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How to migrate recurring plans
How to migrate recurring plans

Migrate over any active recurring plans from another platform that uses Stripe.

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Written by Sunny
Updated this week

Steward recurring donors like never before while centralizing accounting and reporting and reducing overall costs. We've made it possible to transfer recurring transactions from your current Stripe processor to Givebutter. πŸ‘Œ
For general information, please refer to the migration process in Stripe's partial-migration help article. You will want to ensure your donors' payment details are active and up to date for a seamless migration. We also recommend emailing your recurring donors to let them know you are moving donor platforms so they are expecting the charge from Givebutter moving forward.

If you're migrating recurring donors from Stripe Express, you will need to reach out to your platform's support to start the process. You can use the template below to see if they are able to retrieve/upload this data on your behalf in Stripe:

"We are moving our recurring donors from [platform] to Givebutter. We will need assistance with this process, as our recurring plans are set up in a Stripe Express account through [platform]. Could you please complete Steps 2 & 3 in this guide, and let me know the associated Stripe account number?

I will contact Givebutter to inform them that the donors' information has been sent over when those steps are complete."

Before you begin...

We advise emailing your recurring donors to let them know you are moving their donation. This will provide clarity for your donors on their billing and how they can update their plan.

Please feel free to utilize the email template below:

Dear [Contact First Name],

Thank you for your ongoing support to [organization]. Because of you, we are able to continue [impact statement].

To provide a more modern and donor-friendly giving experience, we are switching our online donation platform to Givebutter. Givebutter is free for our organization to use, helping your donation go further! Because of this, you will see 'Givebutter' on your bank or card statement for all future donations. If you would like to update your recurring gift, you can do so anytime from your emailed receipt.

We are very excited about the future of [organization] and thrilled that you are part of our journey.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. We’re here for you!


Step 1: Connect a payout method to Givebutter

If you haven't already, follow the directions in our help article about connecting a payment method.

Step 2: Download Stripe Customer IDs

  1. Login in to the Stripe account that is associated with the donor platform you are migrating from and navigate to the Customers page.

  2. Filter the data to show the recurring donors that you want to migrate to Givebutter. Starting with the Repeat Customers tab is a great way to begin isolating your recurring donors.

  3. Click Export on the right-hand side.

  4. In the Columns field, select Custom. Make sure that only the ID option is selected as one of the fields for export so that the data exports as a single column.

  5. Export the selection as a CSV.

  6. Your data should only have 1 column and all values should start with "cus_". If you included a title header (i.e. Customer IDs) it will throw an error.

stripe customer template

Step 3: Upload and share your data

  1. Within that same Stripe account, navigate to the Customers page again.

  2. Click Copy customers.

  3. In the Copy Method field, click Upload from file.

  4. Select the CSV file of customer IDs from their computer.

  5. After selecting the correct file, click Continue. To handle errors, refer to Handle upload errors.

  6. Enter the account ID (format: acct_xxxx) of our recipient account below. You will receive a message stating that the recipient needs to authorize your request before the copy occurs.

               Givebutter's account ID is acct_17qVRFEBuKNYj3GG
  7. Click Confirm.

  8. After successfully sharing your data, you will see the pending copy request at the top of the Customers page.

  9. Email Givebutter at [email protected] informing us you've started a recurring plan migration so we know to accept your request. Please include your Stripe account number from your previous platform in your message and how many donors you have sent over, as well what platform you are migrating your plans over from (i.e. Donorbox).

Step 4: Givebutter accepts your data

Once we authorize and accept your data, the copy process will start. Most data copies finish within 72 hours, but short lists may complete even faster!

When the copy is complete, the sender and recipient can see the completed copy banner at the top of the Customers page of their Stripe dashboard.

After the copy is complete, we will email you some new data that you will need to use in Step 5.

givebutter email data

Step 5: Prepare your import spreadsheet

Givebutter needs some basic information about your recurring transactions. This allows us to recreate those records in Givebutter. The data needs to be formatted and uploaded to your Givebutter Dashboard. Some of the raw data you need can likely be downloaded from your Stripe account by following these steps. If you are moving from a Stripe Express account, your prior platform will likely need to retrieve these details for you.

You will also use the file our implementation team sends you in the step prior to cross reference your data, specifically the Customer IDs, as these will still match what is on file in your old Stripe account.

Below is an example of the sort of filters you can use in your Stripe account to try to find the necessary information needed to fill in your import template. If you are still having trouble locating certain information, we recommend reaching out to Stripe directly as they can access your account.

If any of the information needed for import is not in your Stripe account, such as donor addresses or emails, you can more than likely find this in a recurring donor export from your old donor management platform.

Data formatting of this nature is traditionally a time-consuming step, and to help you prepare that data, we've included a template below. Improper formatting will delay or inhibit the migration, please make sure to follow the template exactly as is and allow yourself time to build this file.

We recommend copying the template in Google Sheets (or downloading it if you prefer working in Excel), then matching your data to the corresponding columns on the template.

Required fields (in any order):

  • First Name: The donor's first name

  • Last Name: The donor's last name

  • Email Address: The primary email of the donor

  • Amount: Only numbers, no currency symbols. This is just the donation amount, the donor will not be asked to tip Givebutter or cover the processing fee. If you would like them to cover the cost of the processing fee, you will need to consider that percentage in the amount you stipulate in the file.

  • Frequency: Available options are Monthly, Quarterly, and Yearly.

  • Last Bill Date: Format is YYYY-MM-DD

  • Givebutter Campaign Code: The Campaign code of the Campaign recurring donors will be migrated into. This can be found by clicking on All Campaigns in the left-hand menu bar.

    campaign code example

  • Stripe Customer ID: Stripe metadata (always begins with "cus_")

    • customer_id_old and customer_id_new are exactly the same

  • Stripe Source ID: Stripe metadata, this column is called "source_id_new" in the spreadsheet that Givebutter emails you after the initial copy is completed.

  • Address Line 1

  • City

  • State

  • Zip Code

  • Country Code: Three symbol country codes only.

Optional Fields (in any order):

  • Phone Number

  • Address line 2

  • Fund Code

πŸ’‘ Data formatting tip! The best way to start building this spreadsheet will be to either sort your Customer IDs alphabetically or use a formula to find duplicates across the columns so you can find which ID belongs to which customer.

Remember, the Customer IDs Givebutter provides you will match the ones you export from your old Stripe account. More info on data prepping can be found here!

Step 6: Upload your import spreadsheet

  1. Navigate to Track, and then Recurring Plans in your Givebutter Dashboard.

  2. Click the Actions button, then click New Import and select the import file from your device.

  3. Click Upload file (we do not recommend manually entering data for recurring donation imports.)

  4. Review the data mapping. When you're finished, toggle through some of the records to spot-check for completeness and click Continue.

  5. You will receive an email confirmation from Givebutter. If that status is failed, follow the directions provided in our email to reconcile any errors.

Step 7: Validate the Recurring Plans

Once you receive the email confirmation from Givebutter that your import is complete, navigate to Account and then Imports in your Givebutter Dashboard.

numbered steps

Click into the Recurring Plans tab and select Validate Plans.

Shortly after clicking Validate Plans, you will receive an email confirmation from Givebutter. Each Recurring Donation is validated individually. Follow the directions provided in our email to reconcile any errors.

Step 8: Activate the Recurring Plans

Now it’s time to cancel or disable your recurring gifts while suppressing any "your monthly donation has been canceled" emails on your legacy platform, if you can.
Once you've completed that step, return to the Imports tab in your Givebutter dashboard. Click the three dots next to each plan and select Activate Plan.

three dots activation

Admins can also edit the plan amount and the next bill date by selecting the (...) menu next to any imported plan before you activate it.

You're all set! πŸŽ‰ These recurring donations will begin processing in Givebutter.

Good to know

While our best-in-class support team is available to guide your way, data migrations can be a challenging and time-consuming process if not well-organized. The state of your data will determine your migration experience.

Givebutter is not able to analyze, structure, or organize your data for you. You are the leader of your migration and will need to cancel your plans on your old platform.

Timing is important. You'll need to coordinate canceling your existing subscriptions and the import to ensure no payments are missed or duplicated.

Platforms you can migrate recurring plans from

There are many platforms you can migrate your recurring donors from. As long as they accept those recurring donations through a Stripe account, this will work!

View a list of platforms you can migrate from:

  • Bloomerang

  • Causevox

  • Classy

  • Donorbox

  • DonorView

  • Fundraise Up

  • Give Lively

  • Harness Giving

  • Kindful

  • Little Green Light

  • Memberful

  • RaiseDonors

  • Raisely

  • Virtuous

You can see what other non-profit platforms partner with Stripe directly here. If you do not see your platform on this list, we still recommend reaching out to their support team to confirm your recurring payments are not billed through Stripe!

While Givebutter's involvement in this process is free, some platforms charge a fee to export your donors' tokens from their Stripe account.

FAQ πŸ€”

The file we received from your implementation team has multiple source_ids for the same customer, which should I use?

If the file you receive from our team has multiple source_ids for the same customer, this usually means that customer had multiple payment methods or profiles in your old Stripe account. We advise using the most recent source_id, which will be the one closer to the bottom of the file we provide you from Stripe.

My plans failed validation, why?

Typically, this happens due to adding in the wrong source_id to your import template file. Make sure you use the ids reflected in the new column.

To fix this, you will need to delete the plans you have imported and redo the import with the correct new source_ids.

I can no longer modify my plans in Givebutter, what happened?

This means you have already activated your plans. Once this is done, the plans cannot be modified within your Givebutter dashboard anymore.

If you need to modify a plan after activating it, you can cancel it in your dashboard and then re-import it with the correct details.

My plans have started charging through Givebutter but some have failed, what do I do?

Try not to panic if some plans fail initially. This is likely due to card changes since your donors were last charged, or their bank flagging it as an unrecognized charge since the merchant is now Givebutter.

Your donors will be notified by email that their charge failed. A link to update those billing details is included for them as well.

Need support while migrating your recurring donations?

If you have any questions about migrating your recurring donations to Givebutter or difficulties with your legacy platform or processor, reach out to our Migrations team by emailing [email protected] and an actual person on our team will get back to you in 2-3 business days.

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