The holiday season is upon us, and while getting new gadgets and toys is always fun, it’s giving to others that’s truly fulfilling — unless you get a Ferrari. That’s super fulfilling.
If you’re not getting a Ferrari, though — heck, maybe even if you are — donating just a few dollars or starting fundraisers for charities during this time of year lets you help groups in your community and around the world that are truly in need.
But it can be difficult to make sure you’re donating to the right charity or fundraiser. That’s why Facebook (FB) has expanded its Fundraisers service giving all users the ability to donate to more than 750,000 charities. Originally launched in June to a small set of users, Fundraisers lets you raise money for nonprofits directly through the social media site. Why is that a good idea? Because Facebook can vet participating charities to ensure they aren’t scams.
What’s more, any money collected through a Facebook-based fundraiser goes directly to the charity it is connected to, so you don’t have to worry about someone taking your cash and spending it on a new TV instead of cancer drugs for sick kids.
The process of setting up a fundraiser is incredibly easy. Simply go to the Facebook app or desktop site, select Create a Fundraiser and fill out the appropriate information in the on-screen form. You’ll need to add a cover photo, fundraiser title, explain why you’re raising money, set a start and end date and fundraising goal.
Fundraiser pages look like standard profiles, but they include the ability for people to donate directly to the charity of your choice through a built-in donate button. You can also add donate buttons to individual posts and Facebook Live videos.
Once you’ve set up your fundraiser, your page becomes public, though you can also select the friends you want to ask for donations. That’s certainly helpful, but what makes me really want to use Facebook’s Fundraiser is the fact that it gives you the ability to send separate group messages to those who have and haven’t donated to your cause.
We’ve all got that one friend who is running a fundraiser and keeps hitting up everyone for donations regardless of whether they’ve already given. It gets a little annoying to say the least, and that’s the opposite of how you should feel after donating to a good cause.
With Fundraisers, Facebook lets you send messages to those who haven’t donated, so you can gently nudge or outright harass them to help you reach your goal. What’s more, you can message people who have already donated to your fundraiser to thank them for their generosity.
It’s important to note that 95% of donations made to fundraisers will go to the charities they support. The other 5% is split between paying for fraud protection, vetting nonprofits, payment support and payment processing. That’s more or less the standard for similar fundraising services such as GoFundMe.
So if you’re less interested in getting a new smartphone this year than making sure a hungry family gets some needed food or a puppy or kitten gets a warm bed, you might want to consider setting up a fundraiser using Facebook Fundraiser or any other service this holiday season.
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Email Daniel at email@example.com; follow him on Twitter at @DanielHowley.