Troubleshoot donation form errors
Donors may experience minor hiccups when filling out our donation forms. Here are the errors they may see, with notes about what they mean and how you can help them move forward with their contributions.
Before You Get Started
When someone makes a donation through Give Lively, we rely on an independent business, called Stripe, to process the payment and then disburse it to your nonprofit’s bank account.
In processing payments, Stripe sometimes encounters errors with the credit card or bank details provided by donors. These messages appear directly on the donation form so that donors can correct them.
It's very important to familiarize yourself with these error messages so that you can provide targeted assistance to your donors if ever they face a problem they cannot rectify or do not understand.
Here's a list of the most common ones so that they can be explained to donors. All of them correspond to special Stripe error codes.
For debit/credit card donations
“The card has expired.”
This corresponds to Stripe’s ‘expired_card’ error code and means that the card used for the donation has expired. The donor should check and carefully re-enter the card's expiration date or use a different card.
“The card’s security code is incorrect.”
This corresponds to Stripe's ‘incorrect_cvc’ error code and notes when the card’s CVC (security code) doesn’t match what’s on record. The donor should check and carefully re-enter the card's security code or use a different card.
“The card was declined.”
This corresponds to Stripe’s ‘card_declined’ error code and identifies when the donation can’t go through. There could be several reasons for this, which Stripe identifies by 'decline codes'. Our system does not share these codes on the donation form, but nonprofit’s can find them in the Stripe Developers Logs (often listed as a ‘402 Error’). The donor may reach out to your nonprofit for additional information about why the card was declined and advice about how to fix any issues. In the meantime, the donor should use a different card.
“There is no card on a customer that is being charged.”
This corresponds to Stripe’s ‘missing’ error code and is used when the donor has been positively identified but that person’s Stripe ‘customer ID’ doesn’t have a card associated with it. You should contact Give Lively’s Customer Support team (Monday to Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM) if a donor makes you aware of this error.
“An error occurred while processing the card.”
This corresponds to Stripe’s ‘processing_error’ error code and is a very general response signifying that a hard-to-identify problem occurred. It could be that there were several issues with the card details that were entered. It could also mean that the card issuer had hard-to-identify problems and didn’t provide details. The donor should use a different card.
“Please review the payment form and make sure all fields are complete, valid, and accurate.”
This is self-explanatory. The donor should review all fields, especially the card number and the address. If the card number field is highlighted in red -- even before the “Donate” button is clicked -- then the card number is incorrect.
For ACH/direct bank debit donations
“Please enter a valid address.”
Our platform requires that donors provide a correct mailing address.
"Apologies, we are currently unable to process a bank account payment. Please consider making your donation via credit or debit while we sort this out. We apologize for the inconvenience. We’re so grateful for your support."
By default, Give Lively technology allows donations through ACH (bank) transfers. However, it is NOT automatically enabled in Stripe. This error message advises that your nonprofit has not enabled its Stripe account to accept ACH donations -- a critical step. Here's how to set up your Stripe account to accept ACH bank donations.
"Apologies, we are currently unable to process a bank account payment above $2,000 in a single transaction. Please consider splitting your donation into multiple bank transactions of up to $2,000 each, or making a $2,000 donation via your bank with the rest to follow via credit or debit. We apologize for the inconvenience. We’re so grateful for your support.”
This is pretty self-explanatory and due to the $2,000 limit per transaction that Stripe has in place. Contact Stripe support to discuss this limit with them.
“Apologies, we are currently unable to process your bank account payment. We have a weekly limit of $10,000 on direct bank donations and your generous contribution has pushed us over that limit. Please consider making your donation now by credit or debit instead, or making a second attempt by bank transfer on Monday, when our weekly tally is reset to 0. We apologize for the inconvenience. We’re so grateful for your support.”
Stripe imposes a limit of $10,000 in direct bank donations (ACH transfers) per week (Monday through Sunday). Contact Stripe support to discuss this limit with them.
Looking for other answers about Stripe’s ACH/direct bank payment donation errors, troubleshoot donations made via ACH/direct debit.
For all donations
“Please enter your full name.”
Our platform requires that donors provide both first and last names on the donation form.
“Please enter a valid email.”
Our platform requires that donors provide a correct email address in its proper format.
“Our payment processor has detected you may be submitting a duplicate donation due to network connectivity issues. If you did not receive an email confirmation, please refresh this page and try again.”
This is a protection against accidental redundant donations, usually because of network connectivity issues. As described, donors should wait a few moments to see if email confirmation of the donation is received. If not, the page should be refreshed and a new donation attempt completed.
“Donation processing failed.”
This is a generic response when the system receives other error codes. If the donor contacts your nonprofit, you should log in to the Stripe Developers Logs and search for the error associated with the donation attempt. This will be found in the "message" line of the "Response body” box of the error log. If there is no specific message, there will be a link to the “Error codes” page on Stripe that lists all the possible error codes and the actions that can be taken to remedy the error.