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Product Documentation

Automated Soft Credits

You can assign a soft credit manually, which is great for the occasional one-off situation. But what if you routinely need to assign soft credits for certain types of donations?

Fortunately, you can configure NPSP to create soft credits automatically. The most common example is the Household soft credit. When one member of a household makes a donation, all other members of that household automatically get a soft credit. This gives you a well-rounded picture of each Contact's contributions to your organization.

Many organizations get by just fine with only Household soft credits. But some organizations have scenarios that require a little more attention. Depending on the kind of organization you work for, you might have to accommodate donor advised funds, memorial gifts, planned giving, board members, major donor portfolios, giving circles, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer fundraising, and much more. In many of these cases, you need to assign soft credits to one or more people, such as a board member, members of a family foundation, or simply relatives who don't live in the same household. Let's look at a few examples.

  1. Gabriela is a board member with Universal Containers, a large shipping company. She is a vocal proponent of corporate philanthropy and environmental stewardship. She contacts Friends of Buena Vista Bay and makes a commitment that Universal Containers will reduce their non-recycleable waste by 15%. She also pledges a $50,000 corporate sponsorship for Buena Vista Bay's restoration and cleanup projects. The database administrator at Buena Vista Bay enters the sponsorship information, and includes Gabriela as the Primary Contact. This automatically generates a soft credit for Gabriela to recognize her role in coordinating the sponsorship.
  2. Crystal is a fund development officer with Paws Animal Shelter and is assigned to 10 people to solicit for a new shelter facility. She solicits Rashaad who volunteers at the shelter a couple of times a month. The database administrator at the animal shelter sets up an automated soft credit on a Relationship record so that when a donation from Rashaad comes in, Crystal receives a Solicitor soft credit. The development director can also run a report of all fundraisers who have a Solicitor credit to see who has met their goals.
  3. Rose, Andy, and Lauren are part of the Murray Family Foundation. The family foundation makes periodic donations to the Conservation Land Trust throughout the year, and the Land Trust wants to make sure that each member of the family foundation is recognized for the contributions. The database administrator at the land trust sets up automated soft credits on an Affiliation record for each family foundation member so that when a donation from the family foundation comes in, each member receives a soft credit.

Getting all of this right is important! Donors with more complex needs will expect that you are representing their family, businesses, associates, and financial institutions correctly, and that your organization is crediting the right people for the donations they've helped to bring in.

NPSP lets you configure soft credit contact roles in multiple ways to accommodate these different scenarios. And since NPSP creates the soft credits automatically, you can scale your fundraising efforts while continuing to honor the wishes of your donors.

NPSP can create automated soft credits for a Contact when the Contact is a:

  • Member of a donor's Household
  • Primary Contact on an Organizational Opportunity
  • Honoree or Notification Contact on an Opportunity
  • Related Contact on a Relationship record with an Individual donor
  • Contact on an Affiliation record with an Organizational donor

Matching Gifts is an additional way that NPSP automatically assigns soft credits.

Since there are many ways to automatically create Opportunity Contact Roles and soft credits in NPSP, you may have situations where more than one automated soft credit rule applies. Fortunately, NPSP applies an order of precedence to avoid creating duplicate Contact Roles.

Enable Automated Household Member Soft Credits

NPSP provides a unique type of soft credit for Households—the Household Member soft credit. With Household Member soft credits, everyone in the Household receives a soft credit for a donation made by anyone else in the Household. For more information and examples, see the Soft Credits Overview.

Tip
When creating a new donation, assign the Primary Contact to the individual in the Household who “signed the check,” and then let the NPSP assign Household Member Contact Roles to everyone else in the Household.
  1. In the NPSP Settings tab, click Donations | Contact Roles, and then click Edit.
  2. Scroll down to the Household Opportunity Contact Roles section.
  3. If it is not already selected, select Household Contact Roles On.
  4. In the Household Member Contact Role field, select the Contact Role you want to use for automatic soft crediting. We recommend selecting the default, Household Member.
  5. (Optional) In the Household OCR Excluded Record Types picklist, select any Record Types you want to exclude from automatic Household soft crediting. For example, you might use a different Record Type for children so that you can exclude children from automatic soft crediting whenever a parent makes a donation.
    Note
    When you exclude a record type from automatic Household soft crediting, Salesforce still creates a Household Member Opportunity Contact Role for the Contact, but does not roll up the donation Amount to the Contact's record.
  6. When you're finished, click Save.

Create Automated Soft Credits for the Primary Contact on an Organizational Gift

Sometimes you may need to assign a soft credit to the Primary Contact of an Organizational gift. While you can create an Opportunity Contact Role manually, NPSP can automatically create one for you. Before you begin, make sure you configured your Contact Roles settings. If you need a refresher, see Configure Soft Credit and Matching Gift Rollup Settings.

Let's try out an example. Some data values are from the examples above, but feel free to enter your own.

  1. Find or create an Organization Account.
  2. Click the Related tab.
  3. Find the Opportunities related list and click New.
  4. Choose the Donation record type.
  5. Enter these values:
    1. Amount = $50,000.
    2. Close Date = Today.
    3. Stage = Posted (or any Closed/Won stage). NOTE: Our example uses a Closed/Won Opportunity Stage, but NPSP will create a soft credit role for any Opportunity Stage.
    4. Primary Contact = Any Contact in your system.
  6. Click Save.
  7. You may need to click the new Opportunity's name in the confirmation message to view the record.
    New Opportunity confirmation message

The resulting Opportunity should look something like this:

Opportunity detail page with Primary Contact and soft credit role highlighted

Notice that the Contact you selected for Primary Contact is listed in the Contact Roles section of the record with a soft credit role.

Now, navigate to the Contact record and look at the Related section. You should see the new Opportunity listed there.

Opportunity related list on Contact record

Create Automated Soft Credits for Relationships

Video

NPSP can automatically create soft credits for Individual donations based on Relationship records. For example, a donor may request that for each gift they give, you create a soft credit for a relative who lives in a separate household. Or, you can use Relationship records to track who the solicitor is for a donor, and NPSP soft credits the solicitor when gifts are made.

Use the Related Opportunity Contact Role field to indicate which Contact Role to assign to the Related Contact in the Relationship record.

Let's try out an example. Some data values are from the examples above, but feel free to enter your own.

  1. Find or create a Relationship record.
  2. On the Relationship record, choose a value for Related Opportunity Contact Role. Let's use "Solicitor" for our example.
  3. We're also using "Solicitor" in the Type field, but you can use whatever value is appropriate (Friend, Family, Employer, etc). Type is only used to describe the nature of the relationship between the two people, and has no bearing on how automated soft credits work.
  4. Click Save.
    Tip
    Set only one Related Opportunity Contact Role on a Relationship for two Contacts. If you have more than one Relationship record for the same Contacts, NPSP will use the most recently created Relationship record.

    Relationship record with Solicitor Related Opportunity Contact Role

  5. Click the Contact on the Relationship, in this example, Rashaad Davis.
  6. Click the New Donation button.
  7. Enter these values:
    1. Amount = $100.
    2. Close Date = Today.
    3. Stage = Posted (Closed/Won). NOTE: Our example uses a Closed/Won Opportunity Stage, but NPSP will create a soft credit role for any Opportunity Stage.
  8. Click Save.
  9. You may need to click the new Opportunity's name in the confirmation message to view the record.
    New Opportunity confirmation message

On the Opportunity record, you should see Contact Roles for both the Primary Donor and the Related Contact. You may also see Household Member credits if there are other Contacts in the donor's Household.

Opportunity detail with Solicitor soft credit highlighted

Let's review how automated soft credits for Relationships work. When you create an Opportunity for the Contact (1), NPSP creates a soft credit role for the Related Contact (2).

Relationship record with Contact numbered 1, and Related Contact numbered 2

If you create an Opportunity for the person in the Related Contact field of the Relationship record, NPSP will not create a soft credit role for the person in the Contact field. If you want it to work that way, set a Related Opportunity Contact Role for the reciprocal relationship.

If you want NPSP to stop generating automated soft credits for a Relationship, remove the value in the Related Opportunity Contact Role field on the Relationship record and leave it blank. The Status field does not affect automated soft credits; they continue to function regardless of Status field value. Use Process Builder if you want to update the Related Opportunity Contact Role field based on the value of other fields, such as Status or other custom fields.

Create Automated Soft Credits for Affiliations

NPSP can automatically create soft credits for Organizational donations based on Affiliation records. For example, perhaps the members of a family foundation want to receive a soft credit for every donation made by their family foundation.

Use the Related Opportunity Contact Role field to indicate which Contact Role to assign to the Contact on the Affiliation record.

Note
NPSP includes only active Opportunity Contact Roles for Affiliation-based automated soft credits.

Let's try out an example. Some data values are from the examples above, but feel free to enter your own.

  1. Find or create an Affiliation record.
  2. On the Affiliation record, choose a value for Related Opportunity Contact Role. Let's use "Soft Credit" for our example.
  3. Click Save.
  4. Optional: Find or create a few more Affilations with the same Organization and choose "Soft Credit" for each Related Opportunity Contact Role field.
    Tip
    Set only one Related Opportunity Contact Role on an Affiliation for a given Account and Contact. If you have more than one Affiliation record for the same Account and Contact, NPSP will use the most recently created Affiliation record.
    Affiliation detail
  5. Click the Organization on the Affiliation, in this example, Murray Family Foundation.
  6. Click the New Donation button.
  7. Enter these values:
    1. Amount = $1000.
    2. Close Date = Today.
    3. Stage = Posted (Closed/Won). Note: Our example used a Closed/Won Opportunity Stage, but NPSP will create a soft credit role for any Opportunity Stage.
  8. Click Save.
  9. You may need to click the new Opportunity's name in the confirmation message to view the record.
    New Opportunity confirmation message

On the Opportunity record, you should see a soft credit Contact Role for each Contact from the Affiliation record or records you set a Related Opportunity Contact Role for.

Opportunity detail page with soft credit roles highlighted

If you want NPSP to stop generating automated soft credits for an Affiliation, remove the value in the Related Opportunity Contact Role field on the Affiliation record and leave it blank. The Status field does not affect automated soft credits; they continue to function regardless of Status field value. Use Process Builder if you want to update the Related Opportunity Contact Role field based on the value of other fields, such as Status or other custom fields.

Calculate Soft Credit Totals

The Soft Credit Totals update when the nightly batch jobs run. If you need to recalculate soft credits outside of the nightly batch, you can manually recalculate the entire batch or for a single Account or Contact.

Recalculating rollups updates the Opportunity rollup fields (including the soft credit rollups) on your Contact, Account, and Household records.