With the rise of online donations and mobile payments, it’s no surprise that nonprofit organizations are looking for ways to expand their payment options. In fact, mobile givers accounted for one-third of donations, and a quarter of nonprofit revenue in 2019. And mobile payments are projected to increase tenfold by 2021.
A simple donate button, credit card options, and a checkout page used to get the job done. Now, people are switching to options that let them send money without digging around for their card and keying in 20-plus numbers. Venmo, a peer-to-peer payment service, is one popular option that’s growing this trend.
The nonprofits that make giving online effortless are the ones with the flexibility to meet donors where they are. In this article, we’ll go over what you need to know about Venmo for nonprofits — how Venmo works, why nonprofits should use it, and how to incorporate it into your fundraising.
What’s Venmo and how does it work?
Venmo is a peer-to-peer (P2P) mobile payment service that allows account holders to transfer money to other account holders. It’s a convenient way to pay people back, from friends and family to classmates and co-workers.
Venmo works by linking user accounts to a bank account, credit card, or debit card. After that, users can send and request Venmo payments with a few taps. They can cash out their Venmo funds and send them straight to their bank account. Or, they can leave funds in their account so it’s quick and easy to split the tab at a restaurant, send birthday money, divide up rent and utilities, or split their Uber fare.
The innovative service — which became part of PayPal’s portfolio when the payment service was acquired by Braintree in 2013 — revealed it had over 40 million unique users in 2019. That number is only expected to rise.
Which donors can we reach with Venmo?
The majority of Venmo users are people under the age of 50 and based in the United States. In particular, millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) and Gen Zers (born between 1997 and 2012) have flocked to Venmo’s payment app as the go-to for their payment processing needs.
According to MediaPost, 82% of people that use both Venmo and PayPal (its parent payment processor) are aged 18 to 34. And 50% of Venmo users are millennials aged 25 to 34. The nonprofit sector is taking notice. With such a large number of users opting into Venmo for mobile payments, it’s clear that this platform is a perfect way to connect with a new generation of donors.
What are the benefits of using Venmo for nonprofits?
First, asking people to pay with Venmo may be an easier ask for your nonprofit. Venmo users often leave money in their account and sometimes even forget it’s there. Unlike initiating a new transaction, Venmo uses money that’s already waiting to be sent or spent. This could make donations feel less like a new expense and more like moving money for a good cause.
Plus, PayPal reports that most people use Venmo for small transactions around $60. That’s attractive for “broke” college students and other donors who may not have much extra cash lying around.
Second, Venmo’s people-first platform helps you take advantage of social proof for your fundraising. Venmo has a social media-style feed that displays transactions and comments (for those who have public sharing turned on). That means users can see when their friends donate to your cause — along with lots of 💗 ,✌, 😊 , and 🌍 emojis — and get inspired to do the same. Nonprofits should leverage Venmo for positive word-of-mouth and reach donors in a more organic way.
At Givebutter, we know all about making online fundraising fun and engaging for donors. That’s why our campaign pages use an Instagram-style live Supporter Feed, encouraging supporters to comment, add GIFs, and share. (And over 75% of Fundraising and Event campaign donors leave a comment!)
How do you start using Venmo for nonprofits?
Venmo has announced it’s working with a few select nonprofit organizations in a private beta test for nonprofit donation options, but it’s closed to new applications.
At this time, there’s no additional information from the company on whether Venmo will ever enable direct nonprofit payments, or if it will design features that make Venmo an optimized experience for both nonprofits and donors.
So, does that mean online donations from Venmo accounts are off the table? Not if you use Givebutter!
How to set up Venmo with Givebutter
Givebutter is the one and only fundraising platform to offer Venmo as a method of payment to donors — and our platform and features are always free to use.
We’ve provided a streamlined process for donors to give via Venmo in a few seconds on any Givebutter campaign. Here’s how it works:
Create a free Givebutter account
All Givebutter campaigns have a Venmo payment option automatically built-in, so there’s no complicated setup. Simply create your free account, enable Venmo, and get going.
Your nonprofit doesn’t need a Venmo account to receive donations, either. Venmo donations will be treated like any other donation on Givebutter, and can be withdrawn directly from your dashboard along with the other funds you raise.
Receive one-time or recurring donations
You can use Venmo to collect donations, run fundraising campaigns, sell tickets to events, and track, grow, and manage everything in one central location. You can even add a custom Venmo donate button on your website.
With 96% of Americans owning a mobile phone, we’ve made it easy to combine text-to-donate with Venmo for rapid SMS and text-enabled giving, too. Text-to-donate with Venmo can help attract and retain millennial donors, who generally prefer texting to phone calls.
You aren’t limited to one-off donations. Your nonprofit can also set up recurring donations with Venmo and boost overall giving. In 2019, for instance, revenue from monthly gifts increased by 22%. That’s more than twice as fast as revenue from one-time gifts (8%).
In addition, nonprofit crowdfunding is simple. Create highly shareable online donation pages that go above and beyond the standard crowdfunding sites. Adding Venmo to your payment methods gives donors more ways to support a cause they care about.
Transfer your funds and thank your donors
You don’t need a Venmo nonprofit account to accept or transfer funds. All your Venmo donations are pooled together with other types of payments (credit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and more) for fast campaign payouts.
We’re committed to providing a no-fee fundraising experience for nonprofits. Our platform lets your donors cover the 2.9% + $0.30 transaction fee so you keep 100% of every donation. And 95% of Givebutter donors choose to do so.
Finally, Givebutter sends automatic tax receipts to Venmo donors. With automatic receipts and the ability to customize your thank-you message to donors, you’ll eliminate a time-consuming manual process and grow a relationship with your supporters at the same time.
Future-proof your fundraising📱
In our digital age, you can do almost everything from a smartphone. Android and Apple mobile devices are primed for mobile apps that make modern life more automated, fast, and convenient.
The list of what you can do from a smartphone continues to grow: make a credit card payment or bank transfer, keep up with friends and family on social media, restock your refrigerator and pantry, run your business — and donate to nonprofits.
If you’re ready to think beyond credit cards, expand your donor base, and raise more funds, Venmo for nonprofits is just a few clicks away!
Rachel is a fundraising and marketing consultant for nonprofits whose aspiration since she was 16-years-old is simply this: help others, help others.