WooCommerce for nonprofits

Team huddle

Nonprofit organizations run on revenues from events, memberships, donations, and of course grants. Many are finding their way to WooCommerce to fulfill their online eCommerce needs – to better access their audiences than before with legacy technologies, snail mail, or point-of-sale use cases.

Selling directly with your main website builds credibility, unifies design and branding, and integrates all aspects of your website presence with marketing analytics platforms and the power of social media campaigns.

With WooCommerce, nonprofit organizations can pair all of these collection tools with the wealth of available payment gateways, while at the same time saving on platform costs they would otherwise spend on a SaaS shopping cart or enterprise system add-on.

In this post I will follow in-and-out with the official WooCommerce blog post of the same title by Nicole Kohler from January 2016.

Collecting online donations

It is quite easy to set-up and accept online donations in WooCommerce using the following extensions or approaches.

Virtual product

Virtual products are merely ticking ON the checkbox labeled Virtual in your product editor. Turning this ON means there will be no shipping applied to this product on any carts or orders.

Variable product

Variable products are a built-in product type that allows you to define one or more attributes (e.g. “Donation Amount”) with options (e.g. $25.00, $50.00, $75.00) and generate variation product IDs from all permutations of attributes. The generated variations are a type of child product that have a separate product ID for adding that specific variation to the cart. If you have multiple attributes, a variation product is generated for each combination of attributes (ex: Large, Blue). The key here is you can vary prices (and more) within each variation.

Name Your Price

This extension adds a checkbox on your product editor (adjacent to the “Virtual” checkbox we mentioned earlier). When checked, price fields change to suggested price and minimum price, and the user can set this when adding to their cart. This can be used on a virtual product, a digital product, or even a physical product as you wish.

One Page Checkout

This extension adds the checkout form to selected product pages and can also be used with separate landing pages where you want the offer and checkout to be combined. It’s essentially bypassing the shopping cart and checkout screens and takes payment right away. To use the One Page Checkout landing page(s) exclusively and disable the default product display screen, simply mark that product as Private or Hidden in the catalog as you wish.

Event Registrations

Events can be a complex area. The article linked above suggests the plugin Events Calendar plugin, which has a pro version and indeed is quite popular for event management. That plugin also pairs with the Event Tickets plugin, which has a Pro version as well, that utilizes WooCommerce.

For a WooCommerce centric solution, consider these options:


The Memberships extension is essential for sites that wish to sell memberships through their WooCommerce store. This extension works specifically with some of the above (Subscriptions, Name Your Price). If buying together, get the bundle to save money!

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