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PayPal Hacks
By Shannon Sofield, Dave Nielsen, Dave Burchell
September 2004
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Display Donation Goals on Your Web Site
Use donation buttons and IPN to display actively updated donation goals
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

As a web site owner, you might want to provide information or entertainment to your visitors without charging for the service or cluttering up your site with advertising. However, you might also need funds to pay site expenses or to support a worthy cause. The PayPal Donate Now button enables webmasters to collect payments from willing donors.

Donation buttons on web sites do not give visitors much information apart from the cause to which they are donating. Contributors have no idea how many other people have donated or how much has been raised already. Visitors might be more inclined to donate once they know others have, or if they believe their donation will make a difference in achieving a goal for a fund drive. Providing donation goals and a tally of the amount collected to date can induce potential donors to contribute—and contribute in larger amounts.


Another way to entice donors is to offer several suggested donation levels .

This hack illustrates how to use your donation button to display a donation goal and the current amount collected. To implement this hack, you need to set up your site to receive Instant Payment Notifications and connect the notifications to a local database using dynamic server page technology. This example uses VBScript for ASP, but it could as easily be done with PHP, Perl, Python, or Java.

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