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How To Create A Donation Website Like GoFundMe

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Create A Donation Website Like GoFundMe

How To Create A Donation Website Like GoFundMe

Learn how to create a donation website like GoFundMe on your WordPress site. Crowdfunding has never been easier.

Do you want to create a crowdfunding website very similar to GoFundMe?

If you do, then you have come to the right place. Today I’m going to show you how to create a crowdfunding website like GoFundMe from your very own WordPress website.

  • For those who don’t know, GoFundMe is a personal online crowdfunding website that allows people to raise money for all sorts of events. Between 2010 and 2017, over $4 billion USD was raised on the platform for over 2 million individual campaigns.
  • What a lot of people don’t realise is that GoFundMe is not free.
    Now, whilst I’m not knocking them for their charges, after all they do seem pretty reasonable, when it comes to fund raising, every penny counts.They charge 8.5% + £0.20 per donation in the UK and 7.9% + $0.30 per donation in the USA and Canada.
    For example: In the UK, if you raise £10,000 from 2000 donations (£5 each donation) that’s a fee of £1,200.

Don’t think that people will not donate money, they do. Just look at Lily. She wanted to raise £3,000, yet she’s raised over £34000 so far. There’s all sorts of reasons people need a little help, and a lot of people recognise that.

How To Create A Donation Website Like GoFundMe

Video Tutorial

Note: Textual instructions follow the video if that is what you prefer.


One of the nice things about the method I’m going to show you here, is the fact that the plugin used is free. So creating a GoFundMe type site is not going to cost you a penny, if you already have a WordPress website.

The purpose behind your fundraising, does not really matter. The method is the same.

Most people use fundraising events, to raise money for themselves, a friend or loved one, during life’s important moments. This includes things like medical expenses, education costs, volunteer programs, youth sports, funerals and memorials, even animals and pets. You might want to create a crowdfunding site to fund a business, charity or research.

If your non-profit or cause depends on donations, you want to treat your donors right. So sending them through a shopping cart or kicking them off-site to a third-party platform is not a good idea. Using Give streamlines the giving process by allowing your donors to complete their donations directly on your website using an easy to complete donation form.

Using the WordPress Give plugin, you can have your family, friends and visitors, donate to your cause.

Plug-in Installation

How To Create A Donation Website Like GoFundMe

Before we begin configuring your fundraising site, you will need to download, install and activate a WordPress Plug-in called Give (https://wordpress.org/plugins/give/).

If you need help installing the plugin, I suggest you watch the video above.

Automatic installation

Automatic installation is the easiest option, as WordPress handles the file transfer and you don’t need to leave your web browser. To do an automatic install of Give, log in to your WordPress dashboard, navigate to the Plugins menu and click “Add New”.

In the search field type “Give” and click Search Plugins. Once you have found the plugin, install it by simply clicking “Install Now”.

Manual installation

The manual installation method involves downloading the plugin and uploading it to your server via your favourite FTP application. You can get instructions on how to do this from the WordPress codex.

Create a Donation Form

Forms are the heart of Give. They are how you provide the easiest way possible for your donors to donate on your website.

Donations are accepted through customizable forms. Forms can be stand-alone pages, or embedded throughout your website using the shortcode generator or widget.

You will find the Give forms have a lot of options and give you a lot of flexibility when creating your donor forms. But always keep in mind, that the best forms to create, are as simple and intuitive as possible for your donors.

Once you have created a form, it can be used as a stand-alone page, or inserted anywhere on your site with a shortcode

To add a New Form, simply go to the “Donations” menu, and click on the Add Form menu item.

How To Create A Donation Website Like GoFundMe

Donation Options

On the donation options page you can set single or multi-level donation amounts.

Your campaigns can have a pre-determined amount you want to receive from each donor, or amounts tiered at specific levels. Or maybe you simply want donators to set their own custom donation amount. You can do all that on this page.

How To Create A Donation Website Like GoFundMe

Custom Amount


For example, to set a custom amount, enable custom amount, and set the minimum custom donation amount in the field provided. You can also enter some custom text to accompany your request.

Multi-level Donation


Choosing “Multi-level Donation” opens up the levels section where you can add as many levels as you like with your own custom names and amounts.

Each form you produce will have its own, unique shortcode.

The Default Gateway, refers to the gateway that you will enable on the Payment Gateway Settings page. This option allows you to override the Global Default option set in the Payment Gateway Settings.

For example, PayPal may be set as the Global Default Payment Gateway, but you may have a form where you want a different payment gateway, such as Authorize.net, or you may want Offline Donations to be the default. You can change that here.

The Guest Donations option, allows you to have non-logged-in users make donations. I think this is the best option, but you can require donors to have an account, or register an account, when they donate if that’s what you prefer.

The Registration section, allows you to add the WordPress Registration or Login form to your donation form. This allows your donors to create or login to their user account on your website, and makes viewing their Donation History page much easier.

My preference would be to leave it at None. This is because, if you require people to jump through hoops before donating, they are more likely not going to bother.

Donation Goal

The Donation Goal enables you to set a goal for this specific form and display a progress bar. You get the option of setting a goal for each form.

Donation Goals, are a great way to set funding needs for the campaign, and to show your donors how well your campaign is going

The Goal Format, lets you display the progress of your campaign, as the amount raised, or the percentage of the goal achieved.

The Close Form section, is where you decide what to do, once your goal has been achieved. You can choose to let the donations keep rolling in, or you can choose to close the form once the goal has been achieved. If you close the form, you can show a message to indicate that the goal was achieved, and thank donors.

Form Content

Enabling Form Content, Display Content, allows you to add content before or after your donation form. This makes your single donation form pages, fully stand-alone donation landing pages.

In this section, don’t forget to state the reasons for your fundraising clearly and succinctly. Tell donors what you hope to achieve, and why. Finally, add a strong call-to-action.

You can set the content to appear either above or below the donation form. Traditional “landing page” style is to have the content “Above” the form, so you can provide your donors with the message of why they should donate.

Terms and Conditions

British Heart Foundation

The Terms and Conditions tab allows you to override the global Terms and Conditions settings just for this specific form.

  • Selecting Global Options will inherits the settings from the main terms and conditions page.
  • Selecting Disable will disable any global terms and conditions just for this form.
  • The Customize option, will override the global Terms and Conditions settings for this specific form.

You can include formatting, images, and even videos. Keep in mind when composing your content, that scrolling will cause the “DONATE” button to move out of view. So, it’s best to keep this content as succinct as possible.

Offline Donations

Offline Donations is where you can select alternate payment gateways.

The purpose of a Payment Gateway is to keep all donor information (specifically credit card information) private, safe and secure. You do not want to be responsible for credit card information, in any shape or form. I don’t see many fund raisers accepting offline payments, but this is the section to implement it if you do want this option.


The reports section, allows you to view a graphical representation of the performance of your donation forms. You can also export them, in CSV or PDF formats, for book keeping and meetings.

The Donation Forms Report, shows you the overall performance of each of your donation forms. You can view the performance of each form by number of donations, total income, Monthly Average Donations, and Monthly Average Income.

If you accept donations from several payment gateways, the Donations Methods report, will give you an overview of all your payment gateway transactions, so you know which payment gateway is performing best. You will see all billing gateways, their completed and pending or failed transactions, and the total donated amount for each gateway.


Give’s Settings Section, controls the global configuration of how your forms interact with Gateways, send emails, and sets the defaults for the display of your forms.

The Success, Failed Transaction, and Donation History Pages, are the default transaction pages for your site.

Give creates a set of default pages for you, though you can create your own if you wish. They are stored as standard WordPress Pages. Just edit or create new pages as you normally would.

The Access Control section, gives advanced options for how your donors interact with sensitive data on your website. Entering the re-CAPTCHA keys is optional, but as it protects your Email Access form from being spammed, I strongly suggest you implement it.

Payment Gateways


The Payment Gateways, is where you will set the options for the default payment gateways and any Premium Add-on gateways you have activated.

The Enabled Gateways list populates by default with three gateways: PayPal Standard, Test Payment, and Offline Donation. If you’ve enabled any premium add-on gateways, they will also appear in this list.

You will probably want to enable PayPal Standard, and disable Test Payment and Offline Donations here. Generally speaking, all you need to accept donations is PayPal Standard,

If you’ve already enabled your PayPal account to accept payments, then you’re ready to go. Otherwise, go setup a free PayPal account.

Remember, if you are collecting any visitor information, even if it’s only email addresses, using an SSL for your site is highly recommended.


In the Tools Export section, you can export all your donor and donation data into a CSV file for use in any spreadsheet software. You can Export a PDF of Donations and Income. Income and Donation Stats. Donation History, and Donor details.

The Import Tool, allows you to import donation data from any source using a CSV file. This could be handy if you are migrating from another platform. Just follow the instructions supplied.



Add-ons allow you to extend the power and functionality of an application. Give has lots of excellent add-ons.

For example, the Recurring Donations add-on, allows your fundraising to receive regular subscription donations. Did you know, the average recurring donor, gives 42% more per year than the average one-time donor?

If you use a payment gateway such as Stripe, or Authorize.Net, you will find an add-on for them here.

If you run your crowdfunding campaign, in tandem with an email marketing campaign, you will find add-ons for MailChimp, AWeber, and Constant Contact waiting to go into action.

PayPal is one of the most widely recognized and used payment gateways in the world. In Give, the default payment method for PayPal, redirects users to the PayPal website. PayPal Payments Pro, allows non-profits in the US, Canada, and the UK to accept secure credit card payments on their site directly, rather than being redirected.

So you might like to give these addons some serious thought.

WordPress Hosting

WordPress Hosting

If you are looking for a hosting provider for your crowdfunding site, remember, when you buy WordPress hosting, you should always go for a web hosting provider which is optimised for WordPress. Do not choose solely on price.

Consider the quality of the hosting service before you make a decision. The following article, Where to Register Domain Names and Host Your Web Site, will take you to those hosting providers I have found to be both affordable, and of proven quality.

How To Create A Donation Website Like GoFundMe Final Note

Well, I hope you liked this tutorial and found it helpful. If you have any comment, corrections or items you think should be added to, ‘How To Create A Donation Website Like GoFundMe‘, please do not hesitate to let me have them in the comment box below.

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