Accepting recurring donations online is an easy way to generate a steady stream of income for your nonprofit. Here's how to set up recurring donations in WordPress!
If your WordPress website accepts online donations, you're probably already familiar with the basics of the most popular payment gateways. However, you might also want to provide convenience beyond one-time contributions.
Enabling recurring donations in WordPress can be the perfect solution.
Fortunately, you can easily add this feature with the help of Formidable Forms. By adjusting a few settings, you can provide a seamless experience for your most loyal donors.
In this article, we’ll cover a few benefits of setting up recurring donations in WordPress. Then we’ll show you how to include this option in just three easy steps. Let’s jump right in!
Why you might enable recurring donations in WordPress
Your WordPress donation page can be an economic lifeline for your website. One-time contributions are important. However, they don’t have to be your only funding source. Recurring donations also have a lot to offer.
For example, one of the biggest advantages of regular contributions is reliability. Recurring payments can help you estimate your monthly income more accurately. As a result, it might be easier to manage your site’s funds.
However, you're not the only one who can benefit: 31.3% of users prefer to give regular contributions. As such, enabling recurring donations in WordPress is an easy way to provide a better experience for your donors.
This same principle applies to attracting new donors. If you only offer a one-time donation option, you may miss out on long-term gifts. Suggesting a regular contribution option to your visitors can help you make the most of their generosity.
Finally, this feature can also provide you with valuable user data. Loyal donors are more likely to increase their contributions. As a result, you can use this information to more efficiently direct your fundraising efforts.
How to set up recurring donations in PayPal with WordPress
You'll also want to make sure that you've connected your PayPal account.
Step 1: Enable your WordPress form to accept PayPal donations
- Alumni donations geared toward schools
- Raffle-based giving events
- Donation requests to boost your outreach efforts
You can either use the template as-is or tweak it to fit your needs. On the other hand, you could also choose a Blank Form to start from scratch.
At this point, you may also want to consider getting creative with your field types. For example, you could put your donation options on a number range scale. This can be a subtle visual way to encourage larger donations.
If you'd like to start accepting donations through Stripe, you'll need to include a ? Payment field in your form.
After you've made your form, you'll need to add an option to accept PayPal donations. Go to Settings → Actions & Notifications → PayPal:
The Action Name is only for your back-end reference. However, the Item Name will appear on the donor's receipt. As such, try to choose a field that describes the donation accurately.
Afterward, enter the email associated with your PayPal account into PayPal Email.
Finally, move on to the Amount drop-down.
You can either choose a field from your form or enter a value. You can even accept a custom donation amount. This is what your users will be charged for their donations, so it's worth double-checking that you input an accurate amount!
Once you have these basic settings sorted out, you can move on to the next step.
Step 2: Adjust your recurring donations settings
Next up, we'll finish filling out this form with recurring donation settings. Scroll down to find the Payment Type field. Make sure you select Subscription:
Once you've chosen this field, you should see a new field labeled Repeat Every. Select the time interval for how often the donation will be charged. In this example, we've chosen to set up a PayPal monthly donation button.
Next, you have the option to provide a Trial. Checking this box will generate a field where you can choose the trial's length. If you're running a membership site, this can be a very useful feature.
You can also enable Retry a failed payment for a subscription. If you check this box, any transactions that don't go through will be attempted again. However, keep in mind that this setting doesn't apply to the first payment sent to PayPal.
The last checkbox is for notifications. If you want to withhold emails until donations successfully go through, make sure to select this setting.
Finish up the form with your site's Currency, Return URL, and Cancel URL.
When you're all set, click on Update and move to the next step.
Step 3: Finalize your advanced PayPal settings
However, there are a few other features you can add. So let's take a moment to cover a few ways you can set up recurring donations with PayPal.
For example, you may want to display the previous form submissions to encourage others to contribute. Don't worry about giving away personal information — you can build a layout that only shows a first name and donation amount.
Additionally, you might want to personalize the email notifications. You can do so by going to Settings → Actions & Notifications → Send Email on your form. Thanking donors for their monthly gifts can help encourage ongoing generosity.
You may also want to consider taking these emails a step further. By using conditional logic, you can send different messages based on the values of the donor gifts:
It may take time to write different messages for each donation tier. However, this can show users that you appreciate them enough to customize their thank-you emails.
Once you've published this form on a page or in a donation widget, your work is done! PayPal will automatically bill these donations at your predetermined intervals.
Ready to accept recurring donations on your website?
No matter what cause or charity your WordPress site represents, donations are key to ongoing success. Regular contributions in particular offer consistent support. Fortunately, all you have to do is install a recurring payments plugin to accept recurring donations in WordPress.
We've gone over how to set up recurring donations in PayPal, but Stripe payments are also a great alternative.
In this article, we covered three steps to set up recurring donations:
- Set up a WordPress donation form that can accept PayPal donations.
- Adjust the payment settings to repeat transactions on a recurring basis.
- Consider adding advanced features to make your forms more professional.