What Nonprofits Need to Know About Facebook SquareThe new Facebook Fundraising Tools could be a game changer for the nonprofit sector. Essentially a digital payment system that allows 2-tap giving by using a donor’s saved credit card information in their Facebook account, we are definitely entering a new era in online and mobile fundraising. Once donors understand how the technology works, there could be a pivotal shift away from donating through a nonprofit’s website. Instead, donors will give through Facebook – or perhaps they will still give to your nonprofit on your website, but by using a Facebook Login. Or a Twitter Sign in if Twitter could get it together with offering verified digital payments and $Cashtags for nonprofits. Or a Google Wallet login. Or an Apple Pay account. The point is that the digital transfer of cash payments is on the brink of radical change.

It is a bit concerning that Facebook and other social and mobile media companies could have such power over the online donation processing industry. The hundreds of online donation service providers that have launched specifically to serve our sector could be harmed and some even put out of business. That said,  the entrepreneurs in our sector should also be thinking about how they can use this new technology to help nonprofits process donations better and adapt quickly. Due to Facebook’s new Fundraising Tools, we will now be able to track exactly how much funds are raised from Facebook and two-click, password-protected or fingerscan “Pay with Facebook” buttons on our websites, in text messages, in mobile apps, and on our refrigerator’s is something that should happen – and happen quickly. The donation service providers that adapt quickly will survive this shift and in the end likely offer a better fundraising product and in the process do more good.

1. The new tools are only available to 501(c)(3) nonprofits located in the United States and you must complete a three-step application process.

Many nonprofits, charities, and NGOs located outside of the United States are frustrated that most new online fundraising tools are not available to them. In most cases, that is due to a lack of an international database of verified nonprofits. The Facebook vetting process is made possible by GuideStar – a database of verified nonprofits operating in the United States. There are currently efforts underway to build an equivalent database on international level, but it will be a few more years until it’s ready to be used for vetting and payment processing. That said, for nonprofits in the United States who want to use Facebook’s new fundraising tools, you nonprofit must complete a three-step application process:

three step application process

2. Once approved your nonprofit can add a Donate button to your Facebook Page.

The new Donate button (different from the Donate Now button) allows Facebook users to easily donate in three taps or less to your nonprofit using their credit card information saved in their personal Facebook accounts.

Humanse Society Facebook

View: Humane Society of the United States Facebook Page

3. Your nonprofit can also add Fundraisers to your Facebook Page for general support or for special fundraising campaigns.

Fundraisers have progress thermometers, show the number of donors, and also enable Facebook users to Invite their Friends to Join your Fundraiser. Fundraisers would make good campaign hubs for fundraising campaigns on Cause Awareness and Giving Days.

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View: Humane Society of the United States Facebook Fundraiser

4. Your supporters can also create Fundraisers for your nonprofit and tap into their Facebook community to raise money for your organization.

Known as peer-to-peer fundraising, now is the time to begin planning on how to incorporate Facebook Fundraisers into your year-end fundraising campaigns. You likely have many committed supporters on Facebook that would be willing to ask their Facebook Friends to donate to your nonprofit over the holiday season.

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View: Brandon’s Facebook Fundraiser for the Humane Society of the United States

5. All Fundraisers are featured on your Facebook Page.

Be sure to monitor your nonprofit’s Fundraisers and offer words of encouragement to your fundraisers and donors. Your nonprofit should also create a web page on your website with helpful Facebook fundraising tips and share it regularly with your fundraisers on Facebook.

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6. Donors can opt-in to receive email updates from your nonprofit during the donation process.

Facebook will not provide the mailing address of your donors, but it allows donors to opt-in to your email updates. Be sure to thank Facebook donors quickly via email and incorporate them immediately into your overall email fundraising strategy.

Email opt-in on Facebook

7. Donors can share their donation with their friends.

share donation

8. Donors are sent Donation Receipts via email.

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9. Your nonprofit’s GuideStar Page is featured on Fundraisers created by your supporters and in Thank You emails.

guidestar on facebook

Make sure your GuideStar Page is current:

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View: Humane Society on the United States GuideStar Page

10. Donors can view their Payment History under Settings > Payments.

Currently donors can not filter their charitable giving from consumer payments made inside Facebook, but it’s very likely that in time Facebook will improve Payment History to filter donation history and include year-end tax receipts, gamification, special thank you’s, etc.

donation history on facebook

11. Processing fees are 5% and funds are wired to your nonprofit’s bank account every two weeks.

2% of donations are used cover a portion of the costs of nonprofit vetting, security, fraud protection, operational costs, and payment support, 3% of donations go to payment processing, and Facebook will make a bi-weekly wire transfer (ACH/direct deposit) on the 15th and last day of every month to your nonprofit’s bank account. To learn more about Facebook’s New Fundraising tools, please read the Fundraisers FAQ and the Donate Button FAQ. You can apply for the new tools at donations.fb.com.

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Mobile for Good: A How-To Fundraising Guide for Nonprofits

mobile for good look insideBased on more than 20 years of experience and 25,000+ hours spent utilizing mobile and social media, Mobile for Good: A How-To Fundraising Guide for Nonprofits is a comprehensive 256-page book packed with more than 500 best practices. Written on the premise that all communications and fundraising are now mobile and social, Mobile for Good is a step-by-step how-to guide for writing, implementing, and maintaining a mobile and social fundraising strategy for your nonprofit.