Here’s a common question we receive in the firstname.lastname@example.org inbox:
Can our PTA set up a Venmo account for fundraising?
For a long time, we highly discouraged the use of Venmo because it was not designed to work for nonprofits. Over the past couple years, Venmo has introduced a new version of its product that is geared toward nonprofits. Does our previous advice still stand?
Although Venmo now has special non-profit accounts, we understand that each account must still be connected to a personal phone number.
When it comes to that, our biggest concerns are:
- How easy does that make it for one person to have sole control over something connected directly to your bank account?
- How does that account get handed off from year to year if it is connected to a personal phone number?
- If someone decided to embezzle money from a PTA and they were the one who ‘owned’ the Venmo account (attached to their personal number), how would the PTA shut that down?
Venmo is not against the rules, but we are still recommending that PTAs consider the safety of each type of account they use to handle their funds.
With any account (Paypal, Cheddar Up, Venmo, Stripe, etc…)
- You want to make sure you are setting up tight controls on who has access to the account and enable access to more than just one person.
- You want to make sure that you have written policies on handling those accounts.
- You want to know about how your insurance considers these types of accounts. We recommend calling AIM or whomever you have for insurance and asking what would be covered if something were to happen with the account.
These types of accounts are considered a type of banking, so your non-signer who reviews your bank statements should also review statements from each of those accounts on a monthly basis.