What Nonprofits Need To Know About Facebook’s #GivingTuesday Announcement

Julia Claire Campbell Facebook, Fundraising, Marketing, Nonprofits, Online Fundraising, Social Media 7 Comments

Cue the bells, throw the confetti, ring the alarms!

Facebook announced that for GivingTuesday this year (December 3) it will be matching up to $7 million USD in donations made on the platform that day.

If you aren’t familiar with GivingTuesday, it’s a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world.

Here’s the fine print:

The match for GivingTuesday 2019 begins at 8 AM Eastern Time on December 3.

Donations are matched dollar for dollar on a first-come, first-served basis until the funds are spent.

Any US-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit eligible to receive donations on Facebook can be matched.

Facebook will match up to a total of $100,000 per nonprofit organization.

Each donor can have up to $20,000 in eligible donations matched on GivingTuesday.

Facebook will cover processing fees.

You may be saying to yourself – this seems fantastic!

Let’s shout it to the rooftops! BUT WAIT.

Before you start celebrating, this is what nonprofits REALLY, truly need to know (and understand) about the Facebook match.

First of all – I wouldn’t get too excited. I hate to rain on anyone’s parade, but let’s be real.

7 million dollars is a drop in the bucket for Facebook, and it’s what they matched last year.

Despite the devastating media coverage and revelations of late, Zuck and company have made no new efforts to make the platform a more hospitable, charitable place.

Here are just two ideas:

1) Give nonprofits an ad credit (like Google Grants) so that they can compete in the pay-to-play world of algorithms and fake news.

2) Match even MORE money on GivingTuesday, or throughout the entire month of December, with a smaller limit per nonprofit – so that more organizations can get a piece of the pie and participate in the excitement.

While it’s definitely helpful that Facebook is attempting to draw attention to the spirit of philanthropy and giving back, every year this match makes nonprofits froth at the mouth and go into an absolutely hysterical tizzy.

I’ve seen posts on social media from well-meaning but misguided nonprofits promising their donors that if they give on GivingTuesday, their gifts will be matched by Facebook dollar-for-dollar.

This makes me sad, because last year, the match was gone in 7 seconds.


Fast Company reported that the funds became available at 8:00 AM Eastern, and were gone within “a matter of seconds,” according to a Facebook spokesperson.

At 9:05 Eastern, the company issued an update (“Wow, that was fast!…”) confirming the deal was over.

And it’s not the first time that this has happened.

In 2017, as The NonProfit Times reports: “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.”

I encourage all of you, my readers, my clients, my friends – NOT to focus on the Facebook match this GivingTuesday.

Focus on thanking your donors.

Focus on bringing new supporters into the fold.

Focus on talking up the importance of civic engagement, the vital role that nonprofits play in our society, the amazing volunteers that make your work possible.

And please – don’t tell your donors that their donations will definitely be matched by Facebook.

For more ideas on how to create and launch a campaign on GivingTuesday, get the Complete GivingTuesday ToolkitSocial Media Toolkit, and other resources 

Comments 7

  1. Beti Vere

    Why is it only $7 million as Facebook is a billion dollar company. Why can’t other donors be incorporated in the pot to help us nonprofits?

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  3. Marie

    Julia I’ve been along the way when Facebook first came on the#GivingTuesday scene, even though they are not affiliated with #GivingTuesday.org.. The first year, true Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation helped with the match, Facebook was charging 5 % fees for donations except for #GivingTuesday when all fees were waived. After reviewing the data they soon realized the best way to help nonprofits fairly was to waive all fees so those processing fees have been waived year round for nonprofits. Last year Pay Pal joined Facebook for the $7 million match Facebook has a whole department for social good. They are trying to improve. Waiving fees and having friends be able to give to your nonprofit organization should be applauded. Let’s look at the positive and the opportunities. I agree that the amount should be more easily distributed to more organizations. I personally think that any one nonprofit cannot receive more than $20,000 match whether it is a one time donor or many donors to that organization. That way they could help at least 700 organizations or more. We have several foundations in our area that run a match and have a special bucket in the beginning of the start of this Giving Challenge and that money is gone within minutes. They have learned over time to do a mix up , but it took a few years of trial and error to get it better, not perfect but better. I am grateful that they have a fundraiser platform that makes it easy to reach our friends without picking up the phone or we can always call our friends on facebook. People can get their donors to run their own fundraiser and do their own match. Plus everyone should be doing their personal birthday fundraiser. You are aware that facebook does random matches on birthday fundraisers. You have to be set up for the facebook donate button for facebook match on #GivingTuesday and birthdays.

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      Julia Claire Campbell

      Great insights – that’s the spirit! I firmly believe that normalizing philanthropy and making it accessible to more people can only benefit all charities!

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