Donate to charities using Facebook Gifts

Facebook users who want to give the gift of charity to their friends can now donate to causes through the social network's gifting service.

Donna Tam Staff Writer / News
Donna Tam covers Amazon and other fun stuff for CNET News. She is a San Francisco native who enjoys feasting, merrymaking, checking her Gmail and reading her Kindle.
Donna Tam

Facebook is adding a new product within its gifting service -- charitable donations.

As part of the social network's Facebook Gifts service, users can now send donations in a friend's name to organizations like the Red Cross, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, or DonorsChoose.org.

The launch comes during the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the superstorm that's destroyed homes and left countless people without power.

"We are especially pleased to be launching this test now -- when so many people are looking for new ways to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy, or assist those most in need around the holidays," said Facebook's Jared Morgenstern.

It's a good way to get folks to try out the new gifting service, which could become a valuable source of income for Facebook. The network is still rolling out the service globally, but anyone who already has access to Facebook Gifts will see the charitable donations option.

Users can either chose one of the 11 nonprofits with whom Facebook has partnered, or let their friends choose a charity for the donation.