How to make a “Donate” or “Pay What You Like” button for PayPal

How to make a “Donate” or “Pay What You Like” button for PayPal

Donate Paypal ButtonIt’s tough to decide what to charge for things.

High prices can signify value and authority. Low prices may mean more sales but less satisfied customers.

Giving stuff away for free build trusts and brand appreciation.

There’s definitely a science to it all.

Right now I’ve been working on a project that has a lot of value, but I’m not sure what to do with it – I don’t want to play around with pricing or the website, I just want to give the stuff away for free (but in a way that benefits me as well).

So I thought I’d see how making a “Donate” or optional payment system works.

First I had to make the PayPal button – here’s how to do it:

1. Go to your PayPal account and get into the “buttons” section.

If you can’t find the right page, login and then put this in the browser, it should take you to the right place (not 100% sure though):

2. Go to your PayPal account and get into the “buttons” section.



Choose “Buy Now” under “Button type.”

For the item name, I’d reaffirm the instructions with a simple message – I wrote “Pay whatever you want – thanks!” Keep it at least this short, the rest will get cut off.

You can get a “Donate” button from PayPal, but they’re ugly and unprofessional. I think they look like begging.

Instead I’d click on “customize text or appearance” and “use your own button image.”

Use and online button maker, or search for .psd (photoshop) button files – there are free ones online. Then hire someone on to change the text for you (if you don’t have Photoshop or can’t use it).

Here’s the one I made…


If you want the photoshop file of this button – download it here.

3. Copy the code and paste it into your site’s html

It’s OK if you can’t read HTML… in PayPal click the “text” tab instead of the “visual” tab to paste the code in the right place.

Psychology of Selling…

I avoided using words like “Buy” or “Pay.” I used “Share the savings!” because I’m giving away something for free that will easily save people a lot of money. So I said, instead of paying me, they can donate a little of what they save.

I also “primed” their gift amount with some higher numbers. If I don’t mention any pricing at all, gifts could be very small or non-existent.

So I made sure to mention what alternatives would cost (several hundred dollars) and how much I would charge to do similar custom work (around $500).

Stress the value – I was planning on pricing this thing around $50, but decided to give it away. So instead I recommend them sending around $175 – roughly half what they would pay if they had to use an alternative option.

$175 is really way too much. But having that number in mind, they may feel $35~$45 is very reasonable.

I also added some share buttons, with the text “Another way to thank me is to share this page…”

That way, although a lot of people will probably just take the free download, those who don’t donate anything are likely to at least share the page on their social networks, bringing me more traffic.

Good luck with it, hope you make some money!