Facebook Fundraisers for Birthdays = $$$


facebook fundraiser

Image source: Facebook

This blog has looked at birthday generosity and social media etiquette around birthdays in the past. So, it only makes sense to examine a merger of the two: using Facebook fundraisers on your birthday to donate to a cause you care about.

The feature began just over a year ago, and already its earned more than $300 million for various causes, per Facebook. About 750,000 non-profits currently have access to Facebook’s fundraising tools, but the feature isn’t yet available in every country.

Still, the feature itself is easy to use. You can create a birthday fundraiser for an organization that you have in mind already, or use their selection tool to find a beneficiary to support.

Top organizations benefitting from the birthday fundraisers include:

  • St. Jude
  • Alzheimer’s Association
  • American Cancer Society
  • Share Our Strength—No Kid Hungry
  • American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

And just before you shrug your shoulders at this as a way for Facebook to make money off people’s good intentions, the company in November 2017 waived fees. So 100% of all donations made on Facebook go directly to the nonprofits.

Famous Folks and Me on Facebook

This Facebook tool has been used by an array of Facebook users (or the PR handlers posing as celebrities online). The company shared:

Not wanting to make it a popularity contest or anything, but Madonna opened a fundraiser benefitting a Home of Hope orphanage located in a rural, high-need area of Malawi.

Her post noted, “For my birthday, I can think of no better gift than connecting my global family with this beautiful country and the children who need our help most. Every dollar raised will go directly to meals, schools, uniforms and healthcare.” Her fans and Facebook friends helped her surpass a million dollar goal in just two months!

Facebook fundraiser

Image source: Facebook

I did my own birthday fundraiser for my local library system’s foundation this October. At the time of this writing, I’d reached a whopping $15. I did use Madonna’s tally today to suggest that surely I could get to my $150 goal. We’ll see I guess!

Social Media Birthday Bash

Maybe you’ve seen a shared request on social media asking you to help a birthday someone to receive a landslide of likes or retweets or birthday cards or other greetings.

One woman recently went to Facebook to ask people in Roanake, Va. to come celebrate her son’s birthday at a local park with a water balloon fight. “I thought maybe a few people on my friends list would bring their kids,“ the nine-year-old’s mom wrote. “Instead it has reached people from all over the world.”

Balloon Birthday Bash

Photo credit: Steve Wilhelm / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Yahoo Parenting took the opportunity to interview some experts about whether this approach was a good idea. Yep, let’s just consider Yahoo Parenting the birthday buzzkill from now on.

One expert suggested the birthday could make the child feel alienated. Another suggested the mom wasn’t empowering her son. Both agreed labeling the child as someone who needs help making friends was not a wise move.

There were also concerns about the singular focus on the birthday and one of the experts suggested instead this should have been embraced as a special family day.

Photo credit: garrellmillhouse / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Photo credit: garrellmillhouse / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Now, my seven-year-old will be the first to tell you I am no parenting expert, but I wonder why facilitating your son having a crazy wild water balloon party and giving him the opportunity to meet with all kinds of new people (who might become friends) is a bad thing. At least this Mom’s turn to social media involved actual human interaction rather than those pleas that ask for messages or tweets or likes and represent nothing more than a bunch of strangers pushing a button on social media.

Me, I’m going to applaud this Mom for taking initiative. She helped her home-schooled son get out there for an opportunity to interact with more kids and gave him a party he won’t soon forget.

Her 16th was truly a riot.

Photo courtesy Daily Mail

Photo courtesy Daily Mail

In North America at least, the 16th birthday is monumental. Check out the insanity of “My Super Sweet 16.” The reality shows 15-year-olds and their parents going way overboard for this threshold year party. Kidzworld reports one of the parties cost $203,000 US and that one Florida girl welcomed Ciara to the stage at her big event.

All these kids want to throw the biggest or most memorable party of the year.

Well, they are all trumped by an unfortunate Dutch 16-year-old who posted her birthday party invitation on Facebook and didn’t use privacy settings. The invitation went viral. According to the Daily Mail, her guest list ballooned to 3,000 and that doesn’t include the nearly 600 riot police needed to corral the crowd.

Molly Ringwald’s disastrous 16th aside, I have never before heard of a 16th birthday going as badly as this one did!