By: Ravi Sunnak, Executive Vice President of Sustainable Development Goals
Recently I attended the second annual Facebook Social Good Forum in New York, an invitation-only event of mostly executive-level personnel from nonprofits. The highlight of the day was Mark Zuckerberg’s opening speech. Fresh from a year spent traveling around the U.S. on a listening tour, he shared the main thread that ran through many of his conversations: the importance of community. If we all focus more on strengthening our communities, he said, that will help us build common ground and move forward together.
So in keeping with Facebook’s new mission of helping give people the power to build community and bring the world together, Zuckerberg announced some important new Facebook initiatives. The main highlights were that Facebook will eliminate payment transaction fees for all fundraising donations so now 100 percent of the funds raised on Facebook will go directly to the causes. In addition, Facebook is creating a $50 million annual donations fund to match all donations made to causes on the social media platform (see the full list here).
I also learned that Facebook’s social good team will focus on the following pillars – Charitable giving: Expanding tools to cover charitable giving globally; Health: Suicide prevention and blood donation tools; and Mentorship and support: Connecting the expertise of nonprofits with communities on Facebook to make it easier to mentor.
New and improved products were also discussed at the forum, and some of the nonprofits Facebook works with closely were highlighted, including the Red Cross, UNICEF, World Food Programme, and St. Jude’s. There were small breakout sessions followed by panels with Vice Impact, St Jude’s, and the animal-centric site Dodo. The main thread connecting the day was, of course, how nonprofits can use Facebook’s products to help them advance their own goals.
It was great to attend as new connections were made and I gained insight (which I am sharing via this blog post) into what the biggest social media platform is thinking—very timely as we discuss our Purpose offer and think about tools for client activations and campaigns.
I would recommend that you check out the #DoGoodTogether to see the discussions sparked by the forum. I am already looking forward to attending next year!