Now here's something to like: Facebook users can now donate money to some of their favorite nonprofits directly through the social networking site. Facebook unveiled its new "Donate Now" button today, allowing charities to ask for and receive donations without requiring that people first go to another site.
The feature is actually still in a bit of a beta-test phase, but it has been rolled out on the Facebook pages of nearly 20 top nonprofits, including the World Wildlife Fund, Water.org, the ASPCA, the American Cancer Society, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Oxfam and others. After testing has been completed, other nonprofits will be able to apply for the ability to add the button to their own Facebook pages.
Right now, the donate button is configured for pre-set amounts — $10, $25 $50, $100 and $250. Payments can be made by credit card or via PayPal. According to Facebook, 100 percent of the donation goes to the nonprofit, but the charity does not get your credit card information or any of your personal information, so you won't be added to any mailing lists (you will, however, still receive a receipt to make the deduction tax-deductible). Users can opt to have their donations appear in their Facebook news feed so they can share their actions with their friends. Facebook says it will store users' credit card information for future purchases.
Although many nonprofits praised Facebook's new button, the technology news site TechCrunch did offer criticism of the plan, saying Facebook's storage of users' credit card information supports their ecommerce platform, Autofill with Facebook, and suggests that the social networking company will use peoples' purchase data to deliver targeted advertising.
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