Facebook Is Introducing “Personal Fundraisers”

Go Facebook Fund Me.

Photo credit: TeroVesalainen, CC0 Public Domain

So this is a thing now, and I’m kind of surprised it wasn’t a thing before:

More Ways to Support Causes

Personal fundraisers allow people to raise money for themselves, a friend or someone or something not on Facebook, for example a pet. Personal fundraisers will launch in the US for people aged 18 years or older, and in beta over the next few weeks, as we hope to continue to learn and improve the product to make it even more useful.

Facebook will take 6.9 percent plus a $0.30 fee (per donation) for “payment processing fees, fundraiser vetting, security and fraud protection.” This sounds like a lot—and it is—but Facebook also appears to be undercutting the competition. Here’s a quick comparison:

  • GoFundMe takes 7.9 percent plus $0.30.
  • IndieGoGo takes 8 percent plus $0.30.
  • Kickstarter takes 8 percent plus $0.20.

Unlike Kickstarter, however, Facebook won’t let you raise money for creative projects. (At least, not yet.) Here’s the list of acceptable fundraising categories:

Education: such as tuition, books or classroom supplies

Medical: such as medical procedures, treatments or injuries

Pet Medical: such as veterinary procedures, treatments or injuries

Crisis Relief: such as public crises or natural disasters

Personal Emergency: such as a house fire, theft or car accident

Funeral and Loss: such as burial expenses or living costs after losing a loved one

(We’ll pause for a moment to acknowledge the world in which we live and the fact that so many people need to fundraise to meet these types of needs.)

If you watch Facebook’s explanatory video, you’ll learn that you can fundraise on someone else’s behalf simply by tapping their profile photo—which is all well and good in their example of a person raising money for a parent’s knee surgery, but I can think of so many ways where this feature could go wrong. (I hope the other person has to consent before the fundraiser can go live.)

People with verified Facebook Pages can also create Facebook Live events during which they can solicit donations for nonprofits—for example, a celebrity wearing a GoPro while running a charity 5K might ask people to donate to the charity as they watch the run.

What do you think? Good idea, or one more Facebook notification you’ll feel guilty about ignoring?

Support The Billfold

The Billfold continues to exist thanks to support from our readers. Help us continue to do our work by making a monthly pledge on Patreon or a one-time-only contribution through PayPal.