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Feature Request: Multi-designation text-based giving and command-line options

In the browser-based donation page of SF, an organization can set up the designations or gift types that the donor chooses from a drop down box, or includes after the amount in the text-based gift message. Examples are Tithe, GeneralOffering, BuildingFund, etc.

We had an interesting scenario where a donor was entering "amount designation amount designation" in the text message to split their gift. We later found that only the first amount and designation were being received and recorded. The second gift was never included. Of course, with the browser-based giving, the user can click the add gift button and continue to enter amounts and choose designations, so they never experienced this issue.

Therefore, a few feature requests came from this one discovery:

  1. Allow multiple "amount designation" entries in the same text message between a unique separator for each gift.
  2. Allow other very unique "command-line" type entries be included within a message, for example, a special note attached to a gift such as "amount designation comment:comment". (Of course, the unique separator could then not be a space and would have to be unique enough to be properly interpreted without financial error as a primary concern. I say this because if multiple designations are allowed PLUS a comment: for each, there will need to be a way to know when the free form comment ends just in case it is followed by additional gift entries.)
  3. If feature #2 is added, the browser-based donation page would need to add a Comment field per donation to keep the giving processes synchronized.
  4. If feature #2 is added, a unique command that allows the text-based donor to indicate that they want the processing fee automatically calculated for them and added to the gift such as, "amount designation addfee:yes". Of course, the default today is that the fee will not be appended to the donation if they don't specifically include it, which causes the organization to make up the difference on the total for a text-based gift, since it has to pay the fee. We knew that this would rightfully raise eyebrows for faithful tithers who may not have understood this caveat initially, so we voluntarily ate the fee to allow their full gift to be applied. In effect, to show their full gift amount, we had to give a portion of it! We now want to be sure there is an option for text-based givers to opt-in to the fee being appended whatever that total gift amount is, single or multiple, using one unique command per text.

A huge advantage of the first added feature would be the savings for those who may need to text multiple gift types because the fee charges "may" be lower for the organization (or for the donor if they are including the fee in their gift).

An advantage of the second added feature is that it can be an alternate way to implement the first feature with little need for lots of extra programming. For example, the message "amount designation comment:comment" would allow the amount to be the total gift amount, the designation to be the default that the donor chooses (or a new option added to the list by the organization such as SPLIT, etc.), and whatever is after comment: would be read as a free-form message where the donor explains how to split the gift, or simply adds a note about the default designation, etc., etc.

Hopefully, something can be done in a future SF upgrade that gracefully introduces this for SF users to give this flexibility to text-based donors.

I added some commentary and examples only to make the request clear. Other suggestions are welcome, and I trust that whatever the final process, it will be well-thought out and considerate of organization and donor concerns.

Thanks so much,
Jonathan Lonon

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