Facebook introduced personal fundraisers in beta back in March, taking on services like GoFundMe, butwith a a particular focus on critical needs like disaster relief and education. Today personal fundraisers are expanding to everyone (over 18) in the US and getting a couple of new categories.
Previous causes included education, medical, pet medical, crisis relief, personal emergencies, and funeral expenses.Now you can create fundraisers for sports, including things like equipment and fees for teams, and communities, for things like local improvements and neighborhood services.
Fundraisers are approved within 24 hours, and Facebook says it’s working to automate the process as the feature becomes more popular. Causes carry a 6.9 percent + $0.30 fee, which the company says helps keep fundraising sustainable in the long term – that money goes towards processing and security costs.
You can start a fundraiser of your own over at facebook.com/fundraisers. You’ll be able to pick whether you are raising money for a friend, yourself, or someone not on Facebook to help you properly promote the campaign.
Facebook has a distinct advantage over other fundraising platforms in that it can directly leverage your friend network, including people’s real profiles when they ask for money. It’ll be interesting to see how it chooses to expand personal fundraisers in the long term. Will it stay closed to ‘critical’ causes, or will it open up to things like personal art projects and potato salads? Only time will tell.