Over this past spring Facebook has beenas a way to offer presents to family and friends. The service can be activated by clicking on the bowed gift box that appears on your organization’s News Feed or on the page of the person or nonprofit you want to give the gift to. Though the service is being touted as a way to connect to individuals and help them celebrate birthdays, milestones, promotions, etc., Facebook Gifts also offers opportunities to make donations to a small but growing number of nonprofits. How far will the service expand?
At the moment, giving a gift/donation to one of the dozen nonprofits currently in the system requires clicking the gift box on that nonprofit’s page or one can go to the Gifts page and click on ‘Charities to see the organizations who are accepting them (see screenshot to the right).
Donations can be made between $1 and $1000, so givers have a good deal of flexibility in what they give. As far as we can surmise, one can give multiple times if $1000 is less than you’d like to offer.
Sarah Feinberg, Facebook’s director of policy communications and a point person on the social-good programs, told The Nonprofit Times that “The most likely plan will be to roll out a second phase, with a new set of partners, or build it to scale to any partner that wants to be involved. Fundraising figures have not been released to this point because Gifts started slowly, with such a small audience. Facebook will examine the Gifts platform in the coming months and make chances, if necessary, later in 2013.”
So far, the rollout has been limited to larger nonprofits that have developed strong relationships with Facebook well before Gifts was launched. Person-to-person gifts are a money-maker for the social media giant, as Facebook gets a commission on each transaction. As of today, Facebook takes no cut in the donations to charities, though. The value of such easy and flexible donations could be a huge boon for these larger charities, and might pave the way for smaller organizations also to tap into the generosity of the Facebook community.