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12/18/2013
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Facebook Launches Donation Button

Facebook partners with 19 nonprofits to test a simple way to donate. Here's what you need to know before you use the feature.

Facebook unveiled a button this week that makes it easier for nonprofits to accept donations. The social network is testing the Donate Now button with 19 organizations, including the American Cancer Society, the American Red Cross, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Kiva, UNICEF, and the World Wildlife Fund. Currently, this feature is available only to US users.

"In times of disaster or crisis, people turn to Facebook to check on loved ones, get updates, and to learn how they can help," Facebook said in a blog post. "In November 2013, in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, we partnered with the International Federation of Red Cross to let people donate directly to the Red Cross's relief efforts in the Philippines. After seeing the generosity of people around the world toward this effort, we've been inspired to help everyone donate, at any time, to the organizations they care about most."

Though Facebook does not earn any money from donations you make with the button -- 100% goes directly to the organization you choose -- the social network does reap some benefits, particularly collecting credit card numbers and other billing information that could bolster its e-commerce initiatives.

[Dislike, Sympathize, TMI -- what Facebook buttons would you add? Read 8 More Facebook Buttons We Want.]

If you follow any of the 19 nonprofit pages, you'll notice this button at the bottom of select posts in your News Feed. You can choose any of the suggested dollar amounts, which range from $10 to $250, or you can enter in another amount from $1 to $1,000. You can also visit the Facebook page directly to donate, though the custom amount option is not available there.

After you select the amount you want to donate, you have two billing options: credit/debit card or PayPal. Enter your information, and Facebook will confirm that your donation was successful. You'll also receive an emailed receipt in the primary email account you have listed with Facebook. You can use this receipt for tax purposes.

The social network said it will not share any of your personal information with a charity to which you donate through Facebook. You have the option to share with your Friends that you donated to a charity on Facebook, or you can keep that information private.

After you make a donation, the social network stores your credit card, debit card, or PayPal information. This makes other Facebook donations or purchases easier, but you can remove this information from your account.

To do so, visit your Payment Settings page. Navigate to the Payment Methods section, and click Manage. Then click Remove next to the payment method you want to delete.

Senior editor Kristin Burnham covers social media, social business, and IT leadership and careers for InformationWeek.com. Contact her at Kristin.Burnham@ubm.com or follow her on Twitter: @kmburnham.

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Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
1/23/2014 | 8:47:10 PM
Anyone use it?
Since the holidays have passed, diid anyone use this feature to donate? Was it easier or more difficult to use than your usual methods of donating?
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Ninja
12/18/2013 | 7:25:26 PM
Re: Sounds good
That could be useful for some of them. I'll share that with someone I know who runs a nonprofit organization. Thanks, Kristin
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
12/18/2013 | 6:51:47 PM
Re: Sounds good
The idea of not having one's personal information given to charities is appealing in the sense that the downside of any donation is being bombarded with junkmail and email from that organization for the remainder of your life. Sometimes you just want to give money without joining a mailing list.
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
12/18/2013 | 6:40:03 PM
Re: Sounds good
No. They've selected 19 large nonprofits to test the button and plan to roll it out to others later. In the meantime, interested nonprofits can submit this form if they're interested in receiving the Donate Now button.
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Ninja
12/18/2013 | 5:20:09 PM
Re: Sounds good
@Kristin is FB only offering the donation button to the causes that pay to advertise on the social network?
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
12/18/2013 | 3:46:27 PM
Sounds good
Facebook has a history of playing dumb with user data-- "What, you mean you didn't want us to use it that way?"

But as long as they don't do anything blatantly silly with the information they're collecting here, this seems like a good thing. I'm sure many people intended to donate money to charities but never get around to it because they get busy with something else. If we can make the ability to donate as simple and convenient as possible, that sounds like a clear win.
Social is a Business Imperative
Social is a Business Imperative
The use of social media for a host of business purposes is rising. Indeed, social is quickly moving from cutting edge to business basic. Organizations that have so far ignored social - either because they thought it was a passing fad or just didnít have the resources to properly evaluate potential use cases and products - must start giving it serious consideration.
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