Facebook users may start to donate cash to nonprofits directly on the platform to help victims of crises or disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan. Yet some people have doubts of adverse circumstances.
On Monday, the social network unveiled a Donate Now button so nonprofits can easily take contributions from benefactors. It will roll out the service with 19 nonprofits to show the Donate Now button atop their Facebook Pages and at the bottom of their News Feed posts.
The first set of nonprofits are the following: 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.
Though Facebook has started the rollout, it will continue to conduct more tests for the Donate Now button. After all is fixed, it will open the feature to more nonprofits through this link.
The Donate Now button offers a simpler way for Facebook users to donate on the platform, without leaving conversations and interactions with friends.
Nonprofits can start accepting donations through a popup window on their Facebook Page or News Feed.
Benefactors may choose the amount they want to donate. And choose to provide new billing information or to use a registered credit card number with Facebook.
The Donate Now button will boost conversion rates and fundraising for needy projects. But it also gives us a quicker way to share to friends the call to action for contributions, promoting altruism.
Facebook said it will pay for the processing fee for credit card donations so the lump sum goes to nonprofits without additional charges.
A Few Concerns and Insights
As a company that banks on user information, some people think the huge list of financial data it will gather may help promote its gaming and ecommerce programs. And that’s just one hidden agenda they are mulling over.
Some people have the propensity to think that large companies are driven by ulterior motives – that their staffs do not consist of nice members with clean intentions to help nonprofits.
Though it’s obvious the Donate Now button could help its business, Facebook said it is truly committed to support the causes. And various companies share the same philanthropic views as the social network. They support initiatives that will plausibly earn money in due course.
Just hours after the announcement, Comcast announced multimillion-dollar backing for Khan Academy, an online education resource, to draw low-income families to its broadband service.
The button is not Facebook’s first attempt at philanthropy. It heads a global project that aims to spread Internet connectivity to developing markets and remote areas. But Internet.org plainly advances the social network’s campaign to sign up more users.
Perhaps to avoid scrutiny, Facebook must offer an easier option to delete credit card information after benefactors pay for their donations. Though the company has an option to remove credit cards from the payment account settings, a link between this setting and the last part of the donation process would be easier. Or a delete button would be enough to ward off doubts.
Facebook is way behind other major companies with online payment options. Compared to Apple and Google – owners of the App Store and Play Store, respectively – the social network lags in the race to gather credit card information. The difference is even larger if Facebook is compared to Amazon.
Facebook users who want to buy Facebook Gift cards or digital goods in Facebook Games can benefit from having their payment information stored in the platform. And donations to nonprofits, entering credit card numbers or linking billing services such as PayPal, will boost the archive of financial information.
The more payment information Facebook has on its archive, the more promotion Autofill With Facebook receives. The company’s new ecommerce service allows third-party mobile apps to integrate a button during checkout. It enables a user to fill in automatically the billing and shipping information from Facebook.
Any user can use Autofill With Facebook free of charge. The company said it will not collect revenue share or service charges. Instead, it will use the purchase data on Autofill as proof of ROI on its advertisements. For example, Facebook users who donated through the Donate Now button may use the payment information in Autofill With Facebook if they want to purchase virtual goods from a mobile app. And Facebook has the analytical tools to tell advertisers the amount earned from their advertisements.
Though these are only insights on the potential side effects of Donate Now to Facebook’s business – and it may not be the main driving force – the button is a handy tool. Yet a connection between Facebook users and nonprofits is also convenient for advertisers.