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28 January 2019

Simplify your online donations through WordPress

How to set up your WordPress to accept online donations with Give

Accepting online donations can be a great source of raising funds for non-profit organizations, universities. Promoting the percentage of contribution is also a fantastic method to continue to encourage donors or potential donors to invest in your organization.

You can also set up a contribution for a specific initiative that you want to launch but otherwise wouldn’t have the capital for. This phenomenon has been gaining popularity in recent years. By encouraging users to make contributions to support a project or to gather funds showcasing their appreciation for an item or a service they have actually gotten it encourages them to internally reflect while externally completing an action.

WordPress powers of 30% of all websites. While there are many plugins and customizations that are possible, if you are a nonprofit one of your biggest requirements should be that you can accept online donations. In 2017 over $410 billion dollars was given to charities.

Luckily if you do want to accept donations on your WordPress site, there are several plugins available that spring over the hurdles keeping you from fully utilizing your platform.

In this guide, we’re going to walk you through how to set-up your WordPress website with an additional plugin that makes your life a little easier when you can accept donations.

How to Setup WordPress to Accept Donations with Give

Through the official WordPress plugin library, there are over 1,800 plugins that could help you with accepting online donations. Among them, Give is one of the most popular, highest-rated, and best-supported WordPress donation plugins.

With this plugin, you can easily accept donations, view donation statistics and reports, manage donors, integrate with other 3rd party services etc. Give is, however, a freemium plugin.

The free version of the plugin comes with limited features but still allows you to collect donations with 0 commissions and is easy to customize. The premium version plugin comes with powerful add-ons like:

  • Recurring donations
  • Accept credit cards
  • Custom fields
  • Dedicate donations
  • Currency switcher
  • PDF receipts
  • Stripe and other popular payment gateways

Setting up the Give Plugin in WordPress

First, install and activate the Give WordPress plugin. Upon activation, you will notice a new “Donations” menu appeared on your WordPress admin dashboard.

The first step is to create a new donation form. From there we will get more technical and walk you through some common customizations to get the most of the platform.

Click on Donations> All Forms and from there you need to create a new donation form.

Now click on the Create Donation Form button and give the form a name. If this is your first set-up and you are just wanting to familiarize yourself with the platform you may choose a name like “test_01”. Otherwise, perhaps you will want to name it something meaningful, like for the specific initiative you are trying to raise capital for.

Now you can also customize the plugin as the way you want. Keep in mind, we are showing the free version of the plugin settings. You can see more options if you decide to use the premium add-ons.

Donation Options: From the donation options, you can set a fixed amount of donation or multi-level donations such as $10, $20 & $50.

You can also enable custom amount field so that users can donate as much as they want.

Form Display: From the from display option, you can change Donate Now button label text. You can also change the payment gateway.

By default, the free version plugin comes with only one payment gateway, PayPal, but you can add other payment gateways by purchasing the payment gateway add-ons.

While there are many other options available under form display, we recommend you to leave the others default.

Donation Goal: Using the Donation Goal option, you can set a donation goal that you would like to achieve for this form. You can present the goal as an amount raised, a percentage raised, number of donations or number of donors.

Form Content: Under this optional setting you can add any additional text or images in the donation form. If you don’t want to add any text, you can disable this option.

Terms & Conditions: If your nonprofit or organization has specific terms and conditions you need your donors to read and accept before you can accept their donation with Give, you can add terms & conditions in your form. By enabling this option, all users will be required to accept the terms to be able to complete their donations. While the ability to use your own terms and conditions is beneficial, there are also standard terms and conditions that are preformatted and offered should you want them.

Offline Donations: Many nonprofits and organizations still receive a number of donations by methods other than their website. Give offers the ability to accept donations offline. All you need to customize the address and you are all set to instruct your donors on how they can mail their checks to you.

Email Notifications: It’s always nice for your donors to receive an email after they have made a contribution. Using this option, you can setup and customize the email they will receive upon successful completion of their donation.

Once you are done customizing, click on the Preview button from the right side corner to see what the donation form will look like.

Now that we have gone through all of the customizations on the free version of Give, let’s see what our sample donation form could look like.

In our sample form we have a goal, fixed values represented as one tree, three trees, a forest or custom amount. We are collecting their name and email address and we are asking them to confirm to our terms. All of this was quickly set up through our backend changes.

You may have noticed a notice at the top that says the form is on test mode and live donations can’t be processed. This is because we haven’t disabled the test mode nor added a payment gateway.

If you want to add more functionality like recurring payment, accept credit card payments directly, switch currency values, etc. you will need to buy the corresponding add-ons.
We recommend running tests on a variety of browsers, and screen sizes before allowing the form to accept real payments. Once you have tested and are confident that everything is displaying as you intended and all information is being collected you can disable test mode.

To disable the test mode, go to Donations> Settings> Payment Gateway.

As was previously mentioned, the free version plugin comes with the PayPal payment gateway only. You can also activate premium gateways like Stripe, Authorize.net and allow users to donate using their credit cards. But those payment gateways are paid add-ons.

The final steps are from the Enabled Gateways, to disable the Test Donation and enable PayPal Standard and Offline Donations if desired.

Once done, click on the Save Changes button to store the new settings.

Finally, go to PayPal Standard option and enter your PayPal details.

Similarly, if you have Offline Donations enabled, you will need to set up that.

Your form is now officially set up. The last step is to copy the shortcode and past it onto your desired page. To do this you will need to go back to the Donation form that you have created. Click on edit and from the right sidebar, click on the Copy Shortcode button.

Paste the shortcode to your donation page, an individual post, or anywhere that you want it to be displayed.

That’s it. This is how you can easily set up WordPress to accept online donations. If you have any question regarding this article, do let us know in the comment section.

Amar Trivedi

President and founder of AmDee, Amar provides insight of nonprofit technology through occasional guest blogs for AmDee and others. He has been a software developer and architect since the mid-1990s.