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.
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.
InformationWeek 500 companies take a practical view of even trendy tech such as the cloud, big data analytics, and mobile. Read all about what they're doing in our big new special issue. Also in the InformationWeek 500 issue: A ranking of our top 250 winners; profiles of the top five companies; and 20 great ideas that you can steal (free registration required).
We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.