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Donation Gift Certificates and No Paid Value Gift Certificates

This article addresses two scenarios:

  • How to create a gift certificate that you would like to donate
  • How to create a gift certificate that has no paid value

  In this article:

  ► Getting Prepared to Offer Donation Certificates
► Creating the Donation or No Paid Value Certificate
► Email or Print the Certificate
► Additional Information

If you are trying to SELL a gift certificate, please read the article titled How to Sell a Gift Certificate in Person or Over the Phone. 

Getting Prepared to offer Donation Certificates:

You only need to set up your account to offer donation certificates once, and then your account is ready to offer Donation or No-Paid-Value Gift Certificates. 

  1. If you haven't already, set up an account in Settings -> Chart of Accounts called "Donated Gift Certificate Expense" as a "Revenue Account" (because items can only be mapped to Revenue Accounts).

  2. If you haven't already, create an item called "Gift Certificate Donation" or something similarly named in Settings -> Items. The name is arbitrary.
  3. Assign the Donated Gift Certificate Expense account to the Donated Gift Certificate item. Click Save when done.

 When you run the accounting summary report, the account name will be displayed, so you can make the appropriate accounting entries.


Step 1: Creating a Donation or No Paid Value Gift Certificate

Now we are ready to create the Gift Certificate. 

  1. Click the green New Bill button in the main menu, or in the upper right if using the old menu. This will create a blank invoice.

  2. Click the add icon under Purchases, and select "Gift Certificate" from your list of items.
  3. Set the price of the Gift Certificate item to the full redeemable value and click the Add button.
  4. Click the add icon once more.  Choose your donation item. In our example, we decided to call it "Gift Certificate Donation." (The name is arbitrary.)
  5. Set the price for the Certificate Promotion/Donation to be in the negative amount to offset the amount you are giving away, likely the full amount. You do this by putting a hyphen or dash in front of the amount. Click Add. This would work for partially donated gift certificates as well.

    Now you have two items — the actual Certificate in the positive and the donation or promotion item in the negative.
  6. Click the orange link that is the newly generated gift certificate code. In the above example, the unique code is 4U3ZQY87. This will take you to this certificate's overview page.
  7. Click the green Edit button on the top right of the certificate overview page.
  8. Update the certificate's details, including From, To, and Comments. We recommend editing the Code for the donated certificate by adding DON or DC to the beginning of the certificate code. Although not required, this will make them easily identifiable in lists and reports.

    Also enter any Notes for staff as to why this gift certificate is being donated or the reason it is a no paid value certificate (For Example: Issue with toilet during this guest's stay. Had to be moved to another room. This is a certificate for a future stay. etc.).

Click the green Save button when finished at the bottom of the page.  

Step 2: Emailing or Printing the Donated Gift Certificate or No Paid Value Gift Certificate


  1. To Email, enter the email address in the Deliver by Email box and click Send.
  2. If you need to print the certificate, click the green Print button to the left of the edit button on the top right. This will open the print dialog box on your computer. If using Google Chrome, you will see a print preview of the certificate. 

Additional Information Helpful for Gift Certificates & Gift Certificate Promotions

► You may need to remove taxes from the reservation or bill that a donation certificate has been redeemed on. Ask your accountant if you need to pay taxes for these situations. 

Related: Mark a reservation as tax exempt

When you sell a gift certificate, the sale price is ALWAYS equal to the redeemable value. When a gift certificate is redeemed in whole or in part, it will reduce the redeemable value to the remaining amount.  The sale price is the price at which the gift certificate was sold. Redeemable value is the dollar amount that can be redeemed. 

► Related: Setting up Gift Certificate Promotions

► If you did a special or promotion where for example, you add $10 to every $100 a customer spends on a gift certificate, the "Gift Certificate Promotion" item in the negative to offset the bill would be -10.

In some states, the paid value of a gift certificate can never expire, but the "Donation" or  "Promotional" value can expire.

If you have any questions, please reach out to support!

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