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How to Add a Donation Page in WordPress

How to Add a Donation Page in WordPress

Due to the great flexibility, WordPress is a popular option for people to set up some charity or the non-profit online platforms. From it, people can donate the money or raise the fund for any project displayed on your site. In addition, many WordPress plugin or theme developers also showcase a donate section to encourage people for project donation. In the following, we are going to tell you how to add a donation page in WordPress.

In fact, most webmasters choose to add a donation button on their WordPress sites to achieve the purpose of raising fund. However, if you are looking for the more professional donation encouragement with a particular webpage, you can check the following.

Why Make Online Donations via WordPress?

Make Online DonationsWordPress is more than a simple blogging platform, which allows you to take donations and do almost everything you like. Also, you can also build a “one stop shop” without having to keep track of extra login information and websites. Most importantly, its solid and vibrant community is what sets itself apart from other online solutions.

Honestly speaking, there are many benefits you can expect from making online donations. Perhaps the biggest advantage is that you’ll be able to minimize barriers in accumulating online giving and offer your donors instant transaction and processing. Besides that, it’s also a great way to encourage your members to set up recurring donations on a weekly, monthly or annually basis. Plus, your fans can donate at any hour of any day, and you can capture member data and donor list without much effort.

Install and Set Up the Gravity Forms Plugin

This time, we highly recommend you to use the Gravity Forms plugin for the creation of your donation page. Initially, this special plugin is used to generate the advanced forms for the WordPress site. But due to its tight integration with the PayPal payment, you can use it to make a special donate form on your donation page.

Here, you need to download it from the official site. And then, you should click the Plugins > Add New button to upload the ZIP file to your WordPress site for the proper installation. After that, you can find a new tab of Forms added successfully. In addition to this plugin, you also need to install the plugin add-on of PayPal by hitting the Forms > Add-ons button.

Now, you need to click the Forms > Settings button to make some basic configurations listed as below.

  • Enter the support license key that you have got when you register for getting this plugin.
  • Decide to output the default CSS and HTML5 of this plugin or not.
  • Turn on or turn off the no-conflict mood.
  • Choose the default currency for donation.
  • Enable the background plugin updates and showcase the toolbar menu on the top of the WordPress admin.
  • Activate the reCAPTCHA settings.

Gravity Form Settings

Enable the PayPal Function

Now, you should set up some settings to enable the PayPal function on this plugin. As you have already installed the PayPal add-on, you can click the PayPal button from the plugin settings page. This time, you can see the following screen that requires you to enable the IPN of your PayPal account.

PayPal Settings

Here, you can click the link of the IPN settings page displayed on this screen. Note that if the IPN is already activated, you can click the confirmation box in below directly. If not, you should finish the following steps.

  • Click the button of Choose IPN Settings.
  • Check the Enabled box for the IPN.
  • Copy and paste the notification link displayed on the PayPal settings screen.

IPN Settings

This way, your PayPal account is integrated with this plugin and your WordPress site.

Generate the Special Donation Form

Now, all the preparatory works are done already. The next step is to create the donation form by clicking the Forms > New Form button. Here, you firstly should give this form a name and some descriptive words. After that, you can hit the Create Form button.

Create Form

Next, you should add some form fields you prefer. Here, for the donation form, you do not need to add too many fields. In our example, we only add three options – name, email address and feedback.

Form Fields

Here, we think only the email address can be mentioned as the required option. This way, you can send people the confirmation or the receipt for their donation. To make it a required one, you only need to hover the mouse on it and make a simple hit. Here, in the general settings part of this field, you can set its rules to the option of Required.

Required Rule

Once finished, you can save the form.

Enable PayPal Payment for Donation

Now, you should enable the payment details to this form. Here, you can focus on the Pricing Fields part from the right-hand column. Among all the available options, you can choose the Product option.

Pricing Fields

Next, you should edit this field with the following steps by clicking it. Here, you can make this field the required one.

  • The default field name is Product Name. Here, you can choose it to Donate.
  • Choose the Radio Buttons as the field type.
  • Add the choices for this field, such as the suggest amount of money for donation.
  • Set the value of the last choice to $0, along with the label of Other Amount. This way, people can enter their wanted donation amount freely.

Fields Type

Next, you should add another Product field for people who choose the Other Amount option. Here, the label name can be Others and the type should be the option of User Defined Price.

User Defined Price

After that, you should click the Advanced tab to enable the conditional logic. Thus, this special field will only appear when people choose the option of Other Amount for the previous Donation field, but not the predetermined donation amount.

Conditional Logic

In the front-end, what people see is just like the following.

Other Donate Amount

Now, you can save this form.

Publish the Donation Page and Add the Donation Form

The next step is to create and publish a special donation page. You can enter some words on it to explain why you hope people donate to you. In addition, we highly recommend you to add this page to your main navigation so that people can donate to you easily.

Then, you can edit this page and click the Add Form button in the editing screen. Here, you can pick up your previously created donation form and hit the Insert Form button.

After updating your donation page, it can look like as the below demo.

Donate Page Demo

Alternative Method

In this section, we’ve pulled together a comprehensive guide to make a donation page on your WordPress powered website. Generally speaking, the process mainly covers how to add PayPal donate button and create a donate form to collect payments. For practicality and succinctness’s sake, the “PayPal Donations” and “Donation Form” plugins are instanced in the following parts.

Part 1 – Embed a PayPal Donation Button to Your Website

To convert your WordPress website into one that accepts online donations, you should firstly add a PayPal donation button. The mentioned “PayPal Donations” makes this process a piece of cake with powerful options menu. On top of that, this all-in-one plugin gives you the option to setup your PayPal ID and choose between default and custom PayPal buttons. Its newest 1.8v is available for free download through the following URL.

About PayPal Donation

Get Started with PayPal Donations

Generally there are multiple ways to get this “PayPal Donation” plugin installed in WordPress. If you prefer to use a quick and painless method, you can take the following steps for reference:

  1. Log onto the dashboard of your WordPress, and then jump into “Plugins” > “Add New”.
  2. From the next screencast, just search and select the “PayPal Donation” plugin from the results. To proceed, press the “Install Now” button and follow the prompts to accomplish the installation and activation process.
  3. Install PayPal Donation

  4. If done correctly, the newly-added plugin will be accessible from this “Installed Plugins” section. As you may notice, this WP plugin can be edited and deactivated depending on personal needs.
  5. Activated WP Plugin

Display PayPal Donation Button as a Widget

To display a PayPal donation button on the front-end, simply navigate to “Appearance” > “Widget”. From the left “Available Widgets” area, you can easily find the “PayPal Donations” option. To add your donation button as a widget, you can drag and drop it to the right “Widget Area”.

Display Button as Widget

Once done, you also need to create a widget title, descriptive text that would show up above this button and customize “Purpose” and “Reference” to change the default settings. Do remember to check the blue “Save” button to take effect.

Add Button to Your Posts/Pages

If you want a simple donation button appear in a post/page, you should go to “Posts”> “Add New” and then put this shortcode into the post body. Note that, this is the simplest option that includes all optional and default settings.


To create a customized button for a specific purpose, you shall add more extra options as below. Beware that, the “Reference” and “Purpose” options can be further configured.

[paypal-donation reference="Charity Community" purpose="First Giving"]

Add Button to Pages

Important to Note: It is also possible to add a PayPal donate button via your PayPal account. This process is not as intimidating and difficult as you may suspect, which is well-documented in this PayPal setup tutorial.

Add Button via PayPal Account

Part 2 – Set Up Donation Form inside WordPress

Often times, you may find the donate button is not enough for your nonprofits. At this place, we would walk you through how to set up an attractive contribution/donate form for a non-profit. The introduced “Donation Form” can be the best supported donation plugin that adds a simple-yet-powerful payment form and donation tab integrated with PayPal. Note that, it works well with the current version of WP and is free to download through this URL.

Donation Form Plugin

Important to Note: Given that you’ve downloaded this plugin file to the local computer, you can upload this installation package to the “Plugin Directory” via the WordPress dashboard or a FTP client. From this “Add Plugins” page, just click to “Browse” your .zip file and then press the “Install Now” button to perform the installation task.

Upload Installation File

Create an Account with ContactUS.com

If done correctly, a new “Donation Form” tab will be added to the left sidebar as follows. Just click on it and you will be prompted to “Create Free Account” with ContactUs.com, a company that develops this plugin. If you already have an account with this company, it is also possible to “Login” your account out there. Keep in mind that your website URL and password are also required during this creation process.

Create an ContactUs.com Account

Note: After the completion of registration, it will give you an option to select a sub-category that best describes your website among various choices. Here, you’d better choose “Non-Profit or Community Group”.

Choose a Sub Category

Configure the Donation Forms to Your Liking

After that, a user guide will automatically appear on screen, and you can take an overall look at the customization options. For the purpose of this tutorial, we will provide you a basic navigation to configure your donation forms. Here is a quick checklist of what you need to do.

  • Firstly, hit this “Forms” tab and you will be taken to this “Form Settings” page. The “General Settings” provides you the ability to name the donation form and add “Donation Options” of your requirement. By the way, the “Min Amount” and “Max Amount” are also editable.
  • Set General Settings

  • This “Design” option allows you to make configurations to both “Template” and “Background Logo”. Note that, the design template can be changed at any time, and you can use a “Custom” template to get more font and color customization options.
  • Change Form Template

  • From the next “Fields” tab, you can set the phone number format to “US Only” or “International”. In the meantime, you can see a preview of the donation form the right-hand pane.
  • Create Donate Fields

  • To explain your proposition to your sponsors and supporters, you can edit the text within the “Call-To Action” area. The below “Button” is also an important section to configure, and buttons that say “Get a Quote” are more likely to capture readers’ attention and dollars.
  • Add Form Content

  • If you have the need to display a “Confirmation Page” after a donor submits the form successfully, you can click the radio button next to the “Enter Thank You Page Content Below” option. Alternatively, you can choose to redirect users to a custom “Thank You Page”, and this can be a great form of marketing.
  • Create Confirmation Page

    Note: In addition to the “Forms” option, there are more choices for you to use, such as “Chat”, “Contacts”, “Calls” and “Calendar”. Each of them comes with descriptive function explanations, and you can also refer to the “Documentation” library if you get lost.

    Best Practices to Make Online Donations

    It can be a daunting task for new comers to manage and operate a charity website smoothly. To save you lots of headaches down the road, we’ve listed the best practices to take online donations with WordPress in below.

    • Keep the donate form simple and convincing. It’s great to display a simple donation form for your guests to register or log in. To make your non-profit website trustworthy, you can show links related to financial accountability information.
    • Set up SSL certificate and privacy policy. Adding an SSL certificate can add an extra level of protection to your site. And a clear and plain privacy policy is another way to win trust from your donors.
    • Answer your supporters’ questions. As the donation is all about transparency, you should handle questions and confusions with online donations in a positive way. Also, it’s important to let them know where donations will go and whether they are tax deductible.


    Susan Rose is a freelance writer who has a deep knowledge about WordPress. She loves everything related to website building since the freshman year at Christopher Newport University, and loves to share her experience with people all over all the world. In the daily life, Susan loves detective novels as it can train her logical thinking and creativity.