You may have noticed the recent (and what seems like constant) updates to Facebook. One of which has incorporated some new features including a fundraising tool that competes with the ever-so-popular GoFundMe platform. The new tool will allow Facebook users to raise money for personal crises and other campaigns — like school or medical expenses, emergency situations, funerals and more. In addition, the company is adding the ability for Facebook Pages to add a “donate” button to their live broadcasts on the network.
Luckily, this won't be a free-for-all. It appears Facebook has really set a structure in place so this feature won't be overwhelming your newsfeeds. The personal fundraisers are also only open to those in the U.S. who are aged 18 or older, and are limited at launch to six key categories: education (tuition, books or classroom supplies); medical (procedures, treatments, injuries); pet medical; crisis relief (public crises or natural disasters); personal emergencies (house fires, theft, car accidents); and funeral and loss (burial expenses, living costs). Facebook says it currently has a 24-hour proactive review process to ensure fundraisers meet category and community policies and they hope to expand the category list over time as it automates more of the review process.
In addition to personal fundraisers, Facebook Pages will now be able to include “Donate” buttons on their live video broadcasts. This will allow public figures, brands, businesses and other organizations beyond nonprofits to fundraise, too. They will also have will have a 6.9% + $.30 fee that will go to payment processing fees, fundraiser vetting, security and fraud protection. GoFundMe, by comparison, takes 7.9% + $.30 for personal or charity campaigns.
This is not the first time Facebook has stepped into the fundraising space. In 2015, it debuted a Kickstarter-like feature aimed at nonprofits that allowed them to set up a campaign page, explain their goals and collect cash. Last year, the company expanded its fundraising tools to allow individuals to collect funds on behalf of nonprofit organizations, as well. Nonprofits do not pay the same fees associated with fundraising as the for-profits will.
Similar to its other fundraising products, users visiting the personal campaigns can click buttons to invite friends, share the campaign or click the big, blue button to donate money while remaining on the site. This also encourages more payment transactions across Facebook — an area of its business that is still today under-developed, despite the addition of peer-to-peer payments within Messenger (we didn't even know this existed). We guess you could say Facebook has taken on Venmo as well!
With the proven success of its donation pages for nonprofits already, we are sure Facebook will have no problem implementing and growing this new feature. It was only a matter of time before a true competitor stepped into the ring with GoFundMe. We are eager to see which platform our friends decide to use and who will devour the details of the future of fundraising!