Looking for some support from those that have experience with WordPress and CiviCRM to help confirm if what I'm looking to do here is feasible!

We are a small charity and currently putting together a budget to migrate to CiviCRM as well as redesign our front-end website. We typically get around 60 - 80k views per year. We have the idea of breaking out services and giving access to volunteers that need access to specific areas (Wordpress blogging/Mailchimp for Marketing etc) but also to automate as much as possible to reduce IT maintenance overhead.

We are looking at:

  • WordPress as preferred chosen CMS: We find WordPress is easier to use for our volunteers than Joomla and Drupal. Plus, we are primary and information/storytelling charity so we prefer the experience for our content contributors over Joomla or Drupal.
  • Membership area: We need to offer a paid yearly subscription for a locked off membership area to the website. It will include downloadable assets plus specific WordPress articles only available to paying subscribers. We'd need the associated forms to collect information about new members, and also send membership renewal emails etc. I understand this needs to sync with a WordPress membership plugins.
  • Donations: We are looking to offer GoCardless for recurring subscription memberships as a primary method, and Stripe for one-off donations secondary.
  • List Sync with MailChimp: We are looking to use MailChimp to create our newsletter and marketing automation. We'd like to be able sync paid/unpaid member lists from CiviCRM to MailChimp automatically.
  • Giftaid: Automatically processing of giftaid application periodically.
  • Exporting to accounting software: We haven't decided on our new accounting software yet but it will be something SaaS-based - possibly Sage Cloud or Xero.

Questions we have about the proposed solution above:

  1. Will this work? We plan to do a mix of the work ourselves but also work with a freelancer with build experience.
  2. I'm all for using open source, I'm just concerned around the stability of the platform with upgrades etc. Do people have stable implementations like this?
  3. Are they any recommendations for Membership plugins on the WordPress side that work well with CiviCRM?
  4. How do people export their donations to their accounting software for end of year financials? Is it straightforward to do?
  5. Looking at either self-hosting it on Google Compute Engine or a VPS - or looking at a hosted solution. Does anyone have any suggestions?
  6. How are people supporting their solution once it's live? Any suggestions on ad-hoc use of a freelancer vs paid support options with an SLA?

We currently run Joomla with a membership management plugin that is no longer supported, and a few other plugins for mailing/backup etc that are all really challenging to use - hence the reason for looking at a new solution with some investment and hopefully, longevity!

Hopefully - this all makes sense. Really appreciate any suggestions and shedding some light on questions and design. Thanks.

  • Welcome to StackExchange! Thanks for your clearly written post. However, this is actually six (or more) questions rolled into one. You may find that you get a better response if you post your questions separately and avoid subjective questions. Read the guidance for more info: civicrm.stackexchange.com/help/asking Sep 2, 2018 at 20:39

2 Answers 2


In general I would say that this sounds feasible. Your requirements sound similar to how many other charities are using CiviCRM. However, you have asked several detailed questions and I think you could benefit from discussing this in more detail with one of the CiviCRM partners (and/or posting these as separate questions).

I would also recommend that you attend a CiviCamp to find out more about how CiviCRM works and meet others in the community. We are a friendly bunch and you will get a lot out of meeting people face-to-face. I see that you are based in the UK and can highly recommend attending CiviCamp Manchester on 6 October 2018 if you are able to.

  • Yes - could not agree more w/ William: highly recommend you attend a CiviCamp; get to know people - make connections with CiviCRM Partners. Sep 2, 2018 at 21:57

Totally agree with @William Mortada, do contact a CiviCRM partner and attend a CiviCamp so you get connected and become part of the CiviCRM community.

One detailed answer:

People can export their donations to the accounting software using the functionality to export a batch of financial transactions to CSV.

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