Yesterday Facebook made it possible for your followers, friends and fans to contribute money to nonprofits with the click of a button, right from their profiles. The “donate now” button right now only exists on 18 well-known humongous organizations like the Boys and Girls Club of America and Livestrong, but expansion is expected.
With the initial unveiling, fans and followers see a donation box right along with the regular News Feed on the nonprofit’s page and are given the option of donating $10, $25, $100 or $250 but also have the option to choose their own amount later. Payments go through credit/debit cards or PayPal.
So what does this mean for your association? Well nothing at the moment. Right now that feature is only available to a select few, very large nonprofit organizations, but eventually it’s very possible that your association’s Facebook page may have the option to add its own “Donate Now” button.
That could be great! After all, it’s often awkward to seek donations, especially when you know your members and the community you serve is strapped for cash. This is a passive way to go- visitors to your page may donate if they want to without you having to ask.
You can also use your Facebook page for something of a soap box, talking about your awesome community efforts and the things you do for your members. Sharing that information is bound to inspire giving.
It also makes your Facebook page something of a one-stop shop: information, donations, connection… what more do you need?
And there’s the problem!
You worked hard on your website and it’s used for a whole lot more than just accepting donations. While if you’re a social media engager you probably (hopefully!) link to your website frequently, you don’t want to confuse your members and supporters by offering too many channels. Donations are not dues renewals and they’re not event fees, but it’s entirely possible that a member will see the “donate now” button and assume all the money goes to the same place, and it’ll be fine. Reasonable thinking, but definitely unnecessary confusion on your end.
However, it’s happening whether you like it or not, and social media isn’t going away. Like most things in your association, it’s a discussion that needs to happen with your members and your board.
To prepare for those discussions, why not get our free social media guide?