Facebook’s New Donate Feature: Think Twice

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Donate button

December 16, 2013; CNET

Facebook has launched a new feature for its platform that will allow users to donate to organizations that they “like” on the social network with ease. Facebook will now give nonprofits the option to include a new “Donate Now” button, which will appear on their page as well as on posts. If Facebook users have connected their accounts to a payment option, it will only take two clicks to give a donation, and 100% of their gift will go directly to the organization. Donations are currently limited to users in the United States.

Facebook has partnered with large charities to roll out the feature, highlighted in the graphic below:


But Jennifer Van Grove writes, “It’s a touching sentiment and the donate option could certainly help rally people to give in times of crisis, but it’s not an entirely altruistic move on Facebook’s part. Should you choose to donate, you’ll help Facebook build out its database of members with credit cards attached to their accounts.

Over the past year, the social network has pushed to get more people to hand over their payment info by charging for messages to people you don’t know, attempting to little avail to sell gifts, and testing a pay-with-Facebook option.”

NPQ suggests that nonprofits may wish to think about this kind of harvesting of donor information by a corporation as an ethical issue. What do you think?—Aine Creedon

  • Char

    I think Facebook is getting a bit too greedy. I’m sure they would happily sell this information to many other companies.

  • Tracy

    Corporations (altruistic, do-good non-profit corporations) harvest donor information all of the time. It’s called prospect research. Donors have no choice but to have their data mined in that scenario. On the other hand, donors who use facebook are under no obligation to give through the platform and have access to fb privacy policies to understand that they share their information freely by participating. If they do not agree to give up their information then they should give via other mechanisms. People have the power of choice more in this case than they do in the other.

  • Duke Snyder

    You had better believe think twice…maybe 3, 4 or 5 times!
    The FB ploy is more than obvious to me and hopefully most others here. You must recall FB;s giant Public Offering of its stock last year, thus billions of $$;s to buy up more smaller friendlymm entities and to experiment and EXPAND into more internet money-makers such as PayPal. This is exactly what this next “service” to nonprofits is all about…get a large number of US and OUR DONORS information and eventually gouge you with fees for this great “service” which started Free.
    A similar occurrence just came about….FB and Google have both only recently changed their algorythms regarding the value of CONTENT you post…on the heels of earlier having devalued Search Engine Optimization. Facebook has stockholders to please after that gigantic opening stock price fell sharply and has only now began to somewhat recover.
    Facebook is a company set to make as much money as possible and I don’t fault them for that but this seems to me to be only one more concession we will be making toward loosing our “free internet.”