Venmo or Bitcoin Donations: Why Not Both?
Last week, it was announced that Venmo would begin offering Bitcoin as an option on the platform. What does this mean for nonprofits? Well, for starters, if you’re unfamiliar with both of these payment methods, it likely means that you and your organization aren’t keeping up with the evolving payment universe.
Venmo and Bitcoin were both launched in 2009, meaning they’ve already been around for over a decade. Here are ways to get involved with cutting-edge payment methods.
Bitcoin can now be bought and sold on Cash App, investment platforms like Robinhood allow you to add it directly to your traditional portfolio and Facebook and JP Morgan Chase are in the process of developing their own cryptocurrencies. If you’re interested in actively fundraising cryptocurrency, these offerings are designed to get you more intel and support active fundraising for nonprofits less familiar with the space. If you are not interested in actively fundraising crypto, but want your donors to have the option when they reach out, a simple and compliant way to get setup is by opening an institutional account in your nonprofit’s name with Gemini.
As of April of last year, Venmo already had 40 million users — more users than the biggest banks on the planet. They have not had an institutional account offering for nonprofits, but there are great resources like GiveButter that enable you to receive donations from Venmo users, perhaps one of the easiest ways your young donors have to support you. Venmo is the third most popular app in the App Store, so I strongly recommend that any nonprofit interested in building a younger donor base explore ways to enable those donors to give to you directly through the app.
I won’t go so far as to detail how to get equipped to accept every donation option that is popular among Millennials and Gen Zers (that will be for another post when I can come up for air), but here are the ones that I think every nonprofit should certainly explore if they intend to keep up:
- Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies
- Cash App
- Facebook Fundraisers
If you’re not an E.M. Rogers fan, then maybe this doesn’t seem like a long time. When it comes to diffusion of innovation, a decade-long delay before getting your feet wet with a popular tool likely lands you in the laggards camp. This is not meant to make you feel inadequate — I just started using Instagram myself. However, in the same way that I feel behind my peers on Instagram in terms of learning the platform and building a following, the same is true for nonprofits when it comes to payment methods. Someone on your team ought to be actively reviewing the options. You might have the greatest restaurant in the world, but no one’s going to come if you give them nowhere to sit.
Pat Duffy, co-founder of The Giving Block, began as a federal consultant for pharmaceutical companies, focused on collaboration with nonprofits. He then shifted to the nonprofit sector, focusing on executive leadership and fundraising for voluntary health associations. Merging his nonprofit experience and passion for Bitcoin trading, The Giving Block was born, creating the turnkey solution for cryptocurrency donations now used by charities around the world.