Facebook Launches New 100% Free Donate Button for Nonprofits

This week, Facebook launched a game-changing new feature for nonprofit organizations.

You know the “like” button on your page, right under your cover photo? Soon, you’ll be able to put a “donate” button right there below it!

Here are the features of the new donate button, in a nutshell:

Thanks to the Donate Now button, instead of forcing your donors to LEAVE Facebook to make their donations (either via Paypal, on your website, etc) you can now accept donations in a pop-up window right on Facebook.

ASPCA Facebook page

The ASPCA is one of the organizations chosen by Facebook to test the new donate button. This is a screenshot of their page (emphasis added); you can see the placement of the donate button. (click on this image to enlarge)


The Donate Now button also gives people an easy way for people to share their action with friends, and encourage friends to donate as well. This is HUGE, particularly when you have a campaign, because people will want to encourage their friends to support the cause.

Paypal processes the donation itself–so the transaction happens on their secure servers. You never see the credit card number or anything like that. As a page admin, you’ll receive a notification of the donation, and can send a thank-you letter, enter the person into your donor database, add them to your email list or whatever your process is when you receive a donation.

Donate popup closeup view

When you choose an amount and click “Donate,” you get a popup box like this to choose your payment option and complete the donation. I have a few payment methods on file with Facebook already, so it’s letting me choose which one I’d like to use. If you don’t have any, it will prompt you to enter your credit card or Paypal details. (click this image to enlarge)

Why is Facebook doing this?

It COULD be that they’re just genuinely nice. Big companies often practice amazing philanthropy, it’s true! So I think that’s definitely part of it. But if they make it easy to connect a donor with a nonprofit, they can also make it easy to connect that person to an advertiser.

If I make a donation to your organization through Facebook, I have to give my payment information to Facebook (IE, my credit card information). I don’t personally doubt their security (although a hack is always possible), but I do recognize the “slippery slope.” Now that Facebook has my credit card stored and saved, it’s so very easy for me to make OTHER purchases on Facebook!

Ideally, Facebook would like to process a LOT of transactions–let me buy shoes, gift certificates, cosmetics, etc.–and for those purchases, they WOULD collect a transaction fee (from the merchant). Considering that Paypal makes $3.4 BILLION a year just for processing our transactions¹, this could be an extremely lucrative endeavor for Facebook and its shareholders.

That being said, I think this is still a HUGE game changer for nonprofits, and you should definitely apply! If you have a donate tab on your Facebook page, that’s fine–you can still keep that. It’s just another way people can give to you. But this makes it SO easy for people to give, as long as they are willing to allow Facebook to save their credit card information.

Nonprofit interest form for Facebook donate button

This is a screenshot of the form you can fill out to get your nonprofit page on the waiting list for your own donate button. Click on this image to enlarge. To fill out the form, go to https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/585894954798346

Will it be successful? Only time will tell. If you fill out the form and apply to get your own donate button, let us know if you hear back! They haven’t said how soon they’ll be rolling it out to the “regular” nonprofits; hopefully soon. If you apply and hear any details, please post here and let us know!

What are your thoughts? do you think you’ll use the Facebook donate button?

1. Source: Statistics Brain, http://www.statisticbrain.com/paypal-statistics/, March 2012.

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13 Responses to Facebook Launches New 100% Free Donate Button for Nonprofits

  1. bill tucker December 18, 2013 at 12:17 am #

    When you participated in the vicious, man-hating “I Hate Balls” campaign of Katherine Heigl, I swore I would never donate to you again.

  2. Lian Ellis December 18, 2013 at 9:11 am #

    Thanks for this head’s up. Form completed and sent to Facebook. Received an acknowledgement and look forward to the next step when it becomes available!

  3. Emily Garman December 18, 2013 at 9:53 am #

    Hi Bill–I just wanted to clarify that you can’t really “donate” to me because I’m not a nonprofit or charity. If you “donate” to me, well, you’re just giving me money in appreciation for my help (which is great!). I didn’t participate in Katherine Heigl’s campaign–I simply spotlighted it for discussion, since my audience here is mostly animal welfare people and I was interested in seeing what they thought about it. You seem pretty obsessed with the campaign, seeing as how you comment on every one of my blog posts and mention the campaign every single time…

    p.s. I don’t hate men!

  4. Emily Garman December 18, 2013 at 9:54 am #

    Thanks for the feedback, Lian! I hope they turn it on soon!

  5. Suzanne Fourmigue December 18, 2013 at 11:10 am #

    Emily, thanks so much for being on top of this for us. I am passing this on to WeimRescueTexas!

  6. Emily Garman December 18, 2013 at 11:16 am #

    That’s great, Suzanne! Thanks!

  7. Jane Ebbitt December 28, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

    I have tried repeatedly in the past hour to sign up for the Donate button on facebook. Every time the form does not recognise our URL. I’ve tried http://carenevis.org
    http://www.carenevis.org http://www.carenevis/org. it keeps coming back saying we have an invalid URL. any ideas ??
    We are a not a US registered charity we are a foreign based animal rescue charity registered in Nevis ( Federation of St Kitts and Nevis.) Caribbean
    Do you think that perhaps facebook blocking us because we are not US based ?

  8. Emily Garman December 28, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

    Janet–it’s looking for your Facebook URL, not your website URL. So Facebook.com/yourpagename. Go to your page on Facebook and just copy your URL. That should work!

  9. M.Sooh April 22, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

    Has Facebook given any kind of guarantees the personal information will be safe and they won’t access it?

  10. The Social Animal May 8, 2014 at 9:33 am #

    M.Sooh–no, in fact the opposite is very true. Facebook makes no claim that they will not use donors’ personal information to market to them. That is the whole point of Facebook, really, from their view. They will not have access to their credit card information or sensitive data like that, but they will have access to their name, email address, Facebook page profile data, etc. They ALREADY have all of that, because this person has a facebook account.

  11. Lisa August 1, 2014 at 8:27 am #

    Hi Emily,..Thanks for this great info! I am more than happy to fill out the app. for the donate button for my org. I have been trying for 4 days to install the donate button using the static iframe button & it still doesn’t work. Its there,..and I have even used your work around tutorial for the error I was getting,..but now I get a different error. I think it has something to do with the paypal button,..even though I have created a new button that is not customized, it still doesn’t work. My last hope is this free donate button through facebook so I hope they start it soon! Being a volunteer myself,..Im so appreciate for all you are doing for animal org.s..its great to see people out there on our side. I do our fb page & also an article in the Stillwater Newspress (OK) every week,..which I love! Thanks again for everything you do for the animals!

  12. The Social Animal August 1, 2014 at 8:41 am #

    Hi Lisa, thanks for all the work you do in Stillwater! It looks like Facebook has removed the Donate button that I talked about in this article. Maybe it didn’t work or something. But the organizations that did have it (the large orgs like ASPCA) do not have it any more, unfortunately. The good news is you can still create your own donate button with Paypal, but it sounds like you are having some trouble with that. The video you are looking at on my site is old–Paypal has changed their look and interface quite a bit–but the static iframe tab still works exactly the same way. If you’re having a lot of trouble, I can do it for you for a small fee; just shoot me an email for more details.

  13. Lisa August 2, 2014 at 9:24 pm #

    Hi Emily,..Thanks so much for getting back to me!
    I would absolutely love you to help us out by installing the donate button!!! I’m ready to pull my hair out!..lol. I really wish I would have found you BEFORE I tried to do it myself. I sent you an email and I look forward to hearing from you!
    Thanks again!

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