Facebook just launched a “Donate” button for non-profits. It’s currently only live for a few organizations, but there’s a form for other non-profits to apply it to their own pages. The “Donate” button will be placed on the main page of sites and also on posts found in the timeline. Most users engage with brands in their timelines instead of going directly to pages, which makes the “Donate” button a built in call to action for non-profits.

Users can donate between $10 to $250 dollars with their PayPal accounts or credit cards. Donating to an organization takes the same amount the time to give someone a Starbucks gift card for his or her birthday. Plus, after they donate to a cause, users can post a status about it to their own feeds, turning donors into brand advocates.

Turning Liking into Giving

Time reported this button fights “Slacktivism” and is meant to turn fans into real donors. “Slacktivism” occurs when Facebook users like a page or Facebook status, but never actually donate or volunteer. UNICEF even created a whole campaign around the trend with their “Liking Isn’t Helping” series.


Show Me What/Where/Who My Donation is Helping

Yes, it fights “Slacktivism” but it also fights poor content. More often than not, the call to action for non-profits on social media is “visit our site to donate…” and is accompanied by a link to the website. I’ve even seen some non-profits ask for donations in every single Facebook post – and they’re not even subtle about it.

“Like this post if you’re excited for the weekend. Donate to X Organization today!”

These poorly crafted posts are usually the work of an intern who was instructed to include donation links as often as they possibly can.

With Facebook’s new “Donate” button, non-profits can focus on talking about all the amazing things they do and people/animals/organizations that they help. They can share photos and links and blog articles without having to constantly link back to their websites. When non-profits post engaging content that fans interact with then Facebook’s algorithm will kick in and share the status with more people.

Social Media Proof of ROI Just Got Easier

Plus, the “Donate” button gets to be the special sauce for marketers hoping to increase their social media budget. When they’re able to quantify exactly how much was donated through Facebook the numbers will speak for themselves. Facebook moves from a “fad that all the kids are on” to a promising source of support.

We Still Have A Long Way to Go

As exciting as this is, I think insta-buy buttons were a long time coming. In fact, Facebook (and Twitter) could make donating and shopping on its site a lot easier.

Back in March we reported that Chirpify was working with Twitter and Facebook to make buying with comments and hashtags easier. A brand would post about a cute pair of heels and users could comment with the word “buy” to order a pair. Similarly, American Express was playing with hashtags and letting users buy products right on Twitter – no website needed – with confirmation sent to users emails.

Can this go mainstream in 2014? Please?

How easy would it be for non-profits to ask for small donations via hashtags? World Teacher Aid is currently asking for one dollar donations to help send children to school in Kenya. They’ve currently raised more than $19,000.


If they could post a status that said, “You can send a child in Kenya to school with one word, use #Donate in the comments to give one dollar,” then they could break Facebook fans out of the “slacktivism” habit and gain new ones as well.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m usually the first to criticize Facebook, but I actually think this is a good step towards eliminating donation barriers for non-profits. Users no longer have to click to a website and potentially bounce-off the page before they give. Remember, social media is far from evolved, it’s still in the monkey stage of evolution. Facebook’s “Donate” button is one more step towards an easy to use, easy to buy from product — and that makes investors and users happy.