Having a donate button on your nonprofit’s Facebook page seems like a simple way to bring in more donations.  However, there are details about this feature that every nonprofit organization should know about.

1. It’s Automatically on your Profile

Any verified nonprofit will have the option for a donate button to be available unless they opt out of it. From there, you’re required to link to a bank account for direct deposit transfers.

If you don’t attach a bank account, any funds raised will sit in what’s called a donor-advised fund, either until they’re claimed, or the payment processor (Facebook in partnership with Network for Good) deems necessary, after which it is distributed to another nonprofit they decide is worthy.

2. Delayed Fund Transfers

Any funds raised through Facebook are distributed every two weeks if you raise more than $100. During the time between distribution, the funds again sit in a donor-advised fund, collecting interest for Facebook and their partner, Network for Good.

3. High Fundraising Fees

Fees charged on incoming donations are significantly higher than typical donation processing, and there is no option for the donor to cover those fees on behalf of the organization.  This means that if someone wants to donate $100 to your organization through Facebook, you’ll net $95 of it.

4. Your Funds Aren’t Yours

If you’re a small or medium-sized nonprofit and you don’t have bank account information linked to your “donate” button on Facebook, any funds that come in will not go to you and instead will likely go to a larger organization.  So, if you’re a local Humane Society, your funds might go to the Humane Society of the United States, which may not have any positive impact on the work you’re doing each day.

As is typically the case, locally operated nonprofits are a much better bet in regards to making a direct impact on the animals, people, etc., they’re working to serve, so it’s important that donations go to where they are actually intended.

Another point to consider for those participating in a Giving Day on GiveGab is that any funds that get donated through Facebook won’t be integrated into the Giving Day and therefore won’t count toward your totals.  It’s important that you either not have this button activated during the event or that you make it very clear in your Facebook outreach where you want donations to go while providing a direct link to your Giving Day profile.

In Summary

When it comes to smart fundraising for your nonprofit, you may want to ask yourself if the Facebook donate button is really worth it.  Consider making it clear on Facebook and any other social channels you’re using which fundraising options would benefit your organization the most and provide them with the appropriate links.  And if you’re not going to link your bank account to the donate button, be sure to “opt-out” of this feature.

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