Do you want to collect donations on your WordPress website? Tip jar plugins are an easy way for both non-profits and content creators to make money from their site.
They make it easy for your users to give you a donation if they like your content or what you’re offering.
In this article, we’ll share the best tip jar plugins for WordPress (with their pros and cons).
Why Use a Tip Jar on Your Website?
A virtual tip jar is pretty similar to a real tip jar. It’s a means for your audience to give you a few dollars as a “thank you” for your work.
There are lots of reasons why you might use one. Perhaps:
- You’re a musician, artist, or writer. You share your work freely online, but you’d like some extra funding.
- You create free software. You want to give your users a chance to support you, so you can keep providing the software for free.
- You run a virtual class online that you don’t charge for. Donations would help you keep it going.
- You simply want to experiment with a tip jar as a way to make money online from your blog.
Tip jars are mini donation forms. They’re often placed in the sidebar of a website, making them easily visible.
You want your tip jar to be as simple as possible. That way, people will be more likely to use it.
Using the right tip jar plugin for your needs is crucial because some of these plugins can offer other useful functionalities based on your needs.
Note: Some tip jar plugins will require you to use an SSL certificate. We strongly recommend this regardless of whether it’s required or not. If you don’t yet have an SSL certificate, our tutorial on how to get a free SSL certificate takes you step by step through the process of getting one.
With that said, let’s take a look at the best tip jar plugins for WordPress.
WPForms has a very beginner-friendly interface. Plus, you can use the WPForms Donation Form template to quickly create your tip jar.
It supports Stripe and PayPal to accept donations on your website. You can use it to accept one-time or recurring donations. You can also add the tip jar anywhere on your website including standalone pages, sidebars, footer area, and more.
WPForms makes it easy to offer something in return for donations, too. If you’re a musician, then you can offer an exclusive recording that isn’t available publicly. If you’re a software designer, then you can give access to the beta version of a new software.
To offer your freebie, you can integrate your donations form with your email marketing service. This lets you set up an autoresponder to thank people for their donation and supply them with a freebie.
Due to it’s multi-purpose, we have WPForms as the #1 provider in the list.
If you’re a non-profit, then you can get an additional discount through the WPForms Care program which offers special pricing on WordPress forms for non-profits.
GiveWP, also known as Give, is a fantastic, fully-featured donations plugin for WordPress. It’s one of the best plugins for nonprofits, but you can also use it for yourself or your for-profit business.
There are loads of different options with GiveWP. For example, you can allow donors to donate in their own currency. You can also accept recurring donations.
You can also create goals to fundraise up to a certain point. This could work really well if you’re offering your audience something new once you reach your goal.
For instance, if you’re a nonfiction author, you might promise to release a chapter of your upcoming book for free once you reach $1,000 in donations.
GiveWP can be connected to a whole range of payment gateways. These include Stripe, Authorize.net, PayPal, 2Checkout, Braintree, Mollie, Paytm, PayFast, Square, AmeriCloud, Paymill, and many more.
With GiveWP, you can install lots of different add-ons to give you extra features. You get all the basic addons with the Basic plan. The premium addons are available with the Plus and Pro plans.
It’s easy to get started with GiveWP. As soon as you install and activate it, you’ll be taken through the quick start guide.
GiveWP lets you customize your donation forms. If having full control over your donation form is a crucial feature for you, though, then WP Forms might be a better fit. We’ll take a look at that plugin in a moment.
GiveWP has a limited free version. Paid plans start from $240/year and the Plus version gives you access to all addons for $360/year.
PayPal Donations is a simple plugin that lets you take donations through PayPal. It’s very easy to set up. You can create a tip jar and add it to your sidebar or footer using the PayPal Donations widget.
If you want to add a tip jar quickly, this might be the plugin for you. It’s also free, which could be a big advantage if you’re not expecting to get many donations.
You can choose the currency that you want to use for the tips. You can also set a default amount for donations, if you want to. The plugin lets you enter a “thank you” page URL for your donor to go to after donating.
You can create a custom button or just use one of the built-in PayPal buttons.
If you want some help getting your tip jar set up, check out our guide on how to add a PayPal donate button in WordPress.
As you might expect from the name, the PayPal Donations plugin only takes donations through PayPal. If you want more options for your tip jar, you’ll need a different plugin.
It’s not the most richly featured plugin out there. However, PayPal donations is well worth a look if you want to keep things as simple as possible.
PayPal Donations is a free plugin.
Tip Jar WP is a relatively new plugin, first released in July 2019. While it doesn’t have the full functionality of premium plugins like GiveWP and WPForms, it’s very well geared up for creating tip jars.
Tip Jar WP is designed to make the donation process as seamless as possible for your donors. It’s also easy for you to use, as there’s a simple guided setup process.
The default form is nicely designed and easy to use You can put it anywhere, such as in your sidebar or footer.
You can add your form to a page or post using WordPress’s block editor or you can put it in your sidebar using a shortcode. Plus, it works with all WordPress page builders too. The responsive design means it’ll look good on mobile devices as well.
You can use Tip Jar WP to take recurring payments, such as a donation every week or month. It offers multiple currencies so that donors can use their own currency.
You can take payments by credit card. Cleverly, the tip jar form can also tell whether your user’s device supports Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Microsoft Pay. It’ll show them the appropriate option if so.
One drawback, though, is that Tip Jar WP doesn’t integrate with PayPal. You may find, though, that your users are happy to pay through credit card or the supported mobile device methods.
Tip Jar WP is a free plugin. It takes 1% of your donations as a transaction fee, though. If you receive a high number of donations, that could mean that a different plugin will work out more cost-effective.
The Buy Me a Coffee plugin is provided by the online platform Buy Me a Coffee. You’ll need to create an account in order to use it, which is free.
Your fans can use PayPal, a credit card, Apple Pay, Google Pay, or other methods to send you a donation. Buy Me a Coffee lets you take both one-off and recurring donations. You can also use it to reward donors with exclusive content or even to sell digital products.
The Buy Me a Coffee widget looks great out of the box. It’s also easy to customize: you can change the color with a single click in your WordPress dashboard. You can also change the text.
You can’t alter the donation amounts, though. Your supporters can pay in multiples of $3.
Note: A bit confusingly, what Buy Me a Coffee calls their “widget” isn’t a WordPress widget that you add to your sidebar. Instead, once you activate it, it’ll appear on the bottom right of all your website’s pages as a little coffee cup that expands when clicked.
However, you can also add a button to your sidebar, using the Buy Me a Coffee WordPress widget in Appearance » Widgets.
One drawback is that there isn’t much documentation for the WordPress plugin (as opposed to the online platform). Also, some users reported having difficulties accessing support.
Buy Me a Coffee is free, but it takes a 5% transaction fee on all your donations. This could be worth it if you’re keen to use all of the online platform’s features.
Formidable Forms is another good option for creating a tip jar.
While Formidable Forms is a great forms plugin, it isn’t quite so beginner-friendly as WPForms. It’s more geared up for developers and experienced WordPress users.
You can certainly use it for your tip jar though. The easiest way to do so is to use the “PayPal Donation” template, a pre-built form that you can customize however you want.
If you want to do something complicated or unusual with your tip jar, Formidable Forms might be the best option for you. It offers a lot of power and flexibility. As with WPForms, you can use it to create lots of other types of forms too.
Formidable Forms costs from $149/year. To use PayPal, though, you’ll need a Business license (from $299/year). They offer a 14-day money-back guarantee.
There’s also a limited free version available.
Cryptocurrency Donation Box is a specialized tip jar plugin. It lets you accept donations from over 20 different cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and more.
It’s simple to set up: you just enter your cryptocurrency wallet addresses inside the plugin. There’s also a QR code option so that your supporters can scan the QR code instead of copying the address, if they prefer.
If you want to take donations in cryptocurrency then it’s a great option to try. It only works with cryptocurrencies, though. This means it’s not much help if you want dollars (or your own local currency) instead.
Cryptocurrency Donation Box is a free plugin.
Which is the Best WordPress Tip Jar Plugin?
Any of these plugins could be a great option for your tip jar. The best one for you will depend on what you need.
For an easy donations form that you can put anywhere on your site, WPForms is a great choice. It’s especially good if you also want to create a contact form, or if you want to add surveys & polls on your site.
If you need advanced features like the ability to manage and contact donors, then GiveWP is a very robust option. It’s really well geared up for nonprofits and charitable organizations, too.
We hope this article helped you learn about the best tip jar plugins for WordPress. You might also like to take a look at our list of the must have WordPress plugins for all sites and our ultimate WordPress SEO guide to boost your rankings.