There is nothing quite as satisfying as an act of generosity. Be it a fundraiser for an orphanage  or money to help build homes for the less fortunate or maybe even money to help someone go to the North Pole. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could do that? What if you could use your WordPress powered website to do just that?

Perhaps you want to become a full time Plugin/Theme Developer but you aren’t quite sure of your ability to generate income. Then you could request those who’ve used your plugins and found it helpful to extend their support to you. This support can be as little as $5 but imagine a thousand people donating the same amount.

Welcome to the world of Donation Plugins: What does a good donation plugin need?

  • It must be inviting to any prospective donor
  • There has to be `Thank You’ message mechanism. You can’t possibly thank a thousand people manually
  • The plugin must come with a Payment Gateway, if there is more than one then great. If not, a PayPal Gateway would do fine.

Here is a roundup of the best of the free and commercial Donation Plugins for WordPress.

Free Plugins

PayPal Donations

1

PayPal Donations is by far the most popular donation plugins available on WordPress. It is as simple as it is effective.

As the name suggests it uses PayPal, the most widely recognised online money transfer service over the internet.  You can enter your PayPal email address so that you receive the money that a  donor may send your way. And you can choose your default currency depending on where you live; you can set default amounts for donations and choose one among the three icons available in the plugin to display on your donation widget.

I must admit while this plugin is highly effective, it highly discomforting not to find a `Thank You’ mailing option. If you have a high number of donors it would be tiresome to respond to each of them individually. This is the only drawback that I find in this otherwise flawless plugin.

PayPal Donations »

Seamless Donations

2

Seamless Donations is another donation plugin that caught my eye. It seems to have all the necessary features that a plugin of this nature might need. The `Thank You’ email is a very well laid out, extremely detailed mailing system. With this you should be able to cater to the necessity of thanking all the donors without any extra work. As you can see from the screenshots it offers assurances to those who’ve requested for their identities to remain anonymous. This could help in bringing in more money through recurring donations from a select few.

This plugin can be placed on a separate page, you have to take the short code given in the plugin [dgx-donate] and that particular page becomes earmarked for donations. While I was using the plugin, I found out that while asking for an address, there is an assumption made that you are situated in the USA. If you want donations, it is not really possible to be picky is it? It could certainly turn off a prospective donor when he/she realises that his/her country isn’t on the list.

Seamless Donations »

Custom Post Donations

3

True to its name this plugin allows you to design your own Donation widget depending on the nature of the donation that you want made on your website.You have three choices.

  • A fixed amount + Additional (can be chosen by donor)
  • A fixed amount per item (if your website sells stuff) + Additional (can be chosen by donor)
  • A fixed donation (chosen by donor)

You need to access the CP Donations settings from your WordPress Dashboard. Here you can add donations; under this option you can create your own widget to suit your purposes. And you can choose one of the three donation types.

After you’ve filled up the necessary details, you will be shown a shortcode. Create a new page and name it as you will. Now in the new page paste this short code and your plugin will go live.

If you want more features, say you want currencies other than the US $ then you can opt for the PRO version of this plugin. You can edit the widget as you please, you can add campaign donations to your website and you can add more than one PayPal account for easier accounting. All in all at $5.95, it is a bargain buy.

Custom Post Donations »

Donate Plus

4

Donate Plus is another good donation plugin. It has a feature that the other plugins don’t. It is attached with a recognition wall, the donor may choose to be publicly recognised by the website as a donor.

This will help promote the donor and his or her website. And it will offer an incentive to those who are reluctant to commit their money to someone else’s cause. The recognition wall will most certainly increase the likelihood of a donation.

Donate Plus »

Donation Goals

5

When people donate, they want their money to be useful and helpful to someone else’s cause.Do you want to walk around the world? Go to the South Pole? Climb Mount Everest?

If you have a journey that you’re going to undertake, you need look no further than this plugin to help make ends meet.

It need not necessarily be a arduous expedition, it can be any undertaking that you may undertake in the near future, that requires some financial support. It has a standard PayPal gateway for donation.

Donation Goals »

Commercial Plugins

Donate & Download

6

Donate & Download is a plugin that allows to distribute files through payments. People can decide how much to pay and what payment gateway to use for that (PayPal, Payza/Alertpay, Skrill/Moneybookers, Authorize.Net, InterKassa, EgoPay, Liberty Reserve, Credit/Debit Cards (via Stripe), Bitcoins (via BitPay)), but you always can set minimum limit of their payments or even set fixed amount for each file separately. Once payment completed, the plugin automatically sends temporary encrypted download link to donor’s e-mail address.

Donate & Download »

Easy WordPress Donations

7

Easy WordPress Donations is a plugin that adds a whole donations process to your WordPress install. It’s very simple to use and you can configure many options! The main idea with this plugin is to easily and quickly set up a system that enable donations on a website: with just two shortcodes, you can start receiving money via PayPal.

Easy WordPress Donations »

DonationManager Pro

8

Donation Manager Pro is a plugin which handles donations on your WordPress website. You create donation campaign, place shortcode on page and start receiving donations. The plugin allows your visitors/readers to donate and include them into list of donators. The plugin does it in automated mode and accept payments through PayPal, Payza/AlertPay, Skrill/Moneybookers, Authorize.Net, 2Checkout, InterKassa, EgoPay and Liberty Reserve. This is only one donation plugin that support 5 payment gateways

Donation Manager Pro »

Donation Content Locker

9

Donation Content Locker is a plugin that allows to hide important content on your WordPress website and display it for donors only. All you need to do is to wrap protected content with shortcodes [donationlocker]...[/donationlocker]. If people want to view this content they must donate small amount (minimum amount is set by administrator) through one of five payment gateways: PayPal, Payza/AlertPay, InterKassa, Authorize.Net, 2Checkout. After successful donation users receive activation link to make all locked content visible. Very simple workflow. Donation Content Locker is a perfect way to monetize and extend functionality of your website.

Donation Content Locker »

Easy WordPress Donations Pushover Notification

Easy WordPress Donations Pushover Notification is an add-on for Easy WordPress Donations plugin that will allow you to receive directly on your mobile (Android or IOS) a notification each time you receive a new donation

10

Easy WordPress Donations Pushover Notification »

Conclusion

WordPress and donations have always gone together well – plugin developers who used to ask for donations are finding that there are better ways to monetize their time nowadays though, such as offering a free “lite” version and then also a commercial version. There will always be a place for straight-out asking for donations though which is where these plugins come in. The “PayPal Donations” plugin looks a great choice of a free plugin and if you need something a little more advanced then take a look at the commercial “Easy WordPress Donations“plugin which has the nice Notifications add-on also.


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