Thursday, January 17, 2013

Facebook - Gifts

Facebook Gifts launched with the ability for you to buy something meaningful for a friend or family member on the social network. I’ve tinkered with it a bit and have bought a few gifts, including a bonsai tree and Starbucks gift cards. My mind immediately jumped to “wouldn’t it be cool if I could donate money to a charity on behalf of my friend for their birthday?”, and well, that happened today in a test capacity.
If you have access to Gifts, you will now be able to choose from eleven non-profit launch partners who can benefit from a donation made on behalf of one of your friends. Do it for their birthday, their engagement, wedding or just because. It’s a genius idea, and one that really leverages Facebook’s over 1 billion users. This is yet another feature that shows the power of Facebook, similar to the Organ Donor program. During the test program, your donation will be limited to $25, but that may change over time if this is successful, I’m told.
Here’s what the company had to say about the launch:
We’re excited to announce that we are launching a new test feature on Facebook Gifts: now you can now use Facebook to make a charitable contribution in celebration of a friend or a family member.
We are especially pleased to be launching this test now – when so many people are looking for new ways to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy, or assist those most in need around the holidays.
With each charitable contribution on Facebook, you can choose which nonprofit you would like to support. Or if you don’t know which organization to choose, you can let your friend make the choice.
Here are the eleven non-profits that you can choose from when giving a gift, including the American Red Cross, which is now focusing on helping those affected by the horrific Hurricane Sandy aftermath on the East Coast:
- American Red Cross
- Blue Star Families
- Boys and Girls Clubs of America
- Girls Inc.
- Kiva
- Oxfam America
- St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Don’t know which one to pick? Let your friends or family do the choosing.
The Facebook Gifts product hasn’t rolled out to everyone just yet, but if you have it and give a gift to someone, they immediately get access to the features. The company tells me that it plans on rolling it out to more users proactively, as well.
When you go to send someone a gift, you’ll now see the “pay it forward” area that includes the eleven non-profits:

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