Nonprofits: 2004 Called and They Want Their PayPal Button Back

I wrote this when I was working with It’s amazing how many nonprofits use PayPal. Their button is dated — at best.

No. Seriously.

You could use a PayPal button. Hey, we love PayPal. They’re one of our favorite payment gateways. Seriously.

But when you’ve worked hard to make your nonprofit site represent your brand, why would you want a button that clashes with your theme?

The PayPal Button

This PayPal button is from today. It’s on their site. It’s not an archived screenshot.

I have no idea why it still looks like a button set from 2001’s Dreamweaver. I really don’t. PayPal is huge. They can easily customize their button.

But they didn’t.

What is the alternative to PayPal?

I’m so glad you asked.

If your site is built on the WordPress content management system (not hosted on which is totally different), then you can install an online donation plugin, namely Give.

Of course, there are plugins in the WordPress repo to style the PayPal button and other donation plugins to choose from. I worked for ThoughtHouse and GiveWP was our client. Of course, I’m telling you about GiveWP. That’s my disclaimer and I’m proud of it.

The Give Donation Button and Form Looks Better.

The Give donation form looks better than the default PayPal button. Period.

To me this is the most compelling argument against PayPal donation button.

It may not be the best feature technically, but from a marketing standpoint, I think design matters.

PayPal is still the payment gateway if you’re using Give standard. Give’s forms are modern and stylish. Better yet, they inherit their design from your WordPress theme. What does this mean? It means your donation button will not clash with your website. Oh yeah, it’s mobile responsive, too.

Why does design matter?

When you’re asking people for money trust is involved.

Aesthetics matter. Branding matters.

Something that looks up-to-date is more trustworthy. Period.

Exhibit A. Artaxis Fellowship.

Artaxis used Give to fund a scholarship for a summer residency. You can read more about that story here.

Here’s their site:

Does anything need to be said?

They have a custom donation page with imagery, a description, and a modern, clean donation form on the site. This is the free version of Give. They are not paying for add-ons. They’re using PayPal.

So, it’s pretty obvious which looks better, right?

Exhibit B. WP Media Pro.

Jason Tucker used Give recently to crowdfund for video equipment to broadcast and archive local WordPress meetups.

Again. He could have easily used PayPal. He’s using the free version of Give — no fancy payment gateway add-ons, just PayPal standard.

He could have used PayPal’s button. But he didn’t.

Even better, go visit the site. He uses an image of himself, reinforcing his role in WordPress. He tells the story. Lists the need. Lists the equipment. It’s no wonder he met his goal in 24 hours.

Notice one of the features Jason took advantage of — the button color matches his site’s colors. This form looks different from the one on Artaxis. Same plugin, different themes and customizations.

Jason is using the progress bar, and is naming the donation levels with levels of appreciation: “$25 Thanks! $50 You are Awesome! $100 Thank you, thank you, thank you” and so on.

Features and Benefits

  • Again, the core plugin is free and robust all on its own.
  • PayPal Standard is the default payment gateway.
  • A progress bar option which motivates people to donate.
  • Multiple donation levels and names.
  • Shortcode support to put a donation form in a sidebar or widget area.
  • Single or Multi-level Donation Amounts
  • Show the payment fields either on the page, reveal on submit, or as a modal window.

Honestly, there is a lot of documentation on our website, so you can spend some time there. You can also see demos here.

But you’re convinced so, we’re good now, right?

If not, does the fact that Give is active on ten thousand websites convince you?

10,000 Active Installs in One Year

Yes, we’re proud of this milestone. But we’re more moved at how people are using a form plugin to change actual lives.

The stories are what fuel us every day.

What’s stopping you?

If you are using WordPress to build a site that is for a nonprofit or are using it to crowdfund, there is no reason why you shouldn’t use GiveWP.


Stop with the PayPal Button.

We love you too much to let you keep doing this.