Need to accept donations on your WordPress site? Want to set up content that is restricted to donors? In this post, we’ll cover twelve of the absolute best WordPress plugins for nonprofits, charities, funds, NGOs, and similar organizations.
Before we get started, you might be wondering: what is WordPress and why should you use it? In particular, why should a nonprofit use WordPress? Well, there are many reasons…
WordPress is completely free to use. There are no hidden costs, fees, or subscriptions required for WordPress itself.
To set up a basic website, you’ll only need to purchase a web hosting plan and a domain name. This makes WordPress less expensive than pretty much any other website builder, including Wix, SquareSpace, or Shopify.
Open-source software is a type of software that is released publicly for free, typically without any rules or restrictions. Much of the modern Internet is built on open-source software and many developers consider the “mission” of open-source to be a democratizing, noble one. So, when you use WordPress, you help support the open-source movement.
It Has a Huge Ecosystem of Themes and Plugins
WordPress has over 50,000 plugins and 10,000 themes available. The majority of these are free and easy to install. Paid options usually don’t cost more than a few hundred dollars, maximum. No matter what you need, you can find a theme or plugin for it.
Our theme, Astra, is the most popular WordPress theme currently available. It’s highly customizable, includes dozens of features, and has numerous templates for specific purposes, like selling products via WooCommerce. You can customize layouts, colors, typography, header designs and more. Our paid plans include extra plugins that let you create a portfolio, take subscribers’ emails, and more.
If you’re starting from scratch, you may be totally unfamiliar with websites, taking payments, WordPress, and everything else. Don’t worry! We’ll briefly cover the essentials that you’ll need.
If you’re already familiar with web hosting and WordPress, you can skip this section and head straight to the plugins.
- A web host. First, you’ll need a web host. There are many web hosts, but some popular ones are SiteGround, BlueHost, Hostinger and GoDaddy. You can view our full list of recommended hosts here.
- WordPress. Once you have a web host, you’ll need to install WordPress. WordPress is a CMS, or Content Management System, that allows you to easily create and manage your website. Many web hosts can install WordPress for you automatically via the control panel. The specifics depend on your host. If you need some direction, we have a step-by-step guide for setting up WordPress in 60 minutes or less on our blog.
- A WordPress theme. After installing WordPress, you’ll need to select a theme. There are thousands of WordPress themes available, depending on what your specific needs are. Astra is one such theme – in fact, it’s the most popular WordPress theme of all time. You can download it for free here.
- WordPress plugins. Then, you’ll need to install specific plugins to add extra functionality. For example, if you want to collect your readers’ email addresses, you’ll need to install an email marketing plugin like MailPoet, MailChimp, or Convert Pro.
In this post, we cover the best plugins for nonprofits. Specifically, the best plugins that allow you to take donations. If you’re looking for more general tips on eCommerce and accepting payments, check out some of these posts from our blog:
- A payment processor. Finally, you’ll need a way to process payments. There are hundreds of payment processing options, but the most popular ones are Stripe, PayPal, Authorize.net and Braintree.
Payment processors charge a small fee for every transaction, which is a small percentage of the total cost. The base prices for each are listed in the chart below.
Once you’ve got these five things, you’re good to go!
Note that each processor has additional fees depending on the specific type and source of transaction.
|Payment Gateway||Transaction Fees|
|Stripe||2.9% + $0.30 per transaction|
|PayPal||2.9% + $0.30 per transaction|
Also various other fees. See full list here.
|Authorize.net||2.9% + 0.30 per transaction|
|Braintree||2.9% + 0.30 per transaction|
|WooCommerce Payments||2.9% + $0.30 per transaction|
|Square||2.6% + $0.10 per transaction|
In order to accept donations and send the money to your organization’s bank account, you’ll need to hook your payment processor up to the donation plugin. The cost of plugins vary. Some plugins charge a single, one-time fee, some charge a percentage of each transaction, and others are completely free.
Keep in mind that the total cost of accepting donations will include both the payment processor fee and the price of plugin itself. We’ve listed the costs for each of our twelve recommended plugins in the chart below.
|WooCommerce Donation||$49/year If you need recurring subscriptions, $199/year for WooCommerce Subscriptions|
|GiveWP||Starting at $249 per year for the Basic plan|
|PayPal Donations||Free plugin|
|WP Charitable||Starting at $129/year for the basic plan or $279 for a package including recurring donations. No platform fees.|
|WPPayForm||Single site license $59, Agency (2-20 sites) $99, Unlimited Sites – $199|
|Donation Content Locker||Single payment of $16|
|Donor Box||No set up fees or migration costs, with a 1.5% platform fee|
|Smart Donations||Starting at $19 (single payment)|
|Seamless Donations||Free for basic functionality, extra plugins for specific features starting at $20/year|
|Green Donations||$19 (single payment)|
|Donation Thermometer||Free plugin|
|WP Forms||Basic plan starts at $79/yearPlus, Pro, and Elite plans range from $199 to $599/year|
Here are the twelve best plugins for nonprofits, charities, and similar organizations.
WooCommerce Donation is an extension for WooCommerce that allows you to create campaigns, collect donations, and manage other aspects of a nonprofit. The plugin has a huge number of customizations and options available.
You can customize donation amounts (predefined or allow users to choose), set maximum-minimum amounts, accept recurring donations and more.
There is also a unique round-off feature, which allows you to round up the price to the next round number. Perhaps WooCommerce’s strongest point is that it also connects with other extensions in the WooCommerce marketplace, which includes hundreds of other free and paid extensions and enhancements.
If you’re looking for the most flexible and most powerful plugin for taking donations, go with WooCommerce Donation. And if you’re looking for a theme to create a website to take those donations, check out our WooCommerce Astra theme.
- Collect donations anywhere on your site with widgets or shortcodes
- Focus on recurring, ongoing donations
- Set daily, weekly, or monthly recurring payments
- Configure minimum / maximum amounts
- Create multiple donation campaigns
- Customize styling and design
- Accept donations with decimals (as low as 0.01)
- Round up and donate the difference
- Metadata and donation statistics
- Integration with other WooCommerce plugins, like WooCommerce Subscription, Currency Switcher, and more
- Read the full list of features here
- If you need recurring subscriptions, $199/year for WooCommerce Subscriptions
- Lower price than may competitors
- Long list of features
- Easy integration with WooCommerce plugin and support ecosystem
- Longer initial setup time than some other options
- Cost of extra add-on plugins can add up
Our second recommendation is GiveWP, which is one of the single most impressive donation plugins available. It has dozens of features and add-ons, including donor management, multiple style options, custom goal bars, complex recurring donation options, and analytics.
ocommerce.com/products/donatiIt supports over fifteen payment gateways, including Authorize.net, Stripe, and PayPal. It also includes special features like Credit Card Fee Recovery and tax deductible receipts.
With GiveWP, you’re in good company. Many well-known nonprofits use the plugin, including United Way, The YMCA, The Humane Society, and Habitat for Humanity. This is reflected in the sheer variety of options and features available.
GiveWP is an excellent choice for any nonprofit looking for a powerful donation management system.
- Over fifteen payment gateways available, including Authorize.net, Stripe, and PayPal Pro
- Reporting and analytics
- Marketing integrations with MailChimp, Constant Contact, Zapier, and more
- Donor management tools to keep track of contributors
- Let donors view their payment history
- Multiple style options
- Use custom goal bars to encourage donors
- Recurring donations
- Import and export data
- Starting at $249 per year for the Basic plan
- Free plan is powerful and has a lot of features
- Donor management program is unique
- Recurring donations, marketing add-ons, and some payment gateways require a paid plan
- Might be expensive for smaller nonprofits
PayPal Donations is a simple plugin that allows you to add a PayPal donation button to your site via shortcode or widget. You can choose from a few different button options, change settings for currency, and more.
The total setup time is not long, making it ideal for nonprofits who already use PayPal and need a quick solution to accept donations.
- Add a PayPal donation widget via shortcode or widget
- Choose between different buttons or create your own
- Settings for currency, localization, and post-purchase page
- Completely free
- Extremely simple to install and use
- Limited feature set
- Must use PayPal and not other payment processors
WP Charitable is a powerful plugin that allows you to accept donations on your WordPress site. You can run unlimited campaigns, customize the forms with code snippets, set up peer-to-peer fundraising, and connect to many email marketing programs, like MailChimp or Active Campaign.
There are no transaction fees, meaning that the $129/year (basic plan) is the only total cost.
- GDPR- ready donation forms
- Unlimited campaigns
- Easily customizable with code snippet library
- No transaction fees
- Use Stripe, Authorize.net, Braintree, and other payment processors
- Easily leverage peer-to-peer fundraising or create a crowdfunding platform
- Connect to MailChimp, MailPoet, Active Campaign, and other email marketing programs
- Starting at $129/year for the basic plan or $279 for a package including recurring donations. No platform fees
- Easily customizable
- Low set-up time
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Using advanced features can get pricey
- Less integrations and plugins
WPPayForm is a payment plugin that works with Stripe and PayPal. While it’s not optimized for nonprofits, it is a solid payment plugin that can be tailored for any use. Some features include monthly and annual payment options, pre-built payment form templates, and an easy-to-use form builder.
If you’re comfortable customizing a standard payment form plugin and don’t need anything optimized for nonprofits, give WPPayForm a try.
- Includes monthly/annual recurring payment options
- Works with Stripe and PayPal
- Pre-built payment form templates
- Single site license $59, Agency (2-20 sites) $99, Unlimited Sites – $199
- More affordable than other options
- Easy set up
- Flexible enough to customize for your site
- Less designed with nonprofits in mind
- Limited payment processors (only PayPal and Stripe)
Donation Content Locker is a different type of donation plugin. It allows you to easily place any content within shortcodes, then restrict that content only to users who make a donation. It is similar to other membership plugins like Restrict Content Pro or Paid Memberships Pro.
However, it is designed to be extremely simple. As such, it doesn’t require the user to create an account or log in. This is important, as many studies have shown that easiness of payment affects sales amounts. The easier it is to buy something, the more people will buy it.
This plugin is a great choice for nonprofits that want to sell access to content on their site, like videos, white papers, or other information. Set up is easy and the donor check-out process is painless. When combined with a flexible, powerful theme, you can create an effective website that convinces your audience to donate.
- Restrict any content by using shortcodes
- Choose donation amount required to view the content
- Works with PayPal, Payza/AlertPay, InterKassa, and Authorize.Net
- Single payment of $16
- Extremely simple setup and use
- No registration required = easier to use = more donations
- Limited functionality
- No recurring payments
- No integration with Stripe, Braintree, some other popular payment processors
Donorbox is a powerful donations plugin that has no initial setup fees and 1.5% platform fee. It’s a great choice for new or smaller nonprofits that have limited resources, as it lets you access a number of powerful features right off the bat.
These include a form-builder, support for 20 currencies and 11 languages, and “Text to Give”, which lets your donors send money via text message. Donations can be sent weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually.
There are also integrations with a variety of third-party services, including MailChimp, Salesforce, Zapier, and others.
On the whole, Donorbox is an excellent choice for nonprofits that need a robust feature set — but don’t have the funds for more expensive options.
- No set up fees or migration costs, with a 1.5% platform fee
- Customize a form’s appearance with form-builder
- “Text to Give” allows donors to donate via text message
- Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, and Annual donation options
- Allow donors to also cover your processing fees
- Support for over 20 currencies and 11 languages
- Integrations with MailChimp, Salesforce, Zapier, and more
- Support for Google Pay, Apple Pay, PayPal, and low-fee ACH and SEPA bank transfers
- No set up fees or migration costs, with a 1.5% platform fee
- No initial fee – you only pay a percentage of each sale (1.5%)
- Platform fees cheaper than most competitors
- Easy set-up
- Less integrations with other plugins (e.g. WooCommerce)
- If you have a lot of donations, the monthly percentage fee can add up and cost more than other options
Smart Donations is a small plugin that lets you accept donations on your site. There are four donation button options, an analytics dashboard, goal meters, recurring payments, and a donation wall, or leaderboard. It only supports PayPal.
While the feature set is limited, the one-time payment of $19 Personal ($49 Pro) is very inexpensive compared to the competition. All future updates are also included.
Smart Donations is a good choice for very small nonprofits that only need the most basic features. By using a powerful theme and specific plugins (like our Astra theme, for example), you can mostly replace the missing features.
- Four types of donation buttons
- Supports PayPal
- Recurring donations
- Set up goal meters to show progress and encourage donors
- Analytics dashboard
- Create a Donation “Wall”, or leaderboard
- Starting at $19 (single payment)
- Affordable compared to competitors
- One-time payment and no monthly fees
- Recurring donations
- Only works with PayPal
- Limited features and customization options
Seamless Donations is a free plugin that allows you to accept donations on your website. It is free to download and has support for over 15 currencies and 7 languages. It also has a unique “Tributes” feature, which allows for donations to be given “in honor of” or “in memory of” a particular person.
The plugin supports Stripe and PayPal and takes no additional fees. The basic functionality is somewhat limited, but there are extra plugins for particular additional features.
These plugins start at $20 per year each and are for individual features, such as allowing donors to pay fees or more form designs. However, the total price is still lower than most competitors.
- Free download
- Recurring donations
- Support for over 15 currencies and 7 languages
- Numerous premium extensions, including Donor Tributes, Donors Pay Fees, additional form designs, and more
- Tributes allow donations to be given “in honor of” or “in memory of” a particular person and notify the honoree
- Support for Stripe and PayPal
- Free for basic functionality, extra plugins for specific features starting at $20/year
- Free basic version
- Paid plugins allow you to selectively choose what you need
- Even with paid plugins, overall cost is still low
- Recurring donations functionality
- Extra features like Donors Pay Fees or redirect-after-payment cost extra
10. Green Donations
Green Donations allows you to accept and manage donations, as well as run campaigns. Both PayPal and Stripe are supported. You can run as many simultaneous donation campaigns as you like.
Other features include email notifications to donor and administrator, goal progress bars, a “top donors” page and multisite support.
The key feature of Green Donations is its extremely low cost — a single payment of $19. This is significantly less expensive than almost any other plugin. However, you also lose out on the rich feature set of other options. That said, you can make up for it by using other plugins and themes.
- Supports PayPal and Stripe
- Create unlimited donation campaigns
- Email notifications to donor and admin
- Add goal progress bars to incentivize donations
- Display the top donors on a webpage
- Embed donation forms via shortcode, HTML, and widgets
- Easily embed any payment form on a remote site with JS and HTML
- Multisite support
- $19 (single payment)
- Very affordable and no monthly fees
- Wide variety of features with no extra add-ons required
- No recurring donations
- No automatic currency switching
- No foreign language support
- Only supports PayPal and Stripe
Donation Thermometer is a very simple plugin that lets you display a “amount completed” thermometer on any page. Simply add the shortcode [thermometer raised=XX target=YY] to display the thermometer.
These two variables control the image; raised is the current amount raised, while target is the total amount.
For example, in the header image above, raised is set to $7,843, while target is set to $10,000. You can also modify a number of other variables, including the thermometer size, tick alignment, fill color of the thermometer, currency symbol, and more. View a full list of shortcodes here.
Donation Thermometer is a great add-on to other plugins like WooCommerce Donation, too. You can set up the variables to be dynamically populated with data from WooCommerce. That means you won’t have to manually update the numbers every time you receive a donation. When combined with an eCommerce-focused theme, you can build a very visually-appealing donation site.
The thermometer image itself is a SVG, which allows it to be easily modified dynamically. It also doesn’t load any external files, so it doesn’t affect your page loading times.
- Display a thermometer anywhere on your site via shortcode
- Dynamically update the values with data from other plugins (e.g. WooCommerce)
- Customize thermometer size, tick alignment, currency symbol and position, thousands separator, fill colors, and more with shortcodes
- Further customize appearance with CSS
- Free download
- Free and easy to use
- Many customization options with shortcodes and CSS
- Works well with other donation/payment plugins like WooCommerce
- Limited functionality
- Need other plugins to take donations
12. WP Forms
WP Forms is a drag-and-drop form builder plugin for WordPress. The plugin has been downloaded over 4 million times, which makes it one of the most used form plugins available for WordPress.
You can create a wide variety of forms, including contact forms, payment forms, newsletter forms, and more. There are dozens of features and customization options, including a drag-and-drop form builder, conditional logic, instant notifications and over 100 pre-made templates.
It also integrates with email marketing tools like MailChimp and AWeber.
While WP Forms isn’t strictly designed for nonprofits, the WP Forms’ website does have numerous how-to guides, one of which is a guide to creating a nonprofit donation form. This, combined with its extensive feature set, makes it a good choice for nonprofits that want a “one stop shop” for everything related to forms, especially those that use email newsletters.
- Create different types of forms – contact, survey, payment, newsletter, registration, and more
- Over 100 templates
- Supports PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net
- Integrates with MailChimp, Constant Contact, AWeber, Get Response, Campaign Monitor, and other email marketing tools
- Form abandonment feature to capture lost potential sales
- Drag and drop form builder
- Responsive and mobile-friendly
- Use conditional logic to create reactive form fields
- Instant notifications
- View all form entries in one place
- Embed in blog posts, sidebar widgets, etc. with shortcakes
- Spam protection
- Basic plan starts at $79/year
- Plus, Pro, and Elite plans range from $199 to $599/year
- Powerful form creation plugin with near-limitless features
- Easily create different kinds of forms
- Very customizable
- Not optimized for nonprofits or donations in particular
- Elite and Pro packages can get expensive ($399/year and $599/year, respectively)
- Might be overkill or too complex for smaller nonprofits
To conclude this post, we’ve selected our top three recommended plugins.
WooCommerce Donation is our overall top recommendation, purely because of its incredible customization options and large ecosystem of other plugins and themes. With hundreds of free and paid extensions, enhancements, and other tools, WooCommerce can be tailored to fit just about any project.
The donation plugin itself is powerful and lets you fine-tune just about everything, from payment levels, round-up multipliers, multiple simultaneous campaign donations, and more. If you’re looking to build a highly-customized, robust donation system, go with WooCommerce Donation.
If you don’t need to access the WooCommerce plugin ecosystem and just want the best available plugin focused on donations, go with GiveWP. It has an extensive library of donation-focused features and add-ons, including donor management, analytics and reporting, recurring donations and dozens of other options.
With over 90,000 installs and more than 350 5-star reviews, GiveWP is also one of the most popular and well-reviewed donation plugins available. It’s a solid choice for any nonprofit.
If you’re a smaller nonprofit and / or don’t have the budget for GiveWP or WooCommerce, we recommend Donorbox. With zero upfront costs, it’s an excellent choice for those looking for a robust feature set without having to pay anything upfront. However, if your nonprofit grows and donation volume increases, the 1.5% platform fee can add up.
This small plugin packs a powerful punch. While it doesn’t feature recurring donations or other features, its dead-simple functionality allows you to easily create donor-only content. Donors don’t even need to create an account on your site — they just go straight to payment. If you’re looking to quickly set up a no-frills donation page, look into Donation Content Locker.
If you’re running a nonprofit, what plugins do you use on your site? Do you like them or not? What problems are you aiming to solve with WordPress? Let us know in the comments!