Meta is adding a new fundraising feature to Facebook and Instagram in celebration of Earth Day. The feature will allow non-profits to raise funds easily, especially for those tackling climate change.
Facebook and Instagram host about 1.5 million non-profits organizations, and Meta is empowering them to accept donations easily. A new update will let them add donation buttons to their Reels on Instagram. The funds will be passed to the organizations without any deductions, and Meta will be responsible for the processing fees.
Since Meta added fundraising to its platform in 2015, Facebook and Instagram have helped organizations collect more than $6 billion, according to Emily Dalton Smith, Meta’s VP of product management and social impact. The total money increased by $1 billion in just nine months in 2021. One hundred million creators and donors have been part of the fundraising process on the two social media platforms.
Meta revealed that most of the donations have come from small donors, with most donors giving less than $20.
Meanwhile, the receiving organizations have achieved a lot with the funds raised. For example, the Instagram-based non-profit, The Ocean Cleanup, which has received the most money, was founded by a then-18-year-old Boyan Slat from the Netherlands in 2013. He wanted to remove plastics from the oceans. According to Dalton Smith, The Ocean Cleanup succeeded because it built its communities on her company’s platform. Thanks to catchy graphics, weekly updates, and a partnership with Coldplay, the organization has amassed a following of almost 700,000 users.
Another non-profit, Outdoor Afro, based in Oakland, tries to connect Black people with nature. The founder, Rue Mapp, admitted the organization would not have been able to grow so fast without Facebook’s and Instagram’s fundraising tools. She uses Reels to raise money that goes into teaching more Black people to swim.
Mapp commented, “Fundraising is supposed to be fun, right? People give to people. They don’t give to vague ideas or concepts. People really want to connect to what they’re giving to.”
Outdoor Afro has used videos of Black swimmers on its Reels to depict happy swimmers and provide practical reasons why they should learn to swim. “It taps into something that comes with social media — that is collective impact,” Mapp continued. “We were able to grow our organization because we brought together this group of people who didn’t know other people who had a similar interest.”
Dalton Smith believes more non-profits will take advantage of the fundraising tools on Facebook and Instagram, regardless of their sizes. “We don’t have data yet to back this, but we do see early signs that this is actually going to help grow giving and help grow support for a more diverse set of organizations and help new causes emerge.”
The VP added feedback from creators that have been able to raise money on the two platforms. “They have a really strong sense of fulfillment and felt that they were able to make a difference by being able to take an action themselves by fundraising. Rallying support is really something that’s unique to our platforms and makes people feel like they were actually directly able to participate in making a difference for the cause they care about.”