We often have new donors that will sign up for a recurring contribution but mark it to start on a future date. With our current setup, they don't receive any sort of confirmation when they set up the contribution. The receipt email doesn't come through until the donation actually processes. This sometimes causes confusion on the part of the donor since they did sign up to donate but may not see a confirmation via email for a few weeks.

Is there a way to send them an email as soon as they schedule a future-dated contribution? I have checked in the "Receipt" tab of the contribution page hoping to find a setting there but I'm not seeing anything there. We are on CiviCRM 5.41.2 on Drupal 7. Payment processor is iATS. Also posting this question to the iATS Github.

  • In this post: civicrm.stackexchange.com/questions/14233/… Allen is experiencing what we are trying to achieve. We are wanting to see an email go out to the donor when they set up an ACH contribution and another when it is marked as "Complete."
    – zach
    Jun 2, 2022 at 18:55
  • could you set up civirules to send something out for Pending Contributions that are not Pay Later and are Recurring
    – petednz - fuzion
    Jun 13, 2022 at 19:39
  • @petednz-fuzion I just tried creating a CiviRule for it. Trigger: Recurring contribution is added. Linked condition: Status is Pending. When I set Linked Action to Assign Activity & email, I get the error "This action is not available with trigger Recurring Contribution is added." I'm not seeing any other action that allows me to set up an email. Any suggestions? Also, we're on CiviRules 2.41.
    – zach
    Jun 14, 2022 at 19:52
  • have you installed the Email API: civicrm.org/extensions/e-mail-api
    – petednz - fuzion
    Jun 14, 2022 at 20:01
  • @petednz-fuzion we have not. I will give that a try.
    – zach
    Jun 15, 2022 at 13:03

1 Answer 1


As a bit of background: the original model for donations was a bit too simple - it was built on the paypal model of instant payment and recurring contributions managed by the payment processor. We're still finding bits of core that carry some of the assumptions of that model.

Secondly, the ability for future-starting recurring contributions was added relatively recently, and (at least initially) only for admin-entered ones. The iATS extension built on this to also offer it as a self-service/public option.

So, when using the public civicrm contribution forms, the emails that go out are a core function, and I believe what happens is that the assumption is that you don't send out the 'receipt' email until the contribution completes.

Note that there's a similar issue with ACH/EFT contributions, which are not completed immediately, and sometimes take a few days.

Of course, one way to work around this issue when using Drupal is to use the civicrm-webform option, where you can manage the sending of 'receipt' type emails based on the submission, rather than the completion, of the donation request.

We could include this function within the iATS extension, which is already handling these future contribution dates, but let's see if anyone else has some ideas related to core function.

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