This past weekend, I, like many others, posted about Earth Day. I noticed when I posted that Facebook gave me an option to add a donate button to the post. As a Nonprofit Leadership student, I was intrigued by this and decided to investigate Facebook’s charitable giving tools.
It appears that in 2013, Facebook launched a donation button for 19 nonprofits and NGOs. The catch? The social media juggernaut, like most other businesses, collected your credit card information. Although it donated 100% of the proceeds to the charity of the donor’s choice (and took care of the donation fee that comes with online giving), some were wary.
Not long after, Facebook allowed nonprofits to have a “Donate Now” button on their page, which would link to the Donation portion of the NGO’s website. In 2016, Facebook allowed features for a nonprofit organization to launch a fundraising campaign. This, however, was only available to certain organizations.
This year, almost a month ago, Facebook launched a tool which largely resembles GoFundMe, in that personal users may create solicitation campaigns for themselves. Facebook has been entangled in many controversies surrounding capitalizing on other platforms’ work, notably Snapchat with Stories and Livestream with Facebook Live.
It begs the question, is this successful?
I am very concerned with this issue, particularly because a lot of my studies for this class and the rest of my degree have pertained to using social media as a fundraising tool/engaging and meeting millennial donors where they are. Unfortunately, I was unable to find metrics regarding the whole success rate of the Donate Now button, but I have been able to find that most donations by millennials are given online. As most people between the ages of 18-29 (88%) use Facebook, it’s not surprising that 15-18% of all millennial donations are completed through Facebook.
Facebook is slowly, yet surely making their platform more nonprofit/NGO friendly. And social media is allowing millennials an outlet for activism and charitable giving. Not unlike the popular children’s book “When You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” when you give a millennial a tool in which they can donate easily, then they will become more invested in a cause.