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Tools for Nonprofits

Venmo for Nonprofits: The Definitive Fundraising Guide (2024)

December 15, 2023

With over 78 million users, Venmo has become one of the most-used mobile payment services for a significant part of the population.

Venmo has become so popular with young donors that nonprofits are asking if and how they can use Venmo to raise funds.

Read more to learn how Venmo works, potential fees, and the benefits of using Venmo to collect donations. We’ll also share what a nonprofit should look for in a donation processor and how Zeffy compares.

3 features of Venmo for making donations

What is a Venmo Account and How Does it Work? 

Venmo is an online service that lets people transfer money to friends and family, businesses, and nonprofits they support. Venmo users link their bank accounts, credit, and debit cards to the app. Individuals and organizations can send and collect funds and automatically withdraw funds in minutes.

Venmo for nonprofits lets 501c3 organizations create charity profiles that build trust with donors and access to potential supporters.

Who Can Use Venmo for Fundraising? 

Since PayPal bought Venmo in 2013, they made using Venmo more effortless and beneficial to nonprofits and donors. Today, nonprofit organizations, churches, educational facilities, and school clubs can all use Venmo for fundraising

Venmo for 501c3 nonprofit organizations

In 2022, over 78 million people used Venmo. That number has increased from 3 million in 2015. Statistics like this support the belief that tools like Venmo are becoming the norm rather than an outlier.   

501c3 charitable organizations with a confirmed PayPal account can create a verified Venmo charity profile. These charity profiles help build trust between nonprofits and new donors. It also makes it easy for supporters to donate during outdoor events with Venmo’s Tap to Pay.  

Venmo for nonprofits accounts are added to a list of charities Venmo users will see. Nonprofits can create profiles that share their organization’s branding, mission, and keywords. Donors can give to organizations that match their interests with a single click.

Venmo app lets you register your charity

Venmo for churches 

Whether your church’s members want to make an offering or donate during a fundraising event, Venmo is a quick and convenient way to transfer funds to the church with just a smartphone. Church members don’t use cash as much as they used to, and fewer people attend church services in person every week.  

Venmo payments are an easy way for supporters to give tithes and offerings to their church during weekend and weekday services, outdoor events, and festivities and when solicited by their friends and family.  

Venmo for schools

Venmo has teen accounts that teach kids independence and financial responsibility. Nonprofits can share their Venmo QR code with these donors on social media and other donor marketing materials. Their teenage supporters can scan the code and give to support their favorite causes and charities.

What are Venmo’s Fees for Nonprofits? 

Money is always the primary concern for nonprofit boards. With that in mind, nonprofits must understand all Venmo charity fees. Venmo fees are the same for nonprofits and businesses.

Venmo fees for Nonprofits

When donors get payments from Venmo users with Tap to Pay, fees are 2.29% + $0.09 for each donation received. Payments and gifts given through the Venmo app incur fees at the standard rate of 1.9% + $0.10.  

Nonprofits that wait one to three business days to transfer donations from Venmo to their accounts pay no additional fees. Organizations that want access to their funds immediately must pay a 1.75% fee ($0.25 to $25). 

Fees for Venmo Users 

Venmo users don’t pay fees when donating from their bank or Venmo accounts. Those who use credit cards to pay donations via Venmo must pay a 3% fee on all gifts. 

What You Need to Know About Venmo for Nonprofits 

To set up a Venmo charity profile, nonprofits must have a PayPal Business account. Organizations with an existing Venmo business nonprofit profile cannot turn it into a charity profile. Instead, they must create a charity profile with a new phone number and email address or contact Venmo to close their current account and create a new one.  

Venmo page for a verified charity: American Lung Association

Pros of Venmo fundraising 

There are several pros to using Venmo for charitable organizations, including: 

1. Verified 501c3 organizations

Venmo nonprofits are verified 501c3 organizations with a blue checkmark badge. By awarding this badge, Venmo helps nonprofits build trust and highlight their organization with more potential donors and foundations. Donors are more knowledgeable than before, and organizations that receive third-party verification are automatically placed above the others in donors’ minds.  

2. Increased visibility on Venmo 

Venmo's listing of charities

Venmo’s outreach is currently 78 million users, and with yearly user increases at 4-8%, that number is likely to grow. Setting up a Venmo for charity gives you the chance to reach a world of new donors who’ve never heard of them. 

Nonprofit outreach is typically limited to online marketing with organizations’ websites and social media. Peer-to-peer campaigning has become a popular fundraising technique for many nonprofits. With immediate online money transfer options, Venmo makes outreach and solicitation from friends and family easier with quick online money transfer options.   

3. Donation history and account statements 

Nonprofit fundraising depends on building and strengthening relationships with donors. Venmo helps organizations collect donor contact information along with the history and details of their gifts.  

4. Photo Gallery 

Venmo's app lets you reach 78 million users

Venmo charity profiles can share a nonprofit’s name, description, mission, and keywords with potential supporters. Venmo charity profiles also let nonprofits add a profile picture and background image that shares their organization’s branding and mission. By adding pictures of beneficiaries and programs to their nonprofit Venmo accounts, they can continue to excite a new audience about their cause.

5. QR code and QR kits  

Venmo feature: scan to make a donation

Venmo nonprofit accounts include a QR code in their charity profiles. Donors can scan those QR codes and immediately find and give them to their favorite charity. Nonprofits can print their Venmo QR code on external marketing pieces to encourage more gifts.  

Nonprofit Venmo accounts can purchase QR kits for $14.99 and receive five stickers, a wallet card and lanyard, and a 2”x4”x6” tabletop display. These items help share nonprofit’s Venmo accounts during all in-person interactions with donors.

6. Tap to Pay  

There are several ways to fundraise with Venmo. One of the newest ways is with their Tap to Pay for iPhone and Android phones. Donors that use Venmo’s Tap to Pay can give donations to their favorite charity with just a click.

7. Increased ability to give 

Many Venmo users keep excess funds in their accounts in case of emergencies, an unplanned get-together, or a donation appeal from their favorite charity. According to a survey from NerdWallet, 68% of users have maintained a balance of up to $287. These funds aren’t typically part of users' personal budgets, so they’re more likely to use them when solicited.

Cons of Venmo fundraising 

With all these perks, it may leave nonprofits thinking Venmo is the best option. That may be true, but there are a few cons to collecting donations via Venmo. 

1. Transaction fees 

Venmo fees are 2.29% + $0.09 for each donation received with Tap to Pay or 1.9% + $0.10 for donations given with the Venmo app. While these fees are lower than some, Zeffy offers entirely fee-free donation processing.

2. Fees for same-day access to funds 

Nonprofits shouldn’t have to wait for access to funds. Unfortunately, Venmo requires nonprofits to pay a 1.5% fee for instant access to donations. All other transfers are free but may take one to three business days. 

3. No recurring giving option 

Venmo is an excellent option for one-time donations, but collecting recurring gifts or memberships is impossible. Nonprofits depend on recurring donations to help create annual budgets and to build their programs and fundraising activities.

4. No automatic donor tax receipts 

Nonprofits must send tax receipts to donors within 48 hours after their gifts. Many online fundraising websites send automatic receipts. Unfortunately, Zoom is not one of them.

Venmo app for sharing donation on social

4 Steps for Soliciting Venmo Donations for Your Nonprofit 

Nonprofits with a PayPal Business Account can set up Venmo charity accounts and profiles in a few steps: 

1. Find Venmo with PayPal 

Go to PayPal’s Business Tools page, search for charity profiles, or search for Venmo and choose “Get Started.”

2. Set Up a New Venmo Account 

Enter and verify your nonprofit’s phone number and choose an email and password for your account. You must also agree to Venmo’s terms and conditions.

3. Create your Venmo Charity Profile 

Create a username, description, category, and keywords to help donors find your charity. Use your nonprofit’s mission and vision to find the best keywords to connect with donors. 

Next, you must also enter contact information, social media, and website links to make it easier for donors to find details about your nonprofit.

4. Preview Your Profile and Publish

Make sure you take a few minutes to check your Venmo nonprofit account and charity profile before you publish. After clicking publish, nonprofits can add Venmo to their online donation forms and start fundraising campaigns. 

57% of 18-to-29-year-olds report using Venmo. Most of these users do this because of ease of use. Nonprofits that promote how easy it is for donors to use Venmo and other online fundraising tools to give will have a greater chance of receiving their gifts.

What to Look for When Choosing a Payment Platform to Get Donations? 

Venmo’s popularity may make it the best payment platform for your nonprofit, but there are several others to choose from. As you begin researching potential platforms, you must consider a few things.

Key features 

All online payment platforms have a list of features that help nonprofits raise funds and connect with their supporters, including: 

1. Customizable donation forms 

Branding is crucial for nonprofit marketing. Online payment processors with easily customizable donation forms let charities add logos, colors, images, and keywords that inspire donor participation. Space to tell the organization and beneficiary stories will also help build the nonprofit’s brand and share its mission and programs.

Zeffy online donation form for fundraising

2. Automatic tax receipts 

Automatic receipts after online donations and events eliminate work spent on maintenance issues and help build relationships with donors. Nonprofits can send automatic receipts, and then take time to write personalized acknowledgment letters, make phone calls, or thank donors in person for their gifts.

3. Donor management systems 

Payment processors that let nonprofits collect donor information, take notes, and segment donors help them connect with donors immediately and in the future. A quality donor database allows charities to form fundraising plans for every donor type. These plans help organizations send personalized communications and turn one-time donors into long-term supporters.

4. Various fundraising options 

Nonprofits must find various ways to raise funds from supporters. Donors will give gifts in-person or online, buy event tickets, purchase items from their favorite charity, buy raffle tickets, and bid on auction items. The right payment processor will offer more funding options, make it easier to give, and help nonprofits collect donor information.  

5. More payment options 

The primary reason a nonprofit needs a payment processor is to collect donations in numerous ways. Organizations want as many payment options as possible to avoid losing gifts. PayPal is a well-known payment processor that many donors trust, so anything that accepts PayPal payments is great. Other payment types include: 

Associated Costs 

Cost is everything to nonprofits. Donors want their gifts to go entirely to your programs and beneficiaries, so the fewer fees, the better. Venmo and other payment processors have low platform and processing fees. Some ask nonprofits to pay a monthly or annual fee to access their features.

Others allow nonprofit donors to pay platform and credit processing fees to ensure their donations go entirely to the organization. Zeffy is the only 100% free solution for nonprofits!

Venmo's fees compared to Zeffy

Compare Zeffy (100% free) to Venmo →

Is There a Free Venmo Alternative for Nonprofits? 

Venmo offers nonprofit organizations simple ways to collect funds online for a small fee per transaction. Zeffy offers online donation processing, peer-to-peer campaigns, eCommerce, event ticketing, and donor management for free!

Call to Action: Sign up and start fundraising for free today

More Fundraising Options 

Nonprofits can use Zeffy to create customized online donation forms with branding and targeted appeals. Organizations reach more new donors with Zeffy’s events, peer-to-peer campaigns, eCommerce, and raffle ticket sales.  

1. Peer-to-peer fundraising 

An example of peer-to-peer fundraising

Zeffy peer-to-peer fundraising lets nonprofits create unique online donation forms to share with their supporters. Donors can give to the organization or join as an individual, as a team, or join other fundraising teams. Each fundraiser can create their own campaign page and ask friends and family to give. As the campaign continues, nonprofits must remember to send updates on the organization’s programs and campaigns to excite donors and fundraisers.

2. Event Ticketing 

Events are one of the more popular nonprofit fundraising ideas. With Zeffy, nonprofits can sell tickets online with customized ticketing forms, scan tickets at the door with QR codes, and track scans on their dashboards. Nonprofits can also offer discount codes and send automatic tax receipts.

3. E-Commerce 

Nonprofits, churches, schools, and other charitable clubs can create an online store to sell branded merchandise. Nonprofit organizations like Habitat for Humanity have raised significant amounts from stores like these.  

Nonprofits can create a separate page for their store and add their logo, colors, and a banner. Zeffy lets nonprofits add images, prices, and descriptions for each item they sell and automatically keeps inventory up to date. Nonprofits can also offer discount codes and pre-sale prices to buyers. Donors can purchase items online and in person with an iPhone.

4. Raffle tickets 

An excellent way to increase funds raised at an event or online is with a raffle. Zeffy helps nonprofits create customized raffle tickets, including logos, colors, and branded banners. Organizations can also add custom questions to raffle ticket forms to get more information from donors.  

Nonprofits can sell individual raffle tickets and ticket bundles online and in person. If organizations host in-person events, volunteers can scan raffle tickets with QR codes at the door and track these scans on the organization’s dashboard. Zeffy will send automatic sales receipts to raffle buyers. Additional donor contact information will be sent to the organization’s donor management system.

Recurring Donations 

Nonprofits can also use Zeffy to offer donors multiple membership types. Zeffy allows members to manage their own membership and nonprofits, providing an easier way to track new memberships.

With Zeffy, nonprofits can choose how frequently members renew and ask questions that strengthen relationships with members and encourage them to continue as long-time supporters. 

Donor Management 

Zeffy donor management for sending automatic tax receipts

Zeffy sends automatic tax receipts after each online donation. Donor information and donation details are automatically imported into nonprofit donor management systems. Nonprofits can also add demographic and personal notes on donors and segment them based on their program and project interests.

More Payment Options 

Zeffy accepts all credit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, ACH, and PAD. Zeffy also has a ‘Tap to Pay’ solution for free. Nonprofits only need an iPhone to accept in-person donations.

Frequently Asked Questions about Venmo for Nonprofits

Can nonprofits use Venmo? 

Verified 501c3 nonprofit organizations with PayPal Business accounts can use Venmo to fundraise online.

What is Venmo’s charity profile? 

Venmo lets nonprofits create charity profiles and promote their organization to over 78 million Venmo users.

What is the difference between Venmo and a PayPal business account? 

PayPal purchased Venmo in 2013. Both services can be used on any internet device, and users can link their debit and credit cards and bank accounts to make payments.   

Venmo’s weekly spending limit is $7,000. While PayPal has no weekly spending limit, both services have a $60,000 per transaction limit. There are also no fees to send cash from bank accounts, but there is a 3% Venmo fee and a 2.9% PayPal fee to send cash via credit card. 

Venmo is only available in the US. PayPal is available in more than 200 countries and 25 currencies.

What is Venmo’s charity profile? 

Venmo charity profiles give verified 501c3 nonprofits access to over 78 million users. Nonprofits receive a blue checkmark badge to build trust, increase visibility, and the chance to share their organization’s story and images with Venmo donors.

Can nonprofits use Venmo for free?

Unfortunately, nonprofits must pay a 2.29% + $0.09 fee for every donation, but there is a free option that offers similar services for 501c3 nonprofit organizations. With Zeffy, nonprofits can create customized donation forms and embed them on their website or pages posted by Zeffy. Nonprofits can solicit specific donation amounts targeted to segmented donor groups that include precisely how they will be used. 

Call to Action: Sign up and start fundraising for free today

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