Want to learn how to create a donation form in WordPress? With the right tools, a WordPress donation form can be made with ease.
Approximate read-time: 5 minutes
Want to make it so your WordPress site can accept charitable donations? If you are a nonprofit, this is an essential feature. But it's not always simple to set up.
Processing fees may seem small to big business, but losing 3-5% in fees every time you collect a donation could hurt.
This is where most nonprofit organizations hit a roadblock. Very few standalone payment processors offer a donation service without fees. And the ones that do often have very limited integrations.
So if you are looking for a simple way to collect online donations, this step by step guide will show you how. In this tutorial, we'll show you how to use PayPal Forms to turn your WordPress website into a donation collecting machine!
Of course, to create your WordPress donation form, you'll need a WordPress donation plugin. In this case, the best one we can recommend is a form builder with a great track record of working with charities - Formidable Forms.
A WordPress form builder for charities
Formidable Forms is a WordPress form maker plugin. And you'll need one of those to create your donation forms on your website. There are actually quite a few charity plugins for WordPress, but all of those only do one thing: allow you to collect donations.
While it's true, you may only need that one function, in reality, a charity website needs to do much more than accept donations.
You need to gain subscribers, collect data, and integrate all that data with your other software platforms. This is something that most charity plugins can't touch. Here's where it comes back to Formidable.
Our form builder has been around for over 10 years and it currently powers 300,000 WordPress websites. For this tutorial to work, you'd need our Business pricing plan. But at $199/year for new users, that's going to be a lot cheaper than paying 5% in fees for each donation you receive!
The best thing about Formidable is our money-back guarantee. Try us out for 14-days and if you don't love it, get all your money back with no questions asked.
If you're sold, read this guide to learn how to install and activate Formidable. It's very straightforward - just buy the plugin and follow the steps.
Before we get to the tutorial, let's cover a few points of consideration on how to be set up your website for accepting donations.
Where should you put your charitable donation form?
In past posts, we've mentioned how powerful it can be to include an additional action in an existing form. If your newsletter signup is included in your contact form, conversions are usually much higher than a standalone signup form. The same is true with donations!
It can be much more effective to include an "I would like to make a donation" checkbox in your contact form rather than a donation button all on its own.
However, depending on how you operate, it might also make sense to make a donation page, dedicated only to collecting donations. It really depends on how your fundraising effort functions.
How do you drive traffic to your site? Are you driving traffic that already knows they can donate? Or is donation something you educate people about only after they reach your website? Thinking about these questions might change how you set up your forms.
Adding a donation collection field to an existing form is like when the grocery store clerk asks if you'd like to donate your change to charity. Having a dedicated donation page is like setting up a booth in front of the store.
Both methods will work, but maximizing your efforts might mean that you try deploying the two of them simultaneously.
👉 Read more: The Best WordPress Donation Plugins
One-time donations VS ongoing subscriptions
Regular subscriptions every month can be invaluable. But it's much easier to get conversions from a one-time donation form when compared to signup for ongoing payments.
Because of this, many organizations display the one-time donation form on their website. When a donation is made, the visitor is subscribed to a mailing list. Then options to support the organization with a monthly subscription are highlighted in regular newsletters.
Highlight the ongoing achievements and successes of your organization in a regular newsletter to make return donations and subscriptions more forthcoming. This way, you can collect one-time donations and email subscribers. Then, convert them into monthly donors with your newsletters!
Collecting recurring donations will be a lot easier if people know more about your nonprofit.
Creating your WordPress donation form
It’s actually pretty easy to get things set up with your WordPress donation form. We’ll need to install Formidable Forms, install the PayPal add-on, build a donation form, and then configure the settings.
That may seem like a lot, but each step only takes a few minutes. And once you’ve set your donation form up, it will be good to go for a while.
First, we’ll need to install and activate Formidable Forms if you haven’t already done that.
Now, let’s install the PayPal add-on for Formidable. This is the add-on that allows us to set our payment method as PayPal. From the Formidable navigation, click on Add-ons and look for the PayPal add-on. If you’re lost, check out our PayPal doc.
If you aren’t happy with PayPal, Formidable includes other payment gateways like Stripe. Stripe is a great payment option that accepts all major credit cards without the need for an account like PayPal.
The Formidable Stripe add-on is featured in our top-tier plan, so accessing it will be a bit more expensive than Paypal. Having said that, PayPal is very popular with nonprofits and many donors are accustomed to using it.
Now you’ll need to create a form. There’s a lot of ways you could do this, as we discussed earlier. Whatever kind of form you create, we’ll show you how to adjust it to accept donations.
With that in mind, go ahead and add a Checkbox field to your form with a label like "I would like to make a one-time donation."
Create a Dropdown field labeled "Donation amount". Naturally, this will serve as our donation amount field. Include options for popular donation amounts that make sense for your nonprofit.
Use smart forms with conditional logic to hide your donation amount dropdown, until after the checkbox is ticked. This way, your form will only ask people for donations if they are interested.
Set up a PayPal form action. Make sure the payment type is set to "Donation". Select your donation amount dropdown field in the "Amount" setting. Don't forget to set the success and cancellation URLs. Use these pages to say thank you or give a visitor the opportunity to give feedback on why they canceled.
Set up a "Thank You" email. Are you grateful for the support? Let generous donors know how much it means to you. They may tell their friends, and they will be more likely to donate again in the future.
To set up a thank you email, create an autoresponder in your form settings.
An easy charitable donation form for nonprofits
So that's it. Add a donation option to existing WordPress forms in six simple steps! Want your charitable donation form built for you? Check out our PayPal donation form template where we've done all the work for you.
Other than the above steps, you might consider making a “Thank You” page where people who donate are redirected. That way, you can easily track your number of donations in Google Analytics. Every person who visits that page will represent one donation.
We hope you’ve found value in today’s post. As always, keep it locked to the Formidable blog for all things WordPress. See you soon!
Read more articles about donation forms
Not using Formidable Forms yet? Our WordPress form maker has it all! Nonprofits and businesses alike love this easy-to-use yet advanced plugin. Try it out risk-free with our 14-day, money-back guarantee.