Skip to content

Setting Up PayPal

PayPal is available out of the box as a payment gateway option. You can enable it via your WordPress dashboard:

  1. Go to Charitable > Settings > Payment Gateways.
  2. In the PayPal box, click on Enable Gateway.

Next, you will need to configure some settings by clicking on Gateway Settings.


General Settings

Gateway Label

The label that will be displayed in the WordPress dashboard for donations made through PayPal. This label will also be shown in the donation form to donors when you have multiple payment gateways enabled.

PayPal Email Address

This is the email address of the PayPal account that should receive all donations.

To avoid problems with having donations remain stuck as pending, ensure that this account is fully set up and approved by PayPal, and also that it is in the same currency as you have set in your Charitable settings.

Sandbox PayPal Email Address

If you would like to test out the donation process without making real transactions, you can use PayPal’s sandbox environment. This is automatically used when you have Charitable’s Test Mode setting enabled (on the Payment Gateways settings page).

If you are not sure how to create a sandbox account, read this guide about how to set up a PayPal sandbox account.

PayPal Transaction Type

PayPal offers discounted fees to registered non-profit organisations. If you have registered as a non-profit organisation, you can select “Donations” for the transaction type; otherwise select “Standard Transaction”.

Click here for more information about registering as a non-profit with PayPal.

Disable IPN Verification

If you are having problems with donations not getting marked as Paid, disabling IPN verification can sometimes fix the issue. However, it is important to be aware that this is a less secure method for verifying donations.

Find out more about how to diagnose problems with donations not getting marked as Paid: PayPal IPN Troubleshooting.

API Settings

As of Charitable 1.6, you are able to automatically refund donations in PayPal via your Charitable donation management page. This feature requires API keys.

If you use our Recurring Donations extension, API keys are also required for automatically cancelling subscriptions.

Live API Username, Password and Signature

You can find your live API details at You will need to log in to your PayPal account before being able to access this page.

For each setting, click on Show to reveal the setting value.

Sandbox API Username, Password and Signature

To find your sandbox API details, go to and click on Log into Dashboard. On the following screen, log in with your regular PayPal account details.

Next, click on Account under the Sandbox menu in the sidebar.

On the following page you will see your list of sandbox accounts. Find the Seller account (the one you are using for the Sandbox PayPal Address setting), click on Profile and then click on the API keys tab.