How to Configure and Use PayPal Buttons

You are strongly encouraged to watch the entire video on using PayPal buttons. It demonstrates the setup and usage of the buttons. A link is on the Manage PayPal Buttons page.

PayPal has deprecated the type of buttons we support. We eventually need to convert to a different system for handling PayPal buttons. Until then, the legacy buttons still work, although PayPal has made it harder to find and configure them.

You must login to your account on the PayPal website ( and follow their instructions for creating a payment button. Go to If that link does not display the "Buy Now" button, try this link:

There are many options for creating your buttons. Be sure to preview how your button and its associated text displays.

When you have your button ready on the PayPal website, display the HTML code they ask you to insert into your website. You want to copy and paste the code into a button definition.

Each button you define below must have a unique name. You can then use that name on any of your web pages to place your PayPal button. When the button is clicked your users will be directed to a PayPal page for a secure payment and checkout. Cart buttons allow selecting multiple items before using a View Cart button.

When you place your button name on a web page, code the name as: "%PayPalButton-[your button name]%". If your button name was "Dues", this would be entered on your page as: %PayPalButton-Dues%. The names are case sensitive. Multiple buttons can be placed on the same page.

Your button definition must indicate the size of the space to allocate on a page for the button and its options. Follow the guidelines on the button definition page. You may need to adjust sizes when your test displaying your button.

Automatic Payment Processing

When a payment is made using the button, some automatic processing is possible. The website can receive a verification message from PayPal to confirm the payment has been made. This can trigger renewing memberships and other actions.

All transactions are recorded and available for viewing by both your organization and by the user making a payment.

To properly verify your PayPal transactions, you must set the PayPal account id using the "Manage Organization Profile" page. If you want to use automatic payment processing, you need to enable that feature on that page.

PayPal Buttons for Events

When you create an Event with registrations and a registration fee, you can associate a PayPal button with the event. When a person registers for the event, the PayPal button will display so they can make a payment. When a payment is made, the registration will be marked as having paid the registration fee.

Members may be assigned a different fee than non-members when you configure an event. The fee to be charged by the payment button will be computed based on the number of people registering for the event and the member and non-member fees. The member must do the registration while logged in to get the proper price computed.

Because the price could vary based on member and non-member registrations, the price is computed based on the registration and the buyer will not be able the alter the price when on the PayPal payment page. The quantity will not be displayed and cannot be altered.

The event contact person is notified of payments made for the event. This can be done by associating the contact person with a member reference or supplying a contact email address. Treasurers are always notified of payments for event registrations.

You associate a PayPal button with an event by creating or editing a PayPal button definition and selecting the event to be associated with the button. Only events with registrations can be selected.

PayPal Buttons for Competition Entries

You can require payments for competition entries at either the Competition Group level and/or on an individual competition. On the Manage Competition pages you must specify and entry fee and the number of competition entries purchased for that fee. If you specify a fee for both the group and a competition in the group, purchases are required from both.

Competition entries can only be purchased in "sets". A payment of a competition entry fee will purchase a "set" of entries, which could be a quantity of 1 or more. When you create a PayPal button for the transaction, it will represent purchasing a set of entries.

PayPal buttons for competition entries can only be "Pay Now" buttons. If your entry set is only a single competition entry, you can allow users to specify a quantity when purchasing. If a payment represent multiple entries, no not allow quantities to be specified. If you want to allow multiple sets to be purchased with multiple entries in each set, use an option list with your button. Your buyer selects the quantity from your option list.

An example of using an option list might look like this:
Add drop-down menu with price/option.
Name of drop-down menu:
Number of Entries
4 Entries $5.00
8 Entries $10.00

Create your PayPal payment button and set the "Entry Fee" and "Entry Fee Entries" values on your Competition or Competition Group. You can then create or configure a PayPal button to handle a payment.

When you create a PayPal button for competition entries, set the "Button Usage" to "Competition Entry Fee" or "Competition Group Entry Fee". This will then display a list of the competitions or groups that have fees associated with them. You must select one of the entries from the list.

Note that you can use the same PayPal button HTML text with multiple PayPal Button definitions on your website.

When a fee is required and a payment button is defined, payment button will appear of the "Submit Image to a Competition" page. If the person has already purchased the maximum number of entries allowed in a competition, the button will no longer appear. If payments are required for both groups and the competition, multiple buttons will appear and each payment must be made separately.

If you will be placing a limit on the number of entries that can be submitted by a person, that limit must be a multiple of "Entry Fee Entries".

To manually enter payments or make adjustments, use the "Fees" button on a Manage Competitions page. The button appears on the row for your competition or group.

When payments are confirmed, email messages are sent to the buyer and to the organization treasurers.