One-time payment ideas: PayPal, Stripe, the tip jar tutorial and more

I’m all about getting people onto the monthly-payment train. That said - some people are going to want to give once and cross the re-up question down the line.

Is it possible to add a PayPal button somewhere ON the Portal page itself? Alternatively, I will just put it on my membership page, but it would be nice to integrate a PayPal button of some kind into the Portal module itself. (I am not a coder… it seems everything may be possible somehow but I’m looking for an easy technical solution.)

Also - if you have done this or seen examples of it on Ghost, I would love to see screenshots!

Adding a PayPal button to a membership page would be the best option. Portal can be customized via the Portal settings in Ghost Admin, but it’s not possible to add buttons to the UI.

1 Like

I’m researching one-time payment options for Ghost and looking for some guidance.

I’ve seen other documentation about setting up PayPal to accept one-time payments - and then using Zapier to add those folks as members.

What I’m wondering is whether there is a more streamlined solution - setting up a payment link in Stripe for one-time payments → will people who use this link show up in my Ghost dashboard as members - or is there a way to use Zapier for this? Thanks!

I do just want to ensure that folks who give then become members and can be eligible for whatever membership benefits there are.

Still trying to make sense of how all the pieces fit together!

Update: @Berkeley_Scanner perhaps a better route for you would be to implement a Tip Jar style payment option, using Stripe? I noticed you also posted about using Stripe to accept one-time payments, so I have merged your questions into this thread!

We recently published a tutorial about how to implement a Tip Jar with Stripe here: How to add a tip jar to your Ghost site

The benefit of this is that you keep it all in one payment platform, as opposed to using both Stripe and PayPal :slight_smile:


thank you for merging and for the insight! i will look at that tutorial. hopefully it addresses the question of whether someone easily becomes logged as a member after the one-time payment. (or can thru a zap)

Thanks so much for pointing me toward the tip jar tutorial. That was super helpful in terms of suggestions re: how to promote a one-time payment, how to use the button feature, how to use a header card AND how to save a content snippet — all of which I’m sure I will use again!

I did set my one-time payment up with Stripe. I still have the one question re: will people who make a one-time payment show up as members on my site, or will I need to take additional steps - either with a Zap or another automation, or something manual — to make that happen?

(Somehow this feels like it should be obvious but I’m still uncertain.)

Many thanks, @Kym! Your insights are much appreciated!!

1 Like

Great question!

The most common use case for a Tip Jar / Buy us a coffee one-time payment is for sites who publish free/public content, and want to give readers an opportunity to support that content. Meanwhile, protected/paid content is typically reserved for those who have an active subscription.

That being said, if you did want to add people who contribute via your tip jar as free members then it should be possible to do this using Zapier.

I just tested this Zap and it works:

  • Trigger: Stripe → New Payment
  • Action: Ghost → Create Member

You can customize the action step to:

  • Add a label of “Tip Jar” so you can quickly see which members have donated via a tip in the member dashboard
  • Send an optional signup confirmation email to the member - so they know they’re now subscribed after leaving you a tip

You could also do a second zap using the Ghost → Update Member action, to add the “Tip jar” label to people who leave a tip, but are already members of your site :)

1 Like

awesome ! thank you! i will definitely try this.

Gumroad could be an option for one-time payments as well @Berkeley_Scanner

I’ve finally set up both of these actions with Zap - thanks so much, @Kym!

I wasn’t totally clear as to how Zap knows not to add the “tip jar” label to members who sign up with Stripe using my Portal subscription options - but I guess it’s just smart enough to realize it’s different. (At least - I tested a new subscription with Portal and it did not add the tip jar label. Hopefully I’m not misunderstanding; still very new to Zapier.)

This has been working really well - so glad you pointed it out @Kym! The only hiccup is that it assigns people to Ghost as “free” which then may be confusing to them in their account. The “comped plan” feature isn’t working. Ideally they could just be assigned to paid status but maybe that’s more challenging. (All of is is beyond me!) Anyway, very glad to have this tool do most of the work.