Will the donate button reduce slacktavism?

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I’m not a fan of Facebook at the best of times, and am often sceptical about their ability to do great things for organisations, especially charitable organisations.  You may have people liking your page or your updates, but how engaged are they?

Some research from this autumn suggests the answer is not very. The study found that the more public was the token of endorsement, the less likely those people were to offer more substantial support later on.  If the initial act was a more private one, such as signing the petition for instance, then they were actually more likely to give time or money later on.

So, in other words, charitable support on Facebook is often done purely for show, and people don’t follow up their virtual support with anything more substantial (ie time or money).

So, news before Christmas that Facebook are launching a donation button for selected non-profits to put on their pages, thus allowing people to donate cash directly from their newsfeed.

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At the moment, the button is only available to selected organisations, but it’s expected to roll out to more in the coming months.  If you’d like to register interest in the button for your own organisation, you can do so here.

It’s a nice move.  Not nice enough to convert me to the joys of Facebook, but it should allow charitable organisations to build slightly more substantial relationships with their supporters.

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