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With New ‘Donate’ Button, Facebook Vies to Become Hub for Charitable Giving

MFG Archive

This week we take a look at Claire Zillman’s Wednesday article for Fortune on Facebook’s new giving features and lingering questions about what will happen with donor data when they give via “The Book.”


Fortune reported that, starting this week, charities (beginning with a small group of pre-selected BETA user organizations) will gain two potentially game-changing features alongside their Facebook pages 1) a direct donate button and 2) a stand-alone fundraising page.


A 2013 report from fundraising software company Blackbaud found that roughly 1% of all online fundraising comes from social media. Cited in the article as a testament to the huge untapped potential of social giving, a void Facebook is hoping to fill.


But, for nonprofits, a donor’s first gift is just the beginning. The ultimate goal is to form a lasting relationship. As important as funds from social media donations will be to the social sector, the potentially dynamic “lifelong” relationships are infinitely more valuable. Those relationships begin with data about the donor and their gift – name, location, gift amount, how they decided to give, etc.


At this stage, Facebook’s spokesperson told Fortune that users will have the option of sharing their email address with the charity when they make a donation. Beyond that, whether and how quickly nonprofits will find out who is giving so they can “steward that gift,” as Patrick Rooney, associate dean for academic affairs at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University puts it in the article, remains unclear.


Ultimately, the flow of donor data from social media giving may prove to be the greatest gift that organizations, like Facebook, can offer nonprofit recipients. 


To find out more about Facebook’s new feature, be sure to visit Facebook’s website.


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