The ease of online nonprofit fundraising is a hot topic and social media has helped accelerate the growth of donor support via this method. Long rumoured but now finally rolled out is Facebook adding a ‘Donate Now’ button to an initial group of nineteen large nonprofits with many more scheduled to follow.
The Donate Now button is to be strategically placed at both the top of the Facebook landing page for these organizations but will also be integrated within the news feed. Facebook made these changes hot on the heels of recently revising their ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ buttons throughout the network in an overall move to encourage participation or in the case of nonprofits spur true activism. The first ever Facebook-wide nonprofit integration saw a donate now button added to all feeds for a period of time following the recent tragic typhoon in the Philippines.
Having visited and tested the new donate feature it is admittedly user-friendly with users being able to click a button to bring up a pop up window allowing the donor to select the amount and then include their payment information all without ever leaving the Facebook environment (see image below).
Facebook's new 'Donate Now' in action (click to enlarge)
Facebook provided a corporate update about what drove the decision:
“In times of disaster or crisis, people turn to Facebook to check on loved ones, get updates, and to learn how they can help. In November 2013, in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, we partnered with the International Federation of Red Cross to let people donate directly to the Red Cross’s relief efforts in the Philippines. After seeing the generosity of people around the world toward this effort, we’ve been inspired to help everyone donate, at any time, to the organizations they care about most,”
Following the current testing phase Facebook will offer the donate button to many more nonprofits although as yet I’ve not found out if this is a global initiative although one would expect so. It is worth noting that Facebook do not collect any revenue share or other fees in association with this project.
It’s also encouraging to see that Facebook have also added a sign-up form for nonprofits that may be interested in being approved for future inclusion. Naturally a Facebook page is required and it also appears that your charity can be based outside of the US. Here’s a link to that form for nonprofits who would like to apply.
Naturally Facebook are aiming for transparency with this project although it will add to their existing ability to store user information. They’ve created a helpful FAQ page under Facebook Charity Donations which answers many questions about security, tax deductions, the approval process and more. 100% of donations will reach the chosen organization and in case you were wondering users have the option to ‘share’ the fact they’ve made a donation with their Facebook friends.
It will be interesting to see how well this performs and also how rapidly it expands. As always if you have any questions or comments please add them below.