Facebook announces new tools for fundraising, social good efforts

At its first Social Good Forum in New York last Thursday, Facebook unveiled new fundraising tools and community safety updates.

The social media platform announced that it would be expanding its Fundraisers tool to now allow users to raise money for more than 750,000 nonprofits.

The majority of 501(c)(3) organizations in the U.S. will be covered by the expansion with the exception of some small organizations and chapters, although organizations left out of the partnership can still request approval from Facebook, Mashable reports.

Facebook also announced the option to add a donate button to Live videos and posts. The buttons will link to a nonprofit’s Facebook page, where people can learn more about the cause and make a donation.

The social network said that it will be improving Safety Check, which was launched in 2014 and allows Facebook users to let family and friends know they’re okay during a disaster or crises. Instead of being triggered by Facebook, the feature will now be triggered by the community.

In a Newsroom post, Vice president of social good Naomi Gleit wrote:

“Initially, Facebook decided when Safety Check was activated, but our goal has always been to make it more useful for people for more types of incidents. We believe people closest to a disaster should play a bigger role in deciding when Safety Check is most helpful. So today, Safety Check will be turned on by our community instead of Facebook. When a lot of people post about an incident from the affected area, they may be asked if they’re safe. Once marked safe, a person can then invite friends to do the same.”

Community Help, a new feature that will make its debut in 2017, will allow users to seek or offer help, including shelter, food and supplies after a natural disaster.

“In addition to using Facebook to let people know they’re safe after a disaster event, people also use Facebook to get the information and help they need to stay safe and rebuild. This spring we saw this in the aftermath of the fires in Fort McMurray, Canada, when people took to Facebook to help one another find a place to stay. Next year, we’re making these connections even easier with Community Help, a place where people can give and get help for things like shelter, food and supplies. After a natural disaster, someone can check in as safe and also ask for and offer help to those around them.”

Facebook also announced its partnership with two nonprofits during the holiday season.

In honor of the fifth anniversary of #GivingTuesday on November 29, Facebook and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will together contribute up to $1 million to Facebook fundraisers. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will provide $500,000 in matching funds, up to $1,000 per Facebook fundraiser, while Facebook will waive standard processing fees on all donations, up to $500,000.

Facebook’s partnership with men’s cancer organization Movember will also continue through the end of November. Individuals can sync their Movember.com and Facebook fundraising efforts, allowing users to collect donations through both.

“Facebook has always been about building community and relationships,” said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a video. “We’re going to keep finding new ways to empower our community through technology and services in a way that’s effective.”