Accept donations on WordPress

Need to accept donations on WordPress? In this post, we’ll show you exactly how you can create stylish donation forms like the one below using a free plugin called Give. No custom code required!

You can choose to keep it simple, asking donors to click on a donation button and make payment via PayPal. Or, for more robust donation campaigns, you can:

  • Collect donor details
  • Set goals and track progress
  • Manage income flows
  • Plenty more

Accept donations on WordPress : Give

In addition to the free core plugin, you can also purchase various premium add-ons that give you additional functionality.

How to accept donations on WordPress with Give

To begin with, download, install and activate the plugin:

Once you do that, the process for creating your first donation form is pretty simple:

  1. Configure basic settings for core functionality
  2. Create and configure a new form

At the end, we’ll also show you some more advanced ways to work with donation forms.

Step 1: Configure basic settings

To access the plugin’s basic settings, go to Donations > Settings in your WordPress dashboard.

This is where you’ll configure much of the core functionality of your donation forms. The area is divided into five different main tabs.  Each main tab is further divided into tabs for different areas. Let’s go through them…

General

General tab: This section sets up the default pages that donors see when they make a donation on your website. The plugin creates these by default so you don’t necessarily need to perform any manual actions unless you want to tweak those defaults:

Settings: General

Currency tab: Here, you can choose the currency for your donation form and the options for displaying it. What’s important to note here is that not all currencies are supported by all payment gateways.

Settings: general currency

Access control tab: Here, you can control user access to donation history without login, the length of the sessions and enable recaptcha.

Payment gateways

Gateways tab: By default, GiveWP supports donations via PayPal or offline payments. But via the premium add-ons, you can add support for lots of other gateways, including Stripe, Authorize.net, and more.

Settings: Payment Gateways - gateway

Each gateway will get its own tab where you can configure it.

Display options

These options help control the way the form and other front-end elements appear to users. You can use post types for forms and include featured images and excerpts. Moreover, once you enable tags and categories for forms, it’s easier to keep track of different campaigns. There’s also a section on Terms and Conditions for donating that you can include if you want.

Settings: Display options

For a form to have its own page or post, and not be embedded in any other page or post, you need to enable Form Single View.

Email templates

Communication with donors plays a big role in any fundraising activity. Give includes basic email templates to send out a variety of emails to donors for actions like a successful donation, user registration, and more.

Settings: emails

You can also configure the notification emails that you receive when someone donates.

Advanced

The Advanced tab lets you configure various miscellaneous settings. Most of the time, you’re totally fine to leave these as the defaults.

Settings: Advanced
Step 2: Create a new donation form

Now that you’ve configured the plugin’s basic settings, you’re ready to create your first donation form. To do that, head to Donations > Add Form.

Add New Form

Give a title to the form and begin selecting options. You can choose a fixed amount or allow donors to give any amount they like. You can also set multiple donation levels and assign styles to them.

Create a New form 1

Under the Form Display tab, fill up any text you like for the button as well the information to display on the form.

The gateway you selected under Settings > General > Payment gateway will appear here as the default gateway.

If you opt to enable Guest donations, non logged-in donors can also contribute.

Create a new form 2

Give also allows you to display a target amount and the progress made to date to motivate donors to contribute. You can customize many things here:

  • Progress in percent/number
  • Goal amount
  • Color of the progress bar.

You can also choose whether to close donations once the goal is achieved, include custom content, terms and conditions, and more.

At this point, you’ll notice that a shortcode is generated for the form.

Shortcode

Once you’re done, click Publish. This is how my published form appears on my test site.

Published form

A thoughtful placeholder provides the space for a featured image for the form, very important in any fundraising campaign. You can set this by using the normal WordPress Featured Image functionality.

Other options for form display

The above form appears in a page of its own, but you can easily add a form to an existing page or post by inserting a shortcode. In that case, the featured image will not show up.

Create New Page and insert shortcode
Or, if you wish, you can also add a Donate button to the sidebar of any existing page by visiting Appearance > Widgets.

Adding donation to widgets

Here’s what it looks like in the sidebar:

Donation option in sidebar widget

If you want a more basic form, simply check the Reveal button under Display Options while creating the form.
Basic form
And for a modal window format, you can select the Modal button under Display Options.
Basic form Modal

To build more complex forms that offer multi-level donations, you can change settings under the Advanced section.

Monitoring donations for your campaigns

There’s more to Give than simply creating and displaying a donation form. It helps you keep tabs on the performance of each campaign on the basis of forms, donation methods, and income flow in the Reports area.

Reports

Further, managing donors is easy with Give. It allows you to collect, maintain, and filter a list of donors. You can also import and export donor profiles, manage donors, and manage donations.

While the plugin is free and helps you accept donations on WordPress, a number of useful premium add-ons are available to help out with tasks like recurring donations and fee recovery.

Add-ons

Wrapping up

The free Give plugin is a great way to accept donations on WordPress. It should be good enough for most basic donation campaigns. And if you need access to additional functionality, like more payment gateways, recurring donations, and more, you can check out the plethora of Give add-ons.

Do you have any questions about how to accept donations on WordPress? Leave a comment and we’ll try to help out!
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