Social media and activism have a tenuous relationship at best. While it’s no secret that people love sharing news about injustice, it’s hard to do so without feeling like a “slacktivist.” In an effort to bridge that gap, Facebook has rolled out a “Donate” button to help sharing turn into action for non-profits around the world.
According to a blog post announcing the feature, “Donate” was the direct result of Facebook’s donation system on behalf of the Red Cross during the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
“After seeing the generosity of people around the world toward this effort, we’ve been inspired to help everyone donate, at any time, to the organizations they care about most,” the blog post said.
Users need only go to the non-profit or charity’s page, and the donation post will be available at the top of the Timeline. Right now, users can only donate to a handful of organizations, including Oxfam, Donors Choose, and the ASPCA, but Facebook is offering other non-profits and charities the opportunity to apply for use of the Donate Button.
It’s a wonder that Facebook is just getting around to offering users a way to meaningfully contribute to their favorite causes, because it makes great use of the payments system that the company has been tinkering with on and off for years now. Of course, it’s not a guarantee that the donations will come flowing in — the other half of social media activism is the “viral” content that brings causes to attention — but the option may be another viable channel for non-profits and charities looking to capitalize on their devoted fans online.