Facebook’s New Donate Feature: Think Twice

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:

 logos

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