Instagram Launches Personal Fundraising Option

Instagram launched a personal fundraiser function yesterday, starting with tests in the United States, United Kingdom and Ireland.

More than $65 million has been raised on Facebook and Instagram for COVID-related fundraisers globally since January. Donations on Instagram doubled in the past 30 days compared to the prior 30 days, according to Instagram. Posts mentioning “donation” in the U.S. increased more than 200 percent.

“We’ve also seen a large wave of digital activism responding to the global conversation around racial justice,” according to a blog post by Instagram. “From people raising money to buy medical equipment for Black Lives Matter protesters, rebuilding Black-owned small businesses affected by COVID-19 and funding educational resources related to racial justice, people are eager to mobilize around causes they care about.”

To create a personal fundraiser on Instagram:

  • Tap “Edit Profile;”
  • “Add Fundraiser;”
  • “Raise Money;”
  • Choose a photo;
  • Select a fundraiser category and add details;
  • Enter your information on Stripe, the payment processor; and,
  • Tap “Send.”

All fundraisers will go through a review process to ensure they are eligible causes. Facebook updated its “Personal Fundraiser Policies” on May 28. Once approved, a fundraiser can begin accepting donations. Each fundraiser lasts 30 days and can be extended more than once for 30 more days. You must be at least 18 years old to create a fundraiser.

When people donate to a fundraiser, they can choose to keep their information hidden from the public. Organizers will be able to see usernames, names on their profile and donation amounts. Once a fundraiser concludes, the funds will be deposited to a designated bank account.

Nonprofits receive 100 percent of the donations since Facebook waives processing fees but among the critiques by nonprofits are that donors must opt-in to share their personal information with the charity and relatively few do.

Stripe, the payment processor, issues payments six days after a donation is received and it might take another one to five business days to deposit payments into an account, according to a spokesperson.

Instagram earlier this year introduced a Donation sticker on the Instagram Live function. Donation stickers on the Stories function of the platform have been around since April 2019.

Instagram is the fastest-growing social media platform for nonprofits with a 42-percent increase in the average number of followers, according to the 2020 M+R Benchmarks report. For every 1,000 email subscribers, nonprofits had an average of 83 Instagram followers, compared with 496 Facebook fans and 221 Twitter followers.