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Facebook users donate $US300 million to charities

Facebook users donate $US300 million to over 750,000 NFPs as part of a birthday fundraiser feature

Facebook has announced its users raised more than $US300 million in just one year through the platform’s birthday fundraising feature.

The feature allows users to set up a fundraiser, which enables Facebook connections to donate to over 750,000 American not-for-profits as a way to commemorate birthdays. ASPCA, American Cancer Society and St. Jude’s were among the top beneficiaries.

Founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, said in a post on the platform: “In the last year since we launched birthday fundraisers to help people dedicate their birthdays to raising money for a cause, people have raised over $US300 million for over 750,000 non-profits – everything from food banks to animal shelters to Alzheimer’s research.

“Thanks to everyone who has dedicated their birthday and to everyone who donated!”

Based on feedback from the Facebook community, the social media giant added new tools to fundraisers, including the ability to match donations and add organisations. Pages, such as those run by brands and publics figures, can now also take part.

Since November 2017, Facebook has waived the five per cent transaction fee it had been applying to not-for-profit donations made on the site. Now, every donation made to a fundraiser goes directly to the not-for-profit of the users choosing.

Facebook has also included a feature that allows users to access more information on the thousands of not-for-profit options, including filtering popular search terms.

Head of Product and Social Good at Facebook, Asha Sharma, said in the release: “We hope that this tool will help more people find causes they care about, joining the millions of people who dedicated their birthdays in inspiring ways over the past year.”

In July, Facebook announced it would donate $US5 to every newly created fundraiser posted on a US user’s birthday for a limited time, if it supported one of the 750,000 vetted not-for-profits. This money came from the Facebook Donations Fund.

“We’re excited to see the impact that people will make over the next year,” Sharma said. “We’re inspired to help make future fundraisers and birthdays even more memorable.”

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