How to Add Paypal Donate Button in WordPress

How to Add PayPal donate button in WordPress

If you offer services or products that are helpful to people (and you do so for free), or if you run a nonprofits or charitable organization, adding a PayPal donate button on your WordPress site can be of immense help.

People are usually willing to donate to a cause that has helped them solve one problem or the other.

Other sites/situations that would make a donate button necessary, besides just plain accepting them from people who enjoy your content, include creating a website for a religious service, collecting donations towards disaster relief, or running a fundraising campaign to implement an idea that has a large following.

In order to collect significant donation amounts, good fundraising ideas are not enough. One should use proper fundraising tools in order to make it successful or use charitable organizations such as PayPal Giving Fund to make it secure.

Want to keep it simple but considerable?

However, if you would simply like to accept payments on your nonprofit website from prospective donors, you don’t need a fundraising strategy, but simply PayPal donate link. Raising money this way can be easy. You just need to visit the PayPal website, get a donate button, and start to collect donations.

Raising money from donations is not just easy but considerable, too. For example, Amazon has been able to raise over one hundred million dollars through charitable donations on their Amazon Smile program. Never underestimate the power of human kindness.

If you have decided to receive them, the next question is “how?”. Gladly, Paypal has made it super easy to implement tools for donating to nonprofit and charitable organizations.

In this WordPress resource, we will explain two easy ways to add PayPal donate button in WordPress.


Why Should You Use Paypal for Donations?

Should I really use PayPal? Why not other options or payment processors?

Note: If you have already decided to receive and process donations for your nonprofits via PayPal and are happy with this decision, you can skip this session.

First, PayPal is really easy to implement. Whether you decide to go with WordPress plugins or to use PayPal’s donate function, you should be ready to start accepting them on your site instantly.

Secondly, Paypal accepts them worldwide, giving you greater reach.

Thirdly, the nature of donations usually means that you want to reduce the fees on them as much as possible. If you are setting up PayPal donate buttons for a charity or nonprofit organization, you can contact PayPal. This is because PayPal offers discounted charges on transactions, which means more money to the organization.

Call that PayPal’s way of being charitable.

How to Add PayPal Donate Button in WordPress

Enough of the stories, let’s roll our sleeves and get to business.

To implement PayPal donations, you will need a PayPal account. Go ahead and create one on the PayPal website.

After creating an account, read on to see how to add a PayPal donate button to your WordPress site using either the Paypal Donate Button Creator or PayPal donations plugins.

Using PayPal Donate Button Creator

You can implement PayPal buttons on your site without using a WordPress PayPal plugin. Although it’s a bit more technical, it isn’t hard.

This is a better solution if you want to reduce the number of plugins on your site, which is good practice.

To create the button, go to the PayPal Button page and sign in with your PayPal email and password.

PayPal WordPress donation

In the 1st step, select your country, language. Usually, you won’t need to change any of these options as it will pull correctly from your account.

On the right, you can see a preview of your donation button. You can select button type and style with the button settings below the language selector. If you want a smaller button, select “Small” from the “Button size” option. When done, press Continue.

PayPal donate buttons

In the 2nd step, enter the purpose of your donation. If you are running a nonprofit organization, PayPal lets your users know the specific cause for which they are making donations.


If you want users to select a particular sub-program to donate to, tick Yes, List Programs. Next, type in a program name and press Add. Repeat until you have all your subprograms.

Click Continue.

PayPal button to WordPress

In the 3rd step, set your preferred currency in the “Currency you’ll receive donations in” input box.

In the “Amount donors can give” section, you can set either an “Any amount”, “An exact amount”, or 3 amount options and any amount.

The first two are straightforward. To “Set 3 options, plus any amount”, tick that option and enter 3 amounts in the boxes that appear. The amount entered in the 2nd box should be greater than the 1st. Likewise the 3rd greater than the 2nd.

If you want users to be able to select the recurring option for donations, leave “Let donors make monthly recurring donations” set to “Yes”.

Press Continue.

PayPal button Continue

The final step has optional settings that you may wish to use. Let’s take you through them.

Get info from donors

If you expand this section, you will see settings that allow you to receive information from prospective donors. You can choose to receive their email address or allow them to send a note along with their donation.

Donor info PayPal

Route donors back to your site

You can add a cancel URL and a completion URL in this section. The cancel URL is the page the user will be taken to if they cancel the transaction. The completion URL is a thank you page after the donation is made.

WordPress Paypal

Set account identifier

This section enables you to hide your PayPal login email on the donations page. It’s usually better to display a Merchant Account ID instead of your email.

PayPal button Merchant Account ID

Add extra HTML button Variables

This section is for developers who want to control the way the donate button interacts with PayPal features. You can add custom HTML to control how the button behaves.

Note: Leave this option untouched unless you know what you are doing.

extra HTML button variables

Now click Finish and Get Code. On the last page, you would see your button HTML code. Press Copy to clipboard.

PayPal button Copied code

Next, you want to paste this code in the page you want your button displayed (note: leave this page open in case you find out you have not copied the code, or you have copied something else over it).

Go back to your WordPress dashboard and go to Pages > Add New. 

(Note: if you want to add the button in a pre-existing page, go to Pages > All Pages and click to open the page instead.)

Custom HTML code

Type in the title of the page and then go to the content editor and type in some introductory message about your donation.

Clean Water Donations

Next, switch the editor to “Text mode” and paste in the code you copied where you want the button to appear. Press Preview to view the page.

PayPal WordPress donation code

Your donate button should look like this:

Clean Water Donations

All good. Go back to your WordPress page editor and press Publish. That’s it, your button is ready!

Using a Plugin

There are quite a few Paypal plugins available for this purpose. In this guide, we will show you how to use the Paypal Donations plugin to receive donations for your nonprofit organization (or any other).

Install and activate the “Paypal Donations” plugin (read this guide to learn how to install plugins). Ensure it is Donations, with an ‘s’ as there are similarly named WordPress donation plugins.

Setting Up PayPal Donations

After activation, you will see a “PayPal Donations” option on your dashboard menu. Hover over it and click on Settings.

PayPal Donations

In the “Language and Currency” section, select your preferred language and currency.

Next, enter the email ID of the PayPal account where you want to send donations to, and set “Sandbox Mode” to “Off”

WordPress Paypal donation plugin

In the “Other Settings” section, select your preferred button (you also have the alternative to upload your own button image which can help make your site distinct). Now scroll down to the bottom and press the Save Settings button.

WordPress Paypal donation plugin

Creating a PayPal Donate Button

After those initial settings, let us now create a donation button.

Go to Paypal Donations > Buttons.

Donation buttons PayPal

In the buttons page, press New Paypal Donations Button.

donor button WordPress

In the “Main” section, fill out the Purpose/Name of the donation. Leave the amount empty, otherwise, donors will be restricted to donating the amount you set and they may want to donate less, or even more.

Leave the “Language and Currency”  and “Other” sections as is.


Now scroll down to the “Dropdown Menus” section. You only need to set up this section if you want to give users a dropdown menu with different amounts of payments to select from. If you want donors to enter any amount they choose, leave this section untouched.

In “Amount Menu Name” textbox, enter a name for this menu.

Underneath, you will see Option/Amount pairs. The left box shows the amount that will be displayed to the user, the right box is the amount that will be sent to PayPal for processing when this option is selected.

So if you want to give the donor the option of $10, you have to enter $10 in the left box, and 10 in the right box. Again, the $10 is for the user to see what they are selecting, and the 10 is used to process the donation.

Fill out the boxes accordingly.

Donor button for PayPal

When done, scroll up and click Save Paypal Donation Button.

PayPal donate button

Putting the PayPal Donate Button in a Page

To put the button we just created in a page, copy the shortcode for this button.

PayPal Donation page

Next, go to Pages > All Pages and click on the page you want to add the button to. This page will be opened in the WordPress editor.

Within the editor, click on the point where you want to display the button and paste the shortcode you copied.

PayPal Donation page

Next, click Preview on the right to see how your brand new donate button looks.

If you followed the steps correctly, it should look like this:

Donation test page

Now go back to the page editor and click Publish. That’s it. You’re done!

You may decide to test out the donation by going to the published page, selecting an amount, clicking Donate, and completing the donation in PayPal.

Adding a Thank You Page for PayPal Donate Button

It is good practice to redirect users to a thank you page after they make a donation. It shows gratitude, and the way the page is designed may get the donor to give more right now or in the future.

Whether you used PayPal donate function or the plugin method, adding this page is pretty straightforward.

Creating a Thank You Page

If you already have a Thank You page, skip this section.

To create a page, think about the message you want to communicate to the donor. In our examples so far, we have illustrated using donations to the Clean Water Project. Our thank you page should contain a simple message and an image gallery that depicts clean water. We simply grabbed free images from and Pixabay for this purpose.

To create the page, go to Pages > Add New.

Type in the subject of the page in the input box at the top. In the content editor below, enter your thank you message and any image you want to use. Click Preview to see the page.

PayPal Thank you page

All good? Come back to the WordPress editor and click Publish. Now you have your thank you page. At the top, you would see the permalink for the page.

PayPal thank you page 2

Copy this link.

Adding a Thank You Page for PayPal Donate Function

If you used the PayPal Donate function, you can edit the button created to include a thank you page.

First, go here to view all your PayPal buttons.

Locate the button you want to work with and select Action > Edit Button.

PayPal thank you function

Click Continue until you get to ‘step 4’ and expand the “Route donors back to your site” section.

In the text box labeled “Take donor to this URL once they complete donation”, paste the URL of your thank you page. Next, click Finish and Get Code.

Payment gatewayYour updated button code will be displayed. Copy this code and use it to replace the code in your donations page.

Adding a Thank You Page for Paypal Donations Plugin

If you used PayPal Donations plugin to create your Donate button, adding a thank you page is pretty straightforward.

In your WordPress Dashboard, go to PayPal Donations > Buttons.

Hover over the button you want to work with and click Edit.

PayPal button in WordPress Edit

Scroll down to find the “Return URL” text box and paste the link for your thank you page in there.Edit donate button

Lastly, click Save PayPal Donation Button.

How to Hide PayPal Name for Donations?

One of the biggest problems for the users of the donate button is that their personal info (full name and surname) is shown in the payment summary to the donor. Some people don’t feel comfortable with this (for privacy concerns).

So if you have PayPal personal account, the only way to hide PayPal name for donations is to upgrade to a business account. Then, when you filling up the form for PayPal business account, you can choose any business name, and that name will be shown in the donations payment summary. By the way, there are no extra charges for the PayPal business account upgrade.


If you want to accept donations from people for your charity, nonprofit, disaster relief, you need to learn how to add Paypal donate button in WordPress.

In this step by step guide, we have covered two simple methods of adding PayPal donate buttons to your WordPress website. We recommend you go with the PayPal function as this removes the need for a plugin.

However, if you want greater flexibility, feel free to use the plugin.

Recieving PayPal donations for your nonprofit organization is great, However there is a better way to make money on your site. It’s eCommerce. Please read our WooCommerce installation guide to learn how to get started with an online store.

You may also check out our WP college to get access to many great WordPress tutorials and tips. Topics ranging from using your WordPress theme to best WordPress hosting, to cleaning a site of malware are covered. You will benefit greatly!

 This post was written by Sam Mulaim

Hello! I’m Sam - the founder and CEO of FixRunner WordPress support. When I started FixRunner one of my goals was to help people run a successful website and overcome WordPress issues. I don’t have much time these days to write new posts but when I do I enjoy it very much.

Last edited by: FixRunner Team