In today’s digital age, technology has revolutionized the way we live, work, and even donate. With the rise of social media and mobile payment apps, donating to nonprofits has become easier and more convenient than ever before. One app, in particular, has been making waves in the nonprofit world—Venmo. Known for its peer-to-peer payment capabilities, Venmo has now expanded its services to include nonprofit organizations. In this article, we will explore the concept of “Venmo for nonprofits” and how it is revolutionizing the world of digital fundraising.
What is Venmo?
Venmo is a peer-to-peer payment app that rolled out in 2011. This mobile app allows account holders to send money to other account holders. By linking debit, credit, or bank account information to a Venmo account, users can send money to friends (something that makes splitting the check at restaurants much easier on servers). Users can then either pull their money out of their Venmo account (for a small fee) or keep it there to use the next time they want to pay a friend for something.
What is Venmo for Nonprofits?
Venmo was not originally created to accommodate sales transactions or donations. It was created as a peer-to-peer mobile payment service. However, Venmo has evolved over time, and in 2022 parent company PayPal announced that verified charity profiles would become available on Venmo. 501(c)(3) organizations and charities with a confirmed PayPal charity account can now apply for a verified charity profile on Venmo, as well. This gives donors a familiar option and expands the selection of platforms through which nonprofits can accept donations.
How Does it Work?
Nonprofits can apply for charity profiles on Venmo, which offer certain benefits like a verified badge on their profile and the ability to share images in a photo gallery, to better share their story. Charitable organizations and 501c3 nonprofits must have their charitable status confirmed via a PayPal account (Venmo’s parent company) before taking advantage of these benefits. You can learn more about how to apply on Venmo’s site.
Venmo account holders need only find their charity of choice on the platform, or scan a QR code, in order to give to their cause.
The Benefits of Venmo for Nonprofits
Venmo for nonprofits offers several benefits for both donors and nonprofit organizations. Let’s take a closer look at some of these benefits.
Convenience and Accessibility
One of the main benefits of Venmo for nonprofits is the convenience and accessibility it offers. With just a few taps on their phone, donors can make a donation to their chosen organization anytime, anywhere. This eliminates the need for writing and mailing checks or filling out lengthy donation forms. Additionally, Venmo for nonprofits allows donors and organizations to easily track donations within the app.
Another unique feature of Venmo for nonprofits is the ability to share donations on social media. After making a donation, users have the option to share their donation on their Venmo feed, Facebook, or Twitter. This not only helps to spread awareness about the nonprofit organization but also encourages others to donate as well.
Donors (especially younger ones) are already familiar with Venmo and trust the tech brand with their financial details. Allowing them to donate through a site or app that they recognize is an easier sell than through your organization’s website.
Did you know? A 2019 study found that 50% of Venmo’s users are between 25 and 34. Adding this platform to your arsenal can make donating more appealing to Millennial donors.
Potential Drawbacks of Venmo for Nonprofits
Although it’s great to have more ways for donors to support your cause, you might not want to rely solely on Venmo for your fundraising. Below we’ll explain the potential cons of using Venmo for nonprofits.
No Tax Receipts
Usually tax-exempt organizations must send a tax receipt for each donation made to their cause, but Venmo has no way of sending a full receipt, only a notification email per transaction. Charities and nonprofits using Venmo will have to manually send a tax receipt for each donation made on this platform.
Can’t Integrate with Your CRM
Most platforms that were designed with donation intake in mind will integrate with an organization’s CRM, or Customer Relationship Management software. CRMs can capture each donor’s contact information, so that you can contact them in the future to ask for further support. Venmo, however, can only give you a donor’s name and email, and you must pull this information manually rather than having your CRM gather it automatically.
Not Necessarily More Affordable
Venmo charges the same transaction fees for donations as for all their transactions: 1.9% + $0.10 per donation received. While most platforms will offer the option to ask donors to cover the fees themselves, you cannot count on every donor doing so. All donation platforms must charge some processing or transaction fees in order to be profitable and remain in business, but you’ll want to do your research to find the one that offers the features you need along with a price you can live with.
Another Tool in Your Tool Box
While Venmo is a great tool to have in your nonprofit toolbox, it should never be your primary donation platform. There are other platforms designed to make your charitable work easier. Even if you are a small charity, or a short term fundraiser for something like team uniforms or band trips, we encourage you to explore platforms made with fundraising in mind. Ours is one: we can process donations on top of winning bids from your charity auctions. Moreover, our system will integrate with common CRMs and automatically generate receipts for donors.