Free NFP-Specific WordPress Plugin Packages
One of the main ways that Not For Profits (NFPs) receive funding for their philanthropy is via online donations, so streamlining the donation process on your website makes sense. And of course, one of the easiest ways to do this is to install add-on software in your website (known as plugins) that facilitates these donations.
For websites built with WordPress, there are a number of plugins available, both free and paid. However, some of the WordPress plugins for NFPs are better suited to beginners, while others are suitable for experienced users. Some offer limited features, while others are packed with advanced features.
So the problem is that not all of these plugins live up to their goal of being easy to use. They certainly provide an avenue for online donations but it’s not always as streamlined as expected. Another problem is a lack of customisation and the number of features provided by some of the free plugins.
So let’s take a look at some of the more popular NFP plugins, so you can decide which is best for your organisation.
WordPress plugins for NFPs
All the WordPress plugins for NFPs offer at least one feature that makes donating easy, but do they offer everything you want?
Easy PayPal Donation
With more than 426 million active users of PayPal worldwide, the Easy PayPal Donation plugin is a popular choice with NFPs. It’s easy to install and set up, and you can use one of their templates for your donate button or upload your own button design.
Donors can make one-off or recurring donations and while it’s free to use, PayPal still charges transaction fees from the NFP for all donated funds. There’s also a paid version of this plugin, PayPal Pro, specifically designed for NFPs that want more customisable options when setting up recurring payments.
Easy PayPal Donation is one of the simplest NFP WordPress plugins that’s available. It’s suitable for NFPs that don’t want a lot of features, they just install it, click a few buttons and they’re done.
PayPal Donations is a basic NFR plugin that lets people donate via PayPal, credit card or debit card. You can use one of their in-built button templates or upload your own design. You can add these buttons to your website’s sidebar or to pages or posts. Beginners can start using the default options and explore more features as they grow in confidence.
Charitable is another of the WordPress plugins for NFPs that’s free and easy to use. However, while the free version offers plenty of features, it’s with the paid version and extensions that you can truly customise this plugin for your organisation.
With the free version, there’s a user-friendly dashboard and you can create multiple campaigns, define goals and end dates, and accept online donations via PayPal, as well as offline donations. This plugin also integrates with most major email marketing platforms and you can send customisable emails and donation receipts to your donors. For other payment options, peer-to-peer fundraising, crowdfunding and recurring donations you need to access the premium extensions.
Charitable is suitable for people who want a plugin with lots of customisable features. However, if you want more than what’s offered with the free version, it can be expensive for small NPFs.
WordPress plugins for NFPs don’t come any simpler than Seamless Donations. It’s free, easy to install and simple to use. You can accept one-off or recurring donations via PayPal or Stripe, as well as offer tribute donations. So if all you want is to accept donations, then Seamless Donations provides everything you need to do this successfully. However, you can also purchase extensions that offer more options for your donation pages, as well as being able to track donors and send customised email messages.
If you want one plugin that can do multiple jobs then WPForms is worth exploring. It comes with an easy-to-use drag-and-drop builder and over 400 templates for creating forms, including donation forms, contact forms, survey forms, newsletter forms, registration forms and payment forms. This plugin also works with most major email marketing and CRM platforms.
It accepts one-off and recurring donations and integrates with PayPal and Stripe. While this plugin isn’t free, they do offer a discount for NFPs. It’s suitable for beginners who want a simple plugin that offers a variety of form templates, including donations.
Formidable Forms is similar to WPForms but where the latter is designed for beginners, this plugin is more for experienced users. It allows you to create a variety of complex forms with a drag-and-drop builder and there are plenty of customisable templates (polls, surveys, contact forms, donations and so on).
It can accept one-off and recurring donations via PayPal, Authorize.net and Stripe, track goals and support crowdfunding. Formidable Forms also integrates with major email marketing platforms and CRMs. It’s one of the paid WordPress plugins for NFPs that has a lot of great features but if you don’t need all these features, it might be best to opt for one of the free plugin options.
WP Simple Pay
This is another simple and easy-to-use donation plugin that seamlessly connects Stripe with WordPress. WP Simple Pay is built for desktops, tablets and mobile devices and lets you accept one-off and recurring donations. It also lets you accept payments from Apple Pay, Google Pay and other non-card payment services.
It comes with a drag-and-drop builder that creates custom donation forms for your website and there’s both a free WP Simple Pay and a paid WP Simple Pay Pro version with the latter offering more custom features. The free version of WP Simple Pay is another of the NFP WordPress plugins that are suitable for beginners who just want something that’s easy to set up and use.
GiveWP is another of the WordPress plugins for NFPs that comes in a free and a paid version. To access the paid version, you need to download the free version first and then you can upgrade, either immediately or in the future, to access more features. This is a plugin that’s best used by experienced operators rather than beginners as it’s a little more complicated to setup than some of the other plugins but also offers more features and integrations.
These include customisable donation forms, flexible recurring donation options and a powerful donor management dashboard. It also integrates with Stripe, PayPal and many other payment gateways, as well as most major email marketing platforms. It’s suitable for people who like plenty of options and want more than a simple donor button.
While Donorbox is another of the NFP WordPress plugins that offer plenty of features they also charge fees for all donations over $1000 each month (1.5%). That’s on top of the usual fees you’ll pay to use payment gateways. So it’s more suitable for small NFPs whose donations are below $1000 per month.
However, if you decide to trial Donorbox then you’ll be pleased with all its features, for example, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer campaigns, and one-off and recurring donations. It also seamlessly integrates with most major email marketing platforms and many other applications. Then there are all the security and fraud detection features that make Donorbox one of the best WordPress plugins for NFPs that are concerned with cybercrime.
WP Crowdfunding is ideal if you want to transform your site into a dedicated crowdfunding website. It’s a free plugin that’s based on the WooCommerce platform so it’s definitely easy to use. Features include project start and end dates, funding goals, and limited reward systems for donors.
You can even create a crowdfunding page from the front end of your website without accessing the admin dashboard, making this plugin ideal as a crowdfunding platform. It also integrates with PayPal, but to receive payments via Stripe or Authorize.net, you need the premium add-ons. You also need these extensions if you want to use the WooCommerce native wallet system to track donations and distribute the funds to the necessary recipients.
While WP Crowdfunding is suitable for one-off and recurring donations, its power comes into play when it’s used to support crowdfunding for a variety of stakeholders.
The Donation Thermometer doesn’t help you accept donations, but it’s a whimsical option that allows you to display the total funds donated and your targeted goal on your website. In its own way, it facilitates donations because it encourages people to help you achieve your target goal. It’s fully customisable (colours, currency, size, text and so on) and makes a great addition to your NFP website.
Which of these NFP WordPress plugins is best?
All of the NFP WordPress plugins above can help your organisation collect donations on your website. Some are free but with limited features but this might be all you need for your website.
Some require you to pay for premium features which can greatly enhance your efforts to attract donations. Others are better for beginners while yet others are more suitable for experienced operators or people who are willing to spend the time to learn how to get the best out of the plugin’s features.
For beginners who want a simple plugin that accepts one-off and recurring donations via PayPal, then Easy PayPal Donation is a good option. If you want to add donations via Stripe, then PayPal Donations or Seamless Donations are also good choices for beginners.
For people who want the ability to create a variety of other forms on their website, as well as donation buttons, then WPForms is a great choice. The free version of WordPress Simple Pay is another popular choice and you can upgrade to the paid version for more payment options and features if needed.
Experienced users might be best opting for the GiveWP (free or paid versions) or Charitable plugins, although the latter doesn’t have a free version and can be expensive for small organisations.
The Donorbox and Crowdfunding WordPress plugins for NFPs are best for organisations that want crowdfunding features or need access to advanced features. However, Donorbox is best for sites that expect less than $1000 per month donations, while to get the most out of the Crowdfunding plugin you need to purchase the premium extensions.
What’s your next step?
If you want to encourage donations on your website you have two options. You can download your plugin of choice from the NFP WordPress plugins listed above, and then install, configure and add it to your website.
Alternatively, you can outsource your website’s NFP marketing needs to a company that helps attract suitable traffic to your website and boosts donations. This allows you to spend more time helping the people who depend on your organisation, rather than trying to manage plugins, marketing and other promotional activities.