Today’s Ask Sell with WP question is from Ramona:

I use WooCommerce and the Member plugin and I would like that my members donate money for a membership instead of paying a set price. For example, they pay a minimum $5, but they can pay more if they want. They get the membership with a donation instead of buying. Can I make a donation form and not a product instead?

Donation-based memberships are definitely possible with WooCommerce!

We’ll still need to set up a product, as WooCommerce Memberships only grants access via admin action or a product purchase. However, we can turn a product into a donation to allow customers to enter a desired donation. We’ll need the Name Your Price plugin ($49) to do so.

Donation-Based Memberships: WooCommerce Name Your Price Set up

First, you want to install Name Your Price to be able to create donation products. This plugin lets you accept customer-defined values for the product price instead of entering a specific price. The settings for the plugin are under WooCommerce > Settings > Name Your Price, and will let you change wording / messaging around the plugin.

WooCommerce donation-based membership settings

Name Your Price settings

Once you have the messages configured, you can set up the donation product. This can be a simple or variable product, and we’ll use this to grant access to our membership. The great thing about Name Your Price is that you can set a minimum price for customers to be able to purchase, along with your “suggested” price to lead customers towards an appropriate amount.

WooCommerce donation-based membership product

Product set-up

Variable products are also supported, so you can have variations that grant access to different membership levels. These can each have their own minimum price to ensure a customer can’t select the “highest” level with too small of a donation amount.

WooCommerce Name Your Price variation 1
WooCommerce Name Your Price variation 2

Once you have the products set up, this will handle the purchasing side of things, and you can move onto the membership plan and access.

Donation-Based Memberships: WooCommerce Memberships Set up

I’ll assume you already have WooCommerce Memberships set up on your site. This means that you’ll want to have membership plans created, or content restricted to them already. If not, our overview will be helpful.

In order to give donors access to your membership, you can grant access the same way you would with any product: add your donation product to the plan settings:

WooCommerce donation-based membership plan

No matter what the donation amount, so long as it’s above your minimum, the purchase will complete, and once the donation is paid, membership access will be granted.

Donation-Based Memberships with WooCommerce: Purchasing Process

Now for the final step: what will customers or donors see?

When they reach your donation product page, they’ll be able to see the minimum amount, the pre-filled suggested amount, and they can set their own donation amount for the product.

WooCommerce donation-based membership purchasing

Customer view

Once the customer has entered the desired amount, they can add the donation to the cart, and will proceed through the normal WooCommerce checkout. Once the order is paid, membership access will be granted.

Hope this helps, Ramona!

Cover Photo Credit: Stefan Baudy (CC BY 2.0 license)

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Posted by Beka Rice

Beka Rice manages the direction of Sell with WP content and writes or edits most of our articles to share her interests in eCommerce. Or she just writes as an excuse to spend more time jamming out to anything from The Clash to Lady Gaga. Who knows.

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