I have a contribution page, utilising Paypal standard, set up to handle a membership renewal. The page has a 'renewal' financial type set for it. However, if I initiate a contribution using this page, the resulting contribution record shows as having a different financial type ('registration').

I've come across this because I'm trying to debug a situation where users are reporting that they have made a payment via Paypal (and have sent me the Paypal receipt to prove it), but no contribution record exists for this transaction. The Paypal receipt includes information that strongly suggests that CiviCRM is sending data to Paypal, but as no contribution record exists in the Civi database to link to the receipt, I can't be certain.

Clearly something is not as it should be. I'm using Civi 4.6.10 currently and about to update to latest 4.6.x

Is this a known issue? How can I begin to debug this?

  • are you using a price set?
    – petednz - fuzion
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 18:35
  • No, not on this page. What I can see is that the financial type that is being set is the default "Member Dues" financial type (although I've renamed it in this instance. What i want to do is have a second financial type for membership fees, so that the default type is set for new membership sign-ups and the second type is for renewal fees. Perhaps the "Member Dues" type is in some way hard-coded in for membership fees and can't be overridden?
    – Graham
    Commented Feb 21, 2016 at 11:19

1 Answer 1


I am answering the question posed in the title, not dealing with the problem of debugging the Paypal problem.

When you define a membership type you specify a financial type. That become the defualt financial type for that membership type. Unless you use price sets, the "default financial type for that membership type" will be recorded against the membership contribution no matter what you have chosen as the financial type for your contribution page. This is explained at the bottom of the help message that appears if you click on the ? associated with the Financial Type when you are setting up your contribution page.

NOTE: If you are using this contribution page for membership signup and renewals, the financial type configured in the membership type settings will be used when recording the membership payment. The financial type selected here will only be used if you are also collecting additional contributions (as configured on the Membership Settings page).

If you need renewals to have a different financial type from new memberships (as we do) then you will need to use a price set for you renewal page specifying the renewal financial type at the line item level. You will also need to extract financial data at the line item level, not just at the contribution level.

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