Is Venmo Fundraising the Next Big Thing for Nonprofits?

Posted by Michael H. Abernathy Jr., CPA

In a world of constantly changing donor demographics, nonprofit organizations need to be innovative when it comes to fundraising. According to a research study done by the Pew Research Center, millennials surpassed both boomers and gen-x’ers in 2016 to become the largest generational cohort in the U.S. workforce; this makes a societal wealth shift to the millennial generation imminent. Nonprofits will be fighting for traction with this donor base for decades to come. Millennials spend more time on apps and social media than any previous cohort, so charitable organizations need to keep in step to remain relevant. Venmo is a mobile payment service that caters to this trend, since it not only offers quick, easy, and convenient transactions, but also contains a social media component.

Venmo is still developing their nonprofit program. Venmo’s website currently states, “Our nonprofit account program is currently in private beta.” Charitable organizations will want to be prepared when Venmo rolls out their nonprofit account support. Here are a few key factors to plan for now:

  • Get the word out – Donors don’t know what they don’t know. Organizations will need to make sure their website and social media platforms clearly state they are now accepting Venmo payments once this is implemented. Email and paper solicitations will need to be updated as well.
  • Ask for small amounts – Venmo is well suited for small transactions. Most people don’t carry spare cash around these days, so Venmo fills that void by giving people the opportunity to make quick, convenient payments in the spur of the moment. A large volume of small donations could make a substantial funding source for an organization, as well as help establish a footing with a large donor base.
  • Maintain an active social media presence – Don’t forget that Venmo also functions as a social media platform. When people make payments, those payments pop up in Venmo’s news feed with a description for all their peers to see. Remember to leave a comment thanking each donor. The social media aspect will offer additional donor exposure with minimal effort, and give the organization opportunities to solicit additional funds.

Nonprofit organizations should be thinking about these factors now to remain ahead of the curve. However, the implementation of a new payment platform could bring with it recordkeeping and accounting issues; be sure to contact a member of our nonprofit team if you run into this issue.


Photo by Gerry Dincher (License)

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