In 2015, people throughout the US participated in the ALS Association Ice Bucket Challenge on Facebook, which sparked the inspiration for our first fundraising tools. In the five years since fundraising on Facebook launched, over $3 Billion has been raised for causes around the globe.
"“We realized that there was a huge opportunity for us to create specific tools to accelerate how nonprofits can serve people and make an impact."
–Emily Dalton Smith, Director of Social Impact Products, Facebook
The ALS Association provides assistance for people with ALS and their families while urgently searching for new treatments and a cure. In 2014, the association created the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, where people drenched themselves in ice-cold water, made a donation and nominated friends to do the same. Primarily shared on Facebook, the challenge raised valuable funds for ALS and spurred major developments to fight the disease. While dramatically accelerating the fight against ALS, the challenge also became the inspiration for Facebook to do more.
After seeing how Facebook was used to create this meaningful cultural moment on the platform, the team wanted to explore the opportunity to create specific tools to accelerate how nonprofits and people alike can make an impact.
Facebook first introduced a Donate button available on Pages and posts to help nonprofits increase donations. When placed on a Page, organizations had a consistent place to ask for donations. When placed in a post, people had an easy way to donate directly from News Feed. A win-win situation for all involved.
The team also created birthday fundraisers, allowing people to rally their friends and family to support a specific cause on their special day. Birthday fundraisers have been so successful, that over $1 Billion is raised from them alone each year.
Today, people around the world continue using Facebook Fundraisers for causes they’re passionate about—whether it’s supporting a neighbor who lost everything in a fire, bringing critical care to a child battling cancer or helping nonprofits bring food to those in need. With more than 150 million people around the globe connected to a cause, Facebook is a diverse community of people working to bring the world closer together.
After the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge sparked the idea for Facebook Fundraising tools in 2015, Facebook’s global community of volunteers, donors and activists continues to come together to make a difference—raising over $3 Billion for causes throughout the world to date.