How to Set Up Online Donations Using The Cloud And School Wi-Fi

Cloud apps can be transforming for a lot of businesses. With turn key solutions, small business have access to all the latest and greatest technologies like big businesses do. In this series, Bradley Chambers looks at how his school is using Wufoo to drive business operations,

As an IT Director, I’m often asked by teachers, parents, students, and administrators to solve an issue, and it is my job to figure out the best – and most secure – way to accomplish my goal. When it comes to improving school operations, technology is seen as the great enabler.

When I was originally tasked to create a way to give online, I knew I wanted something that was simple to use for me and the donors to use. After some searching, I ended up using a combination of Wufoo forms and Stripe. After getting it setup, we ended up liking it so much that we started using it for additional operations aspects at our school.

This week, I’m going to cover one-time online donations. Our student information system offers this built-in, but I don’t like it. It’s a clunky interface, and our accounting department is not a fan of the reporting. It’s one thing not to have a great system for bill payments, but it’s another not to have it for when you are asking people to give you money. It needs to be simple, optimized for mobile devices, and fast. Wufoo offers us all of this.

On the back end, Wufoo integrates with Stripe for payment processing. All of this happens behind the scenes, though. Stripe charges very reasonable fees for doing this as well. It’s a $.30 transaction cost plus 2.9% of the total. There are no monthly costs or hidden fees. Donations are transferred to your bank account on a 2-day rolling basis.

To get started, let’s create a new form in Wufoo.

I recommend collecting at least the person’s name, address, and email address. When it comes to the actual donation amount, all you have to do is drag in the price box. This will allow people to choose any amount for their donation. You can then click on “Form Settings” to control what happens after someone fills out your form. We usually thank them for their donation and include contact information for our Development Department. After you’re finished with your form, save it, and click it again to see notifications for the form. This is where you can customize who gets notified when the form is filled out.

After finishing that section, go back to the main screen to integrate Stripe as a payment option. One thing to note is that Wufoo’s free plan does not allow payments, so you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan. We feel that the additional donations we receive from having an online option more than makes up for the $30/month expense.

Click on the payments button under your form. You’ll need to set up Stripe as your payment processor (and sign up for an account if you haven’t), and then assign the payment to your price field on step 3. Once you hit save, you are done. You can now link to this form on your website to begin accepting online donations. You can find the link by going back to the main Wufoo page and clicking the link button under your form.

Next week, I’ll cover how to set up recurring monthly donations using Wufoo and Stripe. Monthly donations are loved by fundraiser folks everywhere, so we want to make it as simple as possible for people to subscribe. In future articles, I’ll also cover automating your admissions process and setting up a simple online store

All Posts In This Series:

How to Set Up Online Donations Using The Cloud And School Wi-Fi
Let Technology Help Fund Your School By Simplifying Recurring Online Donations

1) How to Set Up Online Donations Using The Cloud And School Wi-Fi

2) Let Technology Help Fund Your School By Simplifying Recurring Online Donations

3) Putting Your Admissions Process on Autopilot

4) How to Easily Set Up An Online Store Using The Cloud

Bradley Chambers has been the Director of Information Technology at Brainerd Baptist School since 2009. At BBS, he manages a network of Apple and Chrome OS devices. He also writes at Tools & Toys. The Sweet Setup, and 9to5Mac.

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