Are you looking for a WP Charitable review to see whether it’s the right donation and fundraising plugin for you?
WP Charitable allows you to quickly and easily create fundraising forms and collect donations from your supporters. You can set fundraising goals or leave your campaigns open-ended, or even collect recurring donations from people who want to support your cause.
In this WP Charitable review, we’ll look at its features, support options, and more, to see whether it’s the right fundraising plugin for your WordPress website.
What is WPCharitable?
You can set a fixed donation amount, offer visitors several options, or even create donate-what-you-want forms.
You can also set donation goals for each campaign, so your fundraisers close automatically, or leave your campaigns open-ended.
After creating a donation form, you can add it to any page, post, or widget-ready area. WP Charitable also automatically creates a new page for each form, which is ideal for sharing on social media or adding to your email newsletter.
If you’re looking for a free fundraising plugin, then you can download Donation Forms by Charitable from the official WordPress repository. This plugin allows you to collect donations using PayPal or Stripe.
However, if you want to unlock more payment gateways such as Authorize.net, Braintree, and Mollie, then you’ll need to upgrade to the premium plugin.
By upgrading to a premium plan, you’ll also unlock advanced fundraising options such as crowdfunding and anonymous donations.
WP Charitable Review: Why Use It in WordPress?
For the best results, you need a donation plugin that’s reliable, supports your preferred payment gateway, and gives donors multiple options. It should also work on mobile and desktop, so you don’t miss out on any donations.
With that in mind, let’s see whether WP Charitable is the right donation plugin for your WordPress website.
1. Easy to Use
WP Charitable allows you to create all kinds of campaigns without writing code or hiring a WordPress developer. To start, you can create a new campaign with the click of a button.
You can then type in a description, add a featured image, select some categories and tags, and more.
The WP Charitable editor is designed to be very similar to the standard WordPress content editor. This means you can create fundraising campaigns using the tools you’re already familiar with.
Underneath the main editor, you can configure the campaign settings.
Here, you can set a minimum donation, add suggested amounts, hide non-essential fields, and more.
When you publish a campaign, WP Charitable automatically creates a new page for that donation form.
This page is ideal for sharing with your audience. For example, you might add it to a web push notification, post it on social media, or add the link to your email newsletter.
You can also add the donation form to any page, post, or widget-ready area using a shortcode that WP Charitable creates automatically.
This gives you complete control over where the form appears on your WordPress blog or non-profit website.
WP Charitable also has a Campaigns widget that links to all your different donation forms.
This is ideal if you have multiple campaigns running at the same time. Even better, the widget updates automatically as you create new forms, and remove older campaigns.
No matter how you add the campaign to your site, WP Charitable automatically styles it to suit your WordPress theme. This means you don’t have to hire a designer or developer, to create a donation form that fits with the rest of your non-profit website.
2. Create Unlimited Campaigns
With WP Charitable, you can create as many campaigns as you want. This allows you to run multiple campaigns at the same time, and get lots of donations to support your good cause.
Sometimes, you may want to set a campaign goal or end date. This can create a sense of urgency that motivates supporters to donate to your campaign, right now.
By adding a goal or end date, you can be confident that the campaign will close automatically, even if you’re busy doing other tasks.
Another option is creating an open-ended campaign, which doesn’t have an end date or fundraising goal. This is a good choice for creating a general donation form so visitors always have a way to send you a donation.
3. Multiple Payment Gateways
People are more likely to donate if they can use their preferred gateway and method.
With that in mind, WP Charitable allows you to accept payments with Stripe or PayPal. However, we recommend using WP Charitable’s PayPal option.
For unregistered non-profits, PayPal charges a 2.9% fee plus $0.30 for each transaction. However, PayPal offers discounted fees of 2.2% + $0.30 for registered non-profits.
Assuming you’re a registered charity, you can keep more of the donated funds by using WP Charitable’s PayPal integration.
You can also avoid transaction fees and additional charges by accepting offline payments. When a visitor selects this option, WP Charitable will show instructions on how to send the offline payment. For example, you might ask them to visit your office, or come to your upcoming fundraising event.
Pledging to give you an offline donation can motivate supporters to actually follow through and send you the money.
By registering offline payments inside the WP Charitable plugin, you can also view and track all your donations in the same location. This can help with your planning, accounting, and other important tasks.
You can add more payment gateways by installing addons. For example, WP Charitable has addons for Braintree, Authorize.net, Windcave, and more.
4. No Transaction Fees
Unlike some other WordPress non-profit plugins, WP Charitable doesn’t charge transaction fees. Even better, WP Charitable integrates with PayPal. If you’re a registered non-profit, then you can get a discount on PayPal’s transaction fees.
Another option is to install the Charitable Fee Relief extension. This allows you to recover the transaction fee from the donor. You can either set a fixed fee on all donations, or WP Charitable can calculate the fee as a percentage.
In this way, WP Charitable reduces the costs associated with running a non-profit, so you can do more good deeds with your donations.
Are you a registered UK charity or non-profit? Then you can boost your donations by a further 25% using WP Charitable Gift Aid and the UK government’s Gift Aid tax incentive.
5. Suggested and Custom Donations
There are a few different ways to collect donations. To start, you may want to create a pay-what-you-want form so visitors can type in how much they want to send you.
WP Charitable also allows you to set a minimum amount. In this way, you can guarantee the donation is enough to cover all the transaction fees, admin overhead, and any other costs associated with accepting and processing a donation.
Another option is to add suggested donation amounts.
Visitors can then simply click the option they want to use. This can be quicker and easier compared to making the decision themselves, and typing in the number.
You can even add a description to each suggested amount.
For example, you might describe the good deeds you’ll do with each donation. This may even encourage visitors to make a bigger donation.
You can also use suggested amounts and custom donations in the same form.
This gives visitors the option to send you more, or less than the suggested amounts. This flexibility may get you some extra donations from visitors who don’t agree with any of the suggested amounts. It may even increase the average donation since some visitors may type in a higher number.
6. Collect Recurring Donations
Some people may want to support your non-profit over the long term, by sending a recurring donation. These subscriptions are particularly valuable as recurring donors often give more over the course of a year, compared to supporters who make one-time donations.
The good news is that you can accept subscriptions using the Charitable Recurring Donations addon.
With this addon, you can collect weekly, quarterly, semi-annually and annually recurring donations from supporters.
You can collect a set amount, or give subscribers the freedom to choose how much to donate as part of their recurring donation.
7. Accept Anonymous Donations
Just like some users prefer to post anonymous comments, some supporters may prefer to send money anonymously. This might be because they’re concerned about privacy, or your charity has links to a specific political opinion or viewpoint.
With WP Charitable’s Anonymous Donations addon, people can donate without having their name publicly displayed. This can get you some extra donations from people who want to remain anonymous.
If you’re creating a crowdfunding website, then donors may be concerned that you’re sharing their personal information with other users. By giving them the option to remain anonymous, you may get more donations, which means more revenue for your crowdfunding site.
8. Built-in GDPR Compliance
You can also add a checkbox where users can opt into being contacted.
By default, WP Charitable stores the user’s data for two years, but you can easily change this time period in the plugin’s settings.
Finally, WP Charitable is fully compatible with the GDPR Cookie Compliance plugin.
By using these features, you can create a GDPR compliant form, and avoid the large fines that come from breaking this important law.
9. Track and Manage Donations
WP Charitable has a dedicated dashboard where you can see all your donations, along with information such as the campaign that generated that money and the donation date.
This allows you to track all your donations from a single dashboard.
You may also be able to spot patterns, such as particular days or campaigns that generate the most donations.
You can then use this insight to improve your future fundraising efforts. For example, if a particular campaign is getting lots of donations then you’ll want to examine that form, to see why it’s so successful.
You can also manually create and edit donations, which is perfect for creating a central record of all your fundraising efforts. For example, you can add offline payments to the WordPress dashboard with ease.
You can also change the status of individual donations, such as setting an offline donation to ‘pending’ so you know it’s still outstanding.
Sometimes, you may get a question about a particular donation, or need to check something. WP Charitable allows you to sort and search donations with ease, so you should have no problems finding the information you need.
If you need to share the WP Charitable data with other people, then you can easily export it as a CSV file.
You can then share this file with anyone who doesn’t have access to the WordPress dashboard, such as your accountant. You can even import the information into other programs, like your customer relationship management software.
10. Customizable Emails
WP Charitable can send donation receipts, thank you messages, campaign notifications, and other important emails. This allows supporters to track their donation, so they’re less likely to contact you with any questions or concerns.
You can also use these emails to encourage future donations. For example, you might send a donation receipt email with information about all the great work this donation allows you to do, and how much you rely on your supporters.
WP Charitable has built-in emails that you can enable with a single click.
However, for the best results we recommend customizing these messages.
Below the email editor, you’ll also find a list of shortcodes that WP Charitable will replace with real values.
This allows you to create dynamic content that uses the donor’s name, the campaign they donated to, the total amount, and other important information.
Personalized content is more engaging, so these shortcodes can improve the experience and make supporters more feel more valued. This will make them more likely to donate again in the future.
WP Charitable also supports password reset and email verification messages, which is a must-have if you allow user registration on your site.
Pro Tip: You’ll want to make sure your emails arrive safely in the supporter’s inbox, and not in the spam folder. With that in mind, we recommend using an SMTP service provider to fix the problem with WordPress not sending emails properly.
11. Import and Export Data
Sometimes, you may want to migrate to a new website or launch a new donation platform. In that case, WP Charitable makes it easy to move all your campaign and donation information to a different installation.
Simply export your campaigns or donations, and then import those files into a WP Charitable installation on the new website.
When importing campaigns, WP Charitable will create a new, inactive campaign with its own ID. With that in mind, the export/import tool is also a great way to copy a successful campaign to multiple websites.
You might even create a campaign template and then use the same file across several fundraising sites. This can save you a ton of time and effort, especially if you’re a WordPress development agency or marketer who works with a long list of non-profits.
Although we always recommend using a WordPress backup plugin, this can be an additional way to backup your important campaigns and donation data.
12. Peer-to-Peer Fundraising & Crowdfunding
Social proof and word of mouth can help spread the word about your charity, and get you more donations.
With that said, you may want to use the Charitable Ambassadors addon. This extension allows supporters to create their own fundraising campaigns on your website. For example, if someone is planning to raise funds by running a marathon, then they can publicise their run on your website and collect donations.
This is a great way to generate funds without any extra work, and gives your supporters an established platform where they can promote their fundraising activities.
Charitable Ambassadors also supports teams. When creating a fundraiser, the organizer can choose whether they want to fundraise on their own, join a team, or start a new team.
This is perfect for friends, co-workers, schools, sports teams, and anyone else who wants to fundraise as part of a group.
Another option is to allow people to fundraise for different causes and charities. That said, you can use WP Charitable to create your own crowdfunding platform, similar to GoFundMe, and then charge a platform fee on each donation.
For more on this topic, see our guide on how to raise money with crowdfunding in WordPress.
If you do create a fundraising platform, then you can send donations directly to the fundraiser’s Stripe account, using Stripe Connect.
13. Keep Supporter Information Secure
Sensitive customer information can make your site a more attractive target for hackers.
This is especially true with payment information, so you’ll be happy to learn that WP Charitable doesn’t store sensitive payment data on your WordPress website.
14. Integrates With Top Service Providers, Ecommerce Platforms, and More
WP Charitable integrates with all the best email providers including ActiveCampaign, Mailerlite, and MailPoet. You can even use the Newsletter Connect extension to automatically add donors to your mailing list.
Even if you don’t run a non-profit, customers like to see companies supporting good causes. If you sell digital products, then WP Charitable integrates with Easy Digital Downloads using Charitable EDD Connect.
This allows you to raise funds for a cause you care about. For example, you might create an ebook and donate 10% of every sale to your favorite charity.
This can make customers want to support your company, over all the competition.
Another option is to display your campaigns on a Google Map. This is a fun and interactive way for visitors to learn about your fundraising efforts.
To integrate with Google Maps, you’ll need the Charitable Geolocation addon.
15. Professional and Community Support
With WP Charitable, you can create as many fundraising campaigns as you want and set goals for your cause. However, sometimes you may need some extra help.
If you want to find answers yourself, then WP Charitable has detailed online documentation.
There’s also the WP Charitable blog where you’ll find detailed guides on the plugin’s specific features, plus general advice on topics such as how to improve your WordPress SEO and attract more people to your non-profit website.
You can access these resources no matter whether you download the free Donation Forms by Charitable plugin, or buy a premium license.
If you buy a WP Charitable license, then you’ll also get access to professional support.
Simply raise a support request in your WP Charitable account, and an expert will aim to respond within 24 hours.
WP Charitable Pricing and Plans
If you’re looking for a free plugin, then Donation Forms by Charitable allows you to create as many donation forms as you want and accept funds using Stripe or PayPal.
However, if you want to use any of the WP Charitable addons or accept recurring donations, then you’ll need to upgrade to the premium plugin.
There are 4 WP Charitable plans to choose from:
- Basic. For $99 per year, you can accept donations using additional payment gateways including Authorize.net, Braintree, and GoCardless. This can get you some extra donations from visitors who don’t have a Stripe or PayPal account.
- Plus. Priced at $249 per year, Plus allows you to accept recurring donations and anonymous donations. You can also recover the processing fees from supporters, so you get to keep more of the donation. To further boost your income, Plus integrates with all the best email marketing providers including MailerLite, ActiveCampaign, and MailPoet. With that being said, WP Charitable Plus is a powerful plan for charities looking to grow their online fundraising.
- Pro. For $299 per year, the Pro plan has everything you need to do peer-to-peer fundraising on your WordPress website. Supporters can run their own campaigns on your site and raise money for your cause. You can even use WP Charitable Pro to create your own crowdfunding platform, similar to Kickstarter or GoFundMe.
- Elite. Designed for business owners and agencies, WP Charitable Elite is priced at $499 per year. It allows you to use the plugin on up to 5 websites, and comes with WordPress multisite support. If you do run an agency, then Elite has built-in client management so you can add, modify, and deactivate license keys directly in your WordPress account.
Conclusion: Is WP Charitable the Right Donation Plugin for You?
After taking a closer look at the features and support options, we’re confident that WP Charitable is the best donation plugin for WordPress.
It has everything you need to create an unlimited number of donation forms and collect funds using all the major payment gateways. It’s easy to use, works with any WordPress theme, and it’s GDPR compliant.
If you’re just getting started, then you can use WP Charitable Basic to accept an unlimited number of donations, with no additional transaction fees.
However, if you want to grow your online fundraising fast, then Plus integrates with all the best email marketing services, so you can build your email list with ease. You can also create recurring donations so you have a reliable income for your charity.
Meanwhile, if you want to unlock peer-to-peer fundraising or create your own crowdsourcing platform, then WP Charitable Pro has everything you need.
Do you run a WordPress agency or have a multisite network? Then you can use WP Charitable Elite on up to 5 websites, and access powerful client management features.
We hope this WP Charitable review helped you decide whether it’s the right donation plugin for your WordPress website. You can also check out our guide on how to create a contact form in WordPress, or see our expert pick of the best popup plugins.