Comparing The Top Two Free WordPress Charity Plugins

Authored By: James LePage
Published On: May 19, 2020

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At Isotropic Design we get a lot of requests for the best plugin to accept donations in WordPress. Whether you're a political campaign, nonprofit organization, business, or anything else, you may be looking to accept donations on your WordPress website.

We compared the top two free WordPress charity plugins that will allow your visitors to donate to your cause. In this blog post we’ll review our findings, discuss the installation process behind each plugin, and determine which solution would be the best fit for you.

In many cases a free plugin may be a better option for your nonprofit or campaign than a paid plugin, and we wanted to see if these two free charitable plugins for WordPress stacked up to paid competitors. We've used paid solutions in the past, and we'll try to compare and contrast them with these two plug-ins.

Without any further adieu, let's get into the blog post and take a look at the first plug-in to accept charitable contributions in WordPress.

GiveWP

Of the charitable plugins for WordPress, GiveWP has 80,000 active installations and is the more popular of the two mentioned in this post.

It's a well-known fact that good design and user interaction will convert more, so we wanted to take a look at the GiveWP frontend design before anything.

It's a very usable interface that's easy to understand, and only takes 2 interactions: Entering / selecting the amount you want to donate, and then clicking the Donate button. You’re then routed directly to the payment processor of your choice, and then upon successful donation routed back to the website where you can display a confirmation page.

The plug-in offers a robust collection of payment processing solutions, but the two most popular are PayPal and Stripe. Each offers ways to pay via credit card, and with paypal, you can choose to use your balance. 

GiveWP also comes with an ecosystem of available add-ons, but most of these are paid. Let's explore some of them and understand the use cases for your business / entity.

Annual Receipts: Donors can download a record of all donations within a given year for their records and tax purposes.

As a charity providing accurate tax receipts for your donors use is vitally important. If you already use a charitable accounting management system, then this may not apply to you, but if you were smaller nonprofit, this may be a great solution to offer tax documentation to your donors.

Flexible Recurring Donations: Customize recurring donations options in ways that other platforms don't allow. Give donors more options and control the frequencies and amounts they give.

If you've ever come across a charitable giving form, you've probably seen the option to do a recurring subscription to the charity. This is especially important because it allows you to get more donations, as your doner can split their giving over a period of time. Rather than giving $5,000 in one month, they can choose to give $5,000 over 24 months, which is a much more manageable donation.

There are also a lot of other add-ons for specific use cases, which you can see on the GiveWP website. You can choose to purchase them all at once for $216, or split it up and buy individual add-ons. 

The actual installation and configuration of this plugin is fairly simple to figure out. If you're on a low budget and can't hire a developer to install this plugin for you, you should be able to do it yourself.

On the back end, once configured, you get access to a great platform that offers reports, statistics, and easy to change options.

All in all this is a super configurable, easy to use (on both the front end and the back end), charitable giving plugin for WordPress. We really like the design, and the features of the plugin.

Compared to some paid solutions, this is a great choice. It may even beat the paid solutions that we’ve used in the past, and even though the add-ons cost a substantial amount, (in our opinion) they're definitely worth it

If you're interested in looking at their offering yourself before downloading,  check out their demos page: https://givewp.com/demos/

Charitable

The second plug-in that's free on the WordPress repository and oriented towards charitable donations is called Charitable. Like GiveWP,  it allows your WordPress website to accept charitable donations as well.

Out of the box, the design is a bit basic and simple.

At the same time, you can easily style this form to look and behave how you want. Also, keep in mind that many themes  created for nonprofits and fundraising support both of these plugins,  which means that the actual front-end design will change depending on your theme. 

The main differentiating factor that we found with Charitable is that you can create individual campaigns. The campaign is a custom post type that has your donation form and a short description in it. These custom post types can then be created into an archive, so you can show an archive of all your current and past campaigns.

The free version of this plug-in only allows you to accept donations through PayPal. The addons seriously extended the features of this plug-in, similar to the first solution presented in this blog post. The base addon pack for this plugin comes in at $77.40 (upon publication of this article).

Charitable is a great plug-in, but we feel it may be more oriented towards a developer / super user. It comes with a whole host of code Snippets, hooks, styling options and, but you'll need to know your way around some code to harness the full power of this solution.

Conclusion

GiveWP Is a great choice for a charitable giving plugin for WordPress if you're looking for an easy to integrate solution that is simple and quick.  The back end is super well designed and easy-to-use. However, the addons to extend the functionality of this plugin are a bit more costly than Charitable.

Charatiable is a bit more barebones then GiveWP, but has a lot of functionalities if you know your way around code snippets and CSS. If you are a developer / super user looking for a very functional and expandable solution, then charitable is probably the best choice. Additionally, the add-ons Library offers the same features as GiveWP, but is a little more affordable for nonprofits and campaigns.

The best part about these two charitable giving plugins for WordPress is that they are both free. That means you can easily download and install them from the WordPress plugin repository, and test both of them out in your website. You can stick with the one that resonates with you the most.

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James LePage is the founder of Isotropic Design, a digital agency that builds WordPress websites. I read, write and design constantly!

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