Recurring Contributions in ActBlue Reports

One of the important options that modern campaigns need to offer their donors is the ability to give a recurring contribution. Recurring contributions are a great way to spread out a larger
contribution over a longer period of time. For families on limited or
fixed incomes, this allows for easier participation in the political
process, something that should not be limited to any one class of
people. ActBlue has enabled this from the beginning, helping candidates
and county parties set up steady revenue streams.

This week we’re happy to announce to all of our campaigns and individual fundraising page creators that they can now more easily identify and track their recurring donors in their downloadable contribution reports. Just follow these steps if you have access to a fundraising page or a campaign’s reports.

  1. Go to your usual contributions reports area or “view contributors” tab on a fundraising page.
  2. Download the CSV file for the date range you’re interested in.
  3. For recurring contributions:
    • Column D indicates the total number of monthly contributions for which the donor signed up.
    • Column E indicates which recurrence this specific contribution represents.

    So, for example, if someone signs up to give $50/month for 12 months, their 3rd contribution will have a “12” in Column D and a “3” in Column E (For one-time contributions, both columns are blank.)

  4. If someone cancels their contribution, future contributions will simply not appear; the fourth column will not be changed retroactively as if to suggest they had originally signed up for a different number of contributions.

Here’s an example of how this might look.

In the case above, 2 recurrences have already passed for all four donors as noted in Column E.

That means that the first two donors still each have 4 monthly recurrences remaining (6-2=4), while the third donor has 10 months remaining (12-2=10) and the fourth has 22 months remaining (24-2=22). If you wanted to know how much in future recurring contributions that equals, simple multiply the number of recurrences remaining by the dollar amount for that donor.

$10 x (6-2)   = $40
$25 x (6-2)   = $100
$100 x (12-2)  = $1,000
$50 x (24-2)  = $1,100

Add those up and you get a grand total of $2,240 remaining for the lifetime of all four recurring donors.

The recurring contribution data is retroactive so you can look back
into your historical reports and now see which donations were actually
recurring donations. If you take all of your last month’s data, you can sort out your
recurring contributions and do some simple math to see your expected future totals. With a spreadsheet, you can easily manipulate this data using formulas for more robust calculations including how much you can expect for any given month into the future. I’d encourage you to do so!

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