Facebook donations basics: How to set up the Facebook Donate button

Digital FundraisingSocial Media

Facebook donations now allow qualifying nonprofits to fundraise from their supporters on one of the world’s most popular websites for a 0% processing fee with the Facebook Donate button (as of Giving Tuesday 2017, Facebook stopped collecting fees for donations processed on-platform). Let’s talk about what the Facebook Donate button is, the 2 different types of Facebook donation buttons, how to add the button to your nonprofit’s Facebook page, and the million-dollar question: Should my organization use the Facebook Donate button?
Let’s dive in!

What is the Facebook donate button?

Nonprofits can now crowdfund directly from their pages with Nonprofits on Facebook and the Donate button. The Donate button sits next to the Contact or Sign Up buttons on a page, and allows users to quickly donate to a charitable organization without leaving the platform. This is an especially popular feature for users who do Facebook birthday fundraisers.
The Donate button processes donations in just 2-3 clicks through a simple, in-platform form. All shared and re-shared posts include the button, so when a nonprofit shares a post it will automatically include a call to donate. Plus, the button remains in that post if a follower re-shares it. This is important as most users engage with their newsfeed, rather than with Facebook Pages. 

The 2 types of Facebook donation buttons

Direct donations on Facebook augment an older version of Facebook fundraising that you can still opt into. The older version is still available to all nonprofits and directs donors to an external website of your choice to collect donations. The new Facebook donate button is an on-platform donation flow available to nonprofits that are accepted after they apply to use Facebook Fundraising Tools.
Here’s some more information on the 2 types of Facebook donation buttons, plus the pros and cons of each: 

1. Links to website 

This option displays a donate button that links to your website’s donation page. Organizations can customize the set donation amounts depending on their target audience. 
Pros: It’s easy to set up and allows you to collect donor data once they land on your site.
Cons: Linking to an outside page creates more friction and an added step for the user, so you risk them dropping off before they actually make a donation.

Facebook donate via an external website

2. Facebook on-platform payment

This option uses Facebook’s payment solution that connects directly to your nonprofit’s bank account.
Pros: Smoother process for the donor, as they can give to your cause without ever having to leave Facebook. 0% processing fee.
Cons: Compared to the first option, this type of button entails a longer set up process and limits the amount of data that your organization receives about its donors. 

Facebook for Nonprofits Donation Button

How do I add the Facebook Donate button?

The rest of this guide will focus on the Facebook on-platform payment option so keep reading to learn how to qualify for and start collecting Facebook donations on your nonprofit’s page.

1. Meet Facebook Donations requirements

The general process for getting a donate button for your page is:

  1. Your Page must be categorized as a Nonprofit Organization or a Charity Organization and the person applying must have admin permissions.
  2. The page must be submitted and approved for verification.
  3. The page must adhere to Facebook’s community standards.
  4. You must provide Facebook with a valid bank account to start collecting donations through the platform. 

2. Select your nonprofit’s page on Facebook

The page on which you want to collect donations must go through Facebook’s verification process. If you manage multiple pages, you must select the nonprofit page that you’d like to place a donation button on.

3. Submit the page for review

To get your page verified, you can either have Facebook call you directly, or you can upload acceptable documents as proof of ownership. In this example, we uploaded our IRS determination letter for approval but you can also use a business utility bill, business license, or a certificate of formation.
Next, click the Submit For Community Review button and the Facebook team will review your page’s content to make sure it adheres to their standards.

4. Create your Facebook Donations account

After about 2-3 weeks, Facebook will notify you if your application was approved. Once you are ready to move forward, you must now go through the steps of creating a Donations Account. Before you begin, be prepared to have the following information on hand:

  • Your organization’s official name, address, IRS Tax ID and nonprofit category (Note: Make sure all of this information matches the information in the Guidestar database)
  • The name, date of birth, and business address for your organization’s CEO or Executive Director
  • A legible bank statement from the last three months

Once you’ve created your Donations account, the final result will be a prominent donate button at the top of your Facebook page that allows users to stay on the platform and make a frictionless donation. 

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Should we be using Facebook donations?

Sure, but don’t abandon your CRM or other fundraising efforts.
The Facebook Donate button is an easy way to increase conversions, especially around Giving Tuesday and end-of-year giving. For organizations aiming to increase web traffic as well as donations, the call-to-action button drives users to your website, and you can collect vital remarketing info like email addresses. However, if the only goal is to increase one-time donations, the new donate button is clear, focus-pulling, and easy for donors to use. It allows donors to stay on the platform, so you are less likely to lose users.
Using Facebook donations is a simple way to encourage giving, but it won’t give you valuable user data to remarket and nurture donor relationships over time. It’s also not a guarantee that your fundraising will increase. In order to really drive donations, you need to make sure you’re working in good content, visual storytelling, and strong calls-to-action.
Check out our Facebook Fundraising Dos and Dont’s for more ways you can leverage the social media platform as a fundraising tool.