How Will Facebook’s Fundraiser Pages Affect Private Schools?

Fresh off the heels of another announcement, Facebook has finally started rolling out its fundraiser pages to select non-profits around the world. The effort is Facebook’s next step in helping nonprofits to leverage the platform to raise money more easily. The question is: When can everyone use it and how much will it cost?

According to Mashable, the new pages look and feel a lot like the current “events” pages, but will offer up a “donate” button as well as a progress bar. Any user who shares that fundraiser page with their own friends, will also feature the same donation button. In the end, it sounds a lot like a mix of Kickstarter and Facebook for nonprofits. Currently, the pages are only open to select group, including Mercy Corps, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and World Wildlife Fund, but Facebook plans to roll out the feature to more across the holiday season.

As private schools, fundraising is a major piece of our marketing and communications efforts. In conjunction with the Development and Alumni Relations Office, we set up and run multiple campaigns each year to raise funds. In just a little over a week, we will kick off our #GivingTuesday: Katz vs. Cats Challenge, an Annual Fund fundraising effort. We recently set up an event page for the fundraiser, but obviously a specific page with better features and functions, such as the newly launched fundraiser page, would be more ideal.

There are three real questions that will make or break the widespread use of the fundraiser pages:

First, how much will they cost? Currently, Facebook isn’t charging these nonprofits to use them and say they will be the same cost as industry standards. But if the cost isn’t manageable, I can see savvy social media professionals finding ways to raise money without using these pages (we’ve done it up to this point with success).

Second, will users be able to securely save their payment method to Facebook? Nothing gets a new feature off the ground like ease of use. If a donator can save their payment information and give with just a click of a button, I can see these pages being very successful. However, if a user has to click, load payment info and then submit each time, I can see more people bailing on the impulse give.

Third, will Facebook also take a percentage of donations? If they are making nonprofits pay for the feature, I highly doubt this would be the case, especially since they are only looking to break even on the feature. However, you never know. Another deterrent could be Facebook take a small cut of every campaign when it ends, just like Kickstarter.

What are your thoughts about the fundraising pages?

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