Venmo is one of the largest peer-to-peer mobile payment services. Much like Cash App, Venmo's popularity leads many churches to rely on it to increase their online giving.
As we all know, just because something's popular doesn't mean it's the best. I'll cover the Pros and Cons of Venmo for churches, so you can decide if you should use (or continue to use) it with your ministry.
Venmo was the 4th most downloaded p2p payment app in the United States in 2021. It was even the 7th most downloaded in the world! This means many of your members likely already use Venmo. It would be easy to get them to donate to the church from that platform.
Folks don't tend to keep much money on their Venmo account. That may sound like a counter-intuitive fact to list as a Pro, but hear me out: Folks keeping only petty cash on their Venmo account makes them more likely to want to donate.
Your members might be more willing to donate the small amount of money in their Venmo account to avoid digging into their bank account.
Half of all Venmo users are millenials. This is important, because this generation is more likely to use online giving platforms than other donation methods. Promoting this platform can help set your church up to thrive in the future.
If a member donates with a credit card, the church will lose 3% of that donation. That's pretty steep compared to other platforms.
One of the biggest benefits of online giving is that many platforms allow users to set up recurring donations. That means ministries can receive support from members no matter if they attend regularly. And the supporters don't have to worry about forgetting to donate.
Not so with Venmo. Members will have to manually log in and donate every time.
Venmo doesn't integrate with most other platforms. That means you can't streamline the process of updating contribution info for your members. You will have to manually input the transaction data into whatever platform you use to track and report contributions.
At the end of the day, Venmo is NOT built for churches. The lack of recurring donations and donor reports also makes it far inferior to basically any giving platform. I would say Cash App would be the better option if you simply must use a P2P app for accepting donations.
The only situation Venmo is a good tool for accepting church donations is if you're a pastor that's accepting occasional love offerings. Even then, you're still opening yourself up to taxes and being automatically 1099'd by Venmo once the donations go over a certain threshold.
...Okay, I change my mind. Using Venmo for Church Giving is a terrible idea...
We love being a resource for churches! So we spent a whole hour chatting about the hundreds of online giving platforms and how to choose the right one for your church. The video below starts at the part where we cover Venmo, but be sure to check out the rest of the video to learn more!
I'm not saying you should use ChurchTrac Online Giving. I'm just saying that there are so many better options you should consider. Using Venmo for your church's giving is like trying to write a multi-paragraph email with a cell phone when you have an open laptop right next to you.
Sure, you can do it. But why would you?
Leave Venmo for paying back a friend for a concert ticket and leave the church finances to something that's actually made for churches.