An estimated 750,000 nonprofits in the U.S. already take advantage of a host of tools on Facebook, such as charitable donations pages and “donate” buttons, and more ways to fund-raise and connect with constituents are being rolled out.
In Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s words, “Our focus in 2018 is making sure Facebook isn’t just fun, but also good for people’s well-being and for society. We’re doing this by encouraging meaningful connections between people rather than passive consumption of content.”
A timeline by Facebook notes that only three years ago, the company launched charitable giving tools in the U.S. “to make it easier for nonprofits to raise money directly from their supporters already on Facebook.”
These Facebook tools for nonprofits included:
- A dedicated page for nonprofits to help strengthen nonprofits’ Facebook presence, help groups better use Facebook tools and share success stories
- A charitable donations page that shows how nonprofits can get donations directly from their Facebook page
- A donate button
In 2016, they introduced tools to allow people to fund-raise on behalf of nonprofits on Facebook they believe in.
When the online donation function launched, Facebook kept a 5 percent processing fee. Last November, the company eliminated the fee and announced the creation of a fund, up to $50 million per year, “to match giving on its app to causes like natural disaster relief.”
TechCrunch reported about a number of other new developments from the second Facebook Social Good Forum conference in New York City last November:
- Facebook expanded charitable giving tools to 13 countries in Europe as well as Canada, New Zealand and Australia
- The company launched a Fundraiser API (application programming interface) to synchronize Facebook fundraisers to offsite campaigns
- Facebook executives announced the launch of a new Mentorship feature in partnership with nonprofits
So, what is driving Facebook’s philanthropic focus?
In an Ad Age interview between Facebook’s David Fischer and Lisa Sherman, president, and CEO of the Ad Council, Fischer explains:
“For us, empowering people to do good is a key part of so much of what we do. This is because it’s ingrained in our mission: whether it’s been to help others in times of crisis or to raise awareness for a cause they support, people on Facebook have demonstrated the good they can do when they’re empowered.”