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Nonprofit Software

How To Find The Right Fundraising Plugin

Nonprofits are familiar with fundraising be it events or campaigns. Most successful nonprofits also know that online donations are a crucial factor. When looking for a donation or fundraising plugin, the options are overwhelming.

Let’s clarify what you should look for in a fundraising plugin for WordPress.

Fundraising Plugin Needs

The first step to choosing a fundraising plugin is to sort out your needs. What does your nonprofit or ministry require when it comes to online donations? The best route for most nonprofits is processing payments through a form. That means we have several items to cover.

“You need a donation plugin that is reliable, works on mobile as well as desktop computers, supports your preferred payment gateway, sends receipts to donors, allow donors to make recurring donations, and is customizable enough to look good on your website.” WPBeginner https://www.wpbeginner.com/showcase/best-wordpress-donation-plugins/

WPBeginner https://www.wpbeginner.com/showcase/best-wordpress-donation-plugins/

Donation Security

It’s important to ensure online donors know that their transaction is safe and secure from end to end. Donors are, after all, imputing their bank account information or their credit card number. If a donor doesn’t feel secure, they won’t donate online.

This means securing your site with SSL (https). Connect your nonprofit’s donation form to a reputable payment gateway. Any good payment gateway will take on the PCI compliance (credit card data security). This makes your online donors feel safe and also covers your liability.

Donation Flexibility

Your nonprofit isn’t static so why should you be restricted to only one way to donate online? The fundraising plugin you choose should natively offer multiple campaigns.

Another key to donation flexibility is that it can partner with different credit card processors. If you accept donations from various countries, you’ll need to customize the currency and payment gateway.

Your donation plugin should work well with other plugins on your site. This ensures your fundraising has more functionality like integrating with MailChimp for newsletters.

Quality Design

Each campaign and its donation form should be user-friendly. Don’t ask for too much info on the form. Rather, make it easy for people to donate. Basic information like their first and last name and email should suffice. Allow the payment gateway to process the credit card.

Remember that good design communicates trust. While this isn’t absolutely necessary, a well-designed form with a great user interface is more likely to bring in more donations. It should look like the rest of your site. This is key to communicating trust.

Mobile Responsive

In many ways, online donations are like an impulse buy. Donors see your campaign while they’re scrolling on Facebook. They stop and click over, and if your website isn’t responsive, you just lost a donation.

These are the criteria that I have when looking for a fundraising plugin. You may have a lot more criteria depending on your situation. But at the base level, I believe these will get your online donations to a good place.

As a bonus, it’s a good idea to ensure your nonprofit or ministry site is on Managed WordPress hosting. A site that has gone down or been corrupted by a virus is going to cost you trust.

A loss of trust is a loss in donations. Ensure you choose a WordPress host whose managed plan costs at least $25 a month.

“We know that raising money and hosting fundraising campaigns is a lot of work and that it can be difficult to persuade people to make donations and support your organization even if they believe in your cause.”

LiquidWeb https://www.liquidweb.com/blog/collect-donations-wordpress/

What’s the Best Fundraising Plugin?

It is important to communicate trust to your online donors. This is why I have personally spent hours researching WordPress fundraising plugins.

There are thousands and thousands of plugins in the WordPress Plugin Directory. There are even SaaS fundraising solutions like Classy.org.

The only fundraising plugin I can truly recommend is GiveWP. It has several payment gateways, multiple forms even in the free version, great basic reporting, and donor management. It even offers an add-on for recurring donations, which boosts donations up to 37%.

Banner advertising "GiveWP: The #1 Donation plugin for WordPress."

While it’s fine to use an eCommerce plugin, I originally intended to recommend several plugins and grade them. No matter what you choose, the most important factors are security, flexibility, design, and mobile-responsiveness.

“The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance is a great example of a non-profit organization that has a national presence and also provides support to local partner organizations. They are using a customized responsive theme that has been integrated with an eCommerce solution (in this case WooCommerce).”

Kinsta https://kinsta.com/blog/wordpress-donation-plugins/

If you know a good fundraising plugin that meets these requirements, I’d love to review it!

By Matt Pritchett

Matt is a Christian, a husband, a father to four, and a software engineer at Saturday Drive, the makers of products like Ninja Forms, Caldera Forms, and SendWP. He also helps clients solve complex problems with code, consulting, and more. He occasionally blogs.

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