How to Accept PayPal donations on your Website

In this tutorial you will learn how to accept PayPal donations on your website. PayPal is an easy way to accept payments online and the Donations button makes donations for your cause effortless. All donations go into your Business or Premier PayPal account for easy access and tracking.

A PayPal Donations button allows anyone to make a donation on your website. The button lets you accept credit cards, debit cards and PayPal. It is simple for you to set up, and simple for your donors to use. Don’t forget to use the wizard on the homepage if you want to automate this entire process!

Whether you run a charity or non-profit organization, are trying to raise funds for an event, or simply want to give users the means to donate to a worthy cause, PayPal donations are an easy way to get paid.

Contents

  1. How PayPal Donations work?
  2. Setting up PayPal Donations
  3. Creating a PayPal Donations button
  4. Adding the Donations button code to your website
  5. Copying the Donations button code
  6. Pasting the code on your website
  7. Configuring advanced settings for your PayPal Donations button
  8. Streamlining checkout
  9. Customized Cancel and Success pages
  10. Setting up advanced variables
  11. Editing your PayPal Donations button

How PayPal Donations work?

Here’s an overview of how a PayPal Donations work:

  1. You display a PayPal Donations button on your website.
  2. A donor clicks the button to make a donation.
  3. They are taken to the PayPal website where they can:
    1. Login to their PayPal account to pay; or
    2. Enter their billing information to pay by credit card.
  4. The donor confirms the transaction before paying.
  5. They are taken to the PayPal Thank You page where they can view or print the payment confirmation.
  6. The donor receives payment authorization notices by email.

Setting up PayPal Donations

Setting up a PayPal Donations button is a two-step process:

  1. Create a PayPal Donations button in your PayPal account.
  2. Add the button code to your site.

You can also optionally configure advanced settings, if you like.

PayPal saves all your buttons in your account and you can and edit your buttons whenever you need to.

Creating a PayPal Donations button

The first step is to create your PayPal Donations button in your PayPal account and generate the button code.

To create the PayPal button:

  1. Login to your Business or Premier PayPal account.
  2. Click Tools > All Tools in the top bar.
  3. Click Open in PayPal buttons.

    Tip! Click the heart in PayPal buttons to add this option to the Tools menu for easier access next time you login.

  4. In Related items (right column) click Create new button.

    <expand-icon.png>

  5. The Create PayPal payment button page opens.
  6. Click

    to expand Step 1: Choose a button type and enter your payment details to show the available options.
  7. Choose a button type: Select Donations in the drop-down menu.
  8. Organization name/service: Enter the name of your organization or business, or the purpose of the donation.
  9. Donation ID: Enter a name or ID to identify the type or time of the campaign. For example, JoesSurgery or Christmas2017, could distinguish specific campaign buttons from your general Donations button. This helps to track and monitor the results of individual campaigns. This is an optional field and you can leave it blank if you like.

  1. Customize button: These selections are optional. They allow you to customize the look and feel of your button. Ignore them if you are happy with the default button that looks like this:<standard-donate-button-with-logos.png>

C:\Users\Ruth\AppData\Local\Temp\SNAGHTML1dd35dbf.PNG

Any changes you make to the button reflect in the Your customer’s view panel as you go.

Click Customize text or appearance to access the options.

  1. PayPal button: This option is selected by default and signifies that a button image provided by PayPal will be used.
  2. Use a smaller button: Check this box to use a small-sized Donate button with no credit card logos –

    . <small-donate-button.png>
  3. Display credit card logos: Uncheck this box to use a standard Donate button –

    – with the credit card logos omitted. <standard-donate-button.png>
  4. Country and language for button: Select your country and language. Your choice will be applied to the button and will change the syntax and spelling to that of the chosen language.
  5. Use your own button image: This option allows you to link to a custom button image, instead of using the images provided by PayPal. This is useful if it is important to match the button with the look and feel of your website, for example.Enter the URL to the image. If your image is hosted on an SSL-secured server, change the text box to begin with https://.
  6. Currency: Select your currency in the drop-down menu. All supported currencies are listed. If you changed the country and language for the button in the previous step, make sure that the currency selected here matches.
  7. Contribution amount:
    1. Donors enter their own contribution amount: This is the default option that allows donors to choose the amount they want to donate during checkout.
    2. Donors contribute a fixed amount: Select this option and enter an amount in the box provided to specify a fixed donation amount.
  8. Merchant account IDs:
    1. Use my secure merchant account ID: This is the default selection that associates transactions from your payment button with your PayPal merchant ID. Do not change this selection without good reason. This option is recommended by PayPal and ensures that your email address is not used in the button code, preventing its exposure to spammers.
    2. Use my primary email address: This option includes the selected primary email address in the button code, making it vulnerable to spammers. For this reason, PayPal recommends using the default (first) option.This option is useful for larger organizations because it allows you to identify the person responsible for handling donations. Only the selected email address receives email payment notifications.If your Profile contains multiple email addresses, select the address to use as the primary email address from the drop-down menu.

Note! If you have a Premium account, your email address may still appear in the <head> tag of your checkout page for both options.

  1. At this stage the Donations button will be sufficiently configured for most users. If you are satisfied with the settings you can go ahead and click

    at the bottom of the page to generate the button code. <create-button.png>Additional optional advanced settings are available in Step 3: Customize advanced features (optional). Advanced user may want to configure these before generating the button code. We cover these settings later in the tutorial in Configuring advanced settings for your PayPal Donations button.

Adding the Donations button code to your website

Once you have created your Donations button on the PayPal website, the next step is add it to your website

Copying the Donations button code

When you click

on PayPal, the page containing the generated button code opens automatically. <create-button.png>

PayPal provides the HTML code for a webpage and an email in separate tabs.

To copy the code:

  1. In the Website tab, click Select Code.
  2. Right-click and copy the code to the clipboard.
  3. For now, paste the code in Notepad or similar application for later use.

Pasting the code on your website

We use WordPress to demonstrate this section. These instructions can be adapted for any platform that allows you access to the HTML code of your pages. The editor in most CMSs has a Text or similar option which allows you to see the HTML code.

In WordPress you can paste the generated code into any page or post, or use it in a widget area.

Displaying the Donations button on a page

To display the PayPal Donate button on a page:

  1. Create a dedicated Donate page or edit an existing page.
  2. Click Text in the editor to access the HTML code.
  3. Paste the Donations button code you copied from PayPal.
  4. Click Visual to see the button in the editor.
  5. Publish your page or changes to make your button live.

Displaying the Donations button in a widget

To display the PayPal Donate button in a widget area.

  1. Go to Appearance > Widgets.
  2. Select Custom HTML widget.
  3. Add it to an appropriate widget area on your site, typically the side bar area.
  4. Paste the code you copied from PayPal into the Content area of the widget.
  5. Click Save.
  6. Visit your site to view the button in the widget area.

Configuring advanced settings for your PayPal Donations button

This is an advanced topic that you can ignore, without consequence, if you like. These settings should be configured before generating the button code.

PayPal offers optional advanced settings for your PayPal Donations button.

To access these settings, click

to expand Step 3: Customize advanced features (optional) on the PayPal settings page. <expand-icon.png>

Streamlining checkout

PayPal provides two options to streamline the checkout process:

  1. Can your customer add special instructions in a message to you:This option allows you to omit the Special Instructions message box that is included during checkout by default. Special instructions are typically not required for donations.Select No to omit the box, unless you have a good reason to retain it.

  2. Do you need your customer’s shipping address:By default, PayPal requests a shipping address during checkout. With donation, the donors shipping address is typically not required and can be omitted.Select No to skip the shipping address section during checkout and further streamline the process.

 

Customized Cancel and Success pages

PayPal allows you to customize the pages the donor is taken to after checking out successfully or cancelling their checkout.

  1. Take customers to this URL when they cancel their checkout:When you enable this option, the donor is taken to a custom page on your website when they cancel their checkout, instead of the default PayPal cancellation page. This provides an opportunity to get the donor to change their mind about cancelling.To enable this functionality, check the box and enter the URL to the custom page on your website.

  2. Take customers to this URL when they finish their checkout:If you enable this option, the donor is taken to a custom page on your website after checkout, instead of the default PayPal success page. This provides a great opportunity to personally thank the donor.To enable this functionality, check the box and enter the URL to the custom page on your website.

Setting up advanced variables

Note! Advanced variables require HTML programming knowledge and experience. Only use this option if you really know what you are doing.

Developers can use the Advanced variables box to create and customize buttons using PayPal HTML payment button variables.

 

Editing your PayPal Donations button

PayPal Donations buttons are saved by default. You don’t need to explicitly save your button in Step 2: Save your buttons (optional), because this is the default behaviour.

You can access your Donations buttons at any time in Tools > PayPal buttons> My Saved Buttons.

The list contains all your PayPal buttons and provides Actions that allow you to edit and update them:

  • Edit button: Click to access and edit the button settings.
  • View code: Click to access and copy the generated button code.
  • Create similar button: Click to create a new button based on this button.
  • Delete button: Click to permanently delete the button.
  • Create new button: Click to create a new button from scratch.

 

We hope you have found this tutorial on how to accept Paypal Donations useful.

Happy Fundraising!