Facebook and PayPal Matches Quickly Hit Limit

Facebook and PayPal announced weeks ago that they would partner to match up to $7 million in donations via Facebook on #GivingTuesday. Just as last year’s $2 million in matching gifts, the limit was reached shortly after kicking off.

Facebook announced at 9:05 a.m. Eastern that the match limit had been reached. A spokesman later confirmed the match was reached “within a matter of seconds.” The offer started at 8 a.m. Eastern and was to expire when $7 million in donations was reached — or at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time today.

Per the guidelines, donations would be matched dollar for dollar on a first-come, first-served basis, with donations of up to $250,000 per nonprofit and $20,000 per donor eligible to be matched.

It’s unclear how the two tech giants arrived at the $7 million matching gift amount. Last year, Facebook matched $2 million in gifts with the help of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which reached its limit by 8:30 a.m. on #GivingTuesday.

Last month, when Facebook announced the $7 million in matching gifts for #GivingTuesday, the tech giant also announced that its fundraising tools eclipsed $1 billion since being launched in 2015, $300 million reached in August through its Birthday Fundraisers.

“Because of the hype around the match, a lot of nonprofits are running their fundraisers on Facebook,” said Molly Trerotola, media and communications manager for Give Lively, a fundraising technology firm that does not charge any fees. Donors won’t know if their donation was matched until they receive a confirmation email from Facebook after Nov. 29, and donor data and donations could be delayed until 2019, she said. For nonprofits to receive donor data via Facebook Fundraisers, donors must opt in to provide their information, such as names and addresses.

Facebook processed $45 million in donations during last year’s #GivingTuesday. The annual global day of giving last year surpassed $300 million in donations and is expected to exceed the total raised for the sixth consecutive year. #GivingTuesday was started in 2012 as an effort by 92Y’s Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact and the United Nations Foundation.

Days after the 2017 #GivingTuesday, Facebook said it would waive all processing fees for its Facebook Fundraisers and establish a $50-million annual matching fund for charities. Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement during the second annual Social Good Forum.

PayPal’s holiday giving campaign will match up to $500,000 and will add 1 percent to any donation people make through the campaign once it reached $500,000, and then from Nov. 28 to Dec. 31.

In 2012, PayPal processed about $16 million in donations on the first #GivingTuesday in 2012, and last year processed more than $64 million last year.