How nonprofits can accept Venmo & improve donor acquisition

Apr 26, 2022
Nhu Te
Senior Content Manager

As the internet evolves and innovates, it continues to heavily influence the way we interact with businesses and charitable organizations. Gone are the days when high-speed internet was a luxury — it’s now a necessity in almost every American’s life. As this innovation progresses, so does the way nonprofits fundraise and accept donations.

Online giving has continued to trend upward over the years, likely attributed to the accessibility and ease of use of mobile devices, which are now owned by more than 97 million Americans. The advent of digital wallets — like Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Venmo —  have made it possible to make purchases on mobile devices in mere seconds. A game-changing payment option that can now be used online or in-person, digital wallets have eliminated the need to keep credit cards or checkbooks on hand.

Because of the growing use of digital wallets, it should be no surprise that nonprofits have looked to expand their payment options in order to attract new donors. One of which is Venmo — a digital wallet that is rising in popularity among both consumers and donors.

Read along this blog to uncover everything you need to know about Venmo donations:

  • Understanding the rise of Venmo over the years and how it is applicable to nonprofits
  • Diversifying your donation payment options with Venmo
  • Learning how your nonprofit can begin accepting Venmo donations

The rise of Venmo

Originally launched in 2009, Venmo rapidly gained traction to become the popular U.S.-based peer-to-peer payment app that we all know. Even though Venmo was acquired by PayPal in 2013, it continues to remain relatively unchanged  — many still use the app to electronically transfer funds to friends and family. However, it has since been adopted by many retail businesses to allow customers to pay for goods and services through a one-click button or a quick scan of a QR code.

After joining the PayPal family, Venmo reported a total of $2.3 billion in payment volume in 2014. That number has grown immensely to $230 billion in 2021. With more than 80 million users, it’s become a preferred payment option for many customers, presenting nonprofits with a big opportunity to accept donations through this fast-growing digital wallet.

Offer flexible donation payment options with Venmo

Offering Venmo as a donation payment option will give nonprofits more flexibility to meet donors wherever they are — not only improving donor acquisition but retention, too. The reality is that no two donors are the same, and it’s important to constantly remind yourself that each donor has a different preference for giving.

Limiting payment methods to just credit cards and/or bank transfers can be frustrating for those who don’t always have their credits and checkbooks with them all the time. Especially for digital natives like Millennials and Gen Z who have a proclivity for digital wallets, you won’t lose out on valuable donations if you expand your library of payment options to include a highly preferred digital wallet like Venmo.

To share a nonprofit that offers flexible payment options, take a look at The Bail Project’s simple donation process:

While not every donor will choose to check out with Venmo, there will be a number of donors who will be excited that you’re offering their preferred payment method, increasing your odds of converting that person from an interested donor to an actual donor.

How to accept Venmo donations

Venmo currently doesn’t support nonprofits the way PayPal does with its nonprofit account setup. To accept donations through Venmo, nonprofits are required to set up a personal account on Venmo.

This forces nonprofits to take an additional step in order to accept Venmo donations, but then causes other frustrations along the way:

  • A disrupted donation experience. Because your payment options aren't all in the same place, the Venmo payment option via a QR code can be difficult for your donors to find if it’s not on the same page as the donation ask.
  • Management of numerous accounts. Even though Venmo is owned by PayPal, you won’t be able to manage your Venmo account under your PayPal account. You will have to create a Venmo-specific account. This creates a complicated and siloed process for managing individual payment accounts, collecting data, and reporting on fundraising revenue.

Is there a simpler way to reap the benefits of this fast-growing payment method?

Simplifying Venmo donations

At Fundraise Up, we understand the important role payment options play in helping you move more donors across the finish line. To help nonprofits, like yourself, convert more donors during checkout, we have worked effortlessly to expand our payment options to include credit cards, bank transfers, and a number of digital wallets that includes Venmo. We even offer 135 different currencies to help you connect with international donors.

Fundraise Up ensures that you don’t have to go through an arduous and disrupted process to accept Venmo donations. We’ve made it incredibly easy to enable Venmo as a payment option without having to create a Venmo-specific account.

How it works

To activate Venmo on Fundraise Up, you can create a new PayPal account or connect your existing PayPal account to your Fundraise Up account. Then, all you have to do is enable Venmo on the payment options page with the click of a button. Since we process Venmo donations through PayPal, the donations go directly through Fundraise Up to your nonprofit, eliminating any need to create an account on Venmo.

For donors who click the Venmo button from a desktop browser, the donor will be provided a screen with a QR code that they can scan from their phone's camera to approve their Venmo donation.

If donors are using their mobile device, they will be taken directly to their Venmo app to approve the donation.

When the donation is complete, the donor will receive an email receipt and a push notification from the Venmo mobile app letting them know that their donation has been processed.

Venmo donations are another way for your nonprofit to reach the next generation of philanthropic leaders. Plus, many Venmo donors might even be excited to showcase their giving on their activity feed, where friends and family might get inspired to give to your organization, too.

Are you ready to add this popular peer-to-peer payment method to your donation experience? Schedule a demo with one of our team members today.

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