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Venmo Donations for Nonprofits: How to Convert Support to Fundraising Dollars


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Published March 25, 2022 Reading Time: 4 minutes

Venmo and PayPal are preferred payment options to make donations. When donors are able to use their preferred donation methods, nonprofits see greater donation amounts. We’ve seen the social proof play out already as nonprofits get creative about new fundraising ideas. Early proprietary data from the Classy Fundraising Platform shows that on average:

  • One-time online donations via PayPal were 30% higher than credit or debit card donations for organizations that activated on the PayPal Commerce platform with Classy Pay during giving season
  • During November and December 2021, we saw that organizations with Classy Pay and PayPal activated had a 4pt conversion lift vs. organizations with neither
  • Customers saw mobile conversion improve more than 2 points after activating Venmo on Classy Pay

Learn how nonprofits can aspire for similar results using Venmo for everything from donations to event registration Venmo payments with Classy Pay. Classy customers can now bring Venmo into the diversified payment processing options they offer to reach more donors in the ways they want to give.

What is Venmo?

Venmo is a popular mobile payment service known for fast, safe, social payments between friends and family. It’s captured the interest of 83 million customers as a seamless way to send, spend, share and manage finances using their phone number.

Its interactive platform is much like a social media app that draws in today’s donors and improves fundraising efforts with emoji engagement, likes, and comments.

How Does Venmo Work?

Venmo’s peer-to-peer model makes it easy to split payments and transfer funds without a physical wallet in hand. When a Venmo customer receives money, they have the option to transfer the money into a specific bank account.

More than a million merchants accept Venmo on their websites and apps to simplify payments for customers. The growing community of merchants who offer Venmo at checkout includes Uber, TicketMaster, StitchFix, and Hulu to name a few.

With the scan of a Venmo QR code, paying and receiving money is even easier for mobile Venmo users.

Many nonprofit organizations followed the lead of these savvy for-profit organizations by offering PayPal and Venmo donations as part of their fundraising strategies. We’ll show you just how they do it and how you can too.

What Is the Value of Accepting Donations Through Venmo?

Enabling donors to make online donations using Venmo as a payment method helps make the supporter journey more relevant, engaging, and intuitive. If our PayPal donations launch on Classy Pay is any indicator, Venmo has the potential to make a major impact on nonprofits nationwide.

Venmo Benefits for Nonprofits

The numbers we have seen from PayPal’s adoption on the Classy platform are exciting, but the potential for nonprofits to continue using PayPal and Venmo could be even greater. We saw that in just two months, ProPublica saw 2,904 transactions and a 14-point lift* in conversion after adding PayPal to their Classy Pay payment processor.

*Results not typical and results may vary

Upgrading payment processors is like going from a beater to a brand new car. Yes, it costs money, but I can assure you that money is worth it when you see the ROI. Being able to meet donors where they expect us to be is satisfying and has clearly paid off.

Jill Shepherd


3 Benefits of using Venmo Donations for Nonprofits

Support Conversion of Page Visitors to Completed Donations

Payment methods that feel familiar can help improve your conversion rates. Simple payment reconciliation positively impacts donor satisfaction.

How do I make a donation using Venmo?

A donor who uses their Venmo account to complete their gift clicks on the Venmo button at checkout which opens the Venmo app, logs in (if not already logged in through the app), chooses where the donation comes from (their Venmo balance (if available), linked card, or bank account), and confirms to finalize the transaction. Since many people already have their Venmo username and password stored on their mobile devices, donors save time and avoid friction.

We’ve seen conversion rates increase (referenced above) just by having the PayPal option available on nonprofits’ donation pages.

Encourage Acquisition of New Donors

Venmo can potentially help organizations expand their reach by tapping into new donor segments that feel more comfortable transferring money through the mobile app.

Venmo processed over $230B in total payment volume in 2021. When the Venmo button is on a nonprofit’s donation page, you can take one step in the right direction of donor trust.

Which Donors Prefer Venmo Donations?

Our annual giving experience report, Why America Gives, breaks down the importance of payment options among each generation of donors, finding that younger generations are especially trusting of newer payment options. We surveyed 1,000 U.S. donors to hear what builds trust, loyalty, and meaningful connections during the donation process.

PayPal and Venmo rank first and second as the most widely used mobile wallet in the US. Venmo is the preferred digital wallet of millennials and Gen Z: 81% of Venmo customers are between the ages of 18-45.

Source: Statista Global Consumer Survey as of July 2020; Venmo Behavior Study, conducted by Focus Vision on behalf of PayPal, October 2020.

The report consistently shows that PayPal and Venmo are in demand as preferred payment methods. With digital wallets becoming the standard, we anticipate that this preference will only continue to grow.

How to Set Up Venmo for a Nonprofit

How Can Nonprofits Accept Venmo Donations?

Classy Pay integrates with Venmo to give organizations more flexibility and control. Now, you can offer supporters one of the best possible donation and checkout experiences through a single platform.

Venmo is part of Classy’s integration with PayPal Commerce. Once a Classy customer activates the PayPal processor, they will have the ability to also enable Venmo with just the click of a button in Classy Manager. The value is having more options for your donors to pay, with just one solution.

Classy’s Venmo integration offers individuals the choice to donate through their desired payment methods across many campaign types, including:

How to Get Started with Venmo on Classy

You’ve seen the success of our PayPal pioneers. Now it’s your opportunity to be one of the first nonprofits to offer Venmo as a payment method through Classy Pay. Organizations that have already activated PayPal in Classy Pay can enable Venmo by simply checking a box in their payment processing portal.

If you’re looking to get started with Classy Pay for the first time, check out our detailed overview and explore the entire Classy Giving Platform by requesting a demo.


Accept Venmo Donations on Classy

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