Options for streamlining membership payments online

I’m working on a project for a non-profit I have started volunteering for and I was hoping someone here can give me more info about using forms that will accept Paypal payments.

The organization currently has a membership web page with links to Paypal on it – there are several levels available – student, individual, and family, with an additional link if you wish to purchase the individual membership and add an additional amount as a donation. You click the link you want, a Paypal window opens, and you make the payment.

The issue with this is that the only notification the org gets that someone has paid for a membership is the Paypal receipt. This means that the membership chairperson has to take the person’s info from the receipt and enter it into a spreadsheet. They’d like to automate that a bit.

Currently there is also a volunteer form on the web site that’s been done in Google Forms that everyone likes since the info on that form can be saved into Google Sheets. I have no problem with making a membership form using Google Forms, but there’s one big drawback: if you want to add Paypal links, a new window opens for the Paypal transaction. This runs the risk that the user will complete the payment for the membership, but will forget to go back to the form and submit it. That puts us back at square one, where the only info we have on that person is from the Paypal receipt.

There are add-ons for Google Forms that allow you to incorporate payments directly into the form. Neartail and Payables are two examples - but I haven’t used either and don’t know anyone else who has. Neartail’s basic service at $8 a month seems like it would do what we want, though it sounds like we’re stuck with have their branding.

Payables seems to be super cagey about how much their services cost. I have searched the ‘Net for this info and it seems impossible to come by. Is there anyone here who can give me more info about them, or is there something else I should look at?

The org’s site is a Wordpress site and I know one other way to go with this is to install a plug-in – I’m familiar with Gravity Forms, and for $159 annually I know you can get the Pro edition which will allow you to add a Paypal checkout, but I’ve never set that up, so if anyone has any additional info about that, I’d love to hear about that as well. I’m sure there’s a ton of plug-ins for payments, but our needs are pretty simple.

I’m not sure what they want to do is worth the additional cost, but I’d like to present them with options and let them decide.


I’m not quite familiar enough with Google forms to know if my suggestion is workable.

Can you setup a membership form that doesn’t show paypal links until it is submitted?

That requires Google forms to have the form completion page be customizable, or to direct to a specified URL.

If it will let you, you could get even fancier, and have the ending page be based on the response to the membership level. So if they pick family membership, then after submitting the form they’re taken to a pre-made page with a link to paypal family rate.

I’m about 80% sure I can do all of that in Qualtrics, but I also know that Google forms isn’t quite as versatile, and I have no idea how the paypal stuff works.

Unfortunately, no. Google Forms isn’t that versatile, which is why an add-on would be needed. And of course even if I could do that, it introduces the opposite problem of people filling out the form, submitting it, but then not completing the payment. It’s always something …

The free version of Cognito Forms supports payments through Stripe.

It would be great if they used Stripe, but unfortunately Paypal is our only option.