Recently, Facebook users managing pages for nonprofit organizations received an email from the Facebook Pages team:

We wanted to let you know that the call-to-action button for your Facebook Page [Organization Name] will be changed from “Donate” to “Learn More” soon. The updated “Learn More” call-to-action button for your Page will link to the same destination as your current “Donate” call-to-action button. We are removing the ability for Pages to use “Donate” call-to-action buttons that link to external websites.

If you live in a country where Facebook’s on-platform donation tools are available and your organization has charitable tax exemption status, you can apply to accept donations directly on Facebook. Once accepted, you will have the option to add the Donate Through Facebook call-to-action button to your Page. Learn more about eligibility for Facebook’s on-platform donation tools.

You can find more information call-to-action buttons, including how to select a different call-to-action button for your Page, in the Help Center.

Thank You,
The Facebook Pages team

So, what does this mean for your organization? In short, nonprofits wanting to display a “Donate Now” call-to-action (CTA) button on their Facebook Page will have to accept donations through Facebook’s donation platform. Nonprofits who accept donations through their own website or another external platform will have to use a “Learn More” button. (Instagram also has plans to roll out a donate button later this year.)

Unfortunately, this change might raise some challenges for nonprofits that already have established fundraising platforms — namely, making it difficult to centralize information about their donors. Clean, usable donor databases are the foundation of fund development, and adding another source of information (plus formatting it to work with the existing structure) has the potential to get messy very quickly.

However, there are also some potential upsides. Removing the extra step to giving may encourage higher volumes of gifts from donors who prefer a streamlined “one-click” style of contributing. Also, Facebook’s donation system offers nonprofits an easy-to-use and 100% free way to accept funds, which may be especially useful for smaller organizations on tight margins.

So how can your nonprofit prepare for the change? Consider the following:

  • If your organization plans to collect donations directly through Facebook, apply to accept donations and add the button to your Page if you haven’t done so already.
  • If your organization plans to simply use Facebook’s “Learn More” button, make sure your website is set up with clear, simple paths for users to give — even on your “About” or “Mission” pages.
  • If your organization plans to use Facebook’s donate button in addition to an integrated fundraising system, have a plan for how to centralize data about your donations. This could look like scheduled “data cleaning” time for your development team, or training on donor stewardship for your social media coordinator.

For Resilia subscribers, our customer success team and dedicated content library is always available for advice and support about how to make the most of this change. (Learn more about our subscription services here.)

Header image via Facebook for Nonprofits.