Donation Platform Report

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REPORT PURPOSE

This report is an informational work to communicate:

  1. Information which has been compiled as a result of research and analysis on non-profit online giving platforms; and,
  2. Knowledge of the WordPress (WP) Charitable Plugin.

PREFACE

Terms used in this report.

TermDescription
Payment GatewayPayment gateways let you accept credit card payments online by transferring money between your merchant account ( i.e. Amazon, Red Cross, Target, Family Service) and a payment processor (PayPal, Stripe, iPayment).
WordPress PluginA plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They extend functionality or add new features to WordPress websites.
Non-profit Giving PlatformAn online subscription donation platform designed exclusively for non-profits to raise funds and manage supporter engagement quickly and easily using customer relationship management systems.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)A technology system that records, reports and analyzes interactions between companies and users. CRM systems record detailed information on customers’ personal information, purchase history and buying preferences. The purpose of a CRM system is to track the value of customer relationships. Simply, a very sophisticated database.
Custom BuildWebsite design and content features built to individual specifications.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)The GDPR is a set of EU laws that came into effect on May 25th 2018. The EU’s GDPR is an initiative to bring data protection legislation in line with new ways that data is now used. The GDPR applies to any business that stores personal information of those in the EU. US companies are complying with GDPR.
WordPressWordPress (WP) is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL. Plugins and templates power a flexible and simple WP interface, which reduces development costs and deployment time. The WP CMS is used to create and manage digital content.
WordPress ThemeA collection of files that work together to produce a graphical interface with an underlying unifying design for a website. These files are called template files. A theme modifies the way the site is displayed, without modifying the underlying WP code.
Avada ThemeA WP theme with powerful design options and content tools that provide the ability to build virtually any design style.
Charitable PluginA donation software designed to integrate with WP and payment gateways.

RESEARCH

To learn how some non-profit sites in Texas fundraise from their websites, I visited, created and submitted personal donations.

SiteDonation Platform
Clarity Child Guidance CenterCustom build
Red Cross San AntonioCustom build
CASA San AntonioClick & Pledge Non-profit Giving Platform
Avance San AntonioiDonate Non-profit Giving Platform and WordPress
United Way DallasGive plugin and WordPress
San Antonio Food BankCharitable plugin and WordPress
Family ServiceWuFoo and PayPal gateway

SUMMARY

  1. Visited sites provided donate buttons and used different giving platforms: custom build, online non-profit giving platform and WordPress donation plugin.
  2. Visited sites collect and store billing information.
  3. Recurring and credit card transactions were offered.  Some sites did not provide visitors access to PayPal.

CHARITABLE DONATION PLUGIN

Family Service purchased Charitable Pro plugin which provides custom extensions like PayPal and offline donations, recurring donations, unlimited funding campaigns, donation management, and more. They are based in Australia, time zone Australian Central Time (UTC+09:30). Support hours are between 9 AM and 5 PM, Monday to Friday.  They usually reply to support requests within 24 hours if not sooner.

I installed the Charitable plugin and configured the link to the agency PayPal payment gateway.  I submitted two donations with success using my personal PayPal account and my credit card.

MOVING FORWARD

  1. Design a custom form with appropriate data fields and link to agency PayPal payment gateway.
  2. Configure recurring donations.
  3. Test form.
  4. Deploy form.

FURTHER DISCUSSION

I would like to meet to discuss the differences between a non-profit giving platform and the Charitable plugin.