How to enable and manage recurring plans

Accept and manage monthly, quarterly, and annual payments

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Written by Sunny
Updated this week

Recurring plans allow you to collect consistent donations from your supporters on a pre-selected schedule. Recurring donations are a great way to encourage a long term commitment to your organization or collect dues on a monthly, quarterly, or annual schedule, and donors have the flexibility to change their contributions at any time.

How it works 🔎

  • Give your donors the option to choose from one-time, monthly, quarterly, or annual donation frequencies. These options are configured for each campaign individually.

  • Recurring donors will receive emailed receipts for every subsequent charge, with a link to edit their recurring plan.

  • Admins can view and manage recurring donations in the Recurring Plans tab in the dashboard at any time.

  • Recurring donations are compatible with all payment methods except for digital wallets, Venmo, and ACH.

  • Any fees or tips that donors choose to cover on their initial gift will also be included on their subsequent recurring gifts. They can change their fee and tip settings at any time by managing their recurring donation.

See our recurring plan feature in action by going through the donation flow on our demo campaign!

Enable recurring plans ➕

To accept recurring donations, you'll need to enable them at the account level first.

  • Navigate to Account in the left-hand menu bar and then Settings.

  • Under the General header, toggle on Recurring Donations and click Save.

enable recurring plans

Once enabled for your account, recurring donations will be added as a configurable option to all of the campaigns on your account.

Recurring donations are automatically enabled for verified nonprofit accounts.

Configuration and settings ⚙️

Recurring plan frequencies are configurable at the campaign level, so you can accept monthly plans on one campaign, and yearly plans on another – campaigns can still be edited independently.

  • Navigate to the Tools tab of any campaign to manage or disable the ability to accept Recurring Plans.

  • Choose which frequencies you'd like to accept on this campaign.

  • You can also set a default frequency.

The type of default you set will depend on the nature of your campaign, but please be mindful when setting a recurring plan frequency as the default. If it may suit your supporters better, you can also create separate campaign specific to monthly giving, for example.

  • Don't forget to click Save!

recurring plans toggle per campaign

Managing recurring plans 🧮

  • Navigate to the Track tab in the left side panel of your dashboard and click on Recurring Plans.

  • As an account admin or editor, you can cancel a recurring plan on behalf of a donor by clicking [...], then Cancel Plan. You can also filter and sort your existing recurring plans using the filter options at the top of the page, as well as export your data.

edit using three dots

Admins and editors cannot edit payment details, amount, or frequency of a recurring plan on behalf of a donor.

Donors can edit and manage their recurring plans from the link in any recurring plan receipt, or from their user profile if they have connected one. They can also update their payment method.

Plan statuses 🚦

Active – The plan is active and will be charged again at the specified next billing date.

Canceled – The plan was canceled by the donor or an admin. Hover over the status to see the date and reason of the cancelation. An email update is sent to the admin notifying them of the cancellation.

reason for plan cancelation

Past due – The plan attempted a charge but was not successful. If a donor's recurring plan fails, an email is sent to the admin and to the donor (see below). Givebutter will reattempt the charge three times (at 48 hour increments) before marking the recurring plan as past due failed. A past due plan can still be managed by the donor.

plan failure email notification

Past due failed – The recurring plan has failed after three charge attempts. A past due failed plan is no longer manageable by the donor, and they will need to create a new recurring plan.


How do I disable recurring plans on my account?

To disable recurring plans on your account, you'll need to refer to the steps for enabling recurring plans, but instead of toggling this option on, you need to toggle it off.

If I disable recurring plans at the account or campaign level, will it affect or cancel my existing recurring plans?

No — if you disable recurring plans, any existing recurring plans will continue as normal. A recurring plan will only be canceled if the admin or donor cancel it manually.

Are weekly frequencies an option?

Not currently! Please see the feature request and add a vote if you would like to see weekly plans added as a frequency option.

If a donor cancels their recurring plan, will admins be notified?

Yes! If a plan is canceled for any reason (by an admin, or the donor), admins will be sent an email notification.

plan cancellation

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