Has Facebook Quietly Entered Crowdfunding?

By Josef Holm, founder- CEO KrowdsterCrowdFundBeat Sr. Guest Editor

The already pretty crowded crowdfunding space just got A LOT more crowded, putting platforms for non-profit fundraisers like GoFundme, Generosity, Crowdrise and many others under extra pressure.

Last year, YouTube set out to get their slice of the crowdfunding pie by allowing YouTubers to accept donations via their fully integrated Fanfunding model. YouTube realized that crowdfunding is already huge and that it is only going to grow further. They also know that they are a huge source of traffic and consequently donations to many crowdfunding campaigns. Unsurprisingly, they want to keep as much of that activity as possible inside of their own ecosystem.

Last week, Facebook followed suit with the VP of Product Management, Naomi Gleit announcing that Facebook now offers a new tool for nonprofits to fundraise directly on Facebook.

“People raise money for disaster relief, they search for missing children, and they bring attention to the issues they care about. We’ve seen from our community that when people take action, lives are changed. We know we can do more to enable these connections.”

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While Facebook has tested ways for non-profits to get donations directly on Facebook since 2013, this new version now gives fundraisers a dedicated place on Facebook to raise funds for specific campaigns.

To see where this could go, simply remove “Non” from “Non-profit” and we have the world’s largest rewards crowdfunding platform, which would certainly give Kickstarter and IGG a good run for their money. However, at this point, Facebook hasn’t announced any plans to expand this feature past non-profits, but it’s certainly not unfeasible going forward.

Non-profit or For-Profit, Crowdfunding relies heavily on traffic from social media sites like Facebook as very few people actually browse crowdfunding platforms to find projects to spend their money on. An estimated 9 out of 10 contributions to crowdfunding campaigns come from the campaign creator’s own marketing efforts.

 

 

Facebook has a number of advantages that other platforms lack, engraved right into their platform. Some of them are:

  • Frictionless Integration
    The problem is that even if a campaign gets noticed on social media, in order to actually contribute, users have to leave Facebook and visit the crowdfunding campaign on another platform, which creates friction. The solution? Run your fundraiser directly on Facebook and you won’t have to ask your supporters to visit another platform, register there, trust them with their payment information and then come back to Facebook to spread the word. Instead, your supporters don’t have to leave Facebook at all to make a donation and share a project in one step.
  • Virality
    Facebook lets users who want to support a campaign without spending any money to “Join” that campaign to receive updates, but also easily share the campaign on their news feed or invite their friends. This tight integration with core Facebook functionalities offers a much easier way for Fundraisers to reach new supporters, update and stay in touch with existing ones, and urge them to take action.
  • Cost
    As mentioned in an article on com, Facebook doesn’t currently charge anything and will later only charge a fee to cover its own costs. If this holds true, it will be also significantly cheaper to fundraise on Facebook than on dedicated platforms who charge up to 8% in credit card and platform fees.

From a crowdfunder’s perspective, these are great news as more competition always means better service and more innovation across the board. For a crowdfunding industry that is plagued by an overabundance of platforms, it will probably mean accelerated consolidation and more platforms closing down.

About Josef Holm

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Josef founded Krowdster.co, the first crowdfunding campaign analytics, optimization, crowd building and promotion SaaS application based on big data, machine learning and predictive analytics.

In 2013 he founded Tubestart.com, the first-of-its-kind crowdfunding platform for film and video. Tubestart is a curated premium crowdfunding platform and offers a range of innovative features not found on mainstream platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo.

An innovative, global serial entrepreneur with a passion for disruptive ideas, unconventional thinking and a “screw it, let’s do it” attitude.

17 years of start-up, business development, digital marketing, social web and affiliate marketing experience.

Ranked as a top thought leader in the crowdfunding industry, Josef has been been a featured speaker at SXSW V2V, Social Media Week LA, Metropole 2014 & 2015, #CFGE Crowdfund Global Expo 2014, #CrowdfundingUSA and Kickercon and is regularly featured in a number of publications such as CrowdFundBeat, USA Today, Wired, LA Business Journal and Fast Company.

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