By Madeline Frank, Large Donor/Events Intern

In case you haven’t read tech news in the past few weeks, Facebook recently launched the newest addition to their ever-growing platform: Fundraisers! This new tool, specifically geared toward nonprofits and philanthropists, was quickly dubbed the newest trend in DIY fundraising. Vice President of Facebook Product Management Naomi Bleit described the tool as “…a dedicated place to raise funds from a nonprofit’s page for a specific campaign.”

The fundraising tool was first tested in November 2015, but only became public and available for all users at the end of June. It allows Facebook users to donate directly on the Facebook Fundraiser page rather than being directed to a different site — this allows supporters to make donations in an easy and integrated progress. Here’s what you should know about Facebook Fundraisers!

  • Fundraisers are fundraising pages on Facebook set up and managed by individual supporters of registered 501(c)(3) organizations who want to collect donations to benefit charities they feel passionate about.
  • Fundraisers are meant to be used as a platform for sharing personal stories, photos, videos, etc. that explain why the fundraiser is passionate about a specific nonprofit. Their goal is to encourage friends and family to rally behind the cause and donate.
  • As of now, only American Nonprofits and American Facebook users can participate in Fundraisers, but users from 39 countries around the world are currently able to donate to these fundraisers. Facebook is working on expanding this fundraising tool to International Nonprofits as well!
  • American nonprofits can sign up on Facebook. Facebook will then do a background check on the nonprofit to confirm they are registered with the IRS.
  • The processing fee is 5% for Facebook to cover expenses associated with operation and payment processing.
  • Facebook will distribute donations that accumulate to $100 or more every 15 days to the respective Nonprofits. If the donations for that 15 day period do not cumulatively add up to $100, those gifts will be held until the next 15 day period.
  • This platform has already raised hundreds of thousands of dollars during the testing period in November!
  • The “Donate” button on Facebook has also been improved and is present on posts where Facebook users “share” that they made a donation.

Keep in mind that this is a new feature and is still subject to updates and there is limited data on the performance of this tool in extensive fundraising campaigns. We encourage nonprofits to test out the platform on a small scale in the summer of 2016 before rolling out with a larger campaign.

Content for this post was sourced from Chronicle of Philanthropy, Megan O’Neil, “160 Million Americans Will Soon Be Able to Raise Money for Charity on Facebook” and Facebook Newsroom, Naomi Gleit, “Introducing New Tools for Nonprofits”.

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