Documentation: Crowdfunding



Fundraiser Usage Documentation


So you’ve installed the plugin… now what?!

Let’s take a tour of your Fundraising tools! v.2.1.1

Make sure you have enabled the plugin under your Plugins Dashboard Menu. Once enabled you will see a new Fundrasing Menu Option.



Click on Getting Started to…well, get started!

Note: If this is your first time running the Plugin you will have a handy tutorial that will walk you through the basics of what you are looking at and what to expect. I’ll let you look at this one on your own, it’s pretty self-explanatory. If you really really like the tutorial, you can view it again at anytime by clicking the Restart Tutorial button at the bottom of the Getting Started Page.


Getting Started


The Getting Started Page has three sections.

  • The top portion of the page are quick links to ensure that you have everything setup correctly out of the box.
  • The middle portion that contains Shortcodes you can use in your Fundraising Posts.
  • The bottom that contains the link to restart the tutorial.

Let’s take a look at the 3 buttons on the top:


First up: Configure Settings




When you click on Configure Settings you will automatically be brought to the Fundraising>Settings Menu.




Payment Settings Tab


On this page you will have the option to configure your Payment Settings, Presentation and a few other optional items. Each is separated into it’s own tab. First up Payment Settings.

Currency Settings


The first section, Currency Settings, is pretty easy to navigate. Just select your currency and how you want it to display.

Please note: your currency selection here MUST match the Paypal Currency selection in the PayPal portion of the menu on this page.



Allowed Fundraiser Types


The next portion you will see is Allowed Fundraiser Types. There are two distinct types of Fundraisers that this plugin supports.

1) Simple Donations– Your regular, plain-ole, give a donation from your pocket. Nothing fancy, folks just give some money and the money is instantly transferred. It also allows you to add in some pretty cool goals and rewards for pledging, but more on that later.

2) Advanced Crowd-funding- This option allows you to ask folks for pledges to meet a goal. With this Fundraiser, the money is not taken until the final goal for donations is met. It also allows you to add in some pretty cool goals and rewards for pledging, but more on that later.

You can select one or both types, just check the box you are interested in using.


PayPal Settings


Now you can select your Payment Gateway (only Paypal at this time, more to come soon though!) and set your Gateway Mode. PayPal offers a Sandbox mode for you to test in. You can create buyer and seller Sandbox credentials by using their tools at

Please Note: Your site MUST be in Live mode to properly accept and process payments!

This next part gets tricky so go ahead and grab a pencil.

You remember those settings we looked at earlier for what type of Donations you wanted to receive?

(HINT: They were Simple Donation and Advanced Crowd-funding)

Well, when you selected the type of donation you also automatically selected the type of Gateway you are going to use. You may see one or the other of the following (or both, if you selected both options).

Simple Payment Options (for Simple Donations)


Advanced Payment Options (for Advanced Crowd-funding)


See how that works? 🙂

Note: To complete the following PayPal Payment Options you will need to upgrade to a Premier Account if you haven’t already, this is Free to do. It also works if you have a paid Business Account.

Simple Payment Options


You need to setup your PayPal gateway to talk to your website. In order for the plugin to keep track of the payments and donations you will need to have a way for PayPal to tell the plugin what monies it has received. The thing that provides this communication is the IPN, or Instant Payment Notifications, settings in PayPal.

You will see a highlighted box in top section of this menu that will tell you exactly what you need to enter into your IPN settings for PayPal. Don’t worry I’ll tell you where to find it! Just take a look first, so you know what I’m talking about.

OK, see that highlighted area? Here is what you do with that url it is giving you.

1) Click Profile on the My Account tab.

2) Click Instant Payment Notification Preferences in the Selling Preferences column.

3) Choose IPN Settings to specify your listener’s URL and activate the listener. The following screen appears:

When you click Choose IPN Settings you will see the following screen. This is where you insert the url provided to you in the highlighted box. Don’t forget to enable IPN messages.

Then you can just return to the Simple Payment Options Menu on your Fundraising Menu and insert your PayPal address. Voila! Now you’re ready to take payments and PayPal is ready to talk to your site when it receives a donation!

The last option in Simple Payment Options is to create a custom PayPal Page Header. This is simply an image that will show on the generated PayPal Checkout Page. You will need to enter the full url of the picture here, including the http:// portion.

Advanced Payment Options


This next area is for those who have selected the Advanced Crowd-funding donation option. In order for PayPal to delay processing the payments you must receive special permission.

The first portion of this box requires you to activate and fill in your API Information. An API signature consists of an API username along with an associated API password and signature, all of which are assigned by PayPal. You need to include this information whenever you execute a PayPal API operation.

To create an API signature:

  1. Log in to PayPal, then click Profile under My Account.
  2. Click My selling tools.
  3. Click API Access.
  4. Click Request API Credentials.
  5. Check Request API signature and click Agree and Submit.

Then you’ll see a screen similar to the following:

This information will fill all but one box on the Advanced Payment Options Menu. The final box is preceded by a note:

You must register this application with PayPal using your business account login to get an Application ID that will work with your API credentials. A bit of a hassle, but worth it! In the near future we will be looking for ways to simplify this process. Register then submit your application while logged in to the developer portal. Note that you do not need an Application ID for testing in sandbox mode. More Information »

Here is where the special Permission comes in. You have to submit your application, giving some basic details of your site, just so that PayPal knows you’re not a scam site and legitimately processing delayed payments.

So, it’s easier than you think. Just visit this link

Then click Sign Up in the upper right corner.

You will be asked to register with your eBay or PayPal account information. This is the only way you can register, there is no separate password/username for this site.

Once you are registered and logged in you will need to Navigate to “My Account” in the upper right corner. Then click “New App” in the left menu that comes up.

OK, now click here for your cheat sheet for the application!

Once that’s done, it’s a waiting game. It usually takes about a week, but may take up to 10 days if there are no issues.

You may get an email saying more information is needed. If so, just visit your account page and click on “Status Messages” and reply accordingly.

Okay, now that all the tedious payment info is done, back to the fun stuff!

Next up…


Presentation Settings


This page lets you name the roles of your users who will visit and donate to your Fundraiser. The default names are pretty good if you don’t need anything specific.

However if you want to change it, you can do so here. You can also change the name of the Fundraiser plugin in the dashboard, for use of branding!

Let’s say I’m creating a Fundraiser site for my kitten animal rescue, and I want my users to be able to create Fundraisers for different Cats.. I can call my Fundraiser “Save the Kittens” and use some inventive naming conventions for those who decide to donate or participate in my Fundraisers.

Once we reach the Other tab, I’ll change my Fundraiser slug to match my nomenclature by changing the setting for my Permalink in the Permalink Settings Menu.

Style Settings


Here is where you will set up exactly what your Fundraiser will look like.

You can select a default display style, that will determine how all of your Fundraisers will display on your site.

You can also decide whether to allow the Fundraiser creator to decide the style upon the creation of the Fundraiser as well. Allowing this option will allow each fundraiser to override your site’s default styles.

Next you will see an area to choose the Default Checkout style. You will have two options

Checkout Directly from Panel

Use elaborated Checkout Page

Here is how those two work: Checking out from Panel means that your site will complete the checkout in the same page/panel the Fundraiser is being displayed.

Using the elaborated Checkout Page means that Fundraiser will generate a separate checkout page when your users go to complete the checkout.

The difference between the two is minimal, and you shouldn’t stress over them too much unless you have a very serious preference, these are mostly included for accommodating future payment gateway support and upcoming features.

                             TIP: If you are displaying your Fundraiser in the sidebar, you should select ‘Checkout Directly from Panel‘ as it                                  will keep your users from actually leaving the page they are viewing and allow them to checkout in the sidebar.

The Custom CSS portion of this is exactly what you would imagine, a place to override or add custom css for your Fundraiser. CSS styles saved in this box will be loaded on any page containing fundraising content. Do not use





This tab gives you options that allow you to choose how folks can find your Fundraiser. You have Permalink and Menu Options here. I’ll go ahead and change the permalink to reflect my earlier naming conventions that I set in the Presentation tab.

You can also change the Thank You and Checkout Page slugs here.

Add a Fundraiser


OK, we’re done with the Settings Tab! Now let’s Create a Fundraiser!

You can do this from the Getting Started Menu or the Add New Menu

This part will look just like the WordPress post editor. This is because Fundraisers are custom post types. So you would go about filling in the info for the top two boxes the same as any post, only using the name for your Fundraiser in the Post Title box, and using the text box for the description of your Fundraiser.

Let’s start a new fundraiser to help a cute little kitty to find a home.

Once you save your Fundraiser type, you will see some new options appear below the editor.

The menus that appear once you save the Fundraiser Type will be the same for both Simple Donations and Advanced Crowd-funding, minus the Recurring Donation option that appears only for Simple Donations on the Fundraiser Settings Menu.

Here is the Simple Donations Fundraiser Type after you click to Save.

Okay, one at a time.


Fundraiser Settings


Your Fundraiser Settings meta box gives you the choice on how to style your Fundraiser on the front end, whether to allow recurring donations (this will create a subscription in PayPal for your contributors who want to go this route), and where the fundraiser specific info (set in the lower box) will be placed on the page, relative to your description.

If you choose to use the Sidebar Widget to Display your Fundraiser instead of using the actual Post Page, it will keep the same settings as the page that you set here.

Fundraiser Goals


Next, Set Your Fundraiser Goals

Thank You Options


And lastly, you can customize your Thank You message, if you want one, and set whether you want to send an email confirmation after payment. Don’t miss the nifty tool-tip though about the variables you can use in your Thank You message!

Now you can click Publish and check out your Fundraiser!

Check it out! You can also add in some custom CSS if you want, this is just the basic-fresh-off-the-press-default post.


Let’s check out the last tab on the Getting Started page, it will give us some more options on displaying our Fundraiser beyond the traditional page and some nifty tools.

Aaaand you see this!

Simple Widgets

  • Fundraisers List
  • Recent Fundraisers
  • Simple Donation Button

These are pretty self-explanatory, they give you options for displaying lists and donation options for your Fundraiser.

Fundraiser Panel


The Fundraiser Panel widget is like a mini-fundraiser display for your Sidebar. Let’s check it out in action. I’m going to post Fluffy’s Fundraiser on a sidebar for my pages so they can donate after reading about our Mission.

Just Plugin the settings you like, some extra text if you wish and you even have the option to display your featured image.

This is how it displays on a page. I am using the twenty-eleven theme, in-case your wondering.

The next tool we need to check out is the Pledge feature.


Pledges are nifty tools that have two distinct operations.

From the backend: You can manually enter payments, refund them, cancel payments or approve them. Please note the word MANUALLY! Anything you ADD from the back/Admin area of Pledges is only a Manual Transaction. You cannot force Paypal Transactions from the backend/Admin Add Pledge Menu.

This will show up on your pledges list as Manual entries, no matter which payment source you select.

Front the front end: Pledges behave like donations that are not tied to any specific Fundraiser. I’m going to use another cool feature of the Fundraiser plugin to add a pledge button onto a page, so we can check out how that is done. So let’s get onto that next! Pledges made from the front end via pledge buttons are processed payments.

Inserting Fundraisers/Pledges into Posts or Pages


There is one really cool and nifty feature left to check out! Remember those shortcodes on the Getting Started Panel?

Well, these shortcodes allow you to show your Fundraiser, or specific elements of it, on any page in your site.

Let’s say I don’t like the look of Fluffy’s Fundraiser in the sidebar, I’d rather put it in the actual Mission

Page, I can use the shortcodes to accomplish this. Or I want to publish a Post and Feature Fluffy’s Fundraiser for my readers, again shortcodes to the rescue!

The BEST part is, I don’t need to click back and forth, back and forth to remember the codes and variables. We’ve included a nifty shortcut button in the Page and Post editor!

Now we can easily enter any Fundraiser shortcode on any Post or Page!

We can Display a Fundraiser, Pledge Options or a Progress Bar for any Fundraiser we have created!

Let’s use this nifty box to finish up our Pledge buttons that we were talking about earlier. We can check out how they work from the front end!

Pledge Button


I’ll select the Pledge Button, choose my donation button type and fill in my information.

And the correct shortcode is auto-magically inserted!So what does your user see?

So what does your user see?

An amazing button that they can use to donate to any cause!

The rest of the menus are pretty self-explanatory, but we will give them a look!

Fundraiser Form

Progress Bar

You can display the progress of your fundraiser on any page/post!

But Wait! That’s not all!

Add Fundraiser to Site Menu


How are folks going to find your awesome fundraiser? Through your Menu of course, and check out how easy we have made it! Just visit your Menus link under Appearance>Menus and add any of your Fundraisers (or all of them!) to your Site Menu.

Here’s a quick “how-to”

Or, if you can’t pick just one, Click the Add Archive Page to Menu button


And you get this!

And that’s all you need to know!


Now go raise some money already! 🙂