I have recently developed and deployed a new WordPress website for a small nonprofit in the Philippines (https://waaccaph.org). They need a simple, customizable donation platform that will work with their PayPal account, with no platform fees, but with recurring donations.
The only solution that I found that addresses all their needs and more, is with Seamless Donations.
In today’s digital age, online donations have become essential for nonprofits, charities, and even individuals seeking financial support for a cause. To make the process of collecting donations easier and more efficient, many organizations especially the startup ones have turned to free WordPress plugins that are feature-rich. One such powerful tool is the Seamless Donations Plugin.
In this blog post, we will explore the Seamless Donations Plugin, its features, drawbacks, and how to implement and test the plugin. The good news is that Seamless Donations is a “freemium” WordPress product, which means that it offers either paid add-ons or a premium version in addition to its free version.
What is the Seamless Donations Plugin?
The Seamless Donations plugin is a feature-rich and user-friendly WordPress extension developed by ZATZLabs and designed specifically for nonprofits. It enables organizations to integrate donation forms into their websites seamlessly, allowing supporters to contribute funds quickly, securely, and easily. Its zero platform fee separates it from the other donation platforms I have seen, which is crucial for starting nonprofits.
Key Features of Seamless Donations Plugin
Ease of Installation and Setup: Setting up Seamless Donations on your WordPress website is a breeze. I will walk you through the steps from using the donation shortcode to configuring the donation form.
Multiple Payment Gateways: Seamless Donations supports two major payment gateways: PayPal and Stripe. This flexibility ensures that donors can contribute using their preferred payment method, enhancing the user experience.
Recurring Donations: Enable recurring donations to encourage long-term support for your cause. Donors can set up automatic contributions, simplifying the donation process for them while ensuring a steady stream of income for your organization.
Donor Management: This allows you to view donor information and donation history on the WordPress dashboard.
Customizable Donation Form: This allows you to easily customize what features, fields, or sections go on the donation form.
Donation Tracking: Monitor donations in real-time and keep a record of all transactions. This helps maintain transparency and ensures accuracy.
Designated Funds Set Up: This important feature allows you to set up multiple funds that will allow your supporters to pick a designated fund to which they want their donations to go.
Email Notifications: Stay informed about new donations and donor activity through email notifications. This feature ensures that you can promptly acknowledge and thank your supporters for their contributions. The thank-you default templates for recurring donations, anonymous, tribute gifts, employer matches, etc. can be customized to your needs.
Integration with WordPress Themes: Seamless Donations integrates seamlessly with most WordPress themes, ensuring that your donation forms blend seamlessly into your website’s design.
Some Minor Drawbacks
As expected with every free plugin, there are potentially some drawbacks. But this plugin’s case is minor and can be resolved with some paid add-ons that will not break the bank. Here are a few that I have found:
- Deletion of funds, donors, and donations – You cannot delete any of these on the dashboard unless you purchase their ‘Delete Monster’ add-on. However, with funds, the way to resolve this without purchasing their add-on is by configuring the fund not to display on the form.
- Limited form customization – You get a basic form that can easily be customized using some custom CSS that you can add to the Customizer. You may purchase their premium colorful/beautiful donation forms add-on for $20-30 per single site.
- Giving level management – At the time of this writing, there are 6 fixed giving level amounts. But this is resolved by putting in a specific or other amount as an option. They offer a paid-on called the Giving Level Manager for $19.95 per single site.
How to test the Donation Form
In order to test the donation form in the sandbox mode, you will need to create test accounts. PayPal provides some default test accounts to use, but you may also create your own. Here are the steps:
- Log in to your PayPal account.
- Go to the PayPal Developer Dashboard.
- Click the Testing Tools tab, and you will be presented with the following screenshot. Click one of the account names or create your own account by clicking on the Create account button on the top right.
When you select PayPal as the preferred method of payment, copy and paste the email address and password on the PayPal Donation form and proceed to place the donation. If you select the Debit or Credit Card option, you may use the information here, such as the ‘Test’ credit card number and the expiration date. I had to make up a number for the 3-digit security code.
It is recommended that you also test in the Production/Live Mode to ensure everything is working as expected, but then you have to use a valid PayPal account and a credit card. I suggest doing a test donation of $1.00. It will also ensure that all email notifications are sent and received accordingly.
The Seamless Donations Plugin offers a valuable solution for simplifying the donation process. With its user-friendly interface, customization options, security features, and seamless integration with WordPress, it has become a go-to tool for those looking to raise funds for a cause.
If you’re considering starting a fundraising campaign or improving your current donation process, Seamless Donations Plugin is worth exploring. It empowers you to engage with donors effectively, increase conversion rates, and build lasting relationships while seamlessly integrating with your WordPress website.