Non-Profit Management

Should you be using Venmo for nonprofits?

Americans know all about Venmo for personal use, but can you use Venmo for nonprofits? See how this works and discover a better option.

When a brand name starts getting used as a verb, you know it’s a big deal.

When Venmo first became a thing in 2009, people quickly saw it as a convenient alternative to splitting checks at a restaurant (or using checks altogether). These days, we simply say, “I’ll just Venmo you.”

What started as a basic peer-to-peer mobile app has become quite a phenomenon. According to Business of Apps:

  • Venmo has more than 70 million users.
  • Venmo processed $230 billion USD in payments in 2021, $71 billion more than in 2020, and $129 billion more than 2019.
  • In 2021, Venmo’s estimated profits rose to $850 million USD, nearly double what they were in 2020.

Despite Venmo’s many accomplishments, the app has a glaring blind spot: nonprofits. While you can incorporate the payment method into your fundraising efforts, you can’t create a Venmo account for specific nonprofits. Since it wasn’t created with online donations in mind, it’s limited in functionality compared to using an all-in-one fundraising platform like Raisely.

Here’s what you need to know about using Venmo for nonprofits.

How to Create a Venmo Charity Account

Venmo is user-friendly in many areas, but not this one.

You can’t convert your existing personal or business profile into a charity profile on Venmo, nor can you use your contact information on more than one Venmo account. While you can use Venmo to create a charity profile by using a new email address and phone number, you’ll also need a PayPal business account, since PayPal bought Venmo in 2012.

Creating a PayPal business account isn’t difficult, but it’s a tedious extra step that seems unnecessary.

Once you’ve created a PayPal business account, you’ll need to fill out your Venmo charity profile, which involves:

  • Creating a username
  • Describing your nonprofit
  • Choosing a category
  • Selecting keywords for donors looking for your account
  • Entering your contact information
  • Including website and social media links

However, keep in mind that once you’ve created your Venmo charity profile, you’re limited in what you can manage. In fact, the only things you can access from the web are your charity profile’s statements and transaction history. On the bright side, Venmo donations are possible via the web browser. Donors can still donate without having to log into the app.

The Limitations of Venmo for Nonprofits

Much like PayPal, Venmo was never meant to be an all-in-one donation platform for nonprofit organisations. Also, like PayPal, Venmo lacks many of the crucial components you need to run successful fundraising campaigns.

You Can’t Create Donation Pages

The Venmo app makes it really easy to collect donations, but you’ve got to get people there first. Donation pages act as your fundraising campaign’s headquarters. With Raisely, it’s where your followers can learn about your cause, fill out donation forms, view leaderboards, eye fundraising thermometers, and much, much more.

You Can’t Create Fundraising Events

That said, hosting fundraising events also isn’t possible via Venmo. It’s a mobile app, not a fundraising platform. Donors can share social proof that they donated to a cause by listing their donations as “public,” but that’s about it.

Venmo Payment Options Are Lacking

When using Venmo, your online payment options are limited to your:

  • Venmo balance
  • Debit card
  • Credit card
  • Bank account linked to your Venmo profile

The Potential of Venmo for Nonprofits

Venmo is a staple on most mobile devices for individual users. In fact, the idea of a “Venmo mindset” means people keep extra money in their accounts and don’t consider it part of their budget. Imagine the benefits of tapping into that extra fund when you’re running a fundraising campaign!

Venmo also attracts a younger demographic — primarily millennials and Gen Z. According to the Business of Apps, 50% of Venmo users are aged 25 to 34, while 33% are between 18 and 24. Millennials make up a quarter of the U.S. population and an incredible 84% of them give to charity. It seems like a no-brainer to make it as easy as possible for them to donate! And if they’re committed to your cause, they could be donors for life.

Plus, Venmo is known to be user-friendly for individuals. It’s pretty quick to create a username and profile, sync a Venmo account to a bank account, and fire off a payment or a request for one. There’s also a social element involved, where users can decide to make their transactions public (i.e. viewable on their friends’ Venmo news feeds) or private. If someone’s friends see their donations to your organisation, it can increase awareness for your cause.

The bottom line is that Venmo is just not ideal for fundraising … yet. Raisely is currently exploring adding Venmo functionality in the future. In this case, the qualities that make using Venmo for nonprofits an attractive option would be enhanced by integrating with a robust fundraising platform like Raisely.

Raisely: A Better Alternative to Venmo

While the potential for using Venmo for nonprofits is there, it still falls short.

Raisely’s all-in-one fundraising platform was created specifically with nonprofits in mind. Plus, our fundraising suite is free! We only ask your donors for an optional tip on top of their donation. The Stripe and PayPal credit card payment processing fees are the only thing you’ll pay for. Compare that to Venmo, which has per donation for business and charity profiles.

Fundraising Page Templates

Raisely excels where Venmo is lacking. Not only can you create a donation page — for free — with Raisely, we’ve almost already created one for you! We have multiple, fully customisable templates for you to choose from, no matter what the occasion, including:

  • Peer-to-peer campaigns
  • Active events and ticketing
  • Giving days
  • Donation appeals
  • Community fundraisers
  • Memorials
  • Facebook Fundraisers (NEW)

Do you need a template for a giving day? We’ve got three!

When it comes to fundraising software, our templates really set us apart. They’re perfect for custom branding, creating donation options, personalising all your forms, and much more. They also come with custom domains, free hosting, unlimited pages, and they’re mobile-ready. No coding required.

Custom Branding Made Easy

It’s not enough to offer templates and call it a day. To optimise the impact of your fundraising efforts, your content needs to look and feel like yours.

Raisely helps you nurture relationships and stay on brand with our built-in CRM and personalised email and SMS messaging. Each Raisely template is designed to make incorporating your logo, brand colours, and fonts seamless. You can even brand your buttons! In email, we've made it easy for you to use your own header and copy to make it uniquely yours.

More Available Payment Options

In today’s sprawling digital world, there are so many more options. With Raisely, donors can give with credit or debit cards, and also use third-party payment processors like Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, and Stripe. When using Stripe, you can receive donations in more than 130 currencies!

And better yet, since digital wallets automatically collect credit card details, donors can check out with a single click!

Raisely: A Better Alternative to Venmo

Overall, Raisely doesn’t have the limitations Venmo experiences. We’re built with nonprofits and charities in mind. Our software offers a wide range of customisable templates and user-friendly custom branding to make your fundraising event tailored to your needs. We also offer many additional payment methods with no additional costs on top of your payment gateway transaction fee — whether you use Stripe, PayPal, or one day, Venmo.Are you ready to plan your next fundraising campaign? Request a demo with Raisely today!

Ready to create your
next campaign?

Anthony Greer is a freelance content writer who crafts consistent, engaging, on-brand copy for nonprofits, real estate, and digital marketing agencies.

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