Facebook Live gets Donate Now button for charities


21 Jun 2013
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When you, as regular Facebookers, go live, the idea is to get the feel of being ‘on air’ and have real-time audience for whatever you are live streaming, be it a live demonstration of a drone’s working, or your child’s first step. Now Facebook wants to make its Live video feature a little more philanthropic in nature with its ‘Donate Now’ button. Facebook has had the ‘Donate Now’ button for pages or forums of public welfare and today has rolled out the feature to its Live video. There have been instances in the past where natural or man-made calamities have wrecked havoc and destroyed people’s homes and brought them to streets. In such situations, it is often the social media which brings notice of authorities to circumstances and situations where traditional media hasn’t paid much attention.

At Facebook’s first Social Good Forum, the company announced new tools which will help users to fund nonprofits and charities or offer help in the form of shelter, food, and supplies. Under its Fundraisers platform, which was launched in 2015 and allows nonprofits to raise money directly on Facebook, the company has now introduced the donate button to Live videos and posts. Currently, there are over 7,50,000 nonprofits which can raise money through Fundraisers. The platform facilitates funding campaigns for nonprofits.

If someone is live streaming their charitable event via Facebook Live, users will see a donate button and can contribute to the cause in real-time. For example, if you are a nonprofit doing a live video from a disaster-hit area, your audience will be able to donate to the cause and make contributions after gauging the intensity of the damage through the live video. With the growing trend of live videos, this feature is likely to help charities reach their funding target in an easy manner. This month, people in the US will be able to use this feature to collect donations and increase awareness for their Movember Foundation campaign in support of men’s health. They’ll be able to sync their fundraisers then raise money through both Movember.com and Facebook. In a bid to further promote #GivingTuesday, the company along with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will be contributing up to $1 million to Facebook fundraisers. The foundation will provide $500,000 in matching funds, up to $1,000 per Facebook fundraiser, and Facebook will waive up to $500,000 of fees on all donations.

In order to make Facebook more useful to its over 1-billion-strong userbase, the company also announced new round of updates to its community tools aimed at keeping users safe and allowing them to help others. Earlier Facebook would decide on an event to activate the ‘Safety Check’ tool, but now the community can decide on the urgency of the situation to activate the tool. Launched in 2014, the feature allows users to mark themselves ‘safe’ or seek help during crisis situations or natural calamities. When a lot of people post about an incident from the affected area, they may be asked if they’re safe. Once marked safe, they can then invite friends to do the same.

The company further announced that in the coming year, it will be announcing Community Help, a place where people can give and get help for things like shelter, food and supplies. After a natural disaster, someone can check in as safe and also ask for and offer help to those around them.

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