Crowdfunding has been going on for a while and has become an invaluable tool to help people in need of capital or those who face temporary financial setbacks. Although this is not the first time that Facebook has made available a fundraising tool, the new feature is for long-term use. It will be a competitor to GoFundMe. This tool, initially available to users from the United States, can be used to raise money for selected campaigns, including personal ones. Facebook includes a “donate” button that users can use during their live broadcasts over the Facebook network.
The popularity of online campaigns to raise funds for worthwhile causes and the massive response to these types of social activity did not escape the eyes of FB management, and if you think about it, it’s just right up the social responsibility stance of the communication network.
There is the possibility of the tool being misused, so developers are still working on the beta of the fundraising tool. Right now, it has set a limit to personal fundraising. It will only allow six categories – personal emergencies, crisis relief, pet medical, medical procedures and treatments, education and loss, and funeral costs.
For users in the United States, the fundraising tool can be accessed by persons who are 18 years and older. They will have to go through a review process, which will soon be fully automated. Users must meet the community and category policies that are already in place in the beta version. Each campaign will have to pass a 24-hour review process to ensure that it falls within the specified categories before it can be posted. Facebook did say that there are plans to include more campaign categories later.
Just like other fundraising tools, users who visit the personal campaigns will be able to click the usual buttons to share the campaign or invite more friends. A blue button is for making donations, and payments will be handled by the Facebook system.
A donate button will also be available on live video broadcasts on Facebook Pages. The company says that this will allow more organizations, businesses, brands and public figures, aside from non-profits, to raise funds as well. Those who are watching the video have the option to donate while watching the live broadcast or after the video has been posted on the Facebook Page, according to Stephen Rocco Rodi, the spokesperson for Facebook.
The charges are lower than the fee structure of GoFundMe. Facebook states that they are not going to make a profit on this tool. The fees they charge will be for payment processing fees, fraud and security protection and fundraiser vetting. The per donation charge will be 6.9% + $.30 fee. Non-profits on the other hand will have a separate fee structure.
Other people who do not have an account on Facebook can still see the fundraiser. But they cannot donate unless they create an account and log in to the site. Facebook says the processing of payment will take between 7 and 13 days. It might take longer for the payment to be deposited into the fundraiser’s account as bank transaction times vary.