Venmo for Nonprofit Donations: Unlocking Potential and Strategies

Credit cards, checks, cash — traditional ways of exchanging money are now facing competition from mobile payment apps. Venmo, among many such services, lets users link their bank accounts or debit cards to send money to friends, family, and nonprofits. By 2020, Venmo boasted over 52 million users and processed more than $102 billion in payments in 2019. That’s a massive user base and a significant amount of money, hinting at a substantial potential for donations.

Is Venmo poised to become the next big platform for nonprofit donations?

As of October 2022, Venmo allows nonprofits to register through PayPal to create Charity Profiles. Once an organization validates its 501(c)(3) status on PayPal, it can set up an official Venmo profile.

Here are some advantages of a Charity Venmo Account:

  • Easily tag your charity name on Venmo for payments.
  • A blue checkmark to verify your charity for donors.
  • Increased visibility with enhanced, shareable posts from donors.
  • Low transaction fees of 1.9% + $0.10 per donation.
  • Access to donation history and account statements with donor contact information.
  • Same-day access to funds (fees apply).
  • A separate wallet for personal payments and transactions.
  • A photo gallery to showcase your charity’s story.
  • QR codes and kits for touch-free donations in person.

Other fundraising options include platforms like Givebutter, which let nonprofits add a “donate via Venmo” option on their websites, though this doesn’t support direct @ payments.

One challenge for Venmo’s expansion is regulation. Nonprofits and regulators are navigating the complexities of new donation channels. As nonprofits aim to reach younger donors, smartphones and apps are the way to go. While legal details are being ironed out, you can prepare by testing Venmo. Here’s a strategy for integrating Venmo into your donation efforts.

Managing a Nonprofit Venmo Account

Consider how often you want donation updates and your preference for email or push notifications. Decide who should receive these messages. Venmo offers notification options during setup to keep you informed without overwhelming you. Tracking donations and donor information is crucial for updating your CRM. Venmo’s monthly reports simplify this task.

Be cautious with Venmo notifications, especially if you use Venmo personally. Venmo allows both sending and receiving money, so avoid accidental transactions that could embarrass your organization.

Encouraging Donations via Venmo

Now, how would you actually get people to make donations on Venmo once it becomes available for nonprofits?

1. Provide a Tutorialrial

Introduce Venmo as a donation option with an onboarding email. Explain what Venmo is, why you’re using it, and how to donate. Include best practices for payment captions to track donations.

2. @ Yourself

Include your Venmo handle in all fundraising messages. Link to your Venmo profile in emails for easy access.

3. Say “thank you”

Venmo is also a social platform. Thank donors by commenting on their payments.

4. Get competitive

Hold fundraising competitions with hashtags and crowdfunding campaigns. Reward the winning teams with promo codes, social media shoutouts, or matched donations.

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5. Ask for a lot of a little

Venmo excels in small transactions under $300. Encourage small donations to expand your donor base and cultivate future support. Small contributions can add up significantly, as seen in political campaigns.

We hope Venmo becomes a new donation cash machine for your nonprofit this season!

DALLE2 ATM painted by Salvador D.

Have you already used Venmo for digital fundraising? What worked? What was challenging? Share with us by tweeting @WholeWhale.