Because part of what I do with my life has to do with not-for-profit organizations and raising money, and because I am as bemused by Facebook as everyone else, I found it interesting that Facebook has decided to help out non-profits by adding a "donate" button to a non-profits Facebook page. Good or bad?
Well, driving donations is good, and Facebook is even picking up the vig - meaning that 100% of the donation is going to the charity. [When you give by credit card, the charity normally pays about 3% to the credit card processor, so your $100 gift is really only $97 to the charity.] On the other hand, Facebook isn't telling the charity anything about you - so from the charity's point of view, not so good - if they don't know who you are, they can't ever solicit you again. Granted, maybe that's what you want, as an individual.
Just to test it out, someone in my office made a little donation to the World Wildlife Fund, through that organization's Facebook page.
Here's the email receipt that she got from Facebook:
Subject: Facebook Payment Receipt #[redacted]
The thank you from Facebook - not from the WWF - is awfully sterile, and it seems to be the end of the interaction. Also, at no point in the transaction did she get notice that the WWF wouldn't know that the gift is from her. Also, even odder, she had no option to "share" the donation event with her Facebook friends - and since Facebook is always all about the share and the self-glorification, that's a little peculiar. The Facebook help page for Charity Donations says that there's a "share" option, so maybe she missed it, or it was a glitch.
From the point of view of a non-profit administrator, I want to know who my donors are. I want to be able to thank them, personally, in our own idiosyncratic style. I want to be able to invite them to things - paid things like performances, but also unpaid things like open class day. I want them to know about us. Yes, some of that can go on our website, or our Facebook page, but special invitations to donors only? That needs to be more controlled than Facebook allows.
I don't think this is going to be a great tool for the non-profit world. But I'm curious - how do you, as individuals, feel about it? Do you like the "make a gift without leaving Facebook" friction-less-ness of the transaction? Do you like the anonymity of it? I'm genuinely interested in your thoughts, so leave a comment, pretty please?