Content in Donor Portal
Inside of the portal are "tabs" that allow the donor to take certain actions (Update Account, View Giving History, Manage Recurring Gifts). Inside of RaiseDonors you have the option to add an additional, custom tab where you can provide any information you want—placing it in whichever position you choose.
We recommend that creating a welcome message and placing it as the first tab. This ensures it is the first thing the donor sees when they login. Consider welcoming the donor and providing something of value to the donor from your organization.
Here's how to add a custom tab to your Donor Portal:
- Go to Account Settings -> Page Options -> Donor Portal
- Scroll down to "Custom Portal Tab".
- Select the position where you want your custom tab to appear.
- Provide a title and content for your tab.