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Article ID: KB1371
Keyword Name: Failed, Declined, Donation, Transaction, Error, Credit Card, Merchant Gateway
Created: February 24, 2017
Viewed: 14435

How to Find Declined Donation or Sale Order Transactions and the Error Codes on why they were Declined

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Author: Kristenson, Joel

Last Updated: 2017-02-24


This article walks through the steps to find declined credit card transactions in your database and the error codes as to why they failed.  There are a few different ways to view this data in your system.  Typically the failure is because of a name/address that doesn’t match the credit card or a duplicate transaction for the same day, but it could also be a misconfigured merchant gateway account. Follow this link to view a full list of all the merchant gateway options you have available to use with your Trail Blazer database.  As of the time this article was writing both Vanco and Authorize.Net fully support recurring transactions.


If you’re setup as a user who receives notifications of donations or event/membership sales you’ll receive an email like the example below regarding a failed online transaction if they occur:

Below is an example of what a donor will see if their online donation or event purchase fails:

The notification email will give you the information you need to look the contact up in your database and also reach out to them if necessary.  Their data will still be collected into your database except for the financial transaction.

To look for the specific contact and why their transaction failed you’ll start by navigating to the Contacts (Donors/Voters) list.

Search for and open their contact record.  In my example I used my own record which had a failed transaction.

Navigate to the Logs tab > Log sub-tab and there you will find an automatically generated note with details about the failed transaction.  My example is below with an error code of 10002 for my PayPal Pro merchant gateway account.  Some errors will be obvious, others not so much.  If you need help you can contact your merchant gateway provider for an explanation of the error code or call our live support line.

The next option for finding a single failed transaction or multiple failed transactions will be to search the Log Entries List.

Navigate to the Search Log Entries branch under the Application Menu.

In the Text box enter this text:

%the online

And then click [Search].  The % symbol is an SQL wildcard that will look up all log notes with the words “The online” present.  You could of course filter the search further by things like date range, or the specific donor.  My example is below which returned 16 log notes with those words present, about 13 were failed transactions.

You can save this search as a favorite so you don’t need to rebuild it each time.  If you save it with just the criteria above you can then add a date range to quickly find failed transactions that way.

The related resources below link to a wide variety of articles and videos related to this topic.

Related Resources

Article: Vanco Response Codes and Error Code Messages

Article: PayPal Error Codes and Warning Codes

Article: SQL Wildcards

Article: Save and Load a Search Query as a (Dynamic) Search Favorite

Article: How to Setup your Vanco Merchant Gateway Account and Activate it in your Trail Blazer Database for Online Payment Processing

Article: How to Enable ACH (E-Check) Payments with the Vanco Merchant Gateway on Trail Blazer’s Donation Form

Article: How to Verify you’re PCI Compliant by Filling Out Vanco’s Required Form

Article: How to Configure Recurring Donation Options for your Trail Blazer Donation Form (must be using either Vanco Services or Authorize.Net as your Merchant Gateway)

Article: How to Setup your PayPal Payments Pro API Configuration to Work with Trail Blazer by Generating a Username, Password, and Signature

Article: How to Activate your Anedot Merchant Gateway with Trail Blazer – Configuring the API Credentials Correctly

Article: How to Setup and Activate your Authorize.Net Account with your Trail Blazer Database for Online Payments and for Recurring Transactions

Article: ARB Code: E00011 Access denied. You do not have permissions to call the Transaction Details API

Article: How to Verify Authorize.Net Recurring Donations (ARB) Transactions are Configured Correctly with your Trail Blazer Database

Article: Response Codes

Article: Email Notification of Web Occurrences

Video: Iframes

Video: Events – pay for an event online

Website: List of Merchant Gateway Options that Integrate with Trail Blazer

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