When creating a new membership manually in CiviCRM, you get a checbox where you could tick off to record membership payment. This payment comes with the default contribution status of Completed.

How and where can I change that default contribution status to Pending?

CiviCRM 5.20.0 on Drupal 7.67

2 Answers 2


There is the option to make all back-end contributions default to Pending by changing the order of the Contribution Status Options.

Administer > System Settings > Option Groups > Contribution Status (Edit Options)


Move the Pending option from the second row to the top –

Contribution Status Options

We have had a client using CiviCRM successfully by making this change but would suggest testing thoroughly in a non-production environment to make sure it behaves as expected.


You would need an extension to do this. If you don't have bookkeeping integration, it wouldn't be hard to set the payment to "Pending" after it was recorded - but if you have bookkeeping integration, this would cause headaches. You would need to find a way to identify a payment as belonging to a membership before it was written, which will be difficult, since the normal method (finding a MembershipPayment record) isn't possible - the MembershipPayment record is created after the contribution, not before.

  • It is not possible to change that status to pending afterwards, it only gives a list of four selected contribution statuses, like cancelled, and not pending...
    – Flying
    Feb 18, 2021 at 16:25
  • I thought CiviRules had a rule for this, but it's for participant status, not contribution status. If you're a coder or have access to one, you could create an extension or a CiviRule action that updates contribution status pretty easily. Feb 18, 2021 at 16:29
  • I don’t need a process around it. I only want to achieve that when you tick of the box to create a membership payment, that it defaults to pending. Then we send out a letter, informing on how to pay, and then when payment is recorded in the bank, we import, match and update the contribution through CiviBanking. And then the status is changed from pending to completed, and receive date is updated
    – Flying
    Feb 18, 2021 at 16:35
  • Understood - the rule would be "when a contribution is created, and it's tied to a membership, set the status to 'Pending'". There's no "process" other than your normal process. Feb 18, 2021 at 16:52

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