In contrast to the general monetisation of social media, Facebook had decided to offer users the opportunity to give money to good causes.
Facebook has outlined plans to roll out a “Donate” button for all non-profit organisations to use on their Facebook pages. This isn’t a new innovation; the social network established a “Donate” button back in December 2013, but it was only available for particular non-profit organisations that Facebook were working in partnership with, such as UNICEF, Red Cross, and DonorsChoose.org. The initiative clearly worked well because Facebook now intends to offer the option more widely.
Facebook stated: “Every day, people use Facebook to raise awareness and support for causes they care about and to motivate others to do the same. We’re inspired by how much good comes from these connections, so we’ve added a ‘Donate Now’ call-to-action on Pages and link ads to make those connections easier than ever.”
The “Donate” button should theoretically help to increase charitable contributions by making the process easier. The vast majority of charities rely heavily on donations to survive and continue to help the client groups they serve.
The new “Donate” button will be different from its previous incarnation, with a clickable link now taking users to sites outside of the Facebook platform. Similar to the “Shop Now” and “Book Now” options, users will no longer be redirected to another part of Facebook to be prompted for payment details.
Facebook has not explained why they have made the change, but it could be an issue of trust. Users are perhaps more comfortable with donating to a charity’s website rather than through a third party, safe in the knowledge that the entirety of their donation is going exactly where they intended.
With more than 1.5 billion users, Facebook’s move opens up the market for charities to reach people and gather invaluable donations.