Facebook fundraisers: selfless or selfish?

This is the latest way to fulfil your daily dose of instant gratification. In just one click you can give money to a non-profit and tick that ‘one good deed for the day’ box in your diary.

Facebook Fundraisers began in August 2017 and since then have grown in popularity due to their use by celebrities like Madonna, who notably raised more than $200,000 for Raising Malawi, a non-profit also set up by the acclaimed singer.

But are these philanthropic fundraisers as charitable as they let on? It is possible to create a page without any sort of verification. Facebook states that ‘You don’t have to be a registered charity to list your Page’ as a ‘Cause or Community’. Facebook even provides step-by-step instructions to ‘Create a Page’, which makes it easy to take advantage of the system.

Yet in a time when trolling, online bullying, and fake news have become the norm, these campaigns highlight the good that can come from social media. And so, surely this will promote future positive causes via the use of Facebook and other online platforms.

Charities and non-profits usually have to spend huge amounts of money on fundraising and advertising, however, this is a free and effective way of spreading awareness via social media and promoting charities’ campaigns.

On the other hand, social media is turning serious issues into a popularity contest and trivialising their reality. The people that are donating may not know what they are supporting and where their money is going. It seems Facebook is encouraging ingenuine compassion and it must be harder to verify and monitor charities with the influx of new ones.

At the end of the day, these donations are going to charity. They may not be done for the correct reasons, but people are being helped as a result. We shouldn’t question the intentions behind Facebook donations if the end result is a positive one.

Small acts of kindness like these can catalyse more personal and compassionate goals. So, in the light of the New Year, why not start 2019 with a donation? And, who knows, one click might begin your own ripple effect of good deeds.

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May 2022
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