How to Create a PayPal Donate Button for WordPress Without Plugin

From nonprofit organizations to churches, and political campaigns to bloggers who need early support, several situations warrant asking for donations. Several WordPress plugins are available for collecting donations, but more often than not all you need is a simple PayPal Donate button.

You can post this button anywhere on your site, whether it be the sidebar, footer, homepage, or on your blog. It reveals a button that website visitors can click on to make donations through the PayPal system. The user get’s sent away from your website for a brief period. Once on the PayPal page, the user has the option to make the donation with a PayPal account or with a credit card. As for the pricing:

  • Implementation of the PayPal Donate button is completely free.
  • There is a 2.9% + $0.30 transaction fee.
  • There are no monthly fees and contributors aren’t charged a thing.
  • Collecting donations in person (with an iPad and swiper) carries a 2.7% transaction fee.

PayPal Donate Button for WordPress via PayPal Website

Step 1

Navigate to the PayPal Fundraising page. This webpage lists all the rates and features for when you add a PayPal Donate button to your website.

Don’t Have PayPal Account

If you don’t already have a PayPal account, click on the “Get Started Today” button (otherwise, skip down below).


Choose either a Personal or Business account. Click Next.


Type in your personal information such as first name, last name, and email address. Create a password and select the Next button to proceed.


Fill in your address and phone number, accept the terms and conditions, then select the Agree and Create Account button.


Already Have PayPal Account

If you already have a PayPal account, click on the link that reads “Learn About Creating a Donation Button.”


Select the Create a Button link.


Step 2

On the Create PayPal Payment Button page, choose the button type called “Donations.”


Step 3

The organization name field must be filled in. Below that you can customize the way your PayPal Donate button looks to website visitors. This area has options for using small or large buttons, displaying credit card logos, and even for uploading your own button image.


Choose the type of currency you would like to accept. Then, select how you would like to accept contributions. One route to take is to have users type in how much they would like to donate. The other route is to display a fixed amount, which might result in higher donations since you give people a suggested number.

On this step, you should also check off whether you’d like to use your secure merchant account ID or your primary email address for accepting payments. We recommend using your merchant account ID if you want to keep your email address hidden.


Step 4

On the “Step 2” module in PayPal, make sure you check off the Save Button At PayPal box. This protects your button from fraudulent charges and saves the customized button for later use.


Step 5 (Optional)

This step isn’t required for the PayPal Donate button to work properly. However, you may need to adjust a few settings for your specific cause.

Here are the options:

  1. Allow contributors to send you messages – This comes in handy if donations can be used for certain tasks or items in your organization.
  2. Ask for the contributor’s shipping address – A shipping address is useful if you plan on sending out gifts or thank you notes for the donations.
  3. Send contributors to external URLs when they cancel or complete a donation – This means that instead of the default PayPal completion page they get sent to somewhere on your website. This feature is nice if you have a special “Thank You” page or maybe a downloadable gift on your website.

After you’ve set up your advanced features (or skipped over them) click on Create Button towards the bottom.


Step 6

The next page reveals the website code you need to copy and paste into your WordPress site. Click on the Select Code button to highlight the entire block of code. Then, copy the code by right-clicking with your mouse and selecting Copy. Another method is to use a keyboard shortcut (CTRL + C for Windows or Command + C for Mac).


Step 7

Open up your WordPress dashboard. The great thing about a PayPal Donate button is that you can paste the code into a page, post, or widget. For this example, we’ll walk you through adding it to a page.

Therefore, go to Pages → Add New. If you already have a Donation page ready to go, simply go to All Pages and find the right one.


Create a title and fill in whatever description you would like to have on the page. The most important part is to have the “Text editor” open when copying in the button code. The Visual editor won’t work for adding code.


Paste the code into the text editor.


If you publish or preview the page, you’ll now see the PayPal Donate button on the frontend of your website.


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