How to set up a donation PayPal account

Updated February 21, 2017

When you set up a PayPal donation account, anyone can send you a secure donation through PayPal simply by clicking on a link on a web page or in an HTML e-mail message. Anyone can receive donations through PayPal. You do not have to be a charity or non-profit organisation. You can collect donations for a charity or collect tips on your blog. Many donors prefer to use PayPal because they are familiar with the company.

PayPal allows anyone with an account to accept donations, but PayPal's system monitors the donations for fraud (such as someone falsely claiming to be a charity) or violations of their Acceptable Use Policies (such as collecting donations for a group that promotes violence).

Log in to your PayPal account. Click on the "Profile" subtab under the "My Account" tab. This displays the profile page.

Under the "Selling Preferences" heading, click on "Create New Button " This displays the "Create PayPal Payment Button" page.

Select "Donations" from the "Accept payments for" drop-down list. Enter your organisation's name in the provided text box. Select the currency for your donations in the "Currency" drop-down list. Under "Contribution Amount," specify whether you want donors to donate any amount they choose or a specified amount. Click the "Create Button" button at the bottom of the page. The HTML code for your button will be displayed.

Click the "Select Code" button and copy the code by hitting "Ctrl+C."

Open the web page where your donate button will appear in your editing software. Make sure that you open the HTML view so that you can edit the HTML code.

Paste the PayPal donation button code into your page by hitting "Ctrl-V." Save the changes to your web page and view the updated page to verify that the donate button is displayed in the desired location.


If you are operating as a charity or non-profit organisation, PayPal must verify your non-profit status to prevent fraud. You can start collecting donations through PayPal before starting the verification process, but you should begin the process as soon as possible. If you collect donations through PayPal while claiming to be a charity without submitting to verification, PayPal's system will flag your account for possible fraud. To begin the verification process, submit your contact information, business URL and a brief business summary to If PayPal approves your charity, they may reduce your fees.


PayPal monitors all accounts for fraud, ensuring that donations are not collected by someone falsely claiming to be a non-profit organisation, or by a group in violation of PayPal's Acceptable Use Policy, such as a hate group. PayPal's system will allow anyone to create a Donate button, but will monitor the donations for compliance with their policies.

Things You'll Need

  • PayPal account
  • HTML editing software
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About the Author

Jen Anderson has been writing professionally since 2008. Her work has appeared in the "New York Times," "Time Out Chicago" and "The Villager." She has a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Brooklyn College.