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Create a Contribution Page using GoCardless

Setting up a contribution page is a big topic because there are so many options, so this tutorial is going to cover the minimal setup required to start taking regular monthly donations. See the User Guide for more details - Creating Contribution Pages.

Go to Contributions » New Contribution Page.

  • Titles: as you like.

  • Financial Type ID: Donation.

  • Confirmation page: Let’s choose NO because the donor has to complete a form on GoCardless's site anyway, so one more step doesn't seem to add much use.

  • Is Online Contribution Page Active? Yes.

Click Continue. We then get the Amounts tab:

  • Execute real-time monetary transactions: Yes.

  • Currency: GBP

  • Payment Processor: ✔ GoCardless Direct Debit

  • Pay later: no

  • Contribution Amounts section enabled: ✔

  • Price set: no

  • Recurring Contributions: ✔ Yes.

  • Supported Recurring Units: month only

  • Support recurring intervals: no
  • Offer installments: no (the subscription goes on until they cancel.)

  • Pledges: no

  • Contribution amounts: up to you.

Then click Save and Done


GoCardless is your friend if you want to take recurring contributions. If you want to take one-offs, it's not your friend; it won't work and it will cause a lot of confusion/frustration.

Make a contribution

You should now be on the list of Contribution Pages. (If not, find it under Contributions » Manage Contribution Pages)

Click the Links link next to your new contribution page and click Test-drive.

  • Select/enter the amount you want to give.

  • check the box that says I want to contribute this every month

  • enter your email address, click submit.


Remember earlier we said GoCardless doesn't do one-offs? Well this is important here because if a user does not check the "I want to contribute every month" option then it will simply crash(!). You can force this option on the GoCardless Settings page.

You should now be on GoCardless' website, seeing one of their forms.

  • Country: UK

  • Name: yours, or a test name

  • Sort code and Account number: these must be special test ones. We'll use sort code:200000 and Account number: 55779911

  • Address: yours will do.

  • Email: should be pre-filled for you.

  • Click Set up direct debit.

On the next page you’re asked to confirm. Then finally you should get a rather underwhelming summary page from CiviCRM saying:

Your contribution has been submitted to GoCardless Direct Debit for processing.

See the contribution in CiviCRM

Visit the record of the contact you signed up. Don't panic that the Contributions tab doesn't have a number bubble by it; test contributions aren't counted. Click that tab and you should now see your new contribution, in Pending (Incomplete Transaction) status. Its date will be in the future by about a week, because that's how long it takes to set a mandate up and how long we're required to give notice.

Click the Recurring Contributions tab and you should see your subscription listed with the status In Progress. (If it's not saying that status, something is wrong.)

The Contribution record will stay pending until such time that the money has been taken from the account holder successfully. (It's a little more complex than that, but for now, that will do.)

See the contribution in GoCardless

Log in to your sandbox account at GoCardless. Click Customers and you should see your test customer listed. Click that record and you should see their "Subscription" and below that their "Payments" list. These details should mirror what you saw in CiviCRM. The Payment shows with an amber dot because it's not successful yet.

Check the webhooks (if you're interested/want to be sure)

Now click Developer on the left side menu. At the bottom you should see a Webhooks heading with an item showing with a green dot and 204 No Content and the webhook URL you supplied earlier.


If you see a green dot with a 200 code, something might be wrong.

If so, you're all set, well done!

Like technical details and want to carry on?

At this point, GoCardless has not sent CiviCRM anything we care about. It's sent us notifications that a mandate was created; that a subscription was created; that a payment was created and that a payment was created as part of a subscription. If you have access to CiviCRM's ConfigAndLog directory, there will be a log file in there with GoCardless in its name, which will include an "Ignored unimplemented webhook" line for each of those events. This is all good. We don't need to know about those things because we already know.

If you're geeky you might like to continue the tutorial which will simulate the payment being made and updating CiviCRM; and cancelling the subscription.