Deciding what to get a friend for their birthday can be a difficult task. Facebook is looking to make that decision easier while also helping out thousands of nonprofit organizations.
The social media giant launched the birthday fundraiser feature last year in an effort to make peace with its users after news surfaced of a major data breach within the company. The highly-publicized debacle put nearly 87 million users’ data at risk after their personal information was shared with Cambridge Analytica, a data firm which previously worked with the Trump campaign.
After losing the trust of many who use their service, Facebook introduced the birthday fundraiser feature as a way to gain back that trust while also giving back to the community. The feature allows users to select an organization from a list of 750,000 approved nonprofits throughout the United States.
Users set a goal for their fundraiser and they can then share it with their friends. The fundraiser will pop up in their friends’ newsfeed whenever they share it. It also appears at the top of the users’ timeline until the fundraiser ends.
To sweeten the pot even further, Facebook announced on Tuesday, July 10 that it will donate $5 to every fundraiser created through the new feature. Their contribution will come from the Facebook Donations Fund, a fund the company said they planned on giving $50 million to in 2018.
There’s no word yet on how long the company plans on making the $5 donations for, but product manager Ian Alexander says they hope to contribute as much money as possible for as long as possible. Alexander further went on to say that the new birthday fundraising feature is one of the most popular features on its site.
Nonprofits like the Marine Mammal Center in California are pleased with the new fundraising feature, especially since Facebook got rid of fees for nonprofits in November. Now 100% of the money raised from the fundraising feature goes directly to the nonprofit organization.
While Facebook’s charitable efforts may be applauded by many, some users aren’t so easily won over by the birthday fundraising feature. The company still faces a steep uphill battle when it comes to gaining back the trust of users whose data was breached during the Cambridge Analytica fiasco.