Fundraiser is Facebook’s new feature that lets you raise money for your favorite non-profit. The feature, which was first released and limited to only non-profits sometimes in 2015, will be available to some users in the US.
“Today, we introduced fundraisers for people in the U.S. to raise funds for the nonprofits they support”
Fundraiser allows you to share your personal story and set a fundraising target on dedicated Pages where friends can send in donations to verified non-profits without leaving Facebook.
At the moment, only a few Facebook users in the US will be able to access the new feature—that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone considering the fact that Facebook is still testing Fundraiser. The social media giant will probably use the testing period to gather feedbacks and fix any bugs; but this is not expected to take more than a couple of weeks.
The feature is the brain work of the Social Good team, which was officially launched by Facebook in September 2015. Speaking to Mashable on reasons behind Fundraiser, Naomi Gleit, vice president of product management for social good at Facebook, said: “We had Facebook fundraising for nonprofits with International Medical Corps in Nepal, and then last year … nonprofits could fundraise for themselves. But the real vision has always been people fundraising for nonprofits.”
Use of social media for fundraising was not really as successful until the awareness created by the 2014 Ice Bucket Challenge in which friends and celebrities dumped buckets of ice water to raise $115 million for ALS research. Despite the success of the Ice Bucket Challenge, thousands of non-profits channeled their energies towards raising funds from other sources like Google. However, initiators of the Ice Bucket Challenge were so convinced that they could have raised even more funds if they had used Facebook. Famous Hollywood stars, business moguls such as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg were among those who took part in the fund raising in 2014.
In the test conducted so far by the Facebook Social Good team, it discovered that friends are moved by personal stories, which encourage opening of wallets. “Giving is really personal. It’s one thing for American Red Cross to raise money for American Red Cross. It’s another for a friend to raise money on behalf of American Red Cross,” Gleit says, per USA Today. “We tend to give to people that we care about.”
Only non-profits with 501 (c) (3) status, a verified Facebook page, agrees to the Facebook Pages Terms, and of course, based in the US can sign up for the program. For now, only a handful of charity organizations are taking part in the program, including Alzheimer’s Association, Girls Prep Campaign and Oxfam, and The Nature Conservancy.
The Fundraising feature is part of efforts being made by Facebook to engage users and make them stay within the platform. This week, Facebook tweaked its algorithm to give priority to friends. The tweaking will allow users see posts from friends ahead of those from publishers and brands.
Got something on your mind to say or add to this story? Share it in the comments section.