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A163 - Venmo Rules

 Approved 8/2022 - Finance Department; Revised 09/2022


Venmo Rules

  1. Principals must notify the WCSD Business Administrator before setting up a Venmo account for their school.
  2. Only two Venmo accounts are allowed per school.
  3. The school’s Venmo account must be tied to a school-owned cell phone.
  4. The Lead Finance Secretary must have access to the Venmo account. In some schools (typically high schools), the account receivable function may be handled by a different secretary.  If that’s the case at your school, then that accounts receivable secretary may also have access to the Venmo account.
  5. Venmo may be used to receive money for:

a. Gate receipts

b. Donations

c. Fundraisers 

d. Concessions            

      (See the FAQ below for examples of donations and fundraisers where Venmo may or may not be used.)

  1. Venmo may not be used when goods are sold that could be returned.
  2. Venmo may not be used to receive money for student fees.
  3. Venmo may not be used to receive money for any transaction where the school should keep a record for the transaction (showing who paid, how much, when, and why).
  4. The school’s website is the only place where people can go to find:

a.  The school’s Venmo account name

b.  A link to the school’s Venmo account, or

c.  A QR code for the school’s Venmo account.

     10.  On the same webpage where the school’s Venmo information is shown, this warning/disclaimer must also be displayed: “To protect yourself from fraud, please be aware that any Venmo account, link or QR code that is not on the school or district’s website is not affiliated with the school or district in any way.”

     11.  If a group or organization not affiliated with the school accepts payments on school property using Venmo they must:

a.  Have signage notifying customers who they are.

b.  If they are using a sign or card with a QR code linked to their Venmo account it must include the following statement "This entity and Venmo account are not owned or operated by Washington County School District."

 

FAQ

Question:  Can we display a printed QR code for Venmo account at the ticket sales table at our sporting events?

Answer:  Schools may not have a printed QR code that takes the payer directly to the Venmo account/app.

However, schools are permitted to have a printed QR code that directs the payer to the school’s website where they can find the link, along with the warning/disclaimer in #10 above.  

Question:  Can we set up a laptop at the ticket sales table which shows the Venmo QR code on the school’s website, so people can quickly scan it and get into the Venmo app?

Answer:  No. 

However, schools are permitted to have a printed QR code that directs the payer to the school’s website where they can find the link, along with the warning/disclaimer in #10 above. 

Question:  Our Cheer team is putting on a summer cheer camp as a fundraiser.  The cost is $40 per child.  Since Venmo may be used for fundraisers, can people pay for the camp using Venmo?

Answer: No.  Venmo may only be used for small dollar transactions where there is no need for a record of the transaction.  $40 is not a small amount, and the school may need to issue a refund to someone who previously paid but can no longer attend the camp.  This type of transaction should be handled through In-Touch.

Question: A donor would like to give $200 to the school.  Can this be paid via Venmo?

Answer: Venmo should not be used to collect donations like this because donors may wish to write off the donation as a charitable tax deduction. 

Question: A member of our faculty has experienced a medical crisis, and we would like to raise money for them at the halftime of an upcoming basketball game.  Can we use Venmo for this?

 Answer: Yes, Venmo may be used for these “Miracle Minute” types of fundraisers, since donors typically donate smaller amounts, and there is no need for a record showing who paid how much. 

Question:  Can our booster club have a Venmo account, or the PTA or PTO?

Answer:  If the booster club is a school-run booster (meaning all of the proceeds are deposited into a school account) then the school’s Venmo account should be used.  The booster club cannot have its own separate Venmo account.

If the booster club does not belong to the school, but is instead run by parents, then it is a legally separate organization from the school.  PTOs and PTAs are also legally separate from the school.

Because these are legally separate organizations, the District does not have the authority to prohibit them from having their own Venmo accounts. 

School administrators should discuss potential concerns with representatives from the booster club, PTA or PTO.  These concerns include:

  • Anyone can set up a Venmo account using any name. This means people who are unaffiliated with the school could set up fraudulent Venmo accounts.
  • Once money is transferred, there is little or no recourse for the defrauded party to get their money back. Venmo is designed as a person-to-person platform.  It was not designed for business-buyer sales, which means that there is little consumer protection compared to other forms of payment.

With these concerns in mind, it’s recommended that the booster clubs, PTOs and PTAs consider contracting with the school to use the school’s Venmo account.  Of course, these organizations would need to abide by the same Venmo rules as the school’s teams, clubs and departments.

If booster clubs, PTOs or PTAs opt to set up their own Venmo account, they are not authorized to use the school name, the school mascot, or the district’s name in association with their Venmo account.  Nor would the school be allowed to use its resources to help them conduct transactions using Venmo (for example, by putting a link to the booster club’s Venmo account on the school’s website).

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