Taking donations via your URJ Web website – Part 1


As of this writing there are three Components available inside the Joomla! installation provided by URJ Web,  used to stand up an online donation feature on your website.  The features intersect and overlap, making it a challenge to figure out which meets best meets your needs.

Note: Capitalized words represent terms within the Joomla! lexicon
Intended Audience:  Beginning Joomla! Administrators

Step 1 – How Do I Get Started?

Start Simple.  Start with Payment Form.  You can get fancy later if there is a need for Campaign fund management or any other of its minor features.

From the button bar in the Admin module, click Components, then select Payment Form.  The Payments management Component opens.  The fact that the name in the heading doesn’t match the name on the Menu Item is just a little hit of the frustration to come.

Screen Shot 2014-08-30 at 6.11.12 PM

Screen Shot 2014-08-30 at 6.15.09 PM

Step 2 – The Configuration Tab

The Configuration Tab has two sub-tabs; General and Messages.

  • General – Not much here you need to change.  I left it as-is.
  • Messages – This is where you enter the text for emails sent at the close of the transaction loop, as well as text which appears on the UI!!  That second part wasn’t readily obvious until I studied it for awhile.   Read the descriptions to the right of the text editing areas carefully.  This will tell you whether the text is for an email or whether it’s displayed on your website’s UI.  This is a really poor design in my humble opinion.  There should have been one tab for “email text” and one for “website text.”  Other than that rid-bit, the rest on the page is self-explanatory.
    • Tip: Form Message is a key one since it’s the text that appears on your donation page right above the payment information.

Step 3 – The Fields management Tab

I’m going out of order here because the fields have to be created before you create the Form.  Again, not a real bright design of the Payment Form Component.  I think the Fields tab should appear before Forms.  Anyway …

This is where you define the fields to appear on the form.  A few notes:

  • Name – name of the field in the backend.  Don’t change this!!!
  • Title – what the user sees on the website.   You can change this.  I changed Address2 to “Address Line 2”.
  • Notice the Show Core Fields in the upper right corner.  That was initially perplexing, but then I realized there were “core” fields to appear on every form.  Anything else you add are categorized as “Custom.”    ** This is also an intersection with Joom Donation.  The two Components share the same Core Fields.  I added one customer field named “Fund.”  I defined it as a drop-down list and included all the Funds in our congregation.  This allows the user to specify which Fund should receive their donation

Step 4 – The Forms management Tab

Now you can move on to the actual Form.  Lots of work goes in this area.  This is where you actually set up your donation form.

To create a new form

  1. From the right toolbar, click the orange New button.  The Form is comprised of three configuration areas:
    1. Basic Information – The Title field is the only one I changed on this tab and it is key!!  The Title of the form is included in the payment details at the end of the transaction.  If you want to create different forms for different types of donations, then giving each a recognizable name will help in the congregation operations area.
    2. Messages – These are the same Messages you saw when you were on the Configuration > Messages tab.  You can leave all of these blank if the new form can utilize the same messages as the global configuration.
    3. Fields Setting – Here you set the order the fields are displayed to the user.   Any custom fields you created in Step 3 will appear here as well.

Step 5 – Configuring PayPal

This is s0 easy I had to stop and rethink it a couple of times, thinking I must be missing something.  It’s true; it’s really easy.  All you need is the email address associated with the PayPal account into which the funds will be transferred.

  1. Click the Payment Plugins tab.  Notice there are four payment methods by default.  You can add any that are unique to your organization.  I will only discuss PayPal and Offline Payment


  1. Be sure the item is “Published” as indicated by its green check.
  2. Click the os_paypal name.
  3. On the right side of the screen is the Plugins Parameters section.  Enter the email associated with the PayPal account into which the funds should be transferred.
  4. When you’re ready to “go live”, change the Paypal Mode to “Live Mode.”  That’s all there is to it!!!!

Offline Payments

Nothing to do here, just be sure it’s turned on if you want users to be able to fill out the form and mail in the money later.

Step 6 – Set Up a “Payment Form” Menu Type

  1. On the Menu where you want your donation form to appear, create a new Menu Item.
  2. Click the Select button and in the pmform section, select Payment Form.
  3. On the right side, select the form you just created.

You’re done!!!!

In the next installation, I build on this information and explain Joom Donation.  For now, another Margarita, please!  And here’s a look at our congregation’s first online donation capability!!!

In a Nutshell ….

  • If you don’t need to manage donations by Giving Campaign, like a campaign to erect a new sanctuary, then use the Payment Form Component to implement online donation capabilities.  It’s the simplest and the most robust.
  • Payment Form has a set of “core” fields to which you can add “custom” fields.
  • Set up your fields first, then set up your form.
  • Set up PayPal simply by providing your congregation’s PayPal email address.
  • And finally, create a Menu Item of the “Payment Form” type and select the form you create.

One Reply to “Taking donations via your URJ Web website – Part 1”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.