A New Way to Donate to Nonprofits

What if it was as easy to donate to a non-profit organization as it is to like them on Facebook? Would donations increase?

Facebook decided to try this out. As this TechCrunch post details, in 2013 allowed 19 nonprofit companies to add a “donate now” button to their Facebook profile and posts. The icon is extremely visible, right by the like button, and other main buttons. In even further support for nonprofits, Facebook pays the credit card processing fees so that 100% of donation money actually goes to the nonprofits.

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Facebook has added a new feature to nonprofit pages: a “Donate Now” button. They have put it in a very visible, easy to access place. This will help it reach the most possible people because it will attract the attention of those who are not specifically looking for a way to donate.
(Image courtesy of techmbob.com)

Fast forward to 2015, and Facebook has opened up this feature to all nonprofits, allowing administratiors of those pages to add a “Donate Now” button in “less than a minute” according to this Nonprofit Tech For Good article. The article details how to add one of these buttons to a page, and points out that “a “Donate Now” button does not in and of itself result in online donations”, but remains optimistic, saying “storytelling via Facebook status updates merged with a Facebook “Donate Now” button could be a winning combination.”. The author of the article is basically saying what we’ve been talking about in class: this new feature won’t automatically spread the nonprofit, but can allow it to be spread easier, if people chose to do so.

In the book Spreadable Media, the author states “Despite critics who dismiss…“slactivism,” research by Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication and Ogilvy Worldwide in 2010 suggests that the small investments in time and effort required to pass along such messages (or to link to causes via our social network site profles) may make participants more likely to take more substantive action later”. This book was published in early 2013, when the Donate now button was first being experimented with. In “Take the ‘No Ice Bucket’ Challenge“, the author somewhat snarkily comments “Be warned, though, the #noicebucketchallenge is not for the faint of heart. It requires real fortitude to give away your hard-earned cash without the promise of receiving piles of Facebook likes in return”. Now that it is a feature on so many nonprofit pages, Facebook users can actively show that have donated to a cause and encourage their Facebook Friends to do so as well. This means that instead of people getting likes for altruistically dumping a bucket of ice on their heads, they can get likes for altruistically donating $20 to ALS. With that aspect taken care of, as well as the ease of donation, do you think that donations may start rolling in for nonprofits or will the act of donating through Facebook not spread enough to make a difference?

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2 thoughts on “A New Way to Donate to Nonprofits

  1. I would definitely agree that the combination of Facebook status updates and Facebook “donate now” buttons would be a winner. What hinders many from actually donating to charities, at least in my experiences, is the time it takes to input credit card information, contact information and the plethora of surveys you have to fill out to continue. I would think that promoting awareness and making donations as easy as sharing the content would make an exponential increase in both charity involvement and donation amounts. Great blog post! I think this was an interesting topic to investigate and definitely a positive addition to the current process of digital charity movements.

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