Pledges and Legacies

Billy Fluck
Billy Fluck
  • Updated

Pledges and Legacies in Spektrix are commonly used by development teams to track promised income that has not yet been received. If you’ve been promised funding from a donor or a grant-giving organisation but the funds have not yet been paid to you, you may want to record this with a Pledge. If a donor has promised to leave you a gift in their will, you may want to record this with a Legacy.

This article covers:

What are Pledges and Legacies?

Pledges and Legacies are ways to record secured funds without having to accept full payment - or indeed any payment - at the point the funds are promised. They are both the direct result of cultivating a prospective donor or funding body with an Opportunity.

  • A Pledge is a way to record income that you have secured, but which has not yet been paid to you.
    • These are a very common way to record income from trusts and foundations which is often paid in long-term installments.
    • They can also be used to keep track of future gifts which have been promised by donors.
  • A Legacy is like a pledge but without set dates of receipt as it is income promised by an individual that will be given to your organisation upon their passing.

We’re going to look at the steps to take when setting up and using Pledges and Legacies in Spektrix. Here’s a quick overview:

  • Create a Pledge or Legacy.
  • Track its progress.
  • Take payment(s).
  • Close it off once all money has been received.

Adding Pledges and Legacies

You can add a new Pledge or Legacy from within a customer’s record in the Opportunities Interface.

Start off by clicking on the People icon from the Menu (the icon of a figure on the left-hand side), then search for the individual or organisation that you want to create a Pledge or Legacy for. Go to their Customer Record and select the Pledges & Legacies section in the top menu.

Click on either the New Pledge or New Legacy button - you’ll then be prompted to either select an existing Opportunity (if that customer has one or more active Opportunities) or add a new one. Both Pledges and Legacies have to be logged against an Opportunity (see this article for more information on Opportunities).  

Once you’ve selected or created an Opportunity, you’ll see either the Create New Pledge or Add Legacy screen.

Adding a Pledge
You'll see a range of fields to fill in on the Create New Pledge popup:

  • Fund: choose which Fund you want the Pledge to go towards.
  • Date of Pledge: the date that the Pledge was made (this can be in the past or the future).
  • Number of installments: the total number of installments in the overall Pledge.
  • Date of first installment: when the first installment will be paid.
  • Installment frequency: in days, weeks, months, or years.
  • Pledge value: can be entered as a total (the installment amounts will be calculated) or per-installment amount (the total will be calculated).

Click Create and your new Pledge is finished. It will now display in the Pledges & Legacies section of the Customer Record.

Adding a Legacy 
There are three fields to fill in on the Add Legacy popup:

  • Fund: choose which Fund you want the Legacy to go towards.
  • Date of Legacy: the day that you were promised the Legacy.
  • Amount of Legacy: the amount that you will be receiving.

NOTE: if money pledged in a Legacy has been specified for a particular purpose, you can keep it apart from your other donations by creating a restricted Fund just for the purpose of that specific Legacy. It's best not to do this too often, however, so that you avoid creating large numbers of very specific Funds.

Click Create and your new Legacy is finished. It will now display in the Pledges & Legacies section of the customer record.

Note: Since the date a Legacy will be banked is often unknown, we recommend having a separate Campaign exclusively for Legacies.  This makes it easier to keep track of Legacies against Opportunities which don’t necessarily sit within a specific financial year Campaign.  This article explains Campaign Structure, which may be a useful refresher.

Editing Pledges and Legacies

If you need to make a change to a Pledge or a Legacy at any time, just head to the Customer Record and, under the Pledges & Legacies section, click the blue pencil icon next to the relevant Pledge or Legacy.

Editing a Pledge
When you click the pencil icon next to a Pledge you’ll see the Edit Pledge popup:

From here you can change the Fund that the Pledge is currently going towards, or add one or more installments by checking the box next to Add installments to this pledge.

You can then fill in the same fields as when you first created the Pledge, specifying how many installments you want to add, the date and frequency of the installments, and either the value of each installment or the total value.

The total value of what you add here will be added onto the overall value of the Pledge.

Editing a Pledge installment
When adding a Pledge the system will split each individual installment out equally based on the value(s) and the number of installments you’ve set. You can, however, edit the amount and date of a Pledge installment at any time, which may be useful if you need the flexibility of adding installments of varying amounts, or if a donor changes the amount they’re committing to in future.

From the Pledges & Legacies section you can view all installments against a Pledge by selecting the green plus sign next to the Pledge, then select the blue pencil icon against the installment you want to edit.

You will then be able to make any necessary changes to the expected date or amount of the installment.

Editing a Legacy
When you click the pencil icon next to a Legacy you’ll see the Edit Legacy popup:

From here you can amend the date and amount of the Legacy.

Keeping track of Pledges and Legacies

It’s important to keep track of planned giving and to have an idea of what money is coming in and when so your finance team can plan budgets accurately. Keeping track of Pledges and Legacies also lets you know to check in with donors if something has changed or a planned payment has been missed.

Stewarding relationships with donors who have planned to give over a long period (for example, Legacies) is important to ensure that they remain happy with the organisation. You can use Activities to plan regular check-ins every few months and ensure that you don’t forget about any donors.

There are various ways in which you can keep track of Pledges and Legacies, with the two main options being as follows.

Via the Customer Record
You can track Pledges and Legacies on the Customer Record; the progress towards the total is always displayed under the Pledges & Legacies section.

In addition, you can make use of the Donor Profile Report to see each donor’s current outstanding Pledges and Legacies. Check out this article for more information on the Donor Profile Report.

Lastly, you can filter the Timeline in a Customer Record to display only Pledges and Legacies, which allows you to see details of that donor’s Pledges and Legacies activity over time.

Using reports
You can refer to your Campaign Summary Report to see the total value of Pledges paid or outstanding in each Campaign.  

This is what a Pledge looks like within a Campaign Summary report:

Reporting on Legacies requires a custom report, so please submit a Report Request via the Report Request Form to tell the Support team what specific requirements you have.

Paying off Pledges and Legacies

When you receive payments towards Pledges and Legacies, you’ll want to record them in Spektrix to keep track of your progress. Here we’ll take you through the process of paying off both Pledges and Legacies.

Paying Pledges
You can make payments towards Pledges in the Customer Record under the Pledges & Legacies section. It’s important to pay each installment from within the specific Pledge in order to record that the gift should go towards paying off that particular Pledge.

Click the blue basket icon next to the relevant Pledge in order to add an installment to the basket. If the Pledge belongs to an organisation, select the Facilitator (the person at that organisation who paying on its behalf), and then select the appropriate sales channel (Phone, Counter or Web) to begin a transaction.

You’ll see a Donation Amount window, automatically populated with the installment amount expected from the Pledge schedule that you set.

You can override this amount if the donor is paying more or less in this installment, but do keep any changes you make in mind so that you can compensate in future installments. Otherwise, think about changing the Pledge installment date or value – see the Editing Pledges & Legacies section for more information on that.

With the pledged donation in the basket, you can confirm the transaction as you would do with any other donation. Once an installment has been paid, the Pledge will indicate this with the handy Paid sticker – click the green plus sign next to a Pledge to expand it out and see a list of all of the paid and unpaid installments.


Any remaining Pledge amounts will still appear in the Pledge column on your Opportunities Dashboard against each relevant Opportunity, while the installments paid will be totalled below the Received column. You can still view the original Pledge amount, remaining balance, and installment schedule in the Pledges & Legacies section of the Customer’s Record.

Any Pledge installments paid with less than the pledged amount will display the amount given but won’t be marked as fully paid.

If the donor isn’t going to pay any more for that installment, you have the option to change the Pledge installment amount to meet what was given and therefore mark it as fully paid. Otherwise, if they plan to give more next time to make up for the lower installment now, then the first Pledge will mark itself as Paid as soon as they pay what’s overdue and are back on track.

You can pay a Pledge (or a Legacy) even if the Opportunity it’s attached to is closed – this is useful because, once you’ve secured the funding, you don’t need to necessarily continue cultivating the gift from that particular donor or funding organisation.

Activities can remind you to take payment of an installment as per the original Pledge Schedule - you also don’t need to keep the Opportunity open to do this.

Note: For any Pledge, make sure that the associated Opportunity is attached to the relevant Campaign based on when you want that income to be reported. For example, if income will be reported within each financial year it’s received, you may want to create Opportunities in future Campaigns to associate with future Pledge payments, so that you can report on income where you’ve allocated it. This article explains Campaign Structure, which may be a useful refresher. 

Paying Legacies
The process for Legacies is essentially the same as Pledges, except that they don’t have installments as they are one-off gifts.

As with Pledges, if the actual donation is less than the original amount promised in the Legacy, then it will not be marked as fully paid. You can amend this by changing the amount listed against the Legacy.


As mentioned earlier, since the date a Legacy will be banked is often unknown, we recommend having a separate Campaign exclusively for Legacies, to make it easier to keep track of Legacies against Opportunities which don’t necessarily sit within a specific financial year Campaign.

Closing and reporting on Pledges or Legacies

Once a Pledge or Legacy is fully paid, you can close the relevant Opportunity (if it’s not already closed). Once paid off, a Pledge/Legacy becomes a Donation, and you can see the total amount paid towards the Opportunity below the Received column in the Opportunities Dashboard.

The Pledge Installments by Campaign report provides a detailed overview of Pledges and their installment statuses, including expected fulfillment dates. Pledges are grouped by Campaign and sorted by date, helping you keep track of your outstanding earned income, and track Pledge due dates and payment schedules.

First it provides an overview broken down by Campaign and Fund:


Next it shows details of Pledges by donor:


Top tip:
this report works best when the installment amount reflects the actual amount donated. For example, if a donor would like to pay $1,500 on an original installment amount of $1,000, then adjust the installment amount to be $1,500 - this will update the Grand Total and Campaign Totals. If an installment amount does not reflect the actual amount donated, a surplus donation will only be noted in the detailed total per donor.


Payments towards Pledges and Legacies will also appear in your Donations Report, your Donations Analysis Report and your Payments & Activities Reports alongside other donations. If you have a specific report in mind that you’d like to use to help you track your Pledges and Legacies, please get in touch with Support by submitting a Report Request form.


Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Spektrix Support team if you’ve got questions about any of what’s been covered here, or would like to talk in more detail about anything fundraising-related.