My Take on the New Facebook Donate Feature

Facebook donateToday, Facebook announced a new donate feature that offers participating nonprofits the ability to quickly accept nonprofits via their Facebook profile.

Facebook users can choose to donate $10, $25, $50, $100 or $250. And, they can either donate with a credit card or via a Paypal account.

There’s a lot of good news about this announcement.

First, Facebook is covering all of the transaction costs, so 100% of the donation made is going to the nonprofit.

Second, the donation from a user perspective is super simple. I had previously made a Facebook transaction using my paypal account, so it literally took me under a minute to make a donation.

I also received a thank you almost immediately from Facebook with the co-branding of the nonprofit thanking me for my donation.

What I think is missing:

I’m not presented with an opportunity to share that I just made the donation with my Facebook friends. This seems like a key missing step.

Facebook is also not allowing users to opt-in to sharing their information with the nonprofits. This decreases the amount of future engagement the nonprofit can have with the donor.

I also cannot change a donation amount. If I wanted to give a specific amount, this isn’t possible. It’s also not possible to give a donation of more than $250.

Another major missing piece is the nonprofits that were chosen to participate in the campaign. While it’s a great list — with many nonprofits that I support — the list is of mostly expected nonprofits (WWF, American Red Cross, Water.org, Livestrong, UNICEF, etc.). It would have been great to see some unexpected nonprofits on the list. Nonprofits not on the initial rollout do have an opportunity to apply to be part of the program, but there’s no timeline on when those applications will be accepted.

It will be interesting to see how nonprofits choose to use this feature. Will they encourage people to make donations, even with the limitation that they won’t receive donor information? Will they choose to send people to their donation page instead? Will they try to use other tools, like ActionSprout, to increase engagement and gain donor information?