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8 top donation plugins for WordPress websites

by Erik Deckers COVID-19 is putting the pinch on a lot of small businesses, nonprofits and houses of worship. Some small businesses might be able to partially recoup their losses by offering pickup and delivery options, or by shipping their products.

But houses of worship and nonprofits that hold special events are having a problem. It’s always easier to ask for money when you’ve got people at congregations or special events.

Most organizations are equipped to take payments beyond just cash and checks — in person. Unfortunately, that only works if you’ve actually got people inside your venue. How do you do it when many of us are sheltering in place?

8 top donation plugins for WordPress websites If you’ve got a WordPress site for your nonprofit or religious organization, there are plugins to help you receive credit card donations and keep your income flowing in. Then, you can stream your events and services live on one of many different video platforms and direct people to your WordPress site.

  1. GiveWP.

  2. WP Crowdfunding.

  3. Donorbox.

  4. WP Forms.

  5. PayPal Donation.

  6. PayPal Donations.

  7. Charitable.

  8. Donation Thermometer.

Let’s take a closer look at each option below.

Note: All prices noted below were current at the time of writing, but please check individual plugin sites for the most up-to-date pricing information.

1. GiveWP GiveWP features an intuitive interface that lets you customize donation forms, keep track of your donors and their contributions, generation tax receipts, integrate your donation form with Google Analytics, and even set up flexible recurring donations.

GiveWP also lets you set up alternative payment methods like Apple Pay and Google Pay through the Stripe gateway. It can help you avoid losing credit card processing fees by asking your donors to cover that little extra.

Finally, you can provide your donors with PDF receipts for each donation, or allow them to download a PDF of all their donations for the year.

2. WP Crowdfunding WP Crowdfunding is another donation plugin that lets organizations collect payments. This one is based on WooCommerce.

For starters, you can accept and manage pledges from donors. It has a native wallet system and easily connects with Stripe so you can accept alternative payment methods like Apple Pay and Google Pay.

It also has front-end operations, meaning users don’t need back-end access to create or update projects. This is ideal for organizations who have dedicated admins to run the website — you can set up other users to create donation forms without giving them back-end admin access.

3. Donorbox Donorbox is a donation form that works both as a WordPress plugin and standalone website. You can set up one-time or recurring donations, as well as accepting company donations and company gift matching. You can also accept Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, and even ACH bank payments.

The pricing is a bit high: Free donations up to $1,000/month, and then 1.5% platform fees for everything thereafter.

This is on top of the payment processing fees charged by Stripe, PayPal, and the banks. You can ask your donors to cover these fees, like GiveWP. Donorbox also has email and CRM integrations for additional fees.

But while they may charge extra fees, they do take away the technical setup and security issues so you don’t have to deal with it.

4. WP Forms While not strictly a donation form per se, WP Forms does have donation acceptance capabilities through PayPal and Stripe add-ons, as well as a few email marketing add-ons.

WP Forms comes with form templates, but it also has a drag-and-drop form builder. This makes it ideal for small nonprofits and charities that don’t want a full donation plugin, but just want to add a couple options to their website.

5. PayPal Donation Stripped down to just one function, this simple plugin lets you collect PayPal donations anywhere on your website. And best of all, you can set up recurring donations that can go through daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly.

The plugin works with any theme, has built-in support for 18 languages and 25 currencies, and each button can have its own language and currency. This way, if you reach an international audience, you can create a page with all the buttons for each currency you accept.

6. PayPal Donations Not to be confused with the previous entry, PayPal Donations is another PayPal-only plugin that lets you add a quick shortcode button to a sidebar widget. It has additional options for language and currency options.

7. Charitable Charitable lets you create different fundraising campaigns, set goals, and customize your donation forms. You can also create time-based campaigns that end automatically on the deadline date.

The basic plugin is free and gives you PayPal access. You have to upgrade to the $99 Plus plan to unlock payment gateways like Stripe or payment gateways.

You can also upgrade to the Pro plan for $249, which gives you recurring donations, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer fundraising, and donor fee relief.

However, regardless which level you get, they don’t charge transaction fees for any contributions you receive.

8. Donation Thermometer Remember those donation thermometers from elementary school and United Way fundraising campaigns? Now you have an online version. While it’s not exactly a donation plugin, it does let you show visitors how close you are to meeting your donation goals. The thermometers are even customizable, including the fill colors, currency and size.

Stay afloat during the pandemic Setting up a WordPress donation plugin for your nonprofit, charity or religious institution during the COVID-19 shutdown can help you continue taking in much-needed money to keep your organization fulfilling its purpose.

Connect with other small business entrepreneurs to share creative solutions, exchange ideas, gather feedback, build relationships and troubleshoot technical issues.

Erik Deckers Erik Deckers is the president of Pro Blog Service, a content marketing agency. He is also the co-author of Branding Yourself, and No Bullshit Social Media. Erik has been blogging since 1997, and has been a newspaper humor columnist for over 20 years. He has written several radio plays and stage plays, and numerous business articles. Erik was recently the Spring 2016 writer-in-residence at the Jack Kerouac House in Orlando, FL.

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