How to set up a recurring donation form in WordPress?

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We are a nonprofit and rely heavily on recurring donations. We would like to set up an option for recurring donations on our WordPress site. How can we do that?


The client needs assistance setting up a system for processing recurring donations on their WordPress-powered nonprofit website.

How to set up a recurring donation form in WordPress?

Setting up a donation form on your WordPress site that allows visitors to make automatic, recurring donations is a great way to ensure steady support for your organization. There are several ways to do this.

A recurring donation form on your WordPress site can introduce a new path for steady, continuous support.

Leading methods for implementing donations

In general, there are a few ways to approach implementing this for your organization’s website. This will vary dependent on your team’s technical capabilities, but also, the architecture and development methods employed by your team when your site was built. Take some time to familiarize yourself with this information and weigh the options.

  • Using existing forms tools used on the site
  • With a payment processor
  • Using a donation plugin that supports recurring donations

Which of these approaches will be best for your organization?

The answer may depend on your current website setup, budget, and the type of donations you wish to accept (single vs. recurring). Let’s quickly explore each option:

1. Utilizing existing forms tools used on the site: If your website uses a tool like Gravity Forms or WPForms for contact forms, you might be able to also use it for accepting donations—especially if they offer addons for payments (like Stripe or PayPal). This could be a great cost-effective method since you would be utilizing tools you already have.

2. Using a payment processor: Payment processors like Stripe and PayPal offer options for setting up recurring payments directly through their platforms. By integrating this on your website, supporters can choose to donate either as a one-off or set up a recurring monthly donation.

3. Using a donation plugin that supports recurring donations: There are WP plugins available that are specifically designed to handle charitable donations. Plugins such as GiveWP and Charitable provide features like customizable donation forms, fundraising campaigns, reports, donor management, and importantly the ability to set up recurring donations.

A good start would likely be seeing how viable an option would be for utilizing your site’s existing forms tools in collaboration with your selected payment processor – especially if it’s an additional expense to configure additional plugins to accommodate this feature. Alternatively, there are outstanding WP plugins available that are specifically catered towards organizations seeking to maintain an effective digital presence and online contribution method.

Remember whichever path you take; it is crucial to ensure such forms are secure, as for many organizations, they are handling sensitive customer data.

Top WordPress Plugins for Recurring Donation Forms

If you’re looking to implement recurring donation forms on your WordPress site, here are some top plugins that stand out for their reliability, ease of use, and integration capabilities:

1. GiveWP

GiveWP is a comprehensive donation plugin for WordPress that enables you to collect donations on your website easily. It supports recurring donations, fee recovery, and provides detailed reports and donor management tools. One of its strengths is its seamless integration with various payment gateways including PayPal and Stripe, making it flexible for global contributions.

2. Charitable

This user-friendly WordPress donation plugin allows you to create fundraising campaigns with ease. Charitable does not charge any transaction fees and offers a powerful recurring donations extension. It’s highly customizable through its range of add-ons for extra functionality like peer-to-peer fundraising, anonymous donations, and more.

3. WP Simple Pay

While WP Simple Pay is primarily a plugin dedicated to simplifying payments through Stripe, it also supports the creation of simple recurring donation forms without the need for adding complex shopping cart systems on your website. It’s very straightforward for both the site administrators and donors.

4. Donorbox

Donorbox is another powerful solution for accepting recurring donations on WordPress sites. Although it operates as a third-party service (with an easy-to-integrate WordPress plugin), it offers robust features including multi-currency support, customizable receipt texts, employer gift matching functionality and more. The first $1k received every month is free from Donorbox service charges.

5. Seamless Donations

A free plugin that facilitates one-time as well as automated repeating donations through PayPal or Stripe. Seamless Donations is known for its quick five-minute setup process. In addition to basic functionalities, it also offers thank-you emails customization and donor tracking abilities.

6. WooCommerce Subscriptions

Although not specifically developed for donations, WooCommerce Subscriptions can be tailored to work as a recurring donation system on eCommerce websites built with WooCommerce. For those already utilizing WooCommerce who want to expand into accepting regular charitable contributions in addition to selling products or services online; this might be an efficient workaround.

These plugins provide varying levels of customization and reporting tools which can help optimize donation experiences both from an administrator’s standpoint as well as from a donor’s perspective ensuring repeat contributions are made seamlessly benefiting your organization in the long term.

Additional reading

This article, by Megan Jones back in September 2020 serves as a comprehensive starter guide for nonprofit organizations looking to create an effective donation form on their website using Gravity Forms. It begins by outlining the diverse payment processor options available within Gravity Forms—such as Stripe, PayPal, and Square.

Starter Guide: How to Create a Donation Form with Gravity Forms

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