How to Boost Recurring Donations

How to Boost Recurring Donations For Your Nonprofit

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Are you wondering how to increase recurring donations for your nonprofit organization? Recurring donations are valuable because they’re a great way to increase revenue, reduce admin costs, and build relationships with donors.

If you’re looking for ways to encourage monthly donations, we have some ideas for you! In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the benefits of receiving recurring donations to your charity or nonprofit and suggest some simple ideas to get donors to sign up for a monthly giving program.

Create Your Recurring Donation Form Now

Can I Use Stripe For Donations?

Yes! Stripe is the perfect payment provider for donations. You can use Stripe with the free version of WPForms and benefit from Stripe’s nonprofit payment fees.

How to Boost Recurring Donations For Your Nonprofit

To accept recurring donations on your nonprofit’s website, you’ll need to create a  payment form. The steps below will walk you through the process.

The key to a successful recurring donation program is to make it as easy as possible for new donors to give money. WPForms makes it quick and straightforward to set up a payment form with Stripe or another payment gateway and activate automatic, regular payments from a credit or debit card.

Step 1: Install WPForms

WPForms is one of the easiest WordPress form plugins to use, and it comes with 1,800+ form templates, including various types of donation forms.

To get started with WPForms, you’ll first need to install the plugin. Log into your WordPress dashboard and go to Plugins » Add New.

Add new plugin

Search for “WPForms” and click the Install Now button next to the WPForms plugin. You’ll know you have the right one if you see our friendly mascot, Sullie!

Installing WPForms Lite

When WPForms has finished installing, you should see an Activate button. Click this, and you’ll be well on your way to creating your recurring donation form!

Activate WPForms Lite

Step 2: Connect WPForms to Stripe

Before you can start taking payments through any forms you create with WPForms, you must set up a payment gateway. This is a way for users to pay with a credit card, digital wallet, or other online payment solution.

To take recurring payments, you need a payment gateway that supports them, like Stripe. All versions of WPForms, including the Lite (free) version of the plugin, now integrate with Stripe so you can take recurring credit or debit card payments. All you’ll pay is a 3% fee per transaction + Stripe fees.

To connect to your Stripe account, go to WPForms » Settings and click the Payments tab.

WPForms payments tab

The default currency for taking payments is set to US dollars, but you can change it to a different currency here if you wish.

Payment currency

To connect to Stripe, scroll down until you see the Connect with Stripe button. Click this button to connect WPForms to your Stripe account.

Connect with Stripe

You’ll need to enter your email address to connect to your Stripe account or set up a new Stripe account. Follow the instructions in the Stripe Connect wizard to complete the process.

WPForms Stripe setup

Once you’ve gone through the wizard, you will be redirected back to the WPForms setting page in your WordPress admin dashboard.

You should see a green checkmark next to Connection Status if everything worked correctly.

Stripe connection status live

Now that you’ve connected to Stripe, you’re ready to take payments. The next step is to build your donation form.

Step 3: Create a Donation Form

Go to WPForms » Add New to create a new form.

Add new form

This will take you to the WPForms step-by-step wizard to build your new form.

The first step is to enter a name for your form. You can name it anything you like, but if you have several forms on your site, it’s a good idea to give it a memorable name, such as the name of your fundraising campaign.

Enter your WPForms form name

You can then either create your form from scratch or use one of the pre-built templates.

Browse the templates from the category menu or search for a template using the search bar.

Search the template library

If you search for “donation,” you’ll see there are several donation templates available. You can use the Variable Donation template, which is available with the Lite version of WPForms, or you can upgrade to Pro to access all the templates.

We particularly recommend using the Online Donation Form Template because it can support one-time and even recurring donations for monthly, quarterly, semi-yearly, and yearly, thanks to the Stripe Pro Addon.

Note: Want to learn more about the Variable Donation Form template? See our tutorial on using templates in WPForms for all the details.

The only thing to keep in mind if you create your form from scratch or choose a different template is that you need to include the following fields if you want to enable recurring payments:

  • Email field
  • Payment items field (Single Item, Multiple Items, Checkbox Items, or Dropdown Items)
  • Stripe Credit Card field

We’ll continue with the Variable Donation form template for this tutorial. This allows donors to freely choose how much they will donate.

Click the Use Template button on the Variable Donation form to select this template.

How to increase recurring donations with the variable donation form template

After selecting the template, you’ll be taken to the drag-and-drop form builder, where you can customize your form and add additional fields if you wish. This is what the form builder looks like:

Edit donation form

If you want to add any additional fields to your form, simply drag them into position from the panel on the left.

You can also edit the form labels and other text by clicking on the element and editing the text in the Field Options panel.

For example, if you want to change the suggested monthly gift amount from 5 to 10, click on the Donation Amount element. You can then change the Item Price in the Field Options panel.

Edit default donation amount

As we’re setting this form up to take recurring payments, it’s a good idea to make this very clear on the form, even if it’s mentioned on the page or the link to the form.

The ideal place to explain this is the Description field. This text will display right under the Donation Amount field.

Description explaining the donor is signing up for recurring donations

Once you’re happy with your form, remember to scroll to the top of the page and click the Save button to save all your changes.

Save the form

Step 4: Set Up Stripe Payments

Now your donation form is ready to go, it’s time to set up your payments. While still in the form builder, go to Payments » Stripe and toggle the Enable Stripe payments option to activate it.

Enable Stripe payments

As soon as you turn on Stripe payments, you’ll see a lot of new settings on the Stripe payments settings page.

You can start by filling out the Payment Description field. This description will appear on your donors’ card statements, so make sure it’s descriptive and makes it easy for them to remember what the payment is.

Payment description

Next is the Stripe Payment Receipt email. This is the email field that Stripe will send the receipt to after payment. If you haven’t edited the  Variable Donation form, there will only be one option to choose from here. But if you’ve edited to form to give donors the option to send the receipt to a different email address, you should make sure the right form field is selected.

Stripe payment receipt

There’s also a Customer Email field. Again, if your form has only one email field, only one option will be available.

Customer email

Step 5: Enable Recurring Payments

At this point, your form is ready to accept payments from one-time donors. The next step is to toggle on the Enable recurring subscription payments option under the Subscriptions heading.

Enable recurring subscription payments

Once you activate recurring payments, you’ll see more settings appear to configure payment subscriptions.

The Plan Name will appear in your Stripe transactions. You can choose a suitable name or leave it blank to keep it the same as your form name. The subscription period and price will be automatically appended to the name.

Subscription plan name

The Recurring Period is how often the card will be charged for the regular donation. You can choose from Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, Semi-Yearly, or Yearly in the dropdown.

Recurring period

Keep in mind that you can only offer one recurring period, so you wouldn’t be able to let donors choose between weekly or monthly donations, for example. It’s also important to be clear on the front end of your form that donors are signing up to give a recurring donation rather than a one-off payment.

Finally, you need to select the Customer Email to ensure that Stripe knows which user to set up recurring payments for.

Customer email

And that’s it! You’re all set to start receiving recurring donations. You can scroll to the top of the page to save your form and close the form builder with the exit (X) button to return to your main admin dashboard.

Step 6: Start Receiving Donations

Now your form is set up, you just need to make sure everything works and publish it on your website so you can start receiving donations.

Note: We recommend testing your form before you publish it to make sure it works as expected. See our complete form testing checklist for a step-by-step guide.

The final step is to publish your donation form on your site. You can do this by going to your form and clicking the Embed button on the form builder.

Embed form

You then have the option to either embed your form in your homepage or another existing page on your site, or to create a new page for your form. For the purposes of this tutorial, let’s create a new page.

Embed form in new page

Click the Create New Page button and type a name for your page in the box that pops up. Click Let’s Go to create your new page.

Embedding a donation form on a new page

Make any adjustments you wish to the page before clicking the Publish button to make it live on your site.

Publish recurring payments form in WordPress

When you start receiving donations, you can keep track of your payments via your WordPress dashboard in WPForms » Payments.

WPForms payments summary

The WPForms Payments page will give you an overview of your donations over time as well as donor management information such as the contact information and recurring donation amount for each donor.

WPForms payments chart

There is more information on how to measure and keep track of your donations in our guide on viewing and managing form payments.

You’re now ready to start accepting recurring donations. While you’ll pay a 3% fee per donation + Stripe fees, this is the most affordable way to accept credit or debit card donations for your nonprofit when you’re getting started with your fundraising strategy.

If you’re receiving a lot of donations and want to avoid paying the 3% fee, you can upgrade to WPForms Pro. This will also unlock extra features to help you do more with the forms for your nonprofit.

Want even more guidance on the topic? Be sure to check out our list of recommended free and low-cost tools for your nonprofit.

Create Your Recurring Donation Form Now

FAQs on Recurring Donations

Do you have more questions on getting more recurring donations? We have some answers!

How Do I Get People to Become Monthly Donors?

The easiest way to get people to donate monthly is to give them the option to sign up for recurring donations from the start. If you’re collecting donations through an online payment form made in WPForms, you can adjust your settings to take monthly subscription payments.

Recurring donations tend to bring in more total revenue, even if each donation is much smaller. It’s also often easier to convince people to sign up for a small monthly donation than to donate a larger one-off amount.  While monthly giving is the most common frequency for nonprofit fundraising, you could also offer the option to sign up for weekly, quarterly, or yearly donations.

What Are the Benefits of Increasing Recurring Donations?

Recurring donations offer many benefits for both the donor and the charity or the nonprofit, making it well worth the effort to set up. Plus, it takes only a few minutes to make a recurring donation form with WPForms.

  • Easier for the donor:  Many people like to give money to a worthy cause on a regular basis. Providing an easy way to give recurring gifts improves the donor experience so it’s more convenient and quicker for them.
  • More affordable for potential donors: Giving the option to donate just a few dollars a month can make gifting easier to fit into a budget.
  • Easier for you: Automatic payments mean you can reduce time spent on admin, and you won’t need to chase donations or send reminders.
  • Higher revenue potential: Recurring donors have a higher lifetime value than those who donate only a one-time gift. Encouraging regular gifting will bring in more money to your organization, increasing sustainability and growth.
  • More predictable income: Recurring donations give you a reliable source of income. They make it easier to grow your donor base and more accurately predict the value of your revenue streams each month. This can help with budgeting and other financial decisions.
  • Better relationships with givers: Loyal supporters who give a monthly contribution often feel more involved with the charity or group they donate to, making them more likely to stay engaged for longer and increasing your donor retention rate.

Does WPForms Offer a Nonprofit Discount?

WPForms offers a 75% discount on WPForms Pro for qualified nonprofits. While the Lite version of WPForms has all the features you need to take payments and set up recurring donations, upgrading to a Pro plan has many benefits. For example, you get access to conditional logic to adjust your recurring donation options and let donors choose between recurring or one-time donations.

To get the discount, simply fill out the WPForms nonprofit application form and upload proof of your organization’s nonprofit status.

Next, Learn How to Boost Donation Form Conversions

Setting up a donation form is simple, but persuading people to donate can be much more challenging. See our tips for getting people to donate money for some ideas for boosting your online fundraising efforts.

You can also take a look at some donation page examples to get ideas and inspiration for your own nonprofit website.

Finally, we’ve compiled some additional resources to show how nonprofits can use WPForms to grow their websites and get more donations.

Ready to build your form? Get started today with the easiest WordPress form builder plugin. WPForms Pro includes lots of free templates and offers a 14-day money-back guarantee.

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