Will Facebook’s New Donate Button Help Schools Fundraise?

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Social media. We all know it. We all use it. It’s that thing we all know we need to be on.

Thanks in great part to Erik Qualman and his wowing collection of evidence of this growing Social Media Revolution, we know why we need to be a part of the socialsphere:

But many of us are still figuring out exactly how to harness the power of this ubiquitous media tool.

According to Data Outreach’s 2013 report, 99% of the 147 colleges surveyed have Facebook pages. They spend as many as ten hours each week managing their Facebook presence for announcements, recruitment, and community building. However, the number of hours (and people) schools are dedicating to Facebook is falling across the board.

Maybe that’s because somehow, even with all the hours they allot to Facebook , 30% of these schools don’t measure their performance at all on the platform. They—like so many of us—don’t have the extra time to collect the data or an efficient way to do it.

Facebook seems to be taking a stab at changing this questionable ROI with the launch of its very own Donate button. The button lets users send donations through a pop-up window right on Facebook where they can enter their payment details (or use details stored with Facebook). It essentially makes donating to a nonprofit as easy as liking that nonprofit’s page, forming a clear link between that nonprofit’s Facebook efforts and the amount of money those efforts raise.

“[Users] have the option to share the nonprofit’s post with their friends,” Facebook’s website says. “We hope this will help increase donations as people encourage their friends to donate to the causes that are important to them.”

As TechCrunch points out, by keeping users on the organization’s Facebook page, the Donate button could boost conversion rates and get more funds to campaigns. Plus, the pop-up will keep fans on the organization’s Facebook page rather than forcing them to another site away from their Friends and their ability to share their donations.

But the Donate button isn’t available to you. Not yet.

The social media giant is testing the button’s power with a group of 19 national and international nonprofits and has offered up a form to other interested nonprofits to enter their info for the button’s future expansion. In the interim, there’s always the option of using the Donate Button Creator app or Paypal Donate Button as workarounds, even if they are more complicated and subsequently less effective.

And even when—or if—the Donate button does become available to schools, some fundraising experts are saying it won’t be enough. We’ll be speaking them in an upcoming blog post about why they think Facebook’s new button isn’t the cure-all for nonprofits and what this #FacebookAdGrants petition is all about. Subscribe to this blog above to be the first to know when the post publishes.

In the meantime, be sure to supercharge your alumni Facebook page; there’s no such thing as too much engagement!

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