CiviCRM Tips and Tricks

Protect Your Web Payment Forms from Credit Card Abuse

Picture this: You walk into the office one morning and log into CiviCRM to check on the latest contributions you received and you are taken aback by the hundreds (maybe even thousands) of failed contributions that were submitted over night! You received a large number of annoying "junk" form payment submissions, many of which have been made with irrelevant credit card numbers. Public forms that accept credit card information are often targeted by robots attempting to process stolen credit card numbers in order to check their validity.

Locate "Pending (Incomplete Transaction)" Payments in Your Contributions

Contributions with the status of "Pending (Incomplete Transaction)" signal failed payments and should only appear when you are using an off-site payment processor like PayPal. The contributor may have made multiple attempts to process the payment and decided to abandon the transaction or to send an alternative form of payment.

To find contributions with a status of "Pending (Incomplete Transaction)":

Use the Scheduled Reminders tool in CiviCRM for membership renewals

Spring membership drives are in full swing so it is important to know how to effectively launch your membership renewal campaign from within CiviCRM. With that in mind, be sure you are taking advantage of the "Scheduled Reminders" feature! It is a great tool to make sure each member receives a timely email from the system reminding them that their membership is about to expire.

Have a question as you are entering information into CiviCRM? Cividesk is here to help!

Have you noticed a little tab peeking out at you from CiviCRM?

This little tab is the Cividesk help widget - whenever you find yourself with a question when performing a task in CiviCRM and this tab has a number on it, click on the black arrow for a list of FAQs related to the screen you are on.


What are Checksum tokens and why do I need them?

Checksum tokens generate personalized links* that allow users to be identified when interacting with your website without logging in! When users click on a checksum link, they are directed towards a standalone profile, contribution or event page where any contact information already in the database will auto-populate. This saves your constituents the hassle of logging in and repetitively filling out contact information.

What else are checksum tokens good for?

How do I record a Pending (Pay Later) event registration from the back office?

To record a "Pending (Pay Later) event registration from the back office, you would begin as you would for any other back office event registration, but there are four key things to remember when creating a "Pending (Pay Later) event registration" - i.e. a registration for which payment has yet to be received (numbers correspond to the screen shot below and should be performed in the sequence as listed):

Did you know that CiviCRM can handle really complex event pricing options?

CiviCRM can handle all of your complex event options - the best way to start is to understand what information you will need to manage your event (participant counts, meal choices, etc.), and then configure your information in such a way that will allow you to report easily and effectively as participants begin to register.


Updating Multiple Contributions in Pending (Pay Later) Status

Let's say you have an event on which you have allowed Pending (Pay Later) registrations (i.e. a check is to be sent by a given date to the office), and like many of us do, the vast majority of participants decide to send in their checks at the very last minute - now you have a whole bunch of payments to record against a whole bunch of Pending (Pay Later) contributions - why record payments individually when you can record payments against multiple Pending (Pay Later) contributions simultaneously?!

Importing Contacts into CiviCRM? Be Sure to Include an Import Identifier (Just in Case!)

When importing contacts into CiviCRM, you have the option of adding those contacts to a group and/or assigning them a tag. This will only apply to NEW contacts being imported, not to duplicate contacts that may be found and skipped or updated during import. A fool-proof method to identifying imported contacts (e.g. in order to be able to easily search and/or delete them if a mistake has been made) is to include a custom field for this purpose. I like to call it “Import Identifier”.