Using a "Donate” Button on Facebook

Until early 2019, Facebook allowed nonprofits to link a “Donate” button on Facebook to a website outside of Facebook. It was an easy and effective way to attract dollars on social media.

Facebook changed its policy on this and it is no longer possible.

All “Donate” buttons on Facebook necessarily link to a Facebook-based donation processing tool.

This is important to know for two reasons:

Facebook tries to automatically encourage users to post using a Facebook “Donate” button, but these donations are processed through Facebook, not through Give Lively.

Any Facebook users who post about your nonprofit and use words like “donate” or “contribute” (and probably others) will receive an “Add a Donate Button” notice advising that they can “Add a donate button to your post to raise money for a nonprofit, and we’ll take care of donation processing with no fees.” This is followed by a list of friends who have donated through Facebook and a button through which users can choose your nonprofit.

The resulting post is more likely to direct readers to click on the “Donate” button than to click on the link to your Give Lively page. It also means that there will be discrepancies between the number of Facebook donors and direct donors (through Give Lively), as the systems are entirely separate.

Any funds raised via a Facebook “Donate” button do not receive Give Lively processing benefits, including speedy disbursement and automatic access to donor data.

While still honest and important donations, any contributions received through Facebook stay within the Facebook ecosystem. For nonprofits registered with Facebook Payments, this means that you only receive contact information for donors who opt in to receive emails from your organization. For others, donor data is not available.

It also means that payouts are regulated by Facebook. Whereas Give Lively processing generally takes no more than a few days, in the case of organizations registered with Facebook Payments, funds are generally received approximately one month later, and only once a minimum of $100 is reached (per nonprofit). Donations processed by Facebook for nonprofits not registered with Facebook Payments have lower minimum payout thresholds but take even longer to go out (up to 75 or 90 days).

For more information about fundraising for nonprofits on Facebook, see here.

Updated
September 3, 2019