Will Facebook be a Difference Maker for Non-Profit Fundraising?

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the country is in an utter disarray, especially the Northeast. If there was ever a need for organizations such as the American Red Cross to inherit the ability to extend its already global outreach, it has finally come. This coming Thursday, Facebook will begin offering a new charitable donations section titled Facebook Gifts. This move should prove to be very significant for non-profits all over the world.

The new gifts section will be available Thursday and includes about a dozen charities including the American Red Cross, Livestrong, Blue Star Families, Boys & Girls Club of America, DonorsChoose.org, Kiva, Oxfam America, Girls Inc., St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Water.org, and RAINN.

In a recent blog post Facebook explained

With each charitable contribution on Facebook, you can choose which nonprofit you would like to support. Or if you don’t know which organization to choose, you can let your friend make the choice.

Not only will many of these organizations gain the ability to raise more funds, it will also increase the exposure and raise awareness of each. The ability to learn about thousands of non-profit organizations all over the globe are right at your fingertips with this new feature. Facebook product manager Jared Morgenstern led the project himself, he added

Using Facebook to give the gift of a charitable contribution means you can introduce your friends and family to a specific nonprofit organization you care about, or to a larger world of nonprofits, Facebook Gifts will act as a platform where people can learn about nonprofits, discover how easy it is to contribute to their work, and then share that with their friends.

Hurricane Sandy (while not an ideal situation for the country) will be a potentially affective indicator of whether or not the Facebook Gifts feature will really be successful. Morgenstern also mentioned that the feature is still in the testing stages.

What an amazing opportunity for all fellow non-profits around the world. Hopefully the new feature gains some much anticipated momentum so that there may one day be an opportunity for our own organization to join. Everyday we endlessly strive for more exposure in order to increase our own global outreach.

The only downside to the Gifts feature is that not everyone has the luxury of using it right now. Only those that have the Gifts feature activated on their accounts can currently use it. For those looking to donate to Hurricane Sandy relief, eBay and iTunes offer alternative online sections.

We are extremely excited and interested to see how far the feature goes.