Why Not to Use Venmo for Nonprofits 2022

If you landed here, we’d guess you’re wondering, Can you use Venmo for nonprofits in 2022? The answer is layered: Yes, you could. It is available to you. But should you use Venmo for nonprofit fundraising (which includes using Venmo for PTAs, HOAs, churches, and charities, among many, many more)?
Our recommendation is no. And it’s not simply because we offer an alternative — it’s because Venmo isn’t developed to serve groups, especially those with mandatory reporting, so it lacks features to best support nonprofits. In short, Venmo is a peer-to-peer (P2P) platform, so its primary role is exactly that — transactions between two individuals for personal means, like paying a friend back for dinner. (In full transparency: We love Venmo for this reason! We’re very clearly #TeamOnlinePayments.) To dig deeper into the technology side, check out this blog post.

Here, we’ll look at a few specific features to pinpoint why Venmo isn’t great for nonprofits.

Venmo’s primary role is transactions between two individuals for personal means, like paying a friend back for dinner. 

7 Key Reasons to Reconsider Using Venmo for Nonprofit Fundraising

Full disclosure: We use each of these for personal needs, but they don’t always meet groups’ capacity and regulatory needs. How so?
1. Venmo doesn’t allow nonprofit usage.
It’s right on its website: “Venmo’s peer-to-peer experience cannot be used to solicit or collect charitable contributions…” But how will they know? That’s the thing: They don’t have to for sure. Venmo can freeze your account based on sheer suspicion, which leaves access to your funds entirely up to Venmo’s discretion. Funding is a lifeline for nonprofits and PTAs, so not only could the loss jeopardize your organization, but also donors who trust you to steward their money. Is it worth the risk? 

2. Venmo doesn’t provide tax receipts.
The IRS requires nonprofits to send a receipt for all donations above $250, and donors need printed or emailed confirmation of a charitable contribution to claim it. Failure to comply can compromise your 501(c)(3) status. Although Venmo records transaction history, it doesn’t include IRS-required information. (We’ll refer you to the experts for details on all of the above.) 

3. Venmo accounts are connected to one individual.
To sign up, you need a phone number, email address, and bank account. Your nonprofit or PTA has all of these — all set, right? It’s a little murkier than that. First, to repeat No. 1, Venmo does not allow nonprofit usage. To skirt this rule for convenience likely just complicates things: You leave only one person with the account credentials and access to your money, which counters the transparency ethics that nonprofits operate on. (And what happens if that point-person leaves without a proper handoff? Who will receive the “Forgot Password?” email?) If your response is to share login credentials across a team, then multiple people will have unchecked access.

Venmo does have business accounts, but even those must be created under one personal profile, leaving the same concerns at play.

4. Venmo limits weekly spending.
In general, people can spend only $299.99 per week* on Venmo. If you are running a capital campaign, you’ll instantly set a cap on what donors can give. Sure, they can return the following week, or they can complete Venmo’s identity verification to give more, but both add hurdles to what you want to be a seamless process. Less limitations may encourage more giving.


*Amounts as of August 2022
5. It also limits weekly withdrawals.
The max you can transfer to your bank account is $999.99 per week.* If you verify your identity (which could invite some questions about nonprofit usage, see No. 1 — we don’t know for certain), that increases to up to $19,999.99 per week.* If you receive significant contributions, it could take some time to officially claim them. This could also impact your accounting.


*Amounts as of August 2022
6. Tracking and reporting are cumbersome.
Venmo’s endless-scroll “feed” interface means sifting through each payment to categorize — one of the big reasons organizations want to steer away from cash and check. You can easily miss, or mistype, donations this way. While you can download Venmo statements, you can only do one month at a time.
7. You may not be able to identify all payments.
Think: a check’s blank memo line. You can ask people to include payment details on Venmo, but inevitably, some forget. As a nonprofit, it’s critical to account for every dollar received to help prevent concerns over unrelated business income.

With Venmo, you’re depending on something similar to a check’s blank memo line to identify payments. 

Why Cheddar Up Is an Ideal Alternative to Venmo for Nonprofits and PTAs

In addition to collecting money, Cheddar Up is an efficient management tool. Here’s a (nonexhaustive) look at how our features support nonprofits specifically. 
1. Cheddar Up sends customizable receipts after every transaction.
We automatically email a confirmation after every payment received on our platform — but you can customize the message. Include the IRS-required tax receipt information in the text box, and you’ve saved your team a follow-up step.
2. Cheddar Up offers multiple managers with specified permissions.
On our Team Plan, you can add/remove as many managers as you need, each under their own personal login. (No password sharing!) Additionally, you can limit what each manager can see and do on your group’s account. This makes for easy handoffs when teams and boards change. 
3. We don’t impose any limits.
On how much you can collect or withdraw! In addition …
4. We offer fundraising-specific features.
You can choose to post a fundraising goal progress bar, which adjusts to reflect how much you’ve received on your collection (which is what we call the free web page you create to accept donations), so that donors can see how much more you need. (It may encourage them!) For more details, click here.
5. Cheddar Up offers flexible payment options, including recurring payments.

Cheddar Up allows payers to pay via debit, credit, or echeck. (You can also offer cash and check payments, and manually enter them in your Cheddar Up dashboard — we’ll automatically fold them into your online totals!) More options typically provide payers more convenience and freedom to give. Bonus: You can also set up recurring payments to encourage regular donations. 

6. The fees are flexible too.
We give your organization the option to absorb fees or pass the fees to the payer — plus, on a case-by-case basis. Because nonprofits and PTAs operate on donor funding, we recognize that sometimes you may want to take on smaller fees to encourage more giving, but other times, like in the event of high-dollar campaigns, you can’t afford to. More about our fee structure here.
7. Payers do not have to create a Cheddar Up account.
We think this is one of our true points of distinction! People can choose to pay without creating an account, which means donating is truly as simple as click and pay.
8. Oversight is a breeze.
Not only does Cheddar Up automatically sort and track every payment received, you can also access and download a summary of your entire Cheddar Up history in a few simple clicks. Our online reports center is incredibly granular too.

Your payers will 🧡 that they don’t need to download an app or create an account to pay on Cheddar Up.

We’re truly just scratching the surface. For a deep dive into the Cheddar Up platform, videos included, check out our knowledge center

Turn Your Time to Money

We know every minute matters to a nonprofit. We help automate your essential funding processes so that you can spend less time on logistics, more on your mission.

Collect for FREE

Whether you’re collecting dues and fees, fundraising, managing an event, creating a sign up, or selling something online or in-person, you can do it with a Cheddar Up collection.

You’ll want to ask your group’s organizer for a link. For privacy reasons, it’s not possible to search for this on Cheddar Up.

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