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Facebook launches personal crowdfunding feature

People are often wary of donating money to personal crowdfunding causes when they don’t know the person directly — or if the campaign is even legit. Facebook is now making it easier to donate to people you are connected to personally.

The company, which has allowed non-profit organisations to sport donate buttons since last year, has now made it possible for personal accounts in the US to do the same.

Users over the age of 18 will be able to raise money for causes that fall into categories that Facebook deems worthy of a crowdfunding campaign. These categories are education, medical, pet medical, crisis relief (public crises or natural disasters only), personal emergency (like a house fire or car accident), and funeral and loss.

After applying for a campaign, users will have to wait 24 hours for the campaign to be approved by a fundraiser vetting team.

Facebook’s goal is to create a platform for good that’s sustainable over the long-term

“As we learn more, we hope to expand our categories and automate more of the review process,” the announcement made yesterday reads.

The feature isn’t free, though, as Facebook asserts it will be charging 6.9% of what is raised, as well as a US$0.30 (R4) fee. According to the company, these fees will go to “payment processing fees, fundraiser vetting, security and fraud protection.”

“Facebook’s goal is to create a platform for good that’s sustainable over the long-term, and not to make a profit from our charitable giving tools,” it says.

The process for donating will be completely on Facebook, making it less of a hassle for friends to give money. Facebook are also banking on the fact that more people will give when they can view the personal profiles of those asking for money. This means they will quickly be able to tell how they are connected to the one in need.

The feature is currently only available in the US, but Facebook intends to expand it after testing.

The company also announced that verified pages can now add donate buttons to live videos.

“This gives public figures, brands, businesses and organizations new ways to fundraise on Facebook for the nonprofits they support,” Facebook writes. “People watching the live broadcast can donate as they watch, or give once the broadcast has ended and is posted on the Page.”

Author | Julia Breakey

Julia Breakey
Julia is a UCT film graduate with a passion for dogs, media, and dog-centric media. If she's not gushing about the new television show that you need to watch, she's rewatching The Good Place (which you need to watch). More

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