Facebook started rolling out a new tool that makes it a lot easier for individual users in the United States to raise money for the causes they want to support.
This follows the release of the Facebook fundraising tool back in November, which allowed nonprofits to collect donations. What's changed is that the tool now extends to individual users, not just nonprofit organizations.
Facebook users in the United States can now set up dedicated fundraising pages to raise money for the causes they care about, provided they're verified nonprofits. As with all new Facebook products, the tool is available just to 1 percent of users for now, so the company can get feedback and ensure the experience goes smoothly and without bugs before a wider rollout. The new fundraising feature for individuals should reach all U.S. users in the following weeks, after Facebook gathers the initial feedback from the 1 percent.
"Fundraisers allow nonprofit supporters to set up a dedicated page to share their story, tell others about a nonprofit's mission, and rally around a fundraising goal," Facebook wrote on its Nonprofits on Facebook page.
"We can't wait to see how people support the causes they care about most."
Users can raise money for U.S.-based 501(c)(3) nonprofits directly within Facebook, thus supporting their causes with more convenience and less hassle. The company also listed an example of such a fundraiser hosted on Facebook by a user.
To sign up for the program, a U.S.-based nonprofit must have that 501(c)(3) status, agree to the Facebook Pages Terms and have a verified Facebook page.
The new fundraising options come from the same Facebook Social Good team that's behind tools such as Amber Alerts and Safety Check on the social network. Users, meanwhile, can currently choose from nearly 100 nonprofits to support, such as the Alzheimer's Association, Nature Conservancy and many others. Facebook will add more charities to the list in the future.
As Mashable reports, Facebook decided to create such a fundraising tool after witnessing the amazing impact the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge had back in 2014 despite its limitations. The campaign went viral worldwide, and numerous people raised funds and awareness, but ALS was overwhelmed by the traffic to its website and could not accept global currencies.
The social networking company has come a long way with its fundraising efforts and its goal from the very beginning has been to enable people to raise funds for nonprofits. The new tool now hits that goal, and we're looking forward to seeing the impact it has.