Did you hear about the new verb?
If you have a child of a certain age, you’ve no doubt been invited to “Venmo” them money. What a privilege, right?! The chat usually goes something like this:
Child: “Mom, I just need you to cover me $100 for this month. I promise, it’s not for me. It’s for my dog (hamster, cat, bird, snake, tarantula, yada, yada, yada).”
Mom: Being the soft touch for any animal or living thing says with a sigh, “OK.”
Child: “You’re the best! I’ll pay you back next month. Just Venmo me the money.”
I may or may not have been part of such a conversation.
Venmo, for those of you who are new to the term, has been - until recently - a peer-to-peer way to give or exchange money. The difference is that the funds come straight out of (or straight into) your bank account, not through a credit card. In order to Venmo someone, you must download the Venmo app to your phone.
Churches and nonprofits have been looking for a way to cash in (get it?!) on Venmo. For years, Venmo didn’t want either of the two to participate. It was strictly designed for payments between individuals (peer-to-peer). That recently changed.
Last week, Joe Park the CEO of Horizons Stewardship came out with Venmo: Pros and Cons for Churches and Non-Profits (full disclosure, I also work for Horizons). He quickly highlighted two key things:
1. 83% of those who use Venmo are between the ages of 18-34. That is a significant number and indicates that this may be a preferred method of giving for a lot of people in that age demographic.
2. Venmo does not allow for recurring giving. According to Joe Park, the average recurring donor will give 42% more than those who are only one-time or occasional givers. Setting up repeated gifts is still your best strategy for consistent giving.
Read the full article here.
Still interested in giving Venmo a try?
Recently, Venmo has created a way for charities (I’m looking at your churches), to develop a profile and accept donations (FYI, fees are 1.9% plus ten cents per transaction). The company, Whole Whale – where, I kid you not, the CEO is the “Chief Whaler” – highlighted some additional benefits. Here are a few:
a. Increased visibility on Venmo with enhanced and shareable posts from donors (another form of social media)
b. Donation history and account statements, complete with donor contact information
c. Photo gallery to help tell your charity’s story
“B” is highlighted because, getting donation history and account statements with donor contact
information is critical. It means that you can follow up with donors to thank them and keep them
engaged. The downside? The information does not interface with your existing databases.
You can go here to read Venmo’s FAQs about receiving donations for charities.
One last article to take a look at is from Double the Donation: How Venmo for Nonprofits Can Raise More.
Obviously only you, your business administrators and your Generosity Team can determine if Venmo is right for you and your ministry context. As someone who has used Venmo, it is an easy and quick way to help pay for a creature in need (human or otherwise). It just may be a great way for you to reach a younger demographic too.
Follow-up to last week: Don’t you just hate it when you make a mistake? Me too! Last week I didn’t include a working link to the narrative February 2023 report in Your Spreadsheets Tell a Story. My apologies.