Facebook has rolled out new features for fundraisers on the social network to make it easier for people to donate their money.
In its announcement on Friday, Facebook said it's adding a matching feature that would allow people to automatically match donations if fundraisers reach a set amount. Asha Sharma, Facebook's head of product for Social Good, said the company had noticed people promising to match donations on their fundraisers and decided to implement a tool that would put it all in one place.
Social Good, Facebook's branch that focuses on helping people, are features like fundraisers, mentorships and emergency responses. The effort focuses on how people can use Facebook to help others offline -- a public image that the social network wants with its motto, "bringing people closer together." In recent weeks, Facebook has been battling to maintain that image, as it faced a scandal over data privacy and Russian trolls using the platform to sow political chaos.
Despite Facebook's issues, its fundraising tool remains popular on the platform. More than 750,000 nonprofits have used fundraisers on Facebook, with millions of dollars going to charities through the social network.
Facebook pointed to a fundraiser in New York, where a man offered to match donations up to $100 for Mothers Against Drunk Driving if it reached his goals. The fundraiser ended up raising more than $2,000.
"We made it easier for them to contribute and pledge," Sharma said.
When you start a fundraiser for a non-profit, Facebook now gives you the option to pledge to match donations for any amount. If you pledge to match the fundraiser's $50 goal, for example, and it reaches $200, you would still only donate $50, she explained.
If it doesn't reach the goal, you would still match the amount raised, Facebook said. People will be asked to enter their credit card information, and Facebook will confirm with them to make the pledged donation once the fundraiser ends.
The social network also added four more categories for personal fundraisers, ones that aren't tied to any non-profits. The new categories are for family, faith, travel and volunteering.
"Those were the top requests from many different channels in the community," Sharma said. "It's something we heard consistently, and we're excited to build those."
Before, if someone tried to create a fundraiser that didn't match one of Facebook's existing categories, a review team wouldn't allow it to go public, said Facebooks spokeswoman Roya Winner.
The social network said it's open to adding more categories based on demand. Facebook also announced that it's getting rid of its platform fee -- a charge for fundraisers because the social network was hosting it -- from the personal fundraisers. The company removed the fee for non-profits last November, and is expanding it for regular users.
Sharma said that donations and fundraisers are not a part of Facebook's data collection. For example, you wouldn't start being targeted for animal ads because you donated to the ASPCA.
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