Facebook will soon begin letting users raise money on behalf of themselves and others, as a way to help cover the cost of events like medical bills, tuition, and crises.
The “personal fundraiser” feature will roll out over the next few weeks to users in the US, only for those age 18 and up. Anyone with access to it will be able to set up a dedicated Facebook page with information about the fundraiser, where they can pick a donation goal and receive money through the site.
The feature is pretty much a beat-for-beat copy of GoFundMe, which has become the go-to crowdfunding site when raising money for personal causes. Facebook’s twist is that its users will have their Facebook profiles attached, which can let people know who they’re donating to. Being able to share it within Facebook’s social graph ought to help, too.
Facebook says that, at first, it’ll only allow fundraisers to help cover six things: education expenses, medical bills, pets’ medical bills, crisis and disaster relief, personal emergencies, and assistance for families after a death.
New categories may be added in the future, Facebook says. But for now, it’s limiting them in part because it’s requiring all fundraisers to go through a review process, at least some of which seems to be done by moderators.
Facebook doesn’t say how much of the money raised will end up with the person running the fundraiser. But it seems possible that the company will take a small cut: for donations to charities made on Facebook, a 3 percent fee is removed to cover payment processing and another 2 percent is removed to cover “nonprofit vetting, fraud protection, and payment support.” We’ve reached out to Facebook for more details.
In addition to adding personal fundraisers, Facebook is also starting to let any verified page add donation buttons to raise money for approved nonprofits to their live broadcasts.
Facebook launched a fundraising feature for charities back in 2015, and today’s personal fundraiser feature seems to be a direct extension.
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