Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will drop fees to nonprofit fundraisers, but the company will keep them for individuals trying to raise money on the platform.
At the company’s second Social Good Forum New York Wednesday (Nov. 29), Zuckerberg said nonprofits had requested Facebook eliminate the fees, which total 5% for charitable organizations in the United States. Two percent covered things like vetting, operational costs and fraud protection, and three went toward payment processing fees, which Facebook will now absorb for accredited organizations, a spokesperson told Quartz.
Personal fundraisers—those for a user’s medical costs, education, emergencies, or losses—remain at 6.9% plus $0.30. GoFundMe, a fund raising platform, charges 7.9% plus $0.30 and PayPal charges 2.9% plus $0.30. Square, the internet payment processing service, charges 2.75% per transaction.
Eliminating the fees is particularly important for organizations such as the Syrian American Medical Society, which had requested Facebook waive its transaction fees. A petition signed by 42,000 people earlier this year asked the platform to eliminate the approximately $85,000 fee on the $1.5 million the organization raised for medical costs in Syria and its neighbors. Basel Termanini, a gastroenterologist who is the vice-president of the group, told Reuters that the cost per patient was $8, “so we’re talking about 10,000 people who could be treated.” Termanini told Quartz he was happy about the fee waiver.
Non-profits raised $45 million through Facebook during Giving Tuesday partly through donation matching initiatives like that of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Zuckerberg said that Facebook will introduce an annual $50 million fund to make direct contributions and match donations during crises like natural disasters, and to some other, selected fundraising campaigns.
Zuckerberg announced several other initiatives for the “social good.” The platform will introduce a Fundraisers API, which allows nonprofits to integrate their Facebook fundraisers with those directly on their websites. This can allow them to reach their goals faster, the company said. Another new API, Community Help, will give disaster response groups data on those who indicate that they need help during crises.
Facebook will boost a blood donation feature which connects blood donors with those in need, and expand it from India, where four million people have signed up for it since its introduction in October, to Bangladesh. It is also partnering with mentorship organizations, providing a way to match up mentors with people in need of advice or support, and hosting a curriculum that the pairs go through together.