Setting up Recurring PayPal payments

Nicki Lever
Nicki Lever

4 min read

South East Dog Rescue Paypal Sponsorship screen on laptop

The team at South East Dog Rescue (SEDR) work tirelessly to make sure that abandoned and unwanted dogs get a second chance and unfortunately some dogs, because of physical or emotional damage, or due to illness, cannot be rehomed. As a no-kill rescue, this means that these dogs will live out the rest of their lives at the rescue - as sanctuary dogs. They approached us with a request, to help them gather support for these long-term residents.

Sponsorship coordinator Victoria Hadley, contacted us back in March 2021 to see if we could set up a form to capture basic sponsorship enquiries, a call identified that the admin in processing the forms would take the team away from more important tasks. This absolutely wouldn't do for us, particularly as their weekly influx of rehoming and adoptions had more than tripled due to COVID.

Keeping It Simple

With any UX task, you take it back to the what and the why. The What is the problem to be solved, The Why is the purpose. What we needed to do was help SEDR to raise money and encourage users to set up regular payments. Efficiency was key to reducing the teams office time. If the process wasn't efficient but sponsorship was popular, they could be hindered by the time spent handling these transactions. Valuable time that could be better spent.


We reviewed tools to assist with taking payment, whatever we chose they needed to be accessible; trusted by users, and not tied to specific payment providers. We picked up PayPal, it was already used as their main means of collecting donations. We've worked with PayPal before and their documentation is brilliant once you're set up as a developer. it's easy to integrate. A @paypal/react-paypal-js plugin was added to the repo and all we needed to do was to ensure that we worked out with SEDR how much the sponsorship should be for both the 6-month and 12-month options. Reconciling which dogs were being sponsored was key, the SEDR team needed to send confirmation to the sponsor along with scheduling the periodic updates.


This PayPal setup was pretty much done, now we needed to position it somewhere accessible on the site. As one of our early Lockdown side-projects in 2020, we built this site (on rock and roll) using Prismic Headless CMS. Frankly, the simple UI and slick GraphQL API keeps our life simple and the developer experience satisfying.

Splitting the user journey in the main Dog landing page was the most logical, we adjusted this page from 100% Adoption driven, to Adoption & Sponsor. This linked through to a newly created Sponsorship page, and added a boolean to our Prismic Dog document was the switch between an Adoptable Dog or a Sponsor-able Dog, essential to funnel the appropriate dog info to the appropriate pages.

Sponsorship dog screen SEDR

Once you've chosen, the page shows content tailored to the dog and gives you 2 payment options using SEDR branding along with buttons in the trusted PayPal design. A PayPal account isn't necessary as the Credit Card option gives users the option to Checkout as a guest. The key information (email address) is still shared with SEDR and the user doesn't have to create a specific login.

South East Dog Rescue PayPal guest checkout screen

We learned loads, and with these tools, we were able to move fast and get the solution in front of the audience.

The sponsorship feature launched in May 2021, and since then it's been viewed 11K times and helped to raise £1000's for the sanctuary dogs.

The Sponsorship feature can be viewed directly on the South East Dog Rescue Sponsor a Dog page


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