Facebook has updated its fundraising tools, adding support for personal online fundraising in the U.S. By creating a campaign, those above the age of 18 will be able to raise money for themselves and for anyone or anything not on Facebook.
Fundraising tool not for profit
In 2015, the social networking giant created a fundraising platform allowing non-profits to raise donations through campaign pages, and now this is its next effort in the same direction. A Facebook spokesperson told CNNTech that a transaction fee of 6.95% plus 30 cents per donation will be levied on the personal fundraiser.
“We’re not in the business of making profit on this,” the spokesperson said, adding that the fee will cover security and fraud protection, payment processing and vetting. In comparison, non-profits have been paying a fee of 5%.
Naomi Gleit, vice president of product management for social good at Facebook, told Mashable, “Before we actually disburse funds to them, depending on how much money it is, we’ll do some more quality control.”
Six categories to choose from
With the new tool, Facebook has enabled users to raise funds for personal emergencies or any campaign such as medical expenses and school, funerals or any other such crisis. Fund creators can also choose from about 100 charities such as the Alzheimer’s Association, Oxfam and Nature Conservancy.
As of now, Facebook has opened personal fundraising to six key categories: medical (procedures, treatments, injuries); education (tuition, books or classroom supplies); pet medical; crisis relief such as natural disasters; personal emergencies like car accidents or house fires; and funeral and related losses such as burial expenses and living expenses for grieving family members. The Menlo Park-based company is also looking to expand those categories. It has a 24-hour proactive review process to ensure that fundraisers meet category and community policies.
The company has also allowed users to add a “donate” button to their live-streams on the platform. This will also help brands, businesses and public figures to raise funds. People who make donations can choose to donate as they watch or after the live-stream ends.
Bucket challenge inspired Facebook
Facebook got its inspiration from the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge which became popular in 2014. This is when the company realized that it is too small to handle the volume of traffic to its website and also could not accept international currencies, notes Mashable.
Like various other fundraising products out there, Facebook also offers users the ability to invite friends, share their campaign or click on the blue button to donate. Facebook’s latest effort makes it a direct competitor to GoFundMe, the preeminent crowd-funding site for personal causes, notes The Verge.
“I just see this as making it even easier. I think people will continue using those other products, and this will just be additive,” Gleit said.
With the new tool, more payments will be processed via Facebook. This will help its payment business, which is still in the nascent stage despite the addition of peer-to-peer payments to Messenger.