December 17, 2013
Donate Button Will Let Facebook Users Show Their Charitable Side
[ Watch the Video: Facebook Users Will Be Able To Donate From Their News Feed ]
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Facebook recently tweaked its "Like" button, it said it might add a "Sympathize" button, and now it's about to add a "Donate" button. The social network said it will add a "Donate Now" button that will allow users to easily donate to charitable organizations.
The Donate Now button will appear on posts in the News Feed associated with participating nonprofit organizations. It will also appear at the top of the Facebook pages of those organizations. When users click the button it will bring up a window to select an amount to donate, and enter payment information.
Charitable organizations can use posts with the Donate button throughout the year, however it will become a prominent fixture during donation drives, especially during times of emergencies. The Donate button saw some success in collecting donations following Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
"In times of disaster or crisis, people turn to Facebook to check on loved ones, get updates, and to learn how they can help. 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," Facebook said in a corporate posting about the Donate button.
The American Red Cross blogged about how Facebook users could donate through the platform to help with the typhoon relief on its blog.
Facebook is introducing the button with 19 participating nonprofit organizations. Among those organizations are Oxfam America, Donors Choose, LIVESTRONG Foundation, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Water.org, The Nature Conservancy, Malaria No More, Girls Inc., World Wildlife Fund, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, ASPCA, RAINN, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, American Cancer Society, Blue Star Families, UNICEF, Kiva, United Nations World Food Programme and The Red Cross. The Donate button will appear on the pages for these organizations immediately.
After testing, Facebook plans to open the Donate button up to more nonprofit organizations. In the meantime, nonprofits can apply for status on the Donate: Nonprofit Interest Form.
The Donate button makes it possible to make charitable donations without leaving Facebook. The button also allows users to share that they have just made a donation with friends on their network.
While money contributed using the Donate button goes directly to the selected charity, Facebook handles the transaction. This is just another method for Facebook to collect credit card data from its users, TechCrunch reports.
"Facebook is behind in the race to collect credit card numbers compared to app store owners like Apple and Google, and e-commerce juggernauts like Amazon. Not having payment details on file creates a barrier to people buying virtual goods in Facebook Games, or buying Facebook Gift cards for friends. The moral imperative to donate to a worthy cause could get users over the hump to keying in their credit card number or connecting another billing service like PayPal," TechCrunch's Josh Constine writes.
The new effort to collect payment information will help advance features such as Autofill With Facebook, which helps ease mobile payments on Facebook by filling in the blanks in a form during transactions.
"Facebook doesn’t collect a fee or revenue share, but instead plans to use purchase data it peeks at through Autofill to prove the return on investment of its ads. If you click an ad to download JackThreads’ ecommerce app, use Autofill With Facebook to import your payment info that you previously entered through the Donate Now button, and make a purchase, Facebook can tell advertisers just how much money their marketing message earned them," Constine writes.
While Facebook may use the credit card credentials provided for charitable contributions for future use, it does take measures to secure sensitive information. It also makes future donations and transactions easier by filling in payment details.