Facebook has unveiled a new option that could benefit the nonprofit sector:
We are excited to introduce a new ‘Donate Now’ call-to-action option on both link ads and Pages. Now, it’s easier than ever for nonprofits to connect with people who care about their causes and encourage them to contribute through the website of their choice.”
Many in the media were quick to applaud the move by Facebook:
“This is definitely a valuable tool for nonprofits…” — TechCrunch
“This new Facebook feature is hard not to like.” — Huffpost Impact
“…nonprofits won’t be complaining now that they have easier access to a billion and a half potential donors.” — Mashable
“Charities welcome Facebook decision to let them use ‘donate now’ buttons.” — Third Sector
However, not everyone greeted the announcement with great enthusiasm.
Steven Shattuck, Vice President of Marketing at Bloomerang, outlined his issues with this new feature in his post “The Facebook Page Donate Now Button Is Dumb and I Hate It”:
In my mind, this button is problematic for two reasons: 1) This is an obvious ploy by Facebook to get you to buy ads … 2) There is no organic path to the donate button that makes any logical sense or has any basis in reality…. I don’t buy it. It’s the equivalent of a coffee shop putting their tip jar outside and around the corner.”
Here is how Facebook designed the “Donate Now” button to work. A nonprofit organization can put the button on its Facebook page and in its ads. People who click on the button will first see a Facebook disclaimer box and then be taken to the organization’s own donation page.
Shattuck writes, “So should you set up the button? Probably. There’s really no downside per se and the whole process takes less than a minute.”
While there might not be a downside to the “Donate Now” button on Facebook, is there an upside as some have suggested or is Shattuck right to think the button is “dumb”?