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Why We Chose to Use Give

GIVE makes accepting donations easy.

What Give Is

GIVE is a free WordPress plugin that allows you to accept donations on your WordPress site. With Stripe and an SSL certificate, you can have a working donation form on your site in no time. You can use other payment processors as well.

Why We Chose Give

We considered the usual crowdfunding sites. None of them felt right. They all had their downsides. And they all took a good percentage of your donations.

The GIVE setup allowed us to have the crowdfunding set up we wanted.

We could:

  • Have no set time limit on the donations
  • Have access to the money immediately (7 days for the first Stripe payment)
  • Avoid losing the money if we did not reach the goal
  • Only pay fees to Stripe (2.9% + $0.30 per charge)
  • No restrictions on what we’re raising money for
  • Have full control over everything
  • Have the fun of making a new site
  • Support fellow WordPress plugin developers

GIVE is free, but we leveraged two of their paid add-ons to make it more effective for us. We determined that the Stripe add-on (to process payments) and the MailChimp add-on (for streamlining our email lists) would make things easier on us and our supporters.

Our Experience Using Give

What it cost

Our total cost for GIVE was only $107, but there were other costs involved in putting this website together:

  • Domain name: $32.88 for the URL
  • Hosting: I hosted the domain on my existing SiteGround account, which came with a free SSL certificate for a year.
  • Design: The SELA theme was free, the other plugins were free.
  • Ecommerce: Stripe is free to set up.
  • Marketing: Mailchimp is free to set up and use (for now.)
  • Development Work:  $2000 in lost billable time. (Time spent on this was time lost to billable work. Why bother mentioning this?  Someone reading this may want to know!)

Total out of pocket: $140
Total billable time spent: 16 hrs from start to finish (but remember we added a bit of custom work — because we can!)

Styling Decisions / Feedback for Give

It would have been nice to have descriptions next to the donation level amounts. This wasn’t a big deal, I could just add it to the form content area to show it above the levels.

I had to add some CSS styling to adjust the form fields on smaller screens.  There were few other CSS changes needed, mainly centering some elements.

I needed to show the donation total and the number of donors. I didn’t see  how to do it anywhere  so I went looking in the code for an already existing function to do it. The code was nicely organized and it was easy to find what I needed. I may not have used the most efficient method to display the info, but the important part was that I found what I was looking for without any trouble.

Tips & Tricks for Non Designers/Non Developers

For any non-designers or developers or those with little time? Use GIVE, stick with the way a theme already looks, change a few options in the Customizer, and add your logo. You’ll have your donation site ready in just a few hours. You could set up a donations site using GIVE in much less time than I spent. It was easy to set up and  took very little time. But, of course, I needed to customize the theme I selected and make it my own – that’s the crux of being a developer with a design degree!

Other’s Experience Using Give

Ryan Hellyer posted a 5 star review in the GIVE forum immediately after using our website to send us a donation!

Quite frankly I haven’t even installed this plugin yet, but my experiences as an end-user were quite excellent.

We were glad to hear that GIVE was easy to use for users as well.

support other WordPress plugin developers

The $107 we spent towards the add-on plugins went directly to two WordPress developers we know and trust. One of the most important things you can ever do when building a WordPress site is **know your developers.** And that includes your theme and plugin developers. It’s not just common sense, it’s a security best practice! On top of that, it just feels good to support the work of our colleagues and peers. We’re really excited for the GiveWP.com team and hope they go far with their solution for fundraising via WordPress.

Hindsight

Was it worth doing it this way when we likely won’t even reach that amount in donations? Yes! For me it was. I’ve been making websites as a hobby for a long time before I was making them professionally. I enjoy it; it’s fun. I had a great time making this site. We highly recommend using GIVE!

If you would like to experience using GIVE – feel free to support the development of the OptimaList.io plugin! 

Cindy Kendrick
Co-Founder at CodeBrain Media
Cindy is a web developer with a degree in design. She has a BFA in Visual Communications but prefers coding these days over designing. She’s been developing websites since 1996 and using WordPress since 2003. She has 10 years professional development experience. She loves creating organized and well-documented code.

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