Attention non-profits! Facebook now does free donations. That’s right, Facebook has new tools to enable non-profit organizations to “…make it easier for you and your community to raise money on Facebook.”

The key words here are “on Facebook.” So let me break this down into a set of clear Pros and Cons to help non-profits decide whether to use the new features.

Pros

1. It’s Easy. It’s RightThere On Facebook!

For many non-profit organizations who invest even a bit of time maintaining a Facebook page, they have a larger number of followers than they do email contacts. This is a really convenient way to engage and promote donations to Facebook followers.

2. It’s Integrated

Fundraiser features are integrated into the Facebook platform. As Facebook puts it… “Fundraisers give people the tools to get the word out through Facebook, Messenger, Live video and email, all in a place their friends already visit every day.”

3. Live Video Fundraiser

For this organizations with video production chops, or just a cell phone with a camera, there’s a Live Video feature. This is an awesome way for organizations to engage followers with their events.

Cons

1. What You Do On Facebook Stays On Facebook

Everything you do on Facebook belongs to Facebook. This means when a patron engages with you on Facebook, they are not engaging with you on your website. That means you cannot track the analytics metrics data to see your patron activity for example.

2. No Transaction Ownership

Every donation made on Facebook lives on Facebook. The transaction happens on Facebook. Any follow-up engagement also happens on Facebook. This means followers only access content you have on Facebook instead of the more extensive content you produce on your website. This also does not build awareness for your website.

3. No List Building

Whe a follower donates on Facebook, you don’t get their contact data for follow-up communications outside of Facebook. An organizations email list is easily among it’s most valuable assets. So building a large following on Facebook, or any other external platform, does not help build your email list.

That’s my overview. One other point of note. You may be asking ’Why is Facebook doing this for free?” Great question. While I do not know the answer, I did notice some interesting wording in the fine print. Under the “Donations to US-based Charitable Organizations” section it reads “US-based charitable organizations aren’t currently assessed a fee…” Wording that clearly leaves open the possibility of fees being introduced in the future.

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