August 16, 2018; Mashable
If you use Facebook, you have probably been asked to give money to a nonprofit at least once to honor someone’s birthday, if not prompted to launch your own Facebook crowdfunding campaign.
According to Mark Zuckerberg, “people have raised over $300 million for over 750,000 nonprofits” using Facebook’s birthday fundraising tool since it became available on August 16, 2017. Facebook reports that St. Jude, the Alzheimer’s Association, the American Cancer Society, Share Our Strength—No Kid Hungry, and the ASPCA conducted the most successful birthday fundraising campaigns.
Celebrities like NBA star Stephen Curry took advantage of it to raise money for Nothing But Nets, an organization that fights malaria. The Golden State Warriors point guard hoped to raise $30,000 for his 30th birthday and instead got $82,000.
It’s doubtful that all or even most of the vetted US nonprofits using the Facebook platform received birthday gifts, but that’s a minor point. If you are among the causes late to the party, here is a Facebook page that describes how birthday fundraisers work. There are three ways a nonprofit can receive gifts made on Facebook.
Twitter, Snapchat, and other platforms find ways to celebrate birthdays, but Facebook long ago owned this celebration online. In the summer of 2016, Facebook introduced Birthday Recap Videos, a 45-second collection of the top wall posts you received on your birthday and the following day. Today, several weeks before your birthday, Facebook prompts you to “Create a fundraiser to support a cause you care about, and we’ll take care of the donation processing with no fees.” Facebook helps you select a beneficiary nonprofit and answers more how-to fundraising questions than you would have thought there were to ask.
It all started when Facebook rolled out its “Donate Now” button in 2013, when only a few organizations were listed as partners. Facebook introduced “Fundraisers” in 2015, and by 2016, more than 750,000 nonprofits were participating. In November 2017, Facebook removed the five percent transaction fee for all donations made to nonprofits on Facebook, regardless of the occasion. As NPQ recently reported, the Refugee and Immigration Center for Education & Legal Services (RAICES) raised the most funds—more than $17 million—on Facebook to date.
These developments are framed as part of a broader effort for Facebook do “social good.” A few weeks ago, Facebook announced it would donate $5 to each new US birthday fundraiser. Facebook is increasingly making it easier for people to choose nonprofits aligned with their interests and for all birthday gift donors to learn more about the impact of their gifts. Facebook facilitates matching gifts and adding co-administrators or moderators to fundraising campaigns.