Earlier today, Impress.org released version 2.7 of its popular donation plugin GiveWP. The update focuses on laying the foundation for donation form templates, handling per-form Stripe accounts, and allowing users to view fundraising reports in multiple currencies.
“GiveWP 2.7 is not just a release,” wrote Devin Walker, the co-founder and CEO of GiveWP, in the announcement. “It’s also the start of even more amazing things to come in future updates. This update paves the way for an even better donation plugin experience with form templates and per-form stripe accounts. We’ve also added to our new reporting dashboard so you can toggle your view to show different currencies.”
Overall, version 2.7 is a solid update. The new form template system is something the team can build upon and continue improving the user experience over time. The per-form Stripe connections will make the plugin more enticing to organizations with multiple chapters, locations, clubs, and more.
It is turning out to be a good year for the GiveWP team. So far in 2020, people have used the plugin to process over $100 million in donations, which is on par with the numbers for the entirety of 2019.
View a quick video for GiveWP 2.7:
Donation Form Templates
The most exciting thing about the version 2.7 release is the new form template system. Rather than having a single template for all types of donation forms, the team at GiveWP has created the foundation for niche templates in the future.
The current release has merely two template options: a new multi-step donation form and a legacy donation form.
For some, this simple addition may be exciting. For others, they may be wanting to see more. The good news is the team is well on its way to making that happen.
“Form Templates was made to pave the way for all kinds of form types,” said Matt Cromwell, Partner and COO at Impress.org. “Not just ‘Obama Style’ forms, or ‘Charity Water’ forms, but also how forms function, like implementing Event Fundraising, Crowdfunding, Peer-to-Peer fundraising. It’s an exciting new feature that we’ll be investing into continually going forward.”
Form templates do not currently offer a wide range of customization options. That can sometimes be both a good and bad thing. The good is that the development team can add some quality control to the output, making for a better experience in most use cases. However, there are times when a few extra options could go a long way. For example, with a few themes I tested, the multi-step donation template did not expand the width of the content area. With no way to tweak the width via the UI, it meant doing a little code work to get it perfect.
“The customization is really focused on the colors, messaging, and media at the moment,” said Cromwell. “But we are working on ways that templates can be more extensible programmatically, and also more drag-and-droppable. For now, we wanted to get the core user-interest feature out the door for our core users, and then extend it further for more developer-oriented users later.
Thus far, Impress.org and its team working on GiveWP have made smart, calculated moves toward improving their product. Unlike some product-makers, the team did not try to wow everyone with 100 form templates out of the gate. Instead, they have focused on slowly and methodically creating an underlying system that they can iterate on. It’s the quality over quantity mantra that has been a staple in how the team has approached development.
Form templates are a big deal. They are the missing link for potentially frustrated users who want something that better aligns with their organization than the old, legacy design that every plugin user had on their site. We are still a bit away from seeing this potential play out. However, as the team continues to release templates into the future, they will add value to the product.
Right now, some free templates are coming down the pipeline. The team teased upcoming templates specific to events, crowdfunding, and peer-to-peer campaigns. But, the possibilities are limited only by what users need.
Some templates may come as part of paid packages. “How we offer more advanced templates is a bit up for grabs at the moment,” said Cromwell. “We are still very much committed to the add-on model, and not necessarily a marketplace model, but there will be new paid add-ons that have advanced types of form templates for sure.”
Per-Form Stripe Accounts
GiveWP’s second big feature, which may excite some users more than form templates, is the ability to set the Stripe account for each form. By default, forms will connect to the global Stripe account added via the plugin’s Stripe gateway settings. However, users can overrule this on individual forms.
Admittedly, I have not seen many plugins that accept payments or donations take this route. It is not something I have ever needed in the past. However, I can now see how it may open up a ton of possibilities for organizations with different chapters or schools with different clubs and fundraisers.
Beyond just GiveWP and donation plugins, I would like to see this become a standard feature for any plugin that accepts payments.
If nothing else, this feature should continue making GiveWP stand out as the top donations plugin for WordPress. This missing feature in the previous version may have been a holdup for charities that needed the more fine-tuned control of multiple account options. Perhaps it will make some reconsider and make the move to GiveWP.
What Is In the Pipeline?
In the short term, more form templates are definitely in the works. It will be interesting to keep an eye out for what lands in the coming weeks and months.
Beyond that, the team will primarily focus on adding PayPal Commerce support to the free plugin. That is expected to land in version 2.8.
“PayPal has actually done tons of work to improve this new product from all their others (Standard, Express, Pro, Payflow, etc), and it offers a lot to developers specifically,” said Cromwell. “We think it will be a very in-demand option for donors and organizations as well. PayPal is still a highly recognizable name when it comes to payments and within the nonprofit space. We always intend to be leading when it comes to online donations so we want to offer this to our users quickly and effectively.”