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Facebook’s new “Donate Now” button for nonprofits

Announcement: This is meant to be an informative post about a new feature, also asking for ideas and helpful discussion. If you’re looking for over-hyped posts claiming that this is the best thing since sliced bread or an overrated piece of crap, check elsewhere (there are plenty). End of announcement.

A few weeks ago, Facebook gave 18 nonprofit organizations to have a “Donate Now” button on their timeline, making it easy for people to donate IN Facebook, rather than clicking off to another site (for free, all donations go to the nonprofit). Nonprofits can request to get this feature with this form, but it is not clear whether Facebook intends to offer it soon or to what extent.

Are there pros and cons? Of course! Nonprofits are saying perhaps this will make it harder to maintain donor relationships (isn’t that potentially true of all digital development campaigns?). Is Facebook doing this purely altruistically? Of course not! Having your credit card info in the platform will absolutely be to their advantage to up their ecommerce possibilities, but won’t it also be helpful for donating again? Might having the ask be so blatant make it seem like white noise, like some ads? Sure! Would a nonprofit rather have an ad grant than a donate now button? Maybe!

Ultimately, this is a new feature that nonprofits can choose to use, experiment with, test. Nobody’s forcing it, but the blogs and articles are all taking a strong stance on this. Making Facebook a hero or a villain isn’t helping anyone, they are just offering a new feature. So, anyone working for a nonprofit, what do you think are the pros and cons? Do you see social media as a direct outlet where you want people to donate? Do you want money regardless of whether you capture info so you can funnel folks into your development process? Is this best suited for specific campaigns, like disaster relief? Who’s jumping in? I haven’t found any good case studies yet. Is your organization waiting to see how it’s working?

I’d love your feedback on the possibilities!

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