Facebook launches personal fundraising tool

AP Photo

(CNN)– Watch out, GoFundMe. You have some big new competition in the fundraising space.

Facebook (FB, Tech30) announced Thursday it will expand its charitable giving tools to include personal fundraisers. The campaigns will allow people 18 and older to raise money for themselves, a friend — or someone or something not on Facebook, like a pet.

Previously, the company allowed users to raise money only for nonprofits. Personal fundraisers will launch in the United States over the next few weeks.

Facebook spokesperson Stephen Rocco Rodi told CNNTech donations to personal fundraisers will incur a transaction fee of 6.9%, plus 30 cents, per donation. “We’re not in the business of making profit on this,” Rodi said, adding the fee covers security and fraud protection, vetting and payment processing. By contrast, nonprofits pay a 5% fee.

Facebook will start personal fundraisers with six categories including education (such as tuition and books), medical, pet medical, crisis relief, personal emergencies (like a car accident or theft), and funeral and loss. Initially there will be a 24-hour fundraiser review process before each campaign is posted, to protect against fraud and ensure the cause falls within one of the six categories. Eventually Facebook plans to expand the campaign categories and automate more of the review process.

People who don’t have a Facebook account can see the fundraiser, but they won’t be able to donate without logging in. Payment processing will take between seven and 13 days, Facebook told CNNTech, and it may take some banks a few additional business days to deposit payments into a person’s account.

The social network’s foray into personal fundraising is in direct competition with cause-focused sites like GoFundMe and YouCaring, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Facebook first tested its “fundraisers” feature in 2015 with 37 charities, including Mercy Corps, National Multiple Sclerosis Society and World Wildlife Fund. The top of a verified nonprofit’s page includes a “donate” button, where users can make a contribution with a credit card or through PayPal (PYPL, Tech30).

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s