‘Every little bit counts’: How do local nonprofits benefit from Facebook’s birthday fundraisers?

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – If you’re looking for that perfect birthday gift, Facebook suggests using your special day to benefit others by asking for donations to a charity.

Facebook says millions of dollars have been raised through birthday fundraisers since it launched the feature in August 2017. CBS 17 was asked what happens to that money after people donate.

Leann Tenbusch with Triangle Beagle Rescue said the nonprofit benefits from an average of two to five birthday fundraisers each month. Each generally raises between $200 and $500.

“Once a month, we post to remind people, ‘Hey, we’re a nonprofit and you can, without fees, raise money for the beagles on your birthday,'” said Tenbusch. “It used to be when you started a fundraiser on FaceBook it would take a percent of your donation. In 2017, that stopped.”

Facebook still deducts fees from personal fundraisers, but not from fundraisers that benefit more than a million nonprofits.

“As soon as they got rid of the fees, we said, ‘OK. We are in.’ We didn’t want people donating and then Facebook to take part of the fee,” said Tenbusch.

Triangle Beagle Rescue keeps track of current fundraisers online and reaches out to people who start them.

“We look that they started it, acknowledge, ‘Thank you so much. We really appreciate it,’ because we really do. We are a nonprofit. We depend on this fundraising to rescue more beagles.”

That isn’t hard for an organization with a handful of fundraisers a month, but larger nonprofits with hundreds of donors may not be able to reach out to everyone raising money, and people may wonder whether donations get to the right place.

According to Facebook, nonprofits receive money one of two ways: directly from Facebook through electronic transfer or a check, or through Facebook’s partners, Network for Good or PayPal Giving Fund.

“We do get payments and we usually get them twice a month, so it kind of batches them together and send us the payment from everyone,” explained Tenbusch.

While she may not know exactly how much comes from each individual, she said the money does get to the people, and in this case, the beagles who need it.

That’s why Brandi Cozart feels good about her birthday fundraiser for Triangle Beagle Rescue.

“Every little bit counts,” she said.

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